Chapter 69: Cheryl Strayed on forging fearlessness and fracturing facades

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By Neil Pasricha and Neil Pasricha: Bestselling Author. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-year-long quest to uncover the 1000 most formative books in the world. 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. Each chapter of 3 Books uncovers and discusses the three most formative books from one of the world's most inspiring people. Sample guests include: Judy Blume, David Sedaris, Chris Anderson of TED, the founder of the world's largest feminist magazine, the world's greatest Uber driver, Pete Holmes, Angie Thomas, and Malcolm Gladwell. Each of the 333 chapters is dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and full moon until September 1, 2031. 3 Books is an Apple "Best Of" award-winning show and 100% ad-free, commercial-free, sponsor-free, and interruption-free. For more info check out: https://www.3books.co

Chapter Description:

I am so delighted to close out 2020 with the magical wisdom of the one and only … Cheryl Strayed.

Cheryl is the New York Times bestselling author of Wild, the Oprah’s Book Club pick turned blockbuster film starring Reese Witherspoon, Brave Enough, a collection of raw and unflinchingly brave quotes, and Torch, her award-winning debut novel.

And then there’s my personal favorite! The Dear Sugar Column she wrote for years in The Rumpus literary magazine where she navigated the deep tissue of the human experience through raw and honest advice under the pseudonym Sugar. Since the letters were also written under pseudonym it’s an exquisite portrait of anonymous loving beating hearts of humanity connecting with no names and no faces — just riding the waves of life together. Cheryl’s bestselling book Tiny Beautiful Things is a magnificent compilation from the column that spawned the hit podcasts Dear Sugars and Sugar Calling.

How did Cheryl gain such deep perception of the human experience?

Is it through the abuse she discusses suffering as a child and her upbringing in “the boondocks” of Minnesota in a house her family built without electricity or plumbing? Was it through the sudden death of her mother Bobbie while she was in her senior year and the famed walk she took afterwards up the Pacific Crest Trail? Was it the MA in Fine Arts she got from Syracuse where she was mentored by George Saunders? Or is it simply the sum total of her incredible perception on top of the varied experiences she’s had through jobs as waitress, youth advocate, political organizer, activist, and even emergency medical technician?

All I know is Cheryl is a singular, lyrical, big-hearted voice who never shies away from the deep questions. In this conversation we discuss things like: How do we deal with grief? How do we live objectively in a subjective world? How should we think about meeting our heroes? What is the power of community and connection? How do we write with vulnerability?

And of course, what are the eminent Cheryl Strayed’s … 3 most formative books?

Let’s go!

What You'll Learn:
  • What is the double standard when it comes to men and women’s appearance in public?

  • Why do we not use the term “working dad”?

  • How are books a portal?

  • How do books break down facades?

  • How do we turn grief into beauty?

  • What is objective reality?

  • How should we think about space?

  • How can people work to understand white privilege and complicity?

  • How can community transcend political differences?

  • How can we learn to write with vulnerability?

  • What is your story to tell and what isn’t and why are you telling it?

  • And, of course, what are Cheryl Strayed’s three most formative books?

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://www.3books.co/chapters/69

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