Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

3 Books With Neil Pasricha

Dec 8, 2022

On the heels of launching my latest book, Our Book of Awesome, I’m enjoying the fellowship of two authors in my life — one of whom I met 22 years ago when I was in my final year at Queen’s.


Bounding into my life at the time came a young professor named Ajay Agrawal. And I mean bounding! He was cold calling left, right and center,  dancing around the room, and extremely theatrical. As you listen to him you’ll see why I found him so captivating and clairvoyant. 


Professor Ajay Agrawal has won Professor of the Year seven times! He’s like Canada’s Adam Grant. He is the co-author of the bestselling book, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, named one of the best tech books of the year by Forbes, The New York Times and The Economist. His latest book has just come out and it is called, Power and Prediction, also co-authored with Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb.


Ajay is a tenured professor at Rotman, a research associate at The National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, a not-for-profit program that helps start-ups launch, and co-founder of Next Canada dedicated to the development and training of young entrepreneurs. He is also a recent winner of the Order of Canada which is the highest civilian honor that Canada awards.


Over the years I've gotten a chance to meet Ajay's truly lovely partner in life: Gina Buonaguro. And, guess what? She's a writer too! Ajay focuses on the future. Gina focuses on the past. Gina is originally from New Jersey but has been living in Toronto for many years. She started at Villanova University, all the way up to the University of British Columbia on a Fullbright Scholarship.


Gina’s written dozens of articles, won five writing grants and is the co-author of six historical fiction books, including her latest, The Virgins of Venice.


You could not think of two books which are more different: The Virgins of Venice and Power and Prediction. One is a 500 year old historical fiction saga taking place in a convent with sexy nuns. And the other a deep dive into AI.


I was intrigued by the relationship dynamics between them, what their books really say, and how their writing processes work. So I invited them, together, to come on 3 Books. I also asked Leslie to join the conversation. 


So the four of us sat down in Gina and Ajay’s living room and we discussed questions like: what is the fate of girls in 16th century Venice, what does it mean for a city to be excommunicated, why has Uber been so revolutionary, what is the point vs systems solution in AI, how can books be shared and read together, what is an Untouchable Day, how can we think about living a little more intentionally, how does AI manipulate us today and it goes on and on and on.


This is a wide ranging conversation that I think you will truly enjoy.


Let’s flip the page into Chapter 117 now…


What You'll Learn:

  • What does it mean for a city to be excommunicated?

  • Why has Uber been so revolutionary?

  • What is a point solution vs a system solution in AI?

  • What is holding AI back?

  • How can books be shared and read together?

  • What is a writer’s group?

  • What is the power of reading aloud to our kids?

  • How can we bring in more quiet into our busy urban lives?

  • What is an untouchable day?

  • How can we live intentionally?

  • How does AI manipulate us?

  • What are the challenges of raising kids in a tech centric world?

  • Why are young people finding social interactions so awkward these days?

  • What is the Chinese solution to screen time?

  • What is the tension between ideology and critical thinking?

  • How can we encourage more critical thinking? 

  • How can we temper cancel culture?

  • What is the role of school today?


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


Leave us a voicemail. Your message may be included in a future chapter: 1-833-READ-A-LOT.  


Sign up to receive podcast updates here: 


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: