86 episodes

3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-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, Angie Thomas, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Roxane Gay, David Mitchell, Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, and Judy Blume. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of the 333 chapters dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and every single full moon all the way up to 5:21 am on September 1, 2031. 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

3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-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, Angie Thomas, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Roxane Gay, David Mitchell, Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, and Judy Blume. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of the 333 chapters dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and every single full moon all the way up to 5:21 am on September 1, 2031. 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 78: Louis Sacher on sideways stories from Salinger to Steinbeck

    Chapter 78: Louis Sacher on sideways stories from Salinger to Steinbeck

    I was a tiny and skinny kid with thick glasses at my public school in the suburbs of Toronto in the early 80s. I was pretty lonely and definitely hadn’t found my way. One day my librarian Ms. Ferrell handed me a book called Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar.
    The book single-handedly turned me into a reader.
    I had never read a book that was funny, absurd, choppy that just kept me flipping, flipping, flipping. I loved the book. I fell into the book. I read it again and again and again and still have multiple copies on my bookshelf today. (A small count towards the nine million copies sold.) In 2010 when The Book of Awesome came out I wrote in the Acknowledgements: “To Louis Sachar, for writing Sideways Stories from Wayside School and teaching a nerdy kid to to fall in love with reading.”
    Louis Sacher was born in East Meadow, New York in 1954 and moved to California when he was 9. He liked school but was not much of a reader until he fell into the works of J.D.Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut. He started studying at Ohio University but left to go move back with his mom after his father sadly passed away in his first semester. Later on he enrolled at Berkeley majoring in Economics.
    One day, on campus, he caught sight of a young girl passing out flyers. The flyers read: “Help - Teachers Aides Wanted at Hillside Elementary - Earn 3 course credits.” It struck him as a sweet deal. No homework, no term papers, no tests. He signed up.
    He soon found himself both in the classroom and on the school playground, known to the kids as “Louis the Yard Teacher”. He loved it. And it ended up changing his life.
    His time at the local public school inspired him to write Sideway Stories from Wayside School. He even named the kids in the book after real kids he taught. It published in 1978 though did not make a loud splash. No fanfare. So Louis went on to Law School and practiced law for 10 years — all the while writing children’s books on the side.
    His writing finally took off in 1989. He quit law to write full time and is now one of the best known children’s authors in the world. (Although I’m a Sideways junkie he’s probably sold even more copies of Holes which won him both the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the Newbery Medal and — no biggie — was made into a giant blockbuster film, too.)
    I was delighted to sit down with a childhood idol. He called us up from the suburbs of Austin, Texas and we talked about absurdity, wooing readers, drinking urine, literary heroes, celebrity culture, writing structure, The Shawshank Redemption, wrestling with doubt, and how to live a quiet life.
    Let’s flip the page into Chapter 78 now…
    What You'll Learn:
    What kind of reader do writers think about as they write?
    Are writers still heroes today?
    What made the 1960s such a special time of upheaval?
    How do we live a quiet life in today’s world?
    How can writers maintain humility?
    How does one separate commercial success from what you do next? 
    How do authors use their craft to skip time smartly in their work?
    How do you make a good movie from a book?
    How do some authors cultivate friendship with their readers?
    You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://www.3books.co/chapters/78 
    Leave us a voicemail. Your message may be included in a future episode: 1-833-READ-A-LOT.
    Sign up to receive podcast updates here: https://www.3books.co/email-list 
    3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-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, Angie Thomas, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Ma

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Chapter 77: Jonny Sun on absurd algorithms altering the authenticity of art

    Chapter 77: Jonny Sun on absurd algorithms altering the authenticity of art

    Happy Pink Moon, everybody!
    Way back in 2017, I came across a feature article in The New York Times Magazine called “A Whimsical Wordsmith Charts a Course Beyond Twitter.” The article was about MIT PhD student Jonny Sun’s online personality — as a sentimental alien — attracting a huge following online.  
    I was like “Okay, this is about the latest viral Instagram influencer and their particular brand of attention seeking behavior.” But as I read the piece, and went deeper into the bio of Jonny Sun, I found myself fascinated. Jonny Sun is a PhD student at MIT looking to understand, in more objective ways, how social media fosters community. His research focuses on how social media content influences the broader world. How meaning is made. How it spreads. How it changes news and culture. As one comedian put it, “He’s like Jane Goodall and we’re the apes.”
    I found myself falling deeper and deeper into the Jonny Sun rabbit hole. There’s a lot there! Jonny is an architect, designer, engineer, artist, playwright, and comedy writer who has written for BoJack Horseman. In fact, we recorded this chapter with him in L.A. currently writing another screen play.
    Jonny’s work is across multiple disciplines which broadly addresses the narrative of human experience. His plays have been performed at the Yale School of Drama, Hart House Theatre in Toronto, the Toronto Theatre Lab First Sight Festival and the University of Toronto Drama Festival. His art has been exhibited at Yale University and the University of Toronto.
    And, he is the author of a brand new and highly anticipated book called Goodbye, Again: Essays, Reflections & Illustrations. It is a truly wonderful book. Looks simple on the surface but then roller coasters up and down and sideways with obsessive mental insights like Jenny Lawson or David Foster Wallace.
    Jonny’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeneys, NPR, The New York Times and Late Night with Seth Myers. He’s also been named by Times as one of the 25 most influential people on the internet, Forbes has named him one of their 30 under 30 and his TED Talk has nearly four million views.
    Are you ready to talk about the culture of productivity, about being on all the time, about therapy and anxiety, about the provocative nature of humor, about succulents and aloe plants, about Dadaism, about competition, about algorithms, and of course about the wonderful Jonny Sun’s 3 most formative books? 
    Let’s turn the page into Chapter 77 now…
    What You'll Learn:
    What is a toxic culture of productivity?
    How do you juggle competing pursuits?
    What are the additional pressures marginalized people face?
    How do drama and humor interplay in comedy?
    How do we stand out in today’s mass media dominated world?
    What are the tensions between professional and personal ambition?
    How do social media algorithms work?
    What is instructional art?
    What is behavioural simulation?
    How do you convey deep thought and emotion in short form?
    You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://www.3books.co/chapters/77 
    Leave us a voicemail. Your message may be included in a future episode: 1-833-READ-A-LOT.
    Sign up to receive podcast updates here: https://www.3books.co/email-list 
    3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-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, Angie Thomas, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Roxane Gay, David Mitchell, Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, and Judy Blume. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of th

    • 1 hr 40 min
    Chapter 76: Jenny Lawson on dark dollhouses delivering a door from depression

    Chapter 76: Jenny Lawson on dark dollhouses delivering a door from depression

    Do you suffer from anxiety disorder? Depression? Intrusive thoughts? Obsessive compulsive disorder? Voluntary hair pulling? Avoidant personality disorder? Any of the above?
    Well, Jenny Lawson suffers from all of the above. Tuberculosis too, according to her wonderful new book. It’s an overwhelming way to live and only partly cured by being a global community leader for mental health through her wonderful blog (TheBloggess.com), her millions of followers, and her indie bookshop Nowhere Bookshop down in San Antonio, Texas.
    Does Jenny Lawson do podcasts? Interviews? No, not really. She tells us at the beginning of the chat that she loves 3 Books so much that she wanted to come — lucky us, as 3 Bookers have been asking for this interview for years! — and she made herself cozy by calling me up from under her desk, in cozy clothes, post-beta-blockers, and with Hunter S. Tomcat providing animal therapy throughout.
    Jenny is funny, crass, smart, and openhearted. She’s struck a deep chord with her books Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Furiously Happy, You Are Here, and Broken. (All, I should mention, with the wonderful Amy Einhorn who’s edited four of my books, too!)




    Jenny and I talk about what a good editor does, reading in the freezer, stealing Stephen King, dollhouse therapy, mental health toolkits, LSD, what your kids will actually remember about you as a parent, and of course, Jenny’s 3 most formative books.
    Jenny is gracious and disarmingly truthful and she doesn't want her pain to go to waste. She is a beaming voice the world needs more of and today I am just so privileged to help her do just that.
    Let’s flip the page into Chapter 76 …




    What You'll Learn:
    What does an editor do?
    How do you read horror books when you have anxiety?
    How do you open a bookshop?
    What is reading guilt?
    How can ketamine treat depression?
    How can we cultivate self care and self awareness if we have anxiety?
    What are intrusive thoughts?
    How does depression lie?
    What is a mental health toolkit?
    What is dollhouse therapy?
    How can we talk to our kids about mental illness?
    You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://www.3books.co/chapters/76 
    Leave us a voicemail. Your message may be included in a future episode: 1-833-READ-A-LOT.
    Sign up to receive podcast updates here: https://www.3books.co/email-list 
    3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-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, Angie Thomas, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Roxane Gay, David Mitchell, Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, and Judy Blume. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of the 333 chapters dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and every single full moon all the way up to 5:21 am on September 1, 2031. 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 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

    • 1 hr 50 min
    Chapter 75: George Saunders offers lessons on living a luminous life

    Chapter 75: George Saunders offers lessons on living a luminous life

    3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-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, Angie Thomas, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Roxane Gay, David Mitchell, Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, and Judy Blume. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of the 333 chapters dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and every single full moon all the way up to 5:21 am on September 1, 2031. 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
    “An astoundingly tuned voice, telling just the kind of stories we need to get us through these times.” Thomas Pynchon
    “Not since Mark Twain has America produced a satirist this funny.” Zadie Smith
    “George Saunders makes you feel as if you are reading fiction for the first time.” Khaled Hosseini
    I could keep going and going with other literary all-stars lining up to praise George Saunders but my favorite quote about George’s writing comes from Ben Marcus in The Believer back in 2004:
    “The Suits call his writing ‘stories,’ but they are really soft bodies to wear for a larger experience of life, hollowcore person-shapes that one can slip on in order to attain amazement. Saunders writes bodies, and his readers wear them.”
    Yes! That’s how I feel, too. Which is what made it such an immense pleasure to sit down with the humble genius that is George Saunders. Don’t take the genius label from me! He’s won a MacArthur Genius Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Prize and been named to Time’s 100 Most Influential People.
    He won the Man Booker for the mesmerizing otherworldly masterpiece Lincoln in the Bardo, and every time I read his short story collections Pastoralia and Tenth of December they just crack my heart wide open. And, just to extend the literary resume here, his most recent book A Swim in the Pond in the Rain is simply the best book on writing I have ever read. I highly recommend it to all writers.
    George Saunders has also been a Professor in Creative Writing at Syracuse University since 1997. Cheryl Strayed, our guest in Chapter 69, is one of hundreds who had George as a teacher and calls him a mentor today.
    Please enjoy this wide-ranging conversation discussing the computer we are all trapped inside, reading as a life project, how we process reality, practicing Buddhism, the world as a corrective force, delivering payoff, staying grounded, cultivating a love of literature in children, harnessing our shadow selves, quieting mental rumination, aiming our spigots, and much, much more … .
    The wisdom of George Saunders offers a true masterclass on writing, on living, on life.
    Let’s flip the page into Chapter 75 …
    What You'll Learn:
    How does our brain process reality? How do writers justify the non normative and guarantee pay off? What is a reading project? How does death amplify life? What is the self? What is efficiency in writing? How should we stay grounded despite success? When should writers compare themselves to the masters? How should we think about kindness? What can we lea

    • 2 hrs 29 min
    Bookmark: Terrible, Thanks for Asking

    Bookmark: Terrible, Thanks for Asking

    I love you, 3 Bookers.
    The deepening connection and trust in this community constantly blows me away. It picks me up when I’m down, it’s a barrel of nerdy laughs, it helps me scratch a lot of itches in my brain. And it’s been truly great friendship through the pandemic.
    I mean, End of the Podcast Club, Cover to Cover Club, and Secret Club? Where you have to find a hidden password? And then send cash in the mail to a secret address? I didn’t think anyone would join these ridiculous things! You leave so many voicemails at 1-833-READ-A-LOT, you mail letters we read on the show, and you leave the hundreds of reviews that I try really, really hard not to care about and yet still shamefully, biologically kind of do. We get the joyful pleasure of going on an adventure and of braiding together our invisible reading lives.
    I have so many ideas for deepening this connection over the years and I want to introduce one today. For the last ten years of 3 Books, I plan to release a special Bookmark on the exact minute of every single solstice and equinox. That's today! The sun is right over the equator and day and night are just about equal lengths. We will play the theme song backwards and explore a different side-trail on our shared path. It might be a speech, a reflection, or some alternate type of ... other. The first Bookmark drops today. And it’s a conversation between me and my friend Nora McInerny on her wonderful, wonderful podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking. 
    I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think. Would love your feedback and thoughts!
    Neil
     




    3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-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, Angie Thomas, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Roxane Gay, David Mitchell, Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, and Judy Blume. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of the 333 chapters dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and every single full moon all the way up to 5:21 am on September 1, 2031. 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

    • 50 min
    Chapter 74: Kanmani Guruswami the Midwife on countering colonialism with compassionate care

    Chapter 74: Kanmani Guruswami the Midwife on countering colonialism with compassionate care

    3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-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, Angie Thomas, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Roxane Gay, David Mitchell, Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, and Judy Blume. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of the 333 chapters dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and every single full moon all the way up to 5:21 am on September 1, 2031. 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
    Leslie and I welcomed a baby boy into the world just a few weeks ago.   
    Like our other three sons, he was sheparded into the world by Kanmani Guruswami and her incredible team of midwives at Kensington Midwives in downtown Toronto. Kanmani has become a guide for Leslie and me — supporting us physically, emotionally, and spiritually on our parenthood journey. Not only is she a veteran midwife, heading up the Kensington Midwives clinic, but she’s also a passionate activist who tirelessly focuses her energies towards making the world a kinder, more inclusive, and more empathetic place. 
    What do I mean?
    You’ll hear it in seconds.
    Born in Calgary to her Tamil-speaking engineer father from Tamil Nadu, India and her mathematician mother from Switzerland, Kanmani is the product of their hard work ethic and their struggles navigating many degrees of colonization and assimilation. Kanmani chose midwifery as a career path while assisting with home births in Vancouver and now for the past twenty years, her midwife clinic has assisted indigenous and settler Canadians. 
    I confess I knew nothing about midwifery a few years ago. Less than nothing! Less than less than nothing! But as I’ve been exposed to the work they do, I’ve come to believe it is truly critical and transformational to both families and broader society. I believe the work of midwives needs to be discussed, debated, and celebrated.
    So Kanmani and I hung out on my couch in full PPE and masks right as she was finishing up an appointment with Leslie and my two-week-old son. We discuss things like: delivering versus catching, people of the global majority, what exactly midwives do, who exactly is a settler, the invisible effects of colonization, racism in health care, the magic of childbirth, and, of course, Jughead Jones.
    Kanmani Guruswami is a local hero whose voice, stories, wisdom, and humanity should be amplified. So let’s amplify it! I hope her love and wisdom ripples deeply into your heart as it does to mine. 
    And now let’s flip the page into Chapter 74 …
    What You'll Learn:
    What is a midwife?
    What are the trends around midwifery versus physician care?
    What are the values underpinning midwife care?
    What is assimilation?
    What is the significance of the phrase: people of the global majority?
    What is the Truth and Reconciliation movement?
    What is cultural competence training?
    What are some of the less discussed effects of colonization?
    What does it mean to be ‘a Jughead’?
    What is The Farm?
    What is an ambivalent baby?
    What h

    • 1 hr 24 min

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