Chapter 37: Malcolm Gladwell on strangers, spies, and silencing the system

Me and Malcolm in his “room of books” …

Me and Malcolm in his “room of books” …

Who we are is a function of where we are.

Do you agree with that?

Who you are depends on where you are.

We’re different people in different places, right?

You’re different in the board room than you are on vacation. You’re different with your parents than you are with your kids. And, as for me, I’m different hanging with with Malcolm Gladwell in the West Village than I am sitting in my basement as I type up this blog post.

I flew to NYC to interview Malcolm Gladwell

I flew to NYC to interview Malcolm Gladwell

And that theme is one that we get to open up in Chapter 37 of 3 Books with Malcolm Gladwell. Guys, I was so nervous for this podcast. I mean, super nervous. I couldn’t sleep for a few nights before. I read his three most formative books. I listened to his podcast Revisionist History. I got an advance copy of his brand new book Talking To Strangers. I mean, I was so nervous that I showed up for the podcast an hour early. (Who does that?)

Malcolm surrounded by his many books. I don’t think I should get into photography unless “totally blurry” becomes a new thing.

Malcolm surrounded by his many books. I don’t think I should get into photography unless “totally blurry” becomes a new thing.

So Malcolm invites me into his place and we get settled around a table surrounded by books. Top to bottom! Floor to ceiling! And, no big deal, all hardcovers. I’m intimated but at the very end of the podcast, right after I clicked stop on the recorder … he said three words that completely chilled me out. (I’ll tell you what they were after the show.) I found him extremely down to Earth with a beautiful calming energy.

We talk about raising great nerds in a world forcing us into the mean, how to find tribes where we truly fit in, who he thinks is the best non-fiction author alive, why thrillers are incredibly instructive, what his biggest advice is for aspiring authors, and, of course, his three most formative books.

I hope you enjoy Chapter 37 with Malcolm Gladwell.

Listen to Chapter 37 of 3 Books:

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What You'll Learn:

  • Why should we reread books more often?

  • Are we all simply products of our environments?

  • What book has Malcolm read every five years since the age of 15?

  • Which book does Malcolm call “appallingly marketed”?

  • How do we preserve our privacy in an endlessly connected world?

  • And much, much more…

Ideas Worth SHARING:

“The nerd is not alone but the nerd’s allies are not obvious.” @Gladwell #3bookspodcast

“A book shouldn’t reveal all its secrets to you at first glance.” @Gladwell #3bookspodcast

“Good writing takes time. You need to allow things to germinate. The first thing for writers to do is create space.” @Gladwell #3bookspodcast

“Grudging.” @Gladwell, when asked what his book lending policy is… #3bookspodcast

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