Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller

There really is no way to summarize this book, Blue Like Jazz, other than to say it is a collection of non-religious thoughts on religion, as the author, Donald Miller, points out. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book at Barnes and Noble a couple years back. I guess I was interested in the cover and the praise my friends gave it. Turns out none of my friends have even read it though, so I'm not entirely sure what was going through my mind when I picked it up. Must have been the cover alone. It really is a pretty cover.

I liked that this book was honest. From the start, Miller tells his story, regardless of the disgust it has brought from the staunch, traditional Christian community. He talks about girls (and the lack of girls) and of pipes (and the lack of pipes) and God (and the lack of God). He discusses the people he's met and how their views on Christianity and life helped him realize his path. He talks about friendships and growing.

The novel, if I can call it that without the literary community coming after me with pitchforks, was scattered. Sequence was foregone for conversation, and even though events occurred in a different order than they were relayed, I never really noticed as a reader. Instead, I found myself pondering on my own beliefs and recognizing people in my life who reflected the characters in his. I teared up a time or two as Miller discussed life and death and I laughed at some of the situations he found himself in. It was as if Donald Miller was sitting across from me just spilling his heart out on the table over a nice cup of Earl Grey.

I heard someone is developing a movie based on Blue Like Jazz. I can't figure out how to make a movie from this book, but I guess that's why it's not my job to do so. Overall, this is a good, thought-provoking read and gives a glimpse of the heart of the emerging church in America. It's worth the read, even if you're only interested in his stories of living in the woods or how he failed at being cool.



  1. Great review! I love this book. As a single, educated woman, I feel pretty alienated by Christian culture, though my faith is very important to me. I'm just not a fan of the cultural part of it. I enjoyed the honesty with which he wrestled with some questions about God. Let's face it, there are tough questions!

    He's got a follow-up book too called "Searching for God Knows What." I'll confess, I've never gotten all the way through it because the first chapter is annoyingly weird (real lit crit terms there), but I think I'll bust through it one of these days, because I really did like "Blue Like Jazz."

    I'm enjoying your book reviews. Short, to the point, and a nice little diversion from quilting/sewing. Not that I don't enjoy those posts too. :)

  2. I loved this book. Skip the movie!


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