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3 Books With Neil Pasricha

Nov 23, 2022

I got a phone call at 1-833-READ-A-LOT from Austin Wong in Oregon telling me we had to get Bryan Stevenson on 3 Books. I looked into Austin’s request and came upon Bryan's incredible bestseller Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. I listened to his 10-million plus hit TED Talk "We need to talk about an injustice" and approached the Equal Justice Initiative to have him on as a guest.


We finally found a time to have the conversation way down in Austin, Texas, where we were both scheduled to speak at the same conference. He came to my hotel room at 7am -- 7am! -- and we had a wonderful exchange in front of floor-to-ceiling glass windows with the sun brightening the Texas hills outside our window. I then went downstairs two hours later and watched Bryan captivate a room full of 700 people and get the loudest standing O I may have ever heard. This is a man on a mission. And his work and his words are so vital.


Bryan Stevenson has been representing capital defendants and death row prisoners in the deep South since 1985 when he was a staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 1989 he has been Executive Director and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a private non profit law organization that focuses on social justice and human rights in the context of criminal justice reform in the US. In practice? Bryan and his team take on the cases nobody else wants: litigating on behalf of condemned prisoners, people sentenced to die in prison at age 13, disabled prisoners sentenced to death, people wrongly convicted or charged, and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or prosecutorial misconduct.


Bryan has won the McArthur Fellowship "Genius" Award, multiple Human Rights Awards, and the ACLU National Medal of Liberty. He has a degree from Harvard Law and more honorary degrees than anyone I’ve interviewed before including from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn and it goes on and on.


His book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption is a captivating must-read with 23,268 reviews on Amazon as of right now. It's been turned into a movie starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx. Perhaps interesting: all 3 of Bryan’s formative books are fiction. Buckle up for a heart-shaking conversation around hope, justice, slavery, capital punishment, truth, trust and much, much more. It's an honor to help amplify the incredible work of Bryan Stevenson. Thank you to Bryan, Caitlin, McCarthy Tétrault, and the Equal Justice Initiative for helping to make this conversation happen.


Let’s flip the page into Chapter 116 now…


What You'll Learn:

  • What is the Equal Justice Initiative?

  • How can cultural institutions help redress the wrongs of oppression?

  • What is strategic rest?

  • What was it like being in a segregated school?

  • What is the true power of reading?

  • What does it mean to be sentenced to die in prison?

  • What is freedom?

  • How is justice served by the law?

  • What is narrative work?

  • How can we begin to deal with true reconciliation?

  • Why must we speak of genocide in North America?

  • How has false narrative perpetuated racism?

  • Why does capitalism perpetuate racism?

  • Why is truth so essential?

  • What is the history of the death penalty?

  • What is the link between racial bias and the death penalty?

  • What is happening with the Supreme Court?

  • Why are fear and anger such powerful forces?

  • How can a book teach compassion?

  • How must we cultivate optimism?

  • Why is hope essential?


You can find show notes and more information by clicking here:


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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, 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 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: