Greenlights (book)

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Greenlights (Matthew McConaughey).png
First edition cover and dust jacket
AuthorMatthew McConaughey
Audio read byMatthew McConaughey
Cover artistMiller Mobley (photo)
Christopher Brand (design)
Michael Morris (design)
CountryUnited States
Publication date
October 20, 2020
Media typePrint (hardcover), e-book, audio
ISBN978-0-593-13913-4 (hardcover)
791.4302/8092 B
LC ClassPN2287.M54545 A3 2020

Greenlights is a 2020 book by American actor Matthew McConaughey.[1][2] It was published on October 20, 2020, by the Crown imprint of Crown Publishing Group.[3][4]


McConaughey exiled himself in the desert without electricity for fifty-two days while writing the book.[5] Greenlights originated from diaries and journals McConaughey began writing when he was fourteen years old.[6] McConaughey described the book as a collection of "stories, prayers, poems, people and places and a whole bunch of bumper stickers."[7] The book includes stories and insights from McConaughey's life in chronological order. It has been described as a memoir but McConaughey has called it an "approach book".[8]


The book was a major best-seller, debuting at number one on The New York Times non-fiction best-seller list for the week ending October 24, 2020.[9] As of February 2022, the book has spent 55 weeks on the list.[10]

Mark Athitakis of The Washington Post called McConaughey's poetry "cringeworthy" and criticized his wisdom for being unrelatable, calling the book "stuffed with vaporous, circular proverbs for would-be McConaugheys."[11] In their review, The Times of India wrote, "The writing is conversational and easy to read, though this is one book whose audiobook form is worth listening to. The actor/author reads it himself, with the correct inflections and even does voices. It's truly entertaining."[12] In an interview with McConaughey, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson said that the book was "a collection of great stories".[13]


  1. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (October 14, 2020). "Matthew McConaughey Wrote the Book on Matthew McConaughey". The New York Times. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  2. ^ Romano, Nick (July 30, 2020). "'Are you lit?' 'Cause Matthew McConaughey is writing a memoir". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  3. ^ "Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey". Penguin Random House. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  4. ^ Schaub, Michael (July 30, 2020). "Matthew McConaughey Is Making His Literary Debut". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  5. ^ Kirkpatrick, Emily (August 13, 2020). "Matthew McConaughey Spent 52 Days Alone in the Desert with No Electricity to Write His Memoir". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  6. ^ Paiella, Gabriella (October 21, 2020). "Matthew McConaughey Is Thinking About His Eulogy". GQ. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "Matthew McConaughey on His Memoir Writing Process: 52 Days Alone in the Desert (Without Electricity!)". People. August 12, 2020. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  8. ^ Hunt, Elle (October 26, 2020). "Zen and the art of torso maintenance: Matthew McConaughey's guide to life". The Guardian. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction - Best Sellers - Books". The New York Times. November 8, 2020. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  10. ^ "Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction - Best Sellers - Books". The New York Times. February 20, 2022. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  11. ^ Athitakis, Mark (October 20, 2020). "Matthew McConaughey is 'alright, alright, alright' — and thinks you will be too". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  12. ^ "Micro review: 'Greenlights' by Matthew McConaughey". The Times of India. November 16, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  13. ^ "The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast - Season 4 Episode 1: Matthew McConaughey - YouTube". Retrieved 2021-01-10.