Neil Pasricha

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Neil Pasricha
Neil Pasricha San Diego.jpg
Photo by Ken West
Born September 17, 1979 (1979-09-17) (age 35)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Author, Speaker
Education BComm from Queen's University, MBA from Harvard Business School
Notable works The Book of Awesome (2010)
The Book of (Even More) Awesome (2011)
The Book of (Holiday) Awesome (2011)

Neil Pasricha (born September 17, 1979) is an author and speaker characterized by his advocacy of positivity and simple pleasures. He is best known for his book, The Book of Awesome, which is a New York Times best seller[1] and been a best seller from 2010 to 2014.[2] He is also an established speaker and his TEDx talk, The 3 A's of Awesome, is ranked as the "9th Most Inspiring" TED talk with over 2 million views to date.[3]

The book and TED talk are based on Pasricha's popular blog, 1000 Awesome Things. The blog has won three Webby Awards and ranked in PC Magazine's list of top blogs and websites in 2009 and 2010.[4][5][6][7]

Pasricha is frequently sought out by media outlets as an expert on the topics of positivity and leadership.[8][9][10]

Early life[edit]

Pasricha was born in Oshawa, Ontario. His mother is from Nairobi, Kenya, his father is from a small village outside of Amritsar, India, and he has one sister. Pasricha says much of his wonder for the world comes from his immigrant parents and their perspective on seeing everything for the first time in Canada.[11] In his TED Talk he explains how his father would 'stare in wonder at the little stickers on all the fruits and vegetables.'[12]

Pasricha was educated at Queen's University and Harvard University.[13][14]


Pasricha graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce at Queen's University in 2002. While there, he wrote for campus humor newspaper Golden Words which then took him to New York City to work for a humor syndicate with former Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons writers. He says "It was a cool rush but it became draining very quickly. I realized this could never be my full time thing."[15]

Pasricha returned to Toronto and worked in Marketing for Procter & Gamble before leaving to run a Quiznos Sub franchise and then selling his franchise to move to Boston to attend Harvard Business School.[16]

Upon graduating, Pasricha returned to Toronto to run Leadership Development at Walmart Canada where he works today.[17]



Pasricha began writing a daily blog called 1000 Awesome Things on June 20, 2008. The site was billed as 'a time-ticking countdown of 1000 awesome things. Updated every weekday.'[18]

He said at the time of starting the site "if you flipped open the newspaper it was filled with the same stuff every day. Polar ice caps were melting, there were pirates storming the seas, the economy was on the verge of collapse, and there were wars going on all over the world." As a result, he created a website discussing "popping bubble wrap, snow days, and the smell of a bakery." [19] In later interviews, and through a series on his blog, Pasricha shared that his personal divorce and a close friend's suicide are what prompted him to begin looking for positive things in life.[20]

In July, 2008, the popular links site linked to post #980 Old, dangerous playground equipment which gave the blog new readership and got attention from Wired and[21][22][23]

In 2009, Pasricha was approached by literary agents after his blog hit 10 million hits and won the Webby Award for "Best Blog" [24][25][26] and signed with Erin Malone from WME who also represents Christian Lander,[27] author of Stuff White People Like, and Rainn Wilson, star of The Office and author of SoulPancake.[28]

Pasricha continued publishing one awesome thing a day until #1 Anything you want it to be was posted on April 19, 2012.[29]


The Book of Awesome[edit]

Published 2010 by Amy Einhorn Books, a division of Penguin Publishing.

The Book of Awesome is a #1 international bestseller, New York Times bestseller, and Globe and Mail bestseller.[30][31][32][33]

Pasricha wrote The Book of Awesome while attempting to get over his divorce and close friend's suicide. His frustration with the 'gloom and doom' in the news caused him to expand on simple pleasures of life through new written essays complementing existing material from his blog.[34][35]

Before release, Pasricha was known only through his blog, but The Book of Awesome hit #2 on the Globe and Mail bestseller list in his first week and was selected as a Heather's Pick in Canada.[36]

The book received both positive and negative reviews. The Vancouver Sun said it was like "a snappy Jerry Seinfeld monologue by way of Maria Von Trapp", Publisher's Weekly said "Pasricha emerges a committed but inviting optimist, combating life's unending stream of bad news by identifying opportunities to share a universal high five with humanity"[37] while Macleans wrote that Pasricha was "partly to blame for turning 'awesome' into the exuberant adjective of our time'[38] and The Toronto Star wrote that Neil Pasricha "helped destroy language through linguistic bleaching."[39]

The Book of Awesome has spent over 130 weeks on The Globe and Mail bestseller list and was the #1 Globe and Mail non-fiction book of the year for 2010 and 2011.[40]

The Book of (Even More) Awesome[edit]

Published 2011 by Amy Einhorn Books, a division of Penguin Publishing.

The Book of (Even More) Awesome is a #1 international bestseller and a Globe and Mail bestseller and was published in 2011 as the sequel to The Book of Awesome.

The Book of (Holiday) Awesome[edit]

Published 2011 by Amy Einhorn Books, a division of Penguin Publishing.

The Book of (Holiday) Awesome is a national bestseller. It is a smaller gift book featuring awesome things about holidays such as Christmas, Hannukah, Diwali, Halloween, Mother's Day, etc.


  1. ^ "New York Times, Best Sellers". 
  2. ^ "Bestsellers: Paperback Non-Fiction, March 15, 2014". 
  3. ^ "1700 Talks to stir your curiosity (sorted by "inspiring")". 
  4. ^ "The Webby Awards Gallery + Archive". 
  5. ^ "The Webby Awards Gallery + Archive". 
  6. ^ "Our Favorite Blogs 2009". 
  7. ^ "Our Favorite Blogs: 2010". 
  8. ^ "The World's "Awesome" Blogger Neil Pasricha". 
  9. ^ "The Search for AWESOME Leadership". 
  10. ^ "Neil Pasricha (Speaker)". 
  11. ^ "A few awesome things about's Neil Pasricha". 
  12. ^ "TED Talk (Transcript)". 
  13. ^ "Former GW editor celebrates life's Awesome Things". 
  14. ^ "The `awesome’ blog is a huge hit: 40,000 Internet visits a day". 
  15. ^ "The `awesome’ blog is a huge hit: 40,000 Internet visits a day". 
  16. ^ "The `awesome’ blog is a huge hit: 40,000 Internet visits a day". 
  17. ^ "The `awesome’ blog is a huge hit: 40,000 Internet visits a day". 
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