Title: Blue Like Jazz
Author: Donald Miller
Length: 242 p.
Genre: memoir/Christian Spirituality
Banter Points: Wow. That's a cheap thing for a Word Nerd to say about a book, but well, sometimes even Word Nerds are at a bit of a loss for a good description. Again. Wow.
Here's the thing about this book: It's honest. Honest about life, honest about writing, honest about God and faith. Startlingly, shockingly honest. And well-written.
"I never liked jazz music," Miller writes in his intoduction author's note, "because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night, when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music. Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. ... I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened."
What follows is Miller's recounting of his developing understanding of God and how he came to resolve his frustrations with the post-modern church and how Christians acted toward others.
Click here for the first chapter, for a taste of Miller's style and the content of the book.
Bummer Points: While Miller's book is fantastic, he doesn't give much advice for anyone else on how to answer the questions he struggled with in his own life. The book is not a road map, but rather like a slide show of somebody else's vacation.
Word Nerd recommendation: Thumbs up. Miller has a couple other books out and they are on the list of things Word Nerd wants to read in the future.