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A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life Hardcover – April 7, 2015

3.7 out of 5 stars 257 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A Curious Mind is a window on Brian Grazer's restless, relentless, remarkable imagination. It is a captivating account of how the simple act of asking questions can change your life." (Malcolm Gladwell Bestselling Author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath)

“I love Brian Grazer’s soulful message about the power of curiosity. He inspires, entertains, and shows how we can use curiosity to tap into the power of wonder and wisdom we are all born with.” (Arianna Huffington Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post and Author of Thrive)

“Curiosity leads to insights and fuels the creative process – and nobody knows more about curiosity than Brian Grazer. In his delightful book, A Curious Mind, we get to see that curiously creative process in action.” (Dick Costolo CEO of Twitter)

"An excellent and very important discussion of economics... Readers would be wise to buy Grazer’s brilliant book." (John Tammy Forbes)

“The greatest of all graduation speeches.” (Chris Matthews Hardball with Chris Matthews)

A Curious Mind is not a classic autobiography but a rumination on how one trait, curiosity, reinforced by a readiness to pay attention and then to act, has forged such a remarkable career.... It’s like spending a couple of hours in the bar of a Hollywood hotel with an amusing raconteur.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“If you feel stuck in your business or career, or if your company is failing to stay ahead of its competition, perhaps Grazer’s method of “curiosity conversations” might provide the spark you need to ignite your best ideas.” (Forbes)

“In A Curious Mind, Brian Grazer not only captures the essence and the potential of a great, curious mind, but he provides a wonderful perspective on what curiosity has meant to him and how it shaped his long and very successful career. As a close friend, I've had a front row seat to Brian's curious mind, and the energy his curiosity generates is infectious and thoroughly enjoyable to observe and experience.” (Bob Iger Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company)

“As Brian’s friend and partner, while reading A Curious Mind I was returned to many key turning points in our movies and TV shows that were inspired by experiences he gained on his unique quest for understanding. I also learned a hell of a lot that I didn’t actually know, even after thirty years. How is that possible? Well, Brian is a hell of a storyteller.” (Ron Howard Chairman of Imagine Entertainment and Academy Award-Winning Director)

“To read a book written by one of the most creative and high quality human beings talking about his love affair with curiosity and how it can help you to have a more rewarding life is a real privilege.” (Robert K. Kraft Owner of the Kraft Group/New England Patriots)

"To have a great life, you need to be curious. Curiosity is what makes us human and moves our world forward. Brian Grazer tells this story in an exceptional way and demonstrates how everyone can tap into curiosity to live a bigger life.” (Eric Schmidt CEO of Google)

“A powerful tribute to the ways innovation and disruptive thinking stem from a common trait: curiosity. Because the little girl who asks ‘Why is the sky blue?’ becomes the woman who can change the world.” (Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook and Founder of LeanIn.Org)

“A very stimulating blend of behind-the-scenes Hollywood machinations and business and personal self-help. VERDICT This unusual and quick read is ideal for public libraries and as nonrequired reading in business schools.” (Library Journal)

“An appealing argument for maintaining open-minded receptivity, with special appeal for film buffs.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Lively…. As Grazer further explores how curiosity has shaped his life, he sprinkles in numerous anecdotes about the hundreds of people whom he’s sought out for one-on-one sessions he terms “curiosity conversations.” (Publishers Weekly)

“[A Curious Mind] is straightforward and full of great advice for anyone trying to rise and shine. You don't have to try to become a movie producer. In its own way, the book could be a guide for anyone with ambition, nerve and common sense. But first comes curiosity.” (The Huffington Post)

“Grazer himself comes across as a humble seeker, who never let his huge Hollywood success crush his inner child – the child who wants to know everything.” (2paragraphs)

“Stories like de Negri’s take Grazer’s book beyond Hollywood dish into the mysteries of existence. What makes you curious, it turns out, can also make you stronger.” (7x7)

“Grazer knows that curiosity doesn’t merely kill the cat, it morphs it into a roaring lion worthy of a Hollywood logo — in this case, a cool cat with a wild, spiky mane after a career of petting his projects against the grain.” (WTOP)

"It'll encourage you and your partner to engage in novel conversations." (Bustle)

“Grazer’s book is conversational, funny and inspiring. A business book like this one can be an excellent resource when it provides a different perspective of thinking and taking action." (Palm Beach Post)

About the Author

Brian Grazer is the Academy Award–winning producer of A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Splash, Arrested Development, 24, 8 Mile, J. Edgar, Empire, and many more. His films and TV shows have been nominated for forty-three Academy Awards and 131 Emmys. In 2007, he was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Charles Fishman is the acclaimed author of The Wal-Mart Effect and The Big Thirst. He is a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious prize in business journalism.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147673075X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476730752
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is written in a very simple and straightforward style. Do not let its surface simplicity lead you to underestimate its profound message.

I am a career Foreign Service Officer, a diplomat. When I boil my job down, it is all about relationships and curiosity. My task is often to convince others to do something or accept a point of view. I do my best work when I really care about finding out what the other person thinks and feels. My work is less effective when I try to convince them by showing why I am right. I think the difference is engagement versus messaging. When you engage you listen and accept they YOU may change your own point of view based on what you hear. If you are curious, you are engaging. This book makes a lot of sense to me. I am going to recommend that my junior officers read it. It will make us better diplomats.

BTW - I got the audio-version so that I could listen to it while walking to work. I found it so interesting that I just kept on walking.
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Format: Hardcover
For over thirty years, Academy award-winning producer Brian Grazer has been holding what he terms "curiosity conversations." In these conversations, Mr. Grazer sits down with an individual outside of the movie industry to discover how he or she "sees the world." It is curiosity to which Mr. Grazer credits his success and in A Curious Mind, he explains the value of this overlooked and undervalued characteristic and shares how readers can incorporate curiosity into their own lives. It is clear that Mr. Grazer feels very passionately about this topic and as a result, this book is very upbeat and entertaining. Highlights from some of his most memorable conversations, an extensive and impressive list of individuals with whom he has had conversations, and instructions on how to hold your own conversations are included.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The ironic thing about this book is that, after convincing you that curiosity is a virtue, Mr. Grazer does nothing to satisfy your curiosity about the conversations he's had with notable public figures. Grazer uses those conversations as the framework on which he builds his argument in support of curiosity,
Grazer argues that his curiosity leads to his ability to finagle meetings with celebrities he is curious about, He tells about his efforts to get the meeting, where it occurred, what the subject wore, their demeanor - but he tells you virtually nothing that occurs during the meeting itself. I'm curious about what Oprah might say at a 2- hour brunch, what Princess Diana said over dinner, what the inventor of the atomic bomb thought about the consequences of his creation. Here's what I got instead:
Oprah talked about (SPOILER ALERT!) relationships and reminded him life is a process. Oh yeah, and she had heuvos rancheros. That's it! A two hour lunch condensed to less than half a page.
Princess Diana thought his movie, Apollo 13 was "important" and "triumphant." She wore a short dress and (SPOILER1) encouraged him to order ice cream.
Dr. Edward Teller, creator of The Bomb, was grumpy and treated him with scorn. (I completely understand - Grazer just ripped me off for $25 on this book so I have a little scorn myself.
Michael Jackson described his creative process in detail - bur Grazer does not.
Condi Rice was relaxed and listened to him describe a movie he was making. ZZzzzzzzzzzzz.
At one point, Grazer writes "A newspaper or magazine story, in the hands of a talented reporter, could have captured much of what I got from Letitia Baldrige and Sheldon Glasgow.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Hey Barack, Brian Grazer here, yeah, I'm gonna be in your neighborhood and was wondering if I can stop by and chat."

"Kate, doll, do you have a half hour to talk about what it is that you do?"

Brian Grazer DID not approach Barack Obama and Kate Moss in this fashion. But in full pursuit of quenching his insatiable curiosity, he did get to sit down and talk with both. One glance at his film credits and one might be apt to quickly dismiss Brian and this book. "Oh he's a Hollywood big shot, of course he can dial up
Jonas Salk and Isaac Asimov and go rap with them." And I would quickly dismiss him myself if not for one thing. Brian Grazer pursued his curiosity seeking out and connecting with interesting people before he was a Hollywood big shot. One might even speculate that this is the reason he is who he is today.

A Curious Mind is so much more than a well thought out treatment of curiosity. It's about learning, storytelling, listening, confidence-building, persistence, ambition, authenticity, determination and so much more.

The most important part of this book for me is how Brian relates the pursuit of curiosity to building human connections. People are on the road ahead of us. They know what is around the bend. Wouldn't you like to know what's around the bend before getting there? That's it. Search these folks out and go talk with them. When they feel you are honestly trying to learn and are not sporting a hidden agenda, they will open up and talk. Not only that, but they'll recommend others to talk to.

Perhaps that's how Brian Grazer went from college graduate to Hollywood movie producer.

A Curious Mind is easily my number one 2015 book recommend!
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