Book Review: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey


Title: Greenlights

By: Matthew McConaughey

Genre: Autobiography

Pages: 308

Release Date: October 20th, 2020

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

From the Academy Award®–winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction

I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.

Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges - how to get relative with the inevitable - you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”

So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.

Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.

It’s a love letter. To life.

It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights - and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too.


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I have read my fair share of auto biographies lately and they always mesmerize me by the weird things people do in their younger days. If I thought my life as a young ballerina was interesting, it pales in comparison to some crazy kids out there.

Just the other day, I picked up a copy of Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. There was much I didn’t know about his upbringing and how he found himself in the limelight. Heck, he hadn’t really been on my radar much at all over the last decade. Turns out, he’s as crazy as they come, and I love that.

McConaughey relives his childhood and the unorthodox relationship his parents had as partners who married each other three times and divorced twice. How his father raised them to have strong values, even as strange as they were, and how his mother encouraged him to take what he wanted, because no one would ever find out.

Throughout the book, McConaughey relays his struggles with finding out who he was and what the universe had planned for him as an adult. He searched for himself through the Australian outback, in a monetary where silence was golden, on a road trip through our beautiful country, floating down the Amazon River and eventually ending up in Brazil.

Through all of his soul searching and now living through this pandemic, Matthew McConaughey has learned that life is not about what you have, but who you are with.

Greenlights was one of the most epic life stories that I have had the privilege to read about and definitely an amazing transformation from headstrong child to an incredible down to earth father and husband. Grab Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey and curl up with your favorite hot drink. It’s worth the read.

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