Chapter 25: James Frey on drunk, defiant differentiation

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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 and The Happiness Equation. 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, and the world's greatest Uber driver. Each of the 333 chapters is dropped on the exact minute of every new moon and full moon until September 1, 2031. 3 Books is an Apple "Best Of" award-winning show as well as the world's only podcast by and for book lovers, writers, makers, sellers... and librarians. For more info check out: www.3books.co

James Frey is the author of the international bestsellers A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard, Bright Shiny Morning, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, and his latest hit, Katarina, and has sold over 20 million copies of his books in 42 languages. In 2009, Frey founded the publishing company Full Fathom Five, through which he wrote and released The Lorien Legacies series under the pseudonym Pittacus Lore as well as the YA series Endgame. Frey is well-known for writing about his struggles with substance addiction and his path to sobriety.

Chapter Description:

What do you know about James Frey?

Or what do you think you know about James Frey?

I’m guessing it’s not nothing. Everyone has an opinion! When I first spotted A Million Little Pieces on my wife’s bookshelf when we were moving in together I was like “Oh? Really? That book? The Oprah guy?”

And she was like “Have you read it?”

And I was like “No, no idea what it’s even about. Just that it’s not real or whatever.”

She looked at me with disappointed eyes. Understandably so! I hadn’t bothered to go below the surface. To read about it on my own. I had just soaked in some distant fumes off the story.

“Read it,” she said, and pushed the book into my hands.

That night I opened A Million Little Pieces and was completely pulled into this pulsing, frenetic, endlessly climactic story of addiction, growth, and finding yourself. The book shook me. It was a masterpiece. I couldn’t believe it existed. I almost felt anger towards the Oprah saga because it headfaked me into thinking I knew what the book was about… when I couldn’t have been more off. I went deeper into James Frey’s catalogue and found myself similarly seduced by books like Bright Shiny Morning and Katerina.

His stories have a pace and staccato to them that’s perfect for distracted brains like mine. He doesn’t mince words, he doesn’t shy away, and his characters always punch you in the gut.

I sat down with James with a lot of questions and I loved our discussions around fatherhood and living an intentional life. We talk about teaching children to read, the importance of secular bibles, and why (and how) we can slowly stop comparing ourselves to others.

We talk about critics and he shares an incredible story on what true pain really is. (Hint: It’s not getting yelled at on TV.) We explore what getting drunk really means and talk about how to step outside and learn to fall in love with whatever you see.

I hope you enjoy Chapter 25 of 3 Books with James Frey.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:

  • How can ‘getting drunk’ help you enjoy life more?
  • How do we avoid comparing ourselves to others in the age of social media?
  • Why should writers focus less on following rules and expectations of the literary world?
  • How can we learn to live more in alignment with our morals and what we think is right?
  • How can different activities be forms of meditation?
  • How do we learn to accept ourselves?

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You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://www.3books.co/chapters/25

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