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Chapter 35: Jen Agg on fussy feminism and ferocious fastidiousness

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Jen Agg is a celebrated Toronto-based restaurateur. She has opened  many award-winning restaurants including The Black Hoof, Rhum Bar, Le Swan, and Grey Gardens.

When Jen opens a restaurant, people notice. There are lineups. Buzz. An incalculable feeling that, once again, she’s put her finger on the pulse of what people want. 

Me and Jen in a booth at her french diner Le Swan.

Me and Jen in a booth at her french diner Le Swan.

Jen is also the bestselling author of the memoir “I Hear She’s A Real Bitch” which features the cover blurb from Anthony Bourdain saying “Whatever Jen Agg says is worth listening to.” I agree. 

We have this conversation at her restaurant Le Swan on Queen Street West in Toronto. 

Jen and I talk about whether fussyness is a virtue, the art of dining alone, how to have a healthy marriage with someone twenty years older than you, and what it was like for Jen growing up with one breast. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg! She challenges me as you’ll soon hear. 

I hope you enjoy Chapter 35 of 3 Books.

Listen to Chapter 35:

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What You'll Learn:

  • Is having a “type” when dating racist?

  • How can we avoid becoming vanilla and maintain a strong voice?

  • Why should we stop caring so much about what other people think of us?

  • How are misogyny and patriarchy still deeply ingrained in society?

  • How do tomboys currently occupy our complicated gender role landscape?

  • What is potentially the greatest last line in a book ever?

  • What is the next big gender role conversation in the world post #MeToo?

  • Why are friends overrated?

Ideas Worth SHARING:

“I think the idea of having a ‘type’ is so wrapped up in what our cultural standards of beauty are and what our gender standards are.” @TheBlackHoof #3bookspodcast

“The reason that I’m able to have the strength of conviction that I have is partly because I was a very loved child.” @TheBlackHoof #3bookspodcast

“Try being born with one tit and growing up as a teenager and going through all of that with boys who only care about tits. Plural.” @TheBlackHoof #3bookspodcast

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Chapter 34: Literary superagent Jim Levine on picking priorities to perform at peak potential

I flew to New York City and hung out with Jim Levine.

I flew to New York City and hung out with Jim Levine.

Jim Levine is a literary superagent.

He and his agency LGR Literary represent everyone from Tom Brady to Ray Dalio to Dan Ariely to Allie Brosch to Gillian Flynn to *cough* Neil Pasricha.

Jim Levine is an incredibly thoughtful and intentional guy who I’ve come to look up to in many ways. He has a wise calm mode of operating with a strategic lens that helps authors navigate the publishing world.

I totally forgot to take a selfie of us so I had to go with Google instead. Booooo, me.

I totally forgot to take a selfie of us so I had to go with Google instead. Booooo, me.

In his own words, Jim helps people “explode potential.”

Before establishing his own agency, he taught at Wellesley College and spent almost a decade as Vice President at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. Jim’s written over seven books himself and has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and Oprah.

And, as you may have guessed, Jim is a voracious reader.

Welcome to Chapter 34 of 3 Books.

Listen to Chapter 34:

Click here to Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, StitcherOvercast, Spotify or Google Play.

What You'll Learn:

  • How can you squeeze in more time for exercise and meditation?

  • What’s a simple way to remedy any argument in order to find a solution?

  • How can jazz musicians help us improve our listening and negotiation skills?

  • What’s a fun relationship game you can play with your partner so you can make decisions faster and share your opinions more openly?

  • How can we balance our focus on both the inner journey and the outer journey?

  • What’s the easiest way to figure out the perfect job for you to pursue?

Ideas Worth SHARING:

“Good jazz musicians listen very carefully to what their bandmates are playing or saying with their instrument. I think the work of people who are really good at negotiation is to listen and be attuned to what the other person is saying.” Jim Levine of @LGRLiterary #3bookspodcast

“If you learn to trust in the process, you realize that if you’re patient and persistent and have an optimistic and a good intent about things, you reach the point that things somehow do get into focus.” Jim Levine of @LGRLiterary #3bookspodcast

“Being at peace with oneself is really important and not easy to do--just to stay still and focused.” Jim Levine of @LGRLiterary #3bookspodcast

CONNECT With Jim Levine:

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Resources Mentioned:

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