So I finally remembered to grab my copy of Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller when I was walking out the door today. Everyone’s fascinated that I remembered right? I’ve only been talking about it for a while. I really can’t put up any defense because I really don’t have a good excuse.
So here’s what I thought.
I like the story behind the title. I won’t tell you, you have to read the book to understand. With that said, I feel like I couldn’t get in the right head space for this book. The sub-title was “Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality” so I should have read it as a person who doesn’t believe or has little belief in God. I feel like I got to that point and then he would say something and I would be like “What?”. I just couldn’t get there. The beginning of the book was rougher for me than the end of the book. I think it was because he gained more faith at the end of the book and I could relate better.
On Miller himself….well, I think he tries to write smarter than he is in some points and then tried to be 20 years younger in others. He lived in a “pretty cool house” (pg. 15) and talks about Eminem(pg 106). To me that sounded like he was 40 reminiscing about his college days or trying to connect to a younger audience. For a while I couldn’t figure out if he was being sarcastic about the house. Then he said something about Reed College in Portland, Oregon and how the students “love to dialogue” (pg 42). If you’re trying to relate and use Eminem or say things like “pretty cool house” then you don’t say that they “love to dialogue” or that’s what I think. I could totally be out of touch on that.
Then I had a what moment when he brought up the movie About a Boy (pg 180). If I remember right that wasn’t an overly popular movie so when he referenced it, I scratched my head, thought a while and then said “Oh, yeah, that movie”. It worked for what he needed it for. He referenced playing a slot machine at one point and I scratched my head again. The first third of the book I scratched my head a lot. The cartoons, I thought, were really cute. And I really did start to somewhat enjoy it like 60% of the way through.
He did make some good points like, God still pursues people. There were points of the book where I questioned his writing but there were some really eloquently written sentences that forced me to appreciate him as a writer or person. More than the writer than the person. That’s because I was having a hard time getting over that it was a book on “Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality”. Not that I don’t like people who aren’t Christians but because of how he put other things.
Some random things I wrote along the way.(because I’m classy and write in books) I didn’t edit any of these things because I don’t feel like it. “He connects ‘Child-like’ stories and intellect. But what kind of sermons is he listening to if he can’t find the intellect and the adult-ness that can be carried from childhood to adult? You need a platform or somewhere to start” (pg 31) “He probably comes back to see her and she died of tropic fever or something and then he feels guilty” (pg. 41 and I was wrong) “Is his magic my miracle/joy?” (pg 60) Let’s all follow Eminem “Really? THAT’S who you pick?” (pg 106) “Boy Meets World addressed that today. That is how it’s portrayed” (pg 176)
So I know that took a long time for me to get to but that’s what it is and I hope that there’s some appreciation to the review of Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. If you have a review of this or any thoughts, let me know I’d like to hear what others thought of it. I really do, I promise!