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A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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"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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Top Customer Reviews
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." Unfortunately, this book, in the hands of a less than talented writer, does not.
If you are NOT a curious person, I encourage you to buy this book so Grazer can convince you to become more inquisitive. If you have the least amount of curiousity at all, do not buy this book; it will only frustrate you.
This is undoubtedly true, and there's a lot to recommend Glazer's assertion that curiosity is as fundamental to human endeavor as it is under-appreciated for its power to fuel human achievement. But Grazer doesn't quite connect the dots. What is it exactly about curiosity that not only enriches one's own life but also engages and influences others? Despite suggestive tidbits about his management style (questions in lieu of commands), as well as many intriguing examples of the author's "curiosity conversations" with the worlds most accomplished people, the question of how this pursuit really works in a tactical way to amplify Grazer's life and work remains rather generalized; even vague.
How, for example, did a lifelong cultivation of curiosity make the difference between being just another Hollywood producer and being one of the most thoughtful, versatile, and successful producers in the industry? What insights or accomplishments accrued from his obviously outsized curiosity would have been diminished or unrealized without it? Implicit in the premise is that curiosity is responsible for his remarkable success, but how? Beyond the satisfaction of curiosity itself, what does he actually get out of it?
The missing connections here may be due to the book's lopsided emphasis on Grazer's inquiries with the famous and powerful, those beyond his own sphere of personal and professional involvement. Because he has little if any follow-on engagements with the majority of his "curiosity conversation" subjects, they feel like a series of fascinating though somewhat superficial "one-offs." They seem like... well, curiosities.
The few instances where we get to look into how Grazer's constant posture of curiosity works to advance his everyday relationships with everyday people are illuminating and instructive. I was yearning for more depth and detail on how curiosity works to expand opportunity and creativity; how it serves as a catalyst for better relationships, greater influence, and bigger success. Perhaps I was yearning for a different book: less memoir, more guidance. Alternately thrilling and frustrating, rewarding and incomplete, "A Curious Mind" is nevertheless full of intriguing notions; a highly valuable addition to any robust personal development archive.