These books were recommended by Modern Mrs. Darcy in her Beach Reading guide. I have had a revolution in reading directly because of the books she suggested.
It seems like everyone I know has recommended or read Blue Like Jazz, but I never finished it. A Million Miles was the first book I've read of Miller's and I'm looking forward to reading more of his writing. What stuck out to me most about A Million Miles was Miller's honesty.
He was so candid in this book I thought he was sitting in my front room talking to me. I learned a lot from the real life stories he shared while "editing his life" as the subtitle of the book states. A Million Miles is a memoir of Miller's experience creating a movie out of his book Blue Like Jazz. He worked with two people (Steve and Ben) to create the script. And as he worked with them he learned quite a bit about himself.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
Of all the principles I'd learn about story while working with Steve and Ben, the idea that a character is what he does remains the hardest to actually live - page 74
People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain - p. 100
But fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us in to living a boring life - p. 108
The truth is, we are all living out the character of the roles we have played in our stories - p. 167
In describing his journey to Machu Picchau and how that related to heaven, Miller wrote:
The pain made the city more beautiful. The story made us different characters than if we'd showed up at the end an easier way. It made me think about the hard lives so many people have have had, the sacrifices they've endured and how those people will see heaven differently from those of us who have had easier lives - p. 142
I've been learning a lot about expectations and I thought this particular statement was so eloquently worded:
When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. And when you stop expecting material possessions to complete you, you'd be surprised at how much pleasure you get in material possessions. And when you stop expecting God to end all your troubles, you'd be surprised at how much you like spending time with God - p. 206
Reading about what Jesus means to other people is an inspiration to me. I'm reminded of God's faithfulness when when I hear what he's done in others:
... Jesus is the hope that will not disappoint. I find that comforting. That helps me get through the day, to be honest. It even makes me content somehow. Maybe that's what Paul meant when he said he'd learned the secret of contentment - p. 204
After reading this book, I want to live a better story. I want to ensure my life isn't wasted with mediocre and safe. I'm looking forward to the adventures ahead, even if change isn't my favorite!
Have you read any of Donald Miller's books? What did you think of them?