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A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
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A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  16,031 ratings  ·  1,577 reviews

Full of beautiful, heart-wrenching, and hilarious stories, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years details one man's opportunity to edit his life as if he were a character in a movie.

Years after writing his best-selling memoir, Donald Miller went into a funk and spent months sleeping in and avoiding his publisher. One story had ended, and Don was unsure how to start another.


Hardcover, 255 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Thomas Nelson (first published April 15th 2009)
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Karen Lebuhn Storyline has changed my life! Last year, after reading all of Donald Miller's books...I also read Victor Frankl's "Man Search for Meaning".

So, so…more
Storyline has changed my life! Last year, after reading all of Donald Miller's books...I also read Victor Frankl's "Man Search for Meaning".

So, so moving and touched my core values...purchased Storyline and have had great healing with the templates provided(less)

Community Reviews

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Scott Welch
I have a love/hate relationship with this book. At times, he had me frustrated with his writing about himself, and sometimes he hooked me with how he applied his stories to the point of the book. The 4 stars is an average: 5 stars for the point of the book (Life is a story, what kind of story are you living?). It really got me thinking and I have probably thought about this book everyday since I read it at some point or other. But, I gave it a 3 for the rambletastic ridiculousness of his stories ...more
This is a Don Miller book. Hence,

-Charming anecdotes from his life

Don meets Steve, who wants to shoot a movie based off Blue Like Jazz, Don doesn't like them changing his life to appeal to moviegoers, Don realizes he is living a lame story, Don embarks to rectify, Don dates a girl, Don hikes a mountain, Don bikes across the country, Don matures.

-Self-depreciating wit

Don at no point brags and any acheivement mentioned is tempered by mention of a personal failing. He's unflaggingly artless in the
Matthew Robbins
I’m not a Donald Miller fan-boy. Let’s just make that clear and get it out of the way.

Despite being a not-entirely-un-trendy Christian man in his twenties, I never read Blue Like Jazz. In fact, the only Donald Miller book I had encountered was Searching For God Knows What, which I quit halfway through (which I almost never do). I guess I saw why some people were drawn to his writing, but I just didn’t connect. At all.

Then, I read his new book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

You should see t
I adore Donald Miller for his self-deprecating humor and poetic
insights. However, reading him a few years after my initial
infatuation (I seriously thought I had a chance with him when he posed
for a picture with me at a book signing), I find myself unsettled with his conclusions mostly because they are fluff.
I want to commend his resurrection of the concept of our lives as stories. I think many youth today need to hear that. But the bulk of what he writes is Oprah-esque admonitions to serve othe
Karen L.
I loved this book.I listened to the author reading,audio version, which I highly recommend. He has a wonderful conversational style of writing. I liked his honesty. He shares stories from his life freely, sharing both his good and bad choices through both humorous as well as serious stories. Some of the stories caused me to belly laugh and others, like the death of his friend's wife made me sob. He shares about his father leaving when he was a child and about his finding his father later as an a ...more
After getting past the first 8 chapters, "A Million Miles" started getting very thought provoking and I was quite challenged by some of the ideas that Miller shares. The idea of creating a story, taking the skills and abilities that God has given you and doing something with them, rather than waiting for something to happen to you, has struck a chord.

As a caveat, that there are Rob Bell-esque tones in here, and I disagree with some of the theology that Miller spouts throughout the book. However
I read Blue Like Jazz, Miller’s first and wildly successful memoir, in what seems now another life and another frame of mind. But Donald Miller is travelling with me in a freakish parallel universe. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years tracks Miller learning to view his life through a camera lens. This hook, life as a story, snagged my inner writer, pulling me through the book as Miller sharpens his point.

The book begins as Miller is approached to edit Blue Like Jazz into a movie script, turning
girl writing
I've stumbled upon several blogs all having to do with improving quality of life by being unconventional. While reading the Blog of Impossible Things, I came across this book. With the magic of e-books, I had the book in my hands and read by the end of the evening. I laughed out loud at the first page and cried at the last. What an unique approach to living a meaningful life...from the book: "I wondered if life could be lived more like a good story in the first place. I wondered if a person coul ...more
free preview copy from Thomas Nelson publishers. I was so excited when I heard Donald Miller had a new book out, and even more excited when I got the news I was getting a free copy. then I got the book and read it. Oh bummer.
The book isn't bad, persay. it's just not life altering for me. Maybe it's one of those subtle books, that I'll find I keep remembering and thinking about later. But it definitely didn't strike me as I was reading it. I felt more like, okay, I'm going to listen to more about
So read the Narnia series in fourth grade and did not realize it was a Christian allegory until it was pointed out to me in college. I just thought it was a kick-ass fantasy story! Donald Miller IS a Christian writer, but I think it does his books a disservice and might put other readers off who could benefit from his hilarious insights by making him a square peg.

Miller writes in such a way that you are aware of his beliefs, but they don't exclude you, should you not share them. In fact, I want
Donald Miller is a one-of-a-kind writer. His talent is a rare gift. He is one of the few that can tell a story about himself and get out of his own way.

In "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years," he explores what makes a story great. The big question the book asks is, "Can my life be a great story?"

Miller writes, "the elements that made a story meaningful [are] the same that made a life meaningful."

A good story has a protagonist – the good guy. That's the person in the story you love or want to be
Kevin Schneider
Quotes from the book...
"People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain."

"fear isn’t only a guide to keep us safe; it’s also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life."

"It made me wonder if the reasons our lives seem so muddled is because we keep walking into scenes in which we, along with the people around us, have no clear idea what we want."

"God wants us to create beautiful stories, and whatever it i
Paul Angone
The main way A Million Miles in Thousand Years struck me was the way Donald Miller danced around this idea that many of us are waiting to act the lead role of our own stories. Literally, sitting at home, smoking a cigarette, hoping our agent will call. We want God to write some heroic scenes where we get to rescue the girl, make a million, kiss the girl, save the bus full of kids from the upcoming cliff while we’re on the phone making a few more million, and then relax on a tropical island (whic ...more
Ben Zajdel
Donald Miller was in a funk. He had written a bestseller, and was now a much sought after speaker. He was accomplished. But for some reason, all of his success didn't bring the climatic ending that he was hoping for. He felt lost. Then he received a call from two men who wanted to turn his book, Blue Like Jazz, into a movie. Miller was unsure of how to turn his book, part memoir and part collection of essays, into a movie. So the two men came to visit him, and teach him about story.

From there M
Brian Eshleman
WOW! If five stars and that exclamation didn't tell it, this was a great book. Donald Miller manages to tell us a lot about our story through his story, especially because he is so honest about his own flaws that have persisted or have even been magnified through his previous success. He is one. He is candid. He is able to maintain a tone that makes the reader believe he is "just talking", all the while choosing figurative language that is so perfect that he must have come through dozens of othe ...more
Willie Krischke
A few years ago, Don Miller was a promising young writer with a unique voice and some things to say. And then he had to go and become a conference speaker.

I don't blame him; there's a lot of money in speaking at conferences, and not that much in writing a book every 3 years, even if you have one on the New York Times bestseller list. Writers make pretty good conference speakers, but conference speaking ruins pretty good writers.

Conference speakers have to tell a joke, or say something cute, or d
"Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo."

That single insight, from the first page of the book, effectively distills the wisdom of 288 pages down into one sentence.

In A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller writes of how collaborating on a screenplay based on his life transformed his perspective on life, and then transformed the living of his life. As he thought on the fictional story of his life, he began to see his real life as a story, and that, as the sa
I began reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years two months ago. After the first couple chapters, I thought "This is just Donald Miller, desperate for another hit book, riding the tails of what made Blue Like Jazz work." It wasn't long until I discovered he was on to something much bigger than in his first book.

Miller discusses in depth the elements of story and how they apply not only to movie scripts and novels, but to each individual's life. The principal is quite interesting in itself and
I went into this not knowing what to expect. I haven't read any of Miller's other books; several of my friends think of him very highly, and I was really introduced to him (theoretically, not actually) because one of my friends works closely with him professionally. So, when I heard he had a new memoir, I figured I would give it a try, and was generously gifted a copy of this book by said friend.

I came away from it with mixed feelings. It's a good quick read, although I can see reading it slowly
I can't quite recall how I first heard about the books of Donald Miller--whether it was through a friend or a web site recommendation. However, I do know that I read his book, "Searching for God Knows What" before the book for which he is best-known, "Blue Like Jazz." And while I like "Jazz" a great deal, it's always been "Searching" that has stuck with me and been my favorite book that Miller has written.

Until now.

"A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" may have replaced "Searching" as my favorit

This month, I read my first-ever Donald Miller book. Donald Miller is best known for Blue Like Jazz. His new release is A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. The book describes how Miller discovers what makes a good story while co-writing a script based on his popular book, Blue Like Jazz. Miller is transformed by the realization he could live a "better story." As he begins to make changes in his life, he encounters pain, joy, and a sense of purpose.

Miller's writing style is conversational. He is
Gabriella Gill
10 out of 5 stars.

I first heard about this book three years ago at a Christian camp, and I started reading it as soon as I got home, and I didn't stop.
Miller had me hooked at the opening lines of the author's note.
Miller is the kind of guy that I believe that almost anyone can relate to. It isn't until you read his book that you see just how much you've taken your life for granted, and at 15 years old, it completely changed the way that I saw everything. This book, besides the bible, is the no
In the book, Miller discusses his experience editing his life to be made into a screenplay. Throughout the process, he learns more about what makes a meaningful story and realizes his life is comfortable and easy, but not the story he wants it to be. One of his primary realizations was that life involves character transformation — it’s not about achieving a certain goal or reaching certain socially agreed upon milestones like graduating, marrying, and reproducing. Instead, it’s about how the exp ...more
This book is a like an unexpectedly good cheap wine that pairs well with life crisis, Ecclesiastes, and long late-night talks with friends (all of which are on my plate currently). It provides provides a common language to talk about big life decisions. Definitely the book I needed right now.
Jim Crotty
Donald Miller does a masterful job in describing his own painful life experiences in directing the reader to the essential realization of "the myth of utopia" and how unrealistic expectations cause so much trial and heartache in this world. The tearful journeys of others are also expertly interwoven into a narrative that is all-too-familiar. But underlying it all he brings the reader back to hope, hope found through love and the simple graces of acceptance and kindness. Miller holds nothing back ...more
Holly Broadbent
a must-read. i wasn't really sure where he was going with this at first and wasn't really excited about finishing but then he hits you with his "inciting incident". What a great, inspirational story. I guess I need to amp up my story now! Plus, he's from Portland :)
Danica Holdaway
This book recharged my batteries and got me to take a look at my life and what I want. We DO have the opportunity to "edit" or rewrite our lives at any given point, and what a gift that is!
Angela Blount
3 Stars (Not rounded up only because this reader didn't feel it quite stood up to 'Searching For God Knows What'.)

Following a similar pattern to Donald Miller's past works, this book is more or less a chronological collection of pseudo-philosophical essays and quirky stories—the majority from the period of time in which an independent film company sought out and worked with the author in an attempt to turn his first book, Blue Like Jazz, into a screenplay and eventual movie. Told with Miller's
Readers who bought this also bought, 'Your Best Life Now' by Joel Oesteen

PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. I would not recommend this to anyone. I loved his book "Blue Like Jazz" in high-school, but this latest from Donald Miller does not match up. Donald Miller concludes life is NOT ultimately fulfilled by 'glorifying God' or doing good things, but rather living a life worth living. A life full of risk, adventure, and ANYTHING out of the ordinary and out of your comfort zone. I'm feel sorry that th
"Blue Like Jazz" and "Million Miles" are bookends to everything that's happened to Donald Miller since he began writing professionally, and while you could read one without the other, you'd miss so much of what's great about both. If you read and enjoyed Blue Like Jazz at all, I suspect you'll like this one even better. Many gen X Christians feel like Donald Miller is the friend they've never met but still rely on, and it's good to know that his newest collection of thoughtfulness and provocatio ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Donald Miller grew up in Houston, Texas. Leaving home at the age of twenty-one, he traveled across the country until he ran out of money in Portland, Oregon, where he lives today.

Harvest House Publishers released his first book, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance, in 2000. Two years later, after havin
More about Donald Miller...
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality Searching for God Knows What Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road To Own a Dragon: Reflections on Growing Up Without a Father Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy

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“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” 3796 likes
“Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.” 323 likes
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