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Books from a Podcast

January 25, 2024

So I’m not the biggest podcast girl, but I do have a few that I try to keep up with. One is The Holderness Family podcast. I’ve mentioned them before and I enjoyed their book, Everybody Fights. Recently they had a gentleman on their show by the name of Neil Pasricha. I don’t really remember what they talked about, but I was very impressed with Mr. Pasricha and decided to check out his personal podcast called, 3 Books.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner! I love this podcast. It is Mr. Pasricha’s goal to discuss 1000 life-changing books with smart and/or book people, 3 at a time. I’m only about 13 or 14 episodes in, but I have found some highly enjoyable books that were definitely outside of my comfort zone. Mr. Pasricha has also written some books of his own that I also enjoyed. These are books that were recommended by people on 3 Books, or by Neil himself. 

The Light Boxes by Shane Jones

This was the first book from the podcast that intrigued me. Brought to my attention by guest Sarah Ramsey, a book seller in Toronto (Neil is also Canadian, eh?), I was curious. It’s about a town that is stuck in Forever February and people are suffering from seasonal affective disorder and can’t wait for spring. So they to figure out ways to make it happen. It’s spec fiction, which is another genre I don’t usually read because I mostly don’t understand it. I’m not sure I caught everything here either. I think this may be one of those books you have to live in a little to get. NPL does not own this one, but it was pretty easy to get through ILL if you think this is the book for you. If nothing else, it definitely expanded my reading horizons.

I have to start this by saying that I HATE TIME TRAVEL. There, got that off my chest. It just never works for me. So when I tell you that this is a time travel book and I didn’t immediately throw it out the window, you know something special happened here. Author Elan Mastai was on 3 Books and Neil was so in love with this book that I wanted to check it out. I also enjoyed Elan talking about sci-fi books and publishing in general. Before tackling a novel, Mastai was a screenwriter who wrote The F Word and was a staff writer on This Is Us. I’m not going to share much of the plot because I enjoyed not knowing what was going to happen. Basically the main character starts by time traveling and wrecking the world. Also know that it blew my mind a couple of times. Highly recommend.

Host Neil recommended this one to Elan Mastai during that same episode, and he was so effusive about the book that I put it on my list to read as well. I have to start by saying that I probably never would have read this one, if it wasn’t for the recommendation. It’s an Australian import about the crazy life of a father and son. I want to compare it to McCarthy’s The Road, but this one is SO much better, and less apocalyptic. It’s written well and even though the story jumps around a little, it drew me in and kept my attention. It’s long - over 500 pages, but once I hit the back half, I didn’t want to put it down. It’s not my new favorite book, but I do think it stretched my reading palette and I’m happy I gave it some time. If you are looking for something different that will captivate you - check this one out.

When I picked this one up to read, I initially assumed it was nonfiction, which I thought would be really interesting. Turns out, however, that this is fiction, and young adult fiction at that. Nothing wrong with that, but it was unexpected. And really intriguing. Basic premise: Naomi slipped off the school steps, hit her head and lost the last four years of her life. This included forgetting her mom’s affair, parents divorce, and current boyfriend. She also can’t remember why in the world she was so invested in yearbook. Once I got started, this one pulled me in from the beginning and I think I ended up finishing it in less than 24 hrs. I don’t remember which guest recommended this one, but thanks to whoever it was. This was highly enjoyable and a little lighter than some of the previous selections.

Am I going to read all of Mr. Pasricha’s 1000 books from this podcast? No. (There’s a list here if you want to try.) Check out the You might also like section below for books mentioned that I’ve already read and enjoyed. Even with a dozen or so episodes under my belt, I already know that I’m not going to read everything here. Which is fine. But hidden within the masses are some gems that I will definitely be checking out and I hope you enjoy them as much as I, and Mr. Pasricha, did/does.

Happy booking…
:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.

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