Book Review: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

I’ve had A Million Miles in a Thousand Years on my to-read list for a while. I think I was first interested in the book because I thought it had something to do with storytelling and I love me some books on writing and storytelling. (Check my post on Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.) I finally got around to reading Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and it is not exactly a book about writing.

Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, writes about how he was approached by the movie industry to turn his book into a movie. Through this experience, he learns that he wasn’t quite living a movie quality life. This catapulted him into exploring a new way of living. Live as if your life is a story. If your narrative is not worth watching in a movie, perhaps you’re doing it all wrong.

It was an interesting read and inspired me to examine my own life and question what kind of tale I’m weaving.

I find myself using book reviews as an excuse to share my favorite excerpts.

Favorite Excerpts from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

My uncle told a good story with his life, but I think there was such a sadness at his funeral because his story wasn’t finished. If you aren’t telling a good story, nobody thinks you died too soon; they just think you died. But my uncle died too soon.

A story is a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.

I asked Bob what was the key to living such a great story, and Bob seemed uncomfortable with the idea he was anything special. But he wanted to answer my question, so he thought about it and said he didn’t think we should be afraid to embrace whimsy. I asked him what he meant by whimsy, and he struggled to define it. He said it’s that nagging idea that life should be magical; it could be special if we were only willing to take a few risks.

I looked across the deck at Steve and Ben sitting and talking to Jim, and as they laughed and drank their wine, I wondered how much it costs to be rich in friends and how many years and stories and scenes it takes to make a rich life happen. You can’t build an end scene as beautiful as this by sitting on a couch.

Later, when I started learning about how to resolve a story, and when I began thinking about story as a guide for life, I took a lot of comfort in that principle. It wasn’t necessary to win for the story to be great, it was only necessary to sacrifice everything.

P.S. Please consider using the book links to purchase books from Amazon. Not only is Amazon usually more inexpensive but I also earn a measly referral fee. ;)

Questions: Do you think your life full of magic? Where do you find magic?