207 episodes

3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 22-year-long quest to uncover and discuss the 1000 most formative books in the world. Each chapter discusses the 3 most formative books of one of the world's most inspiring people. Sample guests include: Brené Brown, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Roxane Gay, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Shirley The Nurse, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Angie Thomas, David Mitchell, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, Judy Blume, and Quentin Tarantino. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of the 333 chapters dropped on the exact minute of every single full moon all the way up to 10:37 PM EST on April 26, 2040. 3 Books is an Apple "Best Of" award-winning show and is 100% non-profit with no ads, no sponsors, no commercials, and no interruptions. 3 Books has 3 clubs including the End of the Podcast Club, the Cover to Cover Club, and the Secret Club, which operates entirely through the mail and is only accessible by calling 1-833-READ-A-LOT. Each chapter is hosted live and in-person at the guest's preferred location by Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome, The Happiness Equation, Two-Minute Mornings, etc.

For more info check out: https://www.3books.co

3 Books With Neil Pasricha Neil Pasricha: Bestselling Author

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 231 Ratings

3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 22-year-long quest to uncover and discuss the 1000 most formative books in the world. Each chapter discusses the 3 most formative books of one of the world's most inspiring people. Sample guests include: Brené Brown, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Roxane Gay, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Shirley The Nurse, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Angie Thomas, David Mitchell, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, Judy Blume, and Quentin Tarantino. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of the 333 chapters dropped on the exact minute of every single full moon all the way up to 10:37 PM EST on April 26, 2040. 3 Books is an Apple "Best Of" award-winning show and is 100% non-profit with no ads, no sponsors, no commercials, and no interruptions. 3 Books has 3 clubs including the End of the Podcast Club, the Cover to Cover Club, and the Secret Club, which operates entirely through the mail and is only accessible by calling 1-833-READ-A-LOT. Each chapter is hosted live and in-person at the guest's preferred location by Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome, The Happiness Equation, Two-Minute Mornings, etc.

For more info check out: https://www.3books.co

    Chapter 138: Maria Popova mines meaning in marginalia

    Chapter 138: Maria Popova mines meaning in marginalia

    Maria Popova was born in communist Bulgaria and emigrated to the U.S. six days after her 19th birthday back in 2003. She studied at the University of Pennsylvania after “being sold on the liberal arts promise of being taught how to live.”
     
     
    Did it work?
     
     
    Well, yes and no.
     
     
    She spent her family’s life savings in the first few weeks on textbooks and, despite attending an American high school in Bulgaria, found herself in a bit of culture shock. “I mean, fitted sheets? Brunch?” She worked hard, a defining Popova characteristic, sometimes eating store brand canned tuna and oatmeal three times a day to get by. “I figured it was the most nutritious combo for the cheapest amount.”
     
     
    At one of her jobs in 2006 a senior leader started sending out a Friday email of miscellany to provoke innovation and then Maria took the project on herself—weaving together write-ups on seemingly unrelated topics. One day was Danish pod homes, another the century-long evolution of the Pepsi logo, another on the design of a non-profit's new campaign to fight malaria. It was becoming clear: You never knew what you were going to get from Maria. And in an era of homogenization that was so ever-delightful.
     
     
    Maria’s emails got popular and then she taught herself programming to put it all online on a site called BrainPickings.org.
     
     
    I was blogging on 1000 Awesome Things every night in that internet paleolithic. I still remember so many times I’d be researching for some arcane bit of wisdom or trivia and Google would wisely fire me over to BrainPickings.org. I came to love the site which had a top-of-the-page tagline back then that read: “A scan of the mind-boggling, the revolutionary, and the idiosyncratic.”
     
     
    And like my own blog’s 'About' page, this one didn’t reveal the author’s name, face, or identity. Was the internet just a bit more chat-room-anonymous back then? Or was this just before social media had been invented or figured out they needed our real names to maximize their ad revenues? Either way, Maria and I never got to know each other then … but, thankfully, a full 18 (!) years later the endlessly curious, cool, and erudite Maria Popova is ... still going.
     
     
    George Saunders, our guest in Chapter 75, says Maria Popova manifests "abundant wit, intelligence, and compassion in all of her writings." Seth Godin, our guest in Chapter 3 says Maria "is indefatigable in her pursuits of knowledge and dignity. She does her work without ever dumbing down the work." And Krista Tippett, host of On Being, calls Maria a "cartographer of meaning in a digital age." Perhaps no surprise the Library of Congress has included her project, The Marginalian (once called Brain Pickings), in their permanent web archive of culturally valuable materials
     
     
    I agree with the accolades and find Maria, her blog, and her wonderful books (‘Figuring,’ ‘The Snail With the Right Heart,’ 'The Universe in Verse,' and ‘A Velocity of Being’) truly exquisite and much-needed reflections of everything that makes life beautiful.
     
     
    Like 3 Books, her site The Marginalian has remained free and ad-free over the years. Maria has no staff, no interns, no assistant, and The Marginalian is, in her words, “a thoroughly solitary labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood.”
     
     
    The world can feel heavy, intense, and overwhelming—media, politics, and news pulls us away from those harder-to-measure things that make life wondrous. Love, connection, trust, kindness, passions, memories. The invisible but much-more-important guideposts that emerge as we look back on our lives from the end of it. That’s where Maria and The Marginalian rescue us—to point our attention towards the turn of phrase in a poem, a forgotten piece of advice from Ralph Waldo Emerson on trusting ourselves, or to provide a close reading with some stunning artwork from a 100

    • 2 hrs 27 min
    Page 132: How to figure out who you are

    Page 132: How to figure out who you are

    Pages are 333-second or less highlights from Chapters of 3 Books.


    They are released at 3:33am between Chapters.  


    Page 132 comes from Chapter 13 with Ariel Bisset, YouTuber and owner of Bisset Books.


    Listen to the full chapter: https://www.3books.co/chapters/13


    Get the 3 Books email: http://www.3books.co/3mail


    Join our community: Follow @neilpasricha on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube

    • 3 min
    Page 131: Everyone should read this

    Page 131: Everyone should read this

    Pages are 333-second or less highlights from Chapters of 3 Books.


    They are released at 3:33am between Chapters.  


    Page 131 comes from Chapter 13 with Ariel Bisset, YouTuber and owner of Bisset Books.


    Listen to the full chapter: https://www.3books.co/chapters/13


    Get the 3 Books email: http://www.3books.co/3mail


    Join our community: Follow @neilpasricha on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube

    • 5 min
    Chapter 137: Jonathan Franzen finds fellow freaks and forges fantastic fiction

    Chapter 137: Jonathan Franzen finds fellow freaks and forges fantastic fiction

     
    I remember getting the knife.
     
     
    It was near Christmas about 10 years ago and Leslie and I were zipping up a tiny suitcase before a beach trip with her grandparents and extended family. We weren’t married and I was making a desperate last-second plea to stuff a 576-page novel called ‘The Corrections’ by Jonathan Franzen into our bag. “It just won’t fit,” Leslie said. “You have … 100 pages left? Want to leave it and read it when we’re back?”
     
     
    I did *not* want to do that.
     
     
    The book was slipping under my skin—serrating my soul.
     
     
    So I remember getting that knife.
     
     
    The deep blasphemous pain I felt slicing the paperback spine and carving the last 100-ish pages off the book was far outweighed by the exquisite suite of pleasures I had slowly savoring it on the beach all week.
     
     
    I had never read anything like ‘The Corrections’—with a clarity of character, wildly spinning plot, and unique three-dimensional *realness* that, page by page, twist by twist, left pits in my stomach, lumps in my throat, and tears in my eyes.
     
     
    The book single-handedly elevated what I thought books could do.
     
     
    I read ‘Freedom’ (2010), ‘Purity’ (2014), and 'Crossroads' (2021) the same way—equal parts admiration, fascination, and with a psychologically-transporting feeling of living outside of myself.
     
     
    Jonathan Franzen is one of the most successful, accomplished, and decorated writers in the world. He is a Fulbright Scholar, National Book Award Winner, Pulitzer Prize Finalist, PEN/Faulkner Finalist, 2x Oprah’s Book Club Pick, voted to TIME’s ‘100 Most Influential’ list as well as gracing their cover as "Great American Novelist," and much, much more.
     
     
    The NYT calls his books "masterpieces of American fiction," NYMag calls his books "works of total genius," and Chuck Klosterman writing in GQ says "Franzen is the most important fiction writer in America, and—if viewed from a distance—perhaps the only important one.”
     
     
    Tall praise! But there is just nothing like a Jonathan Franzen novel and it was sheer delight going deep with the master of the deep to discuss writing advice, the magic of the written word, what heroes look like today, competing with David Foster Wallace, the best thing we can do for the climate, Jon’s 3 most formative books, and much, much more…
     
     
    Let’s turn the page to Chapter 137 now…

    • 2 hrs 25 min
    Page 126: What is humanity's biggest superpower?

    Page 126: What is humanity's biggest superpower?

    Pages are 333-second or less highlights from Chapters of 3 Books.


    They are released at 3:33am between Chapters.  


    Page 126 comes from Chapter 12 with Chris Anderson, Head of TED.


    Listen to the full chapter: https://www.3books.co/chapters/12


    Get the 3 Books email: http://www.3books.co/3mail


    Join our community: Follow @neilpasricha on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube

    • 2 min
    Page 125: A book for people who want to change the world

    Page 125: A book for people who want to change the world

    Pages are 333-second or less highlights from Chapters of 3 Books.


    They are released at 3:33am between Chapters.  


    Page 125 comes from Chapter 12 with Chris Anderson, Head of TED.


    Listen to the full chapter: https://www.3books.co/chapters/12


    Get the 3 Books email: http://www.3books.co/3mail


    Join our community: Follow @neilpasricha on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
231 Ratings

231 Ratings

Dwgd ,

Awesome Book Stories

I started listening because I wanted to expand my reading choices. But this podcast has a brilliant format - a fascinatingly diverse list of guests talk about their three most formative books. This means that people who love what they do explain to us how they became who they are, partly because of the ideas they encountered as readers. Such a great mix of good books, engaging personal stories, and reflections on what makes life meaningful. I’ll be listening to this for a long time.

NFnic ,

The Bryan Stevenson episode!!!

This is a great podcast, but this conversation especially. I think Canadian high schools should have to listen/study the concepts in this conversation.

RyeGuy0999636363 ,

Most underrated podcast of all time

Listen to him w Tarantino

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