Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller


Yikes. My last book blog post was over nine months ago. “He ought to be ashamed,” you’re thinking. Yes, I ought.

But if any book would be worthy of bringing me back into the blogging world, this would be it. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of wander and wonder. Donald Miller recounts the story of his uprooting from Houston where he grew up and takes you along with him and his friend Paul on a freeing journey to a new life in Oregon. It is autobiographical in nature, but along the way he postulates over the deep questions of life, always circling around to God and attempting to reconcile his own doubts and comfortable way of living with the new insights that only a 3-month span on the open road in the great American West can reveal. Miller’s writing is fluid and poignant. It often feels like he’s gotten inside your head and put words to your own thoughts. The story he tells is interesting, funny, and nostalgic. So many times while reading, I felt the longing to take a road trip out west with no end point or schedule in mind.

Beyond being an entertaining book about two young, carefree guys traveling across the country, I really feel like this is a book about worship. Miller’s insights into the whys of life, God, and creation leave you with a new-found awe for who God is. I often recounted his analogies and descriptions of wonderment to help round out my understanding of God in my own quiet times. I would give some examples, but don’t want to spoil reading it for yourself.

Though, perhaps, not the best of Donald Miller’s books, this is another instant personal favorite. I would highly recommend… 5/5 stars.

(posted by Jeff Miller)


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