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A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

What I Learned While Editing My Life

Author Donald Miller
Narrator Donald Miller
Runtime 5.2 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher Thomas Nelson
Downloads ZIP MP3 M4B
Release Date October 25, 2010
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)
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.

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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.

But he gets rescued by two movie producers who want to make a movie based on his memoir. When they start fictionalizing Don's life for film--changing a meandering memoir into a structured narrative--the real-life Don starts a journey to edit his actual life into a better story. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years details that journey and challenges readers to reconsider what they strive for in life. It shows how to get a second chance at life the first time around.

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An inspirational read, humorous and touching
What makes a great life? That’s the question that Donald Miller stumbled into when a couple of movie producers started molding his life’s story into a story fit for the big screen. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life begins by setting the stage, explaining where Miller’s life was when he was approached by the producers, and then proceeds to explain what happened next. He uses his own experience at editing the story of his life to help others see how to improve their lives by creating a better story.

Like the other books that I’ve read by Miller, I found this book astounding. Miller’s self-deprecating style and knack for gleaning insight from everyday experiences make his books both enjoyable and profound. The fact that this audiobook edition is read by the author makes it even better. Every time I started listening, I felt as if I were sitting down with a good friend who was telling me what he had been up to and encouraging me to benefit from his experience. I walked away from each listening with ideas for how to better my life.

Hilarious at times, inciting tears at others, this is one book that you don’t want to miss.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free from the christianaudio Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Review by / (Posted on 6/13/2011)
The Importance of Story
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café:

Narrative therapy is a technique that emphasizes and focuses on people's stories. The therapist finds the ways the client has "written" a dysfunctional narrative and helps the client find new ways to tell his or her story. Words are powerful and really do make a difference in how we understand our world and respond to it, even our memories of it.

Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, recently released A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, in which he explores his own story and its relevance. The book starts of quite slowly with no clear sense of direction. In the audiobook version, which I listened to, Miller narrates it himself, which is great. However, his almost apathetic tone makes it start even more slowly.

However, eventually the threads all tie together, with Miller not as much exploring how to re-tell his story, but how to engage in a story at all. He tells some beautiful and interesting tales along the way. I'm not sure how many are completely true and how many are embellished, but it doesn't really matter. His point comes across well that story is important. Without it, we wind up living meaningless lives.

John Eldredge often says the same thing, saying we do live in a story, but we have to wake up to it. Miller also quotes my psychology idol, Viktor Frankl, and his most famous (although not at all best) book, Man's Search for Meaning. Frankl's thesis for psychotherapy is that our primary drive is for meaning, and without it, we die.

Miller in some ways applies this idea and says that we make meaning through story. Without a meaningful story, we essentially live dead lives, just functioning according to the daily grind. Miller has some powerful imagery from his own life to elucidate this point.

I would generally agree that story elucidates our meaning. However, I would say that meaning comes through relationships. Ultimately, I believe our primary purpose is to love God and love others. We don't necessarily have to have a grand story to achieve that. Perhaps our meaning is to do so through the daily grind. But that transforms the grind into something transcendent.

It's not an either/or. But I think we have to remember the goal. The goal is not to have a story (and I don't think Miller would say that, either). The goal is to love God and others. We need a context and a motivation to do that. Finding our narrative can provide us just that, in turn giving us enough life and energy to love and be loved.

All-in-all, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a good book. I liked it more than Blue Like Jazz. It made me rethink some of the ways I have told parts of my story (I may post on that at another time). The unique thing is you have to have patience with the book. This actually fits, as we need patience with our story. Patience makes the end product so much more meaningful.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook in exchange for a review (with no obligation for a positive review).
Review by / (Posted on 1/23/2011)
My Favourite Audio For 2010
I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this audio. I love the concept that our lives are story, that they can be made better or worse depending on how we want to live. Simple but so powerful.

I think this has to be my favourite book of 2010, as its written in a style that really captivated me, easily taking me on the author’s journey with him. His descriptions of emotions, characters, situations, scenery and the mundane is just brilliant and I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

I took a while to listen to it as I didn’t want to rush and miss anything out, by not giving it my full attention.

Donald Miller’s narration is excellent, adding to the enjoyment of the book. I’m a new comer to Miller’s work but I will definitely be looking out for more in the future.

Thanks to’s reviewers program for this copy.
Review by / (Posted on 1/5/2011)
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