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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)
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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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.
The interviews Grazer has done are absolutely fascinating. He only really shares maybe 10-15% of them in detail and most are with people that are completely inaccessible to regular society; such as multiple US Presidents, Fidel Castro, Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Oprah Winfrey, etc. Some are people that I wasn’t aware of (but probably should have been) such as the scientist who invented the atomic bomb and a South American woman activist who was held captive for more than a month by the government and lived to tell about the torture she endured and the tyrant dictator responsible. All of them made me want to learn more.
Grazer also shares a good amount about his life, his work and his thought process behind the “curiosity interviews.” These were all interesting topics but unfortunately he gets a little redundant throughout the book. I only needed to be told about his box office successes once – not every other chapter. He does make a really great argument for the intellectual side of curiosity and how undervalued it is. I just would have preferred if there was one chapter dedicated to his life, and another at the end with what he wants to teach the reader around the importance and power curiosity can hold.
My only other slightly negative feeling was that I really wanted to read more of Grazer’s interviews in detail. The end of the book lists pages and pages of names he has met over the past 20 years. There are so many intriguing people – it was almost disappointing not to get more. (i.e. Steve Jobs, Howard Stern, Mark Cuban, Jay Z…just to name a few). Hopefully he has another edition in the works!