A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer & Charles Fishman

A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer & Charles Fishman

I don’t remember where I picked up the recommendation for this book. It may simply have been something that popped up as recommended for me by Audible, and since I’ve built up several credits without making the plunge, I got it.

Initially, I thought I couldn’t go wrong: Academy Award-winning movie producer who partnered with Ron Howard for some memorable film I’ve actually watched, e.g. “Splash” and “Apollo 13.” I thought the book would offer instruction on how to leverage the power of curiosity to be more creative.

On the positive side: Grazer discusses his method of calling total strangers and interviewing them in what he calls “curiosity conversations” and how those encounters give him insights he uses later to craft compelling movies. He describes how he initially got started in the movie business simply by eavesdropping on a conversation. He has interviewed some of the most interesting people of our time, but . . .

On the negative side: Grazer never really tells readers/listeners *how*. After the first hour, the book feels more like an autobiography recounting how brazen self-confidence and persistence got Grazer audiences with personalities as diverse as Jonas Salk and Eminem. He has famous quotes by Einstein and Dorothy Park lauding curiosity. He talks about how the curiosity conversations made him a better storyteller, movie producer, and person because he cultivated listening skills.

But the book doesn’t really delve deeper, which is unfortunate.

If you’re looking for a pep talk about the connections between curiosity and creativity, this will somewhat fill that need. If you want a somewhat egotistical inside look at the insular world of Hollywood TV and movie-making, this book will definitely provide that. Had I bothered reading any reviews on Goodreads, I likely would have saved my Audible credit for another title — most reviewers there suggest it would have been more compelling as a TED talk.

This book is the second in my work-related goal of reading one creativity-related book per quarter.After this, I’m going to rely on books recommended by blogging friend Myra, who teaches creativity at the university level. I’m open to suggestions from others, as well!

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