Chapter 29: Michael Harris on queer questions and the quest for quiet

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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

Michael Harris is the bestselling author of The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection, which won the 2014 Governor General's Award for English-language non-fiction, and his latest book, Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World. Harris is a former staff editor for Vancouver Magazine and Western Living, and his writing has also appeared in Wired, Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, and The Walrus. He has been nominated for both the Western Magazine Awards and the National Magazine Awards for his writing. Michael lives with his husband in Vancouver, Canada.

Chapter Description:

Loneliness rates have doubled since the 1980s and Vivek Murthy, former US Surgeon General, says loneliness will be the next major epidemic. So if loneliness is being alone and sad … then what’s being alone and happy?

Solitude.

Last year, I picked up an incredible book called Solitude by Michael Harris, bestselling author and winner of the Governor General's Award for his writing. It completely blew me away. Why? Because in our era of endless machine-gun blasts at our brains, I feel strongly that the ability to be alone, and to be alone well, is a muscle that is quickly atrophying.

Michael shares why we need to develop the strength and capacity to live and be by ourselves and how exactly we go about cultivating a rich interior life. I think after this conversation you’ll agree the benefits are enormous and this true “strength of mind” is a crucial aspect of living an intentional life.

For Chapter 29 of 3 Books, I flew to Michael’s home in Vancouver, BC. We discuss: How do we cultivate the area between wakefulness and sleep? What does a healthy media diet look like? Why shouldn’t you talk about anything serious over texts? And how do parents and children navigate the conversation about coming out of the closet?

Welcome to Chapter 29 with Michael Harris.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:

  • What’s the difference between solitude and loneliness?
  • How do you find love and intimacy in a world of pornography?
  • How can we help children become more self-sufficient?
  • Why can’t you improve your connection with other people until you improve your connection with yourself?
  • How can you prime your brain for creativity?
  • How can we learn to live more intentionally?
  • What is the gateway to help people get into different genres of books?
  • Why is it important to invite ‘weirdness’ into our cultural consumption?
  • Why should you never trust Netflix’s recommendations?
  • How can we avoid miscommunication with people online?
  • Should any books be banned from children, and should we censor content from kids?

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You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://www.3books.co/chapters/29

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