Friday, April 17, 2015

A Curious Mind - The Secret to a Bigger Life

     I am guilty of failure to post a Perfect Picture Book Friday post two weeks in a row!
     Not because I haven't read some great ones, in fact I am taking Susanna Leonard Hill's fabulous Picture Book Magic class and reading tons. Unfortunately, the writing has been homework, not picture book recommendations.
     C'mon, you're probably saying. You couldn't fit in ONE recommendation?
     In addition to reading boatloads of picture books, I read an adult title that has to get a shout-out first. A book that smacks you up-side-the-head with the power of possibility. This recommendation can't wait.

jacket image by Jeff Koons
Title: A Curious Mind - The Secret to a Bigger Life  
Authors: Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2015
Theme/Subject: Curiosity
Publisher's summary: "From Academy Award-nominated produced Brian Grazer and acclaimed business journalist Charles Fishman comes a 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."

What I liked about this book: 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 spend my evenings reading something they wrote?
     I read in a promo that Brian Grazer had interviewed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov and medical researcher and polio vaccine creator Jonas Salk. As a writer and someone with a MS in Microbiology, my inner geek screamed "I have to read this one!" And Malcolm Gladwell blurbed it on the back cover. Ooh, I'm a Gladwell fan.
     I plunged in.
    And I wasn't disappointed. I couldn't put it down. As a creative person, the reminder that our creativity comes from everywhere around us, and that we can take an active role in pursuing it is a great one. Its use may not be immediately obvious but ever interaction is growth. Brian uses his life experiences in Hollywood to illustrate concepts that apply to everyone, everywhere. You don't need to be interested in Hollywood. You don't need to be a writer. You don't need to know anything about microbiologists past or present. It's just a great read. Engaging. Inspiring. Energizing.
     And now I do know a little about what a Hollywood producer does. At least more than the zero I knew before. Bonus.
Go. Read. This. Book. Tell me what you think.

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from Simon & Schuster through Shelf Awareness. No other compensation was received.  No review was required. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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