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A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  5,187 ratings  ·  787 reviews
From Academy Award–winning producer Brian Grazer and acclaimed business journalist Charles Fishman comes the New York Times bestselling, brilliantly entertaining peek into the weekly “curiosity conversations” that have inspired Grazer to create some of America’s favorite and iconic movies and television shows—from 24 to A Beautiful Mind.

For decades, film and TV producer Br
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Simon Schuster (first published April 7th 2014)
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Average rating 3.37  · 
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Tom Franklin
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Brian Grazer appears to have written this book to impress the reader with how cool Brian Grazer thinks Brian Grazer is as much as how cool he thinks curiosity is and should be for us all.

Grazer has been holding what he calls "Curiosity Conversations" for much of his life with people he finds interesting. What he presents in his book is are chapters extolling the various virtues of curiosity mixed with stories about trying to meet people for these conversations and lots and lots of mentions of al
Jul 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
I picked up this book because I saw Brian Grazer on The Daily Show, and he seemed humble, fun, and interesting. So I thought the book would be, you know, humble, fun and interesting. Oy! Wrong on all counts.

This book is a mess, and if you listen to the audio book, read by Norbert Leo Butz, you will find yourself groaning out loud and wishing your could crawl through your electronic device to throw a drink in his face. Butz’s voice exudes arrogance that oozes through the speaker/earpiece like
May 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Oh, what could have been!

Had Grazer simply written an autobiography, or just written about his hundreds of "curiosity conversations" with famous people, this book would have been a home run. Instead he goes on and on about the virtues of curiosity using weird examples and boring data.

We get it, Grazer. Curiosity is a good thing. Instead of repeating that over and over, why don't you just show us how curiosity has been so helpful to you with more interesting stories.

Every ten pages or so, he drop
I haven't wanted to punch a book in its face for so long. Until this little sucker came along. I hated almost every sentence contained in this book. I cannot believe two authors and at least one editor allowed this garbage to be published? And Malcolm Gladwell gave it an endorsement? Dude needs to reevaluate his standards.

If you are looking for a poorly written, pretentious, name-dropping, repetitive, trite, and useless book, look no further; you've found it.
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, memoirs
This is definitely a fun book; engaging, entertaining, and a wonderful insight into the life of a top Hollywood movie producer. But, this book is not so much about the concept of curiosity, as the life of Brian Grazer. He is a very curious person, no doubt. His story of how he started out in the movie business is hysterical. He devotes a lot of time to seeking out interesting people, and interviewing them simply for the fun of it--simply because Grazer is curious. He does not do the interviews f ...more
Catherine Read
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"We are all trapped in our own way of thinking. Trapped in our own way of relating to people. We get so used to seeing the world our own way, we come to think that the world is the way that we see it."

Brian Grazer has written an amazing book about how his "curiosity conversations" over his lifetime have shaped how he sees the world and how it informs the movies and television shows he has produced. For him, "curiosity is the flint from which flies the spark of inspiration" in storytelling. He ha
Apr 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
The only curious thing about this book is that it got published.
It really needs to be retitled: About Brian Grazer.
Because there's no secret here to a bigger life.
But I'll tell you the secret to a bigger life: Be well-known, well-connected and rich, and people will eventually have "curiosity conversations" with you. Otherwise, likely they won't take your calls.
Ross Blocher
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
In A Curious Mind, famed producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, Frost/Nixon, 8 Mile, Splash, and so on...) shares his story of working in Hollywood and building up a career and a name for himself, while highlighting what he considers his biggest secret and greatest attribute: curiosity. Even before he'd become a big name, Grazer had started a series of "curiosity conversations" in which he'd persistently seek out someone he wanted to learn ...more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
A slight, charming little book of encouragement - basically an article padded out to the length of a (slender) book. Grazer shares lots of fun tales of meeting other famous, accomplished people as part of exercising curiosity, and encourages readers to ask questions, listen to the answers, and generally behave like better, more engaged people for their own benefit.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Insatiably curious is a character trait easily applied to any voracious reader. How else would i continuously pour through 300+ pages of a nonfiction book to find the overly complex answer to a question that can be simply, though less intricately, explained in a quick google search. Grazer starts off his book talking about the politics of curiosity and how it is typically seen as a foray against the order of our carefully run society. Sadly, not everyone has the free range to be as overtly curio ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it
My wife shared this free copy with me. I am mixed minds about a rating. I really liked his views on curiosity and how one can act on it; that gets a 4. With all the talk about the need for "innovation", nobody talks about the need for curiosity being first. We should teach people how to capitalize on it (not necessarily his talkie way; people are not the only thing to be curious about). What I was less thrilled about the text is it became more braggy as it goes on. It has lengthy list of all the ...more
Yolanda Smith
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
The book started well, but by the time I was halfway through, I had lost all curiosity for this book that was supposed to be about curiosity. Life is too short to finish books that don’t hold my attention. The book became repetitive and held a sort of pretentious tone.
Romantical Skeptic
May 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
I am not sure what to say about this. The synopsis of this book is this: Be curious about your world, it will lead to good things personally and professionally.

That is a nice sentiment, and also true.

Do we need a whole book devoted to extolling the virtues of one man's personal curiosities? Not really. Especially since Grazer talks in very general rather than specific terms about his actual learnings from the "Curiosity conversions" that he sets up with everyone from Fidel Castro to Oprah.

He mai
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book inspired me to look at the world and people around me in a different way, from a different angle. Look around the corner, there is something interesting in everyone.

In some ways, this was an autobiography of the famous movie and tv producer Brian Grazer. He tells the back story about the birth of some of my favorite movies, most of them directed by Ron Howard. That was fascinating in itself, but those stories are interwoven with Brian's curiosity, and how it led to the life he
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Apparently Bryan Grazer was never too curious w/r/t the contents of a Thesaurus. I am so sick of the word "curiosity." Anyway.

Rated this two stars instead of one because I did enjoy the sprinkled moviemaking anecdotes, even if those anecdotes were intended to bolster the straw man premise that society doesn't value curiosity to the extent that it should. Oh, and also that curiosity is solely responsible for every good thing to ever happen to anyone anywhere at any point in history, but especial
Cindy Rollins
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
This is more like a TED talk than a book but it is certainly one full of "fun facts." I would have liked to hear more about the actual conversations Brian had over the years than just the concept of the conversations. He does start the book out with several of these which I liked.

Then there is the massive index at the end of the book of people Brian talked to over the years. That was very odd. I do not care so much whom you've talked to as much as what they have said but it did add to the page c
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
I am naturally curious. That is one reason I like nonfiction; I enjoy learning! I find it fascinating to listen to the thoughts and ideas of someone with enough gumption to actually write a book--all while I tend my garden.

Therefore when scanning through a list of audio books offered through the public library (free), I downloaded this one.

I knew nothing of big time Hollywood producer Brian Grazer who worked with director Ron Howard to make "A Beautiful Mind", "Apollo 13", "Splash", "24", and "
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Interesting concept but bulk of book felt like bragging experiences and name dropping.
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
Brian Grazer is a Hollywood Producer to climbed his way to the top in the traditional American way, by his gumption and bootstraps. However, he identifies the secret weapon to his success as Curiosity. Over the years, Brian has hosted what he dubs "curiosity conversations". He makes appointments with people he finds interesting (it could take years to meet someone!) and asks them about their life, what they've done/do, and how they think. He wants to better understand the world and view the worl ...more
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Near the end of his book Brian Grazer says that he didn't want this book to be just a re-counting of his conversations with interesting or famous people. The book is about curiosity itself and not his meetings with people (which curiosoity led him to). Ultimately, it's too bad. The initial background information on curiosity is fine and kind of interesting. But, the real treats ARE his conversations with people like Fidel Castro, Michael Jackson, and many, many others. Unfortunately, we only get ...more
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you had dinner with Brian Grazer, this book would capture that conversation about who he is, his experience in the entertainment industry, and his advice for success. The advice isn't earth-shattering -- be curious, ask questions, and pay attention to the answers. He methodically sought out to have curious conversations with a diverse group of people (like Fidel Castro, Michael Jackson, Jonas Salk, Isaac Asimov, and Andy Warhol). He wanted to meet interesting people and get a sense of who the ...more
Rhonda Lomazow
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brian Grazer the highly regarded producer has a vast hunger for knowledge a curious mind.He fulfills his quest for knowledge by meeting&having conversations with people who engage his mind He is in an endless pursuit of knowledge a student of the world&a lucky man who has the credentials that make this elite group of people meet with him & allow him to probe their minds.
Sep 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Brian Grazer is charming, and he has led a very interesting life. He loves to talk to all sorts of people and learn what makes them tick. This has clearly enriched his life, and he wrote this book to encourage others to open themselves up to people. He believes that what worked for him will enrich your life as well.

Of course, once you are an award-winning producer, you do get to talk to renown scientists, politicians and philosophers, so it is a little disingenuous to think we will all benefit i
Heidi The Reader
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Brian Grazer makes a case for the importance of curiosity and how that leads to more than just creative collaborations but also to a life filled with unexpected answers to questions that you didn't even know that you had.

I recently had a conversation with a mentor of mine in which we discussed the importance of developing a creative mindset for business as well as personal development. This book helped me to further cement some of those ideas in my mind.

Grazer also discusses the importance of cu
May 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Is it an autobiography? Kind of but not really. Is it a self-help book? Kind of but not really. Is it a motivational read? Kind of but not really.

When I received this book for my birthday I was immediately intrigued.....nay, curious. And after reading this book I'm finding myself inspired to try Brian Grazer's lifelong technique of "curiosity conversations".

You learn a bit about who Oscar-winning Producer Brian Grazer is, but more importantly - what makes him tick and what makes him unique in
Wendy Greenley
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: writers, artists, everyone
I'm not a movie buff. I don't watch a lot of television. So yes, I have a seen A Beautiful Mind, but I've never watched 24. So why would I want to read, and recommend, a book written by a movie producer?
It isn't really about movies, television, or even Hollywood. It's about the benefits and process of being curious. My interest was piqued when I read that. But as a busy person, what made me go that step further? I didn't recognize the name Brian Grazer or Charles Fishman. Why would I want to s
May 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio download version of the book. It was well read by the author, who was easy to listen to. I was rather captivated by the concept of someone deciding to have curiosity conversations with people. What a wonderful idea. I can see the value in that - getting to know about a wide range of topics by having conversations with interesting people. So why was it that toward the end of the book I started feeling like I was being taken on a name-dropping tour, and I lost some enthusia ...more
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of "A Curious Mind" by Brian Grazer, through the Goodreads First Reads program. This was a three hour read but well worth the time. Based on the premise that curiosity is both an undervalued trait and a key to his personal success, Grazer details his personal history of "curiosity conversations" with famous and/or important people and briefly explains lessons he learned from a select few of these folks. Very well written, I assume mostly by co-author Charles Fishman, the book i ...more
Maria Gebhardt
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Brian Grazer, Hollywood movie producer and friend to celebrities like Tom Hanks and fellow producer Ron Howard, discusses his "curiousity conversations" with people from all walks of life. He explains how he talks with people who he not only respects and admires, but people that he wants to know more about.

Grazer's "curiousity conversations" have span decades and are a "spark for creativity and inspiration" as well as a source of motivation, self-confidence and courage. He basically gets an oppo
This was a mess. My guess is that Brian Grazer wrote a book about himself but when people told him that it was coming off as too conceited he added the "Curiosity" angle to the book. I didn't want to read/listen to a book about Brian Grazer (I had no idea who he was until I read the book). I wanted to read a book about curiosity. There were tidbits of good things about curiosity in the book but they were few and far between. There were also tidbits of interesting stories about Brian Grazer. But ...more
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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. ...more

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