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Updated: Sep 21, 2021

A clever, unique and thought-provoking memoir by actor and ad man Mathew McConaughey.



Greenlights, according to actor and author Matthew McConaughey is his love letter to life. He has been keeping diaries for over thirty-five years. He says the diaries contained “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.” After recently reviewing these diaries he realized a theme existed which he has turned into a book. He says it’s a way of “livin”, a way of catching more “greenlights”.

“The problems we face today eventually turn into blessings in the rearview mirror of life. In time, yesterday’s red light leads us to a greenlight. All destruction eventually leads to construction, all death eventually leads to birth, all pain eventually leads to pleasure. In this life or the next, what goes down will come up. It’s a matter of how we see the challenge in front of us and how we engage with it. Persist, pivot, or concede. It’s up to us, our choice every time.”


Greenlights is a clever, unique and though-provoking book. I enjoyed hearing McConaughey’s wit and wisdom contained in his stories, notes and bumper stickers. It was all rather intriguing and interesting. It’s a book that will leave you contemplating what you have read for days after the last page is turned.

McConaughey’s approach to his memoir is emotional, ecIectic, and unconventional. But it works. It works because it just feels real. We all think we know a little bit about this guy, this actor. But this book is so much deeper that anything you think you know about him. It’s not only what he thinks, but how he thinks and how he became who he is. The fact that he has kept diaries and notes of his thoughts is just the beginning. Who knew all this was inside the mysterious guy you see breezing down the highway in the Lincoln television ads.

My favorite part of the book were the stories from his childhood and his trip to Australia. I really appreciate his willingness to share his pathway to his beliefs. McConaughey knows who he is and he owns it, but seriously Matthew, there is such a thing as oversharing. Let’s just say the book is a little unnecessarily coarse in places.

I absolutely loved McConaughey narration of the audio version of the book. However, Greenlights is one of those few instances where the creativity and uniqueness of the book is a little lost in the audio version. The photos, handwritten notes, journal entries and bumper stickers give the hardcopy of the book a slight “reading-understanding-enjoyment” edge. I had to see the book in print before I truly understood the originality of the book.

“We all have scars, we gonna have more. Rather than struggle against time and waste it, let’s dance with time and redeem it. Cause we don’t live longer when we try not to die. We live longer when we are too busy living.”

Publisher Crown Publishing Group

Published October 20, 2020

Narrated Matthew McConaughey

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