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3 Books With Neil Pasricha

Dec 19, 2021

Hello 3 Bookers!


Let’s close off our fourth year of 3 Books by sitting down with Chris Hadfield at his kitchen table. His five-month old puppy New Henry is sniffling and occasionally barking on his lap. Fat snowflakes slowly drift down outside the big window above the shelf full of succulents. And lying between us is a stack of Christmas cards that Chris is signing along with my copy of his brand new bestselling thriller The Apollo Murders … as well, of course, as his three most formative books.


Commander Chris Hadfield has lived in outer space for six months. Six months! He was named Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy and has flown on three space missions, helped build two space stations, and commanded the International Space Station.


While hanging out in space Chris wasn’t just doing experiments. He was also serving as a global educator. Teaching people through YouTube and social media how to cook in space, sleep in space, and even clip your nails in space. He sent us pictures of Earth from low orbit and helped us see our planet and ourselves in a new light. And while circling Earth over two thousand times — once about every hour and a half, he says — he also made time to create the first ever music video shot in space. You’ve probably seen his cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” which has now been viewed over 100 million times.


So: he’s an astronaut and a rock star? Yes, but that’s not all. Chris has given one of the most popular TED Talks of all time and is also a hugely bestselling author.


In 2013 he put out An Astronaut’s Guide to Life, one of the most popular memoirs in the past decade and an international bestseller for over five years. He followed that up with a photo book called You are Here and then followed that up with a lovely children’s book called The Darkest Dark. And now? Well, never content to rest on his laurels and always interested in exploring new terrain, Chris has just put out his first ever novel.


Is there anything Chris Hadfield can’t do??


I suppose NASA only selects the most perfect specimens on earth but how does somebody learn how to just … write a novel? How exactly does he think about studying the art and then creating it? What can we all learn from his combined passions for curiosity, self-learning, and self-discipline?


Plus, since Chris is one of the most decorated astronauts in the world, we also get to discuss what space travel might look like in our lifetime and our children’s lifetimes. Chris will tell us how 70,000 years ago some thought it was foolish to leave Africa … and yet some did. How 18,000 years ago some thought it was foolish to walk over ice to North America … and yet some did. How 50 years ago some thought it was foolish to blast ourselves into outer space … and yet some did. How today and in the near future some will say it’s foolish to settle on the moon or Mars … and yet some will.


I found this conversation mind-expanding on many levels. It pairs wonderfully well with The Apollo Murders which I hope you’ll check out. I’m excited for you to hang out at Chris’s kitchen table with us. I’ll be in your left ear, Chris will be in your right, and Chris is wondering if you’d like a coffee or a glass of water before we begin?


Let’s flip the page into Chapter 93 now…


What You'll Learn:

  • What is the beauty of writing Christmas cards?

  • What compels an astronaut to write a book?

  • What is the Astronaut’s prayer?

  • How do you prepare for space flight?

  • What is the first question writers should ask themselves?

  • Why should all aspiring writers read On Writing by Stephen King?

  • What do the best mystery and thriller writers have in common?

  • What do mazes and writing have in common?

  • What is the future of space flight?

  • What would humans need to survive on Mars?

  • How can we peacefully settle the moon, and further afield, as a species?

  • What do all new settlement ventures have in common?

  • What is the Earth-Moon economic system?

  • Why do astronauts often live well into their nineties?

  • What are the common attributes of an astronaut?

  • Why should we create much more mundane bucket lists?

  • How should we shape our view of the world?


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: