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Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy
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Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  12,827 ratings  ·  1,069 reviews
New York Times bestselling memoirist Donald Miller takes readers on his year-long journey to learn to abandon performance-based relationships and find real intimacy.

After decades of failed relationships and painful drama, Donald Miller decided he'd had enough. Impressing people wasn't helping him connect with anyone. He'd built a life of public isolation, yet he dreamed of
Audio CD, 5 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  12,827 ratings  ·  1,069 reviews

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David Steele
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
I admire Donald Miller. I admire his courage. I admire his tenacity. And I admire his ability to tell a story. Make no mistake - this guy can write!

Admiring Don Miller does not mean I agree with everything he believes. There's a good deal I disagree with. Yet I appreciate his gifts and insight. For me, reviewing a Don Miller book is like walking a tight rope. On one hand, I have conservative friends who question why I even read the guy. But Miller fans label my critique as "narrow" or "too evang
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Sorry Donald Miller. I'm giving this 3 stars. Don't get me wrong. It's vulnerable and honest. And on the other hand it's totally one note. Besty saved you. We get it. But chapters and chapters about one person wore me out. If you'd had more stories about other people who you shared intimacy with it would have meant more for me.

Also...I adore this author but...he was a little to "Guys are guys and Girls are girls" for me. Yawn.
Steve Husmann
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I devoured this book, as I always do with Don's writing. I feel ok calling him that because his books feel moe like a conversation with a friend than a traditional book. While A Million Miles... will probably always be my favorite of his books, this one hits a little more close to home. He details how his intimacy problems kept him from getting married until he was 42. As a 30 year old who hasn't dated much, I see a lot of the same trends in my own life. You get to a point where it's just more c ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Growing up, I loved Donald Miller's books. "Blue Like Jazz" changed my life in several ways, as well as "Searching for God Knows What." I've always been a big fan (I even got to meet Don!)

However, this book disappointed me. Maybe because I'm older or maybe because the book was just "meh" in general, but the magic was gone. This was really just one big long series of name dropping anecdotes under the guise of being a memoir.

I expected more of a "self-help" kind of thing--something more wise and
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, christian
As a believer and advocate of therapy, it THRILLS me to see an influential Christian leader and thinker embrace therapy. Miller’s book is an honest and vulnerable portrayal of his emotional hang ups, how it led to his toxic treatment of women and relationships, and how he overcame his deepest shame and insecurities. The book is written in a confessional style, and I appreciated Miller’s honesty and willing to be transparent.

Two minor quibbles. First, Miller’s portrays his wife Betsy as so flawl
Maya Senen
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Don's journey into marriage, with all the insights of his cultivated community of wisdom, reads like a collection of blog posts. Gone are the days of, "Blue Like Jazz" and, "Searching for God Knows What." Point taken, in so far as, if you are searching to be completed by someone (or some book, as it were), your premise guarantees disappointment. Nevertheless, this book felt like a really well-crafted hook to bring more people into the machine, and sell them online courses and seminars. I get it, ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
There were a lot of good ideas in the book but they were eclipsed by the casual sexism
Annie Rim
Mar 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews
Scary Close is a fast, easy read. Even while battling a cold and with an active child, I managed to read it in a couple of days. While I don't think the speed at which I read a book is telling of its quality, I will say Miller's style is approachable and engaging. His stories follow a definite theme, but also stand alone, which makes the book easy to pick up.

This is the third book by Miller that I've read and each time I finish, I feel slightly disappointed. Yes, a good story has been told and I
Lucille Zimmerman
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Picked it up last night. Almost finished it today.

I've read all his books. This is his best yet.

Donald is an incredible storyteller. His writing is simple and soft, and goes down easy.

Yet the truth of what he is saying is what psychogists try to teach their clients for years during therapy.

Don't wonder if you should get this book, just go do it.
Charles Dean
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just "binge read" this in one sitting. Loved it. It will be high on my list of books to recommend to couples. ...more
This book had a lot of "Oh, that's how I am" moments, which I love. I thought it focused a lot on how we have the power to change how we act in relationships, choosing to be open and intimate, which I think is true. But I think it's also important to remember that God is a big factor in that area. He shows us different ways of thinking and allows different circumstances into our lives for reasons that are sometimes apparent to us and sometimes aren't.

However, this was some kind of power in this
Zachary Foster
Aug 25, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So let me start off with a clarifier: I am not a big Donald Miller fan. I feel like his books are too light-weight, too airy, have no spiritual depth. I feel like after reading them I know more about Donald, but honestly have not learned much more than that. Which is fine if he is writing biography, but when his purpose is to write more than that, there is a disconnect somewhere.

A second clarifier for this book would be that I don't really feel like it applies to me. I'm not trying to sound cock
Very conflicted on this. On the one hand, a new Donald Miller book always feels like reconnecting with an old friend, and SCARY CLOSE provides nourishing food for thought on the subject of self-identity and relationships.
On the other hand, the repetition in Miller's books is starting to grate on me. Sure, they all have different themes and are quotable for different reasons, but every single one of them is a memoir. All six in a row! (Not counting the one on marketing.) And all of them are cente
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
From the publisher:
After decades of failed relationships and painful drama, Donald Miller decided he’d had enough. Impressing people wasn’t helping him connect with anyone. He’d built a life of public isolation, yet he dreamed of meaningful relationships. So at forty years old he made a scary decision: to be himself no matter what it cost.
From the author of Blue Like Jazz comes a book about the risk involved in choosing to impress fewer people and connect with more, about the freedom that comes
Hope Eifert
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I'd been wanting to read this book for a couple years. When I was younger, I felt like I had a hard time with relationships, because I couldn't figure out how to "be myself." Who even was "myself"? So I think I expected to deeply relate to this book.

However, I found as I read it, I didn't relate to him much at all. There were definitely some really good nuggets in the book, but all in all, I didn't relate to it much. I did keep thinking to myself "he has GOT to be an Enneagram 3," so for you 3's
Shannon Whitehead
Donald Miller has many more well-known books, but this was my first one by him. I just needed it at the time. It ended up being a lot of what I wanted from Daring Greatly by Brene Brown but didn't get—a relatable story of someone who struggles with vulnerability and how they've been able to make mind-shifts to move past that. My biggest beef with it was that it was too short. It felt half-baked and it didn't have to be. There was a lot of good, refreshing material but it often stopped prematurel ...more
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read the first Chapter and was hooked into thinking this is going to be a great piece of work. I looked excitedly at the table of contents and saw that it was a short book and would be a relatively quick read. So I game planned a savoring-type strategy. I would read only a little a day in order to make this wonderful topic last and treat it like a little treasure. The further I got into the book the more I realized this was far from the five star impression I originally had. I took a while to ...more
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wish I could recommend this book. I liked Blue Like Jazz, even loved A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. While I appreciated Miller's introspective perspective on intimacy, I can only describe this book as "icky." The name dropping was a major turnoff, and Miller himself comes across as borderline narcissistic. A better read on the subject of intimacy would be Andy Stanley's New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating. ...more
Stephen Lamb
Aug 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At first, one's impressions of the narrator of this book are that he's a complete asshole and a compulsive liar. Then you realize a better description would be to imagine an addict, one week into recovery, who becomes convinced he has all the answers and is ready to share them with others (almost as if he's a self-help author who has a book due), instead of having just taken the first steps to recovery. ...more
Sara Budarz
Dec 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Is it fair to rate a book that I didn't come close to finishing? I don't know, but here is the thing: Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life is one of my favorite books, ever. It has become the foundation of my way of life, of thinking about life as the writing of a story - one hopefully worth telling.
But after being gifted and falling in love with the brilliance of that book, I had gone back and read his earlier book, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligi
Another one where three stars is a compromise for me. I was reading this book with clients in mind, wondering as I read whether I could suggest it to young people who are struggling with authenticity, motivations and boundaries in their relationships.

For clients who wouldn't be bothered by Miller's frequent references to a deity and Jesus, I think Scary Close could be a good intro to common ways people use each other psychologically and why many people find themselves having the same relationshi
Katt Hansen
I really had to keep forcing myself to keep picking up this book.

At first I found the story interesting. Man who acknowledges that he's not perfect, talks about his problems with true intimacy through lots of anecdotes, but mostly in talking about his Betsy.

Then we just find out over and over again what a paragon this Betsy is (and who knows, perhaps she is?) to the point where I start to get annoyed and just want him to focus back on the topic at hand - that is the topic of intimacy and how t
What’s revolutionary about Don’s approach is not that he gives new information or achieves an unmatched level of brilliancy in his writing; rather, it’s that he admits to every human weakness he speaks about. I would say Don is unmatched in his painful honesty. But it’s this very honesty that makes his book impactful. Because the truth is, we are often like Don. You will nod and cringe at many of Don’s infamous personal confessions, knowing you've been in the same boat. While the thought of bein ...more
Nick Davies
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
At the core of this book is an important message, or a series of important and incisive points which almost coalesce into an important message, but for me this was obscured, chipped away at, and blunted by a number of aspects relating to the author and the way he was trying to put across his personal insight.

I picked up the book expecting a more general examination of men's psychology and sociology, and a discussion on the barriers to finding intimacy and contentment in relationships. The first
Brian Eshleman
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Donald Miller does it again. He frets that the maturation in his life has brought him to spend less time alone, and this may account for the shorter book as he has broadened his world to include a wife and a company. But, in which by this experience, he says more by saying less.

he is a little more serious, a little more sober. He doesn't go as far afield for his illustrations, choosing instead unknown flinching look at himself whether or not this impresses the reader – or the writer. But because
Lisa Carr
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book one reads and rereads. And then encourages everyone to read. Donald Miller holds nothing back. He is vulnerable and real as he intentionally begins to seek out others who make him better at relationship. And he takes us along with him and challenges us to do the same, to not settle for our broken ways and habits with others. He also spends a lot of time discussing the roles we play and why. This was life-giving for me to read about how we are not our jobs, our titles. I’ ...more
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-book-list
Good read about authenticity and intimacy.

"It's better to have somebody who is more in love with you than impressed by you."

Parents who are open and honest with their kids create an environment in which children are allowed to be human.

Stop worrying about what other people are thinking. That will drive you crazy. Just ask yourself if you're happy and what you want in a relationship. That's it. What's going on in other people's minds is none of your business.

(Moneyball clip.)
Jordan Carpenter
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Donald Miller wastes no time in Scary Close. He jumps in
with two feet by providing a transparent lens into his life with all of the different aspects of his relationships. He speaks of finding true intimacy with one another by taking off our masks and understanding the beautiful idea of being known.

A vulnerable resource that has plenty of practical tools to change your relationships for the better. A timely read.
Lara Lleverino
This was a hard book to read but such a good book to read. It brought to mind so many broken people and situations that unless they choose to step outside of themselves and do the hard work will perpetuate the disfunction they carry. Donald Miller is brutally honest about the struggle to be authentic and transparent but equally honest about the pain of not being so. Great great book! Wish I could buy a case of them!
Josh Solar
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
easily my favorite Donald Miller book. Scary Close seemed to be filled with so much potent wisdom and a heck of a lot less rambling that exists in most of his books. The chapter on parenting is worth the price alone. Such a wonderful writer fully coming into his gifts and sharing them with the world.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #50 Scary Close by Donald Miller 1 4 Mar 10, 2018 07:15AM  

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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

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