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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2015
After decades of failed relationships and painful drama, Donald Miller decided hed had enough. Impressing people wasnt helping him connect with anyone. Hed built a life of public isolation, yet he dreamed of meaningful relationships. So at forty years old he made a scary decision: to be himself no matter what it cost.
From the author of Blue Like Jazz comes a book about the risk involved in choosing to impress fewer people and connect with more, about the freedom that comes when we stop acting and start loving. It is a story about knocking down old walls to create a healthy mind, a strong family, and a satisfying career. And it all feels like a conversation with the best kind of friend: smart, funny, true, important.
Scary Close is Donald Miller at his best.
Donald Miller is the author of several books, including the bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He helps leaders grow their businesses at www.storybrand.com. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their chocolate lab, Lucy.
jj2010CanadaAge: 45-54Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Different than expectedApril 21, 2015jj2010CanadaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3Scary Close is the first book of Donald Miller that I have read. I found his writing much different than I expected, because of his initial honesty in the book, which I found surprising coming from a Christian. The thoughts and life stories he shared at the beginning felt quite secular. As I read on, I came to the realization that it was his way of being open and honest with people who are seeking and searching in their lives, and encouraging others to do the same. I came to greatly appreciate his honest, open approach. He shared so many of his own personal hang-ups, such as his dating relationships. One thing I will take away from this book is that in order for us to succeed at relationships, we must be open and honest. He encouraged me not to be afraid of the outcome and stop trying to predict reactions of others so carefully.
This book also spoke to me, in how he was so encouraged by what a friend said to him (Bob Goff). It reminded me how much a good friend or acquaintance can help to encourage or to enlighten us about ourselves- good or bad. And the power we can have to speak truth and hope into each others lives.
I would recommend this book to anyone in a relationship- dating or marriage. It helps you to take stock of where things are at and the relationships you are in.
I was provided this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Simply EmmyBacolod City, PhilippinesAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Book Review: Scary Close by Donald MillerApril 4, 2015Simply EmmyBacolod City, PhilippinesAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Since I read Blue Like Jazz, I've started to like Miller's writings. He's straight-forward, honest, no-fuss writing appeals to me. He explained faith in a way like no one ever could, I think. In fact, the next time I'm asked why I believe what I believe by philosophical people who wants to start an argument with me, I will give him the book and let it explain. Then, he can tell me his thoughts after that.
While the concepts he wrote in his book are simple, yet they are profound and are often the most difficult to do. I would agree with him when he wrote that often we exchange quantity instead of quality when it comes to relationships. Although he is a man, I can relate to his kind of personality. He also wrote about how we may manipulate our relationships and know when to lovingly walk away from it.
Don talks about the different phases of his relationships with self and with others which I am certain reflects about us, too. I dare say that the journey is not Don's but ours, too. Only if we are honest enough to admit.
What I especially liked in this book is how Don stressed the importance of accountability, being willing to listen to people who care about you and your other relationships, be teachable, seek out ways to change yourself for the better.
This book is not about finding the right woman to marry or about marriage at all, Scary Close is about finding authenticity in relationships. Relationship to self. Relationship to others. Because it is only when you are honest to who you really are can you finally be honest with others. This book will encourage you to be more authentic. When you are true, all the true people in your life will show up.
Booklover104 Stars Out Of 5I enjoyed the journey with Miller to be Scary Close and be more transparentMarch 20, 2015Booklover10Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Donald Miller is probably one of those names that most people have heard about. He has written Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. The thing I appreciate the most about Miller is his honesty. Even if it makes him less popular among people, he's not afraid to wrestle out his thoughts with others, including his readers.
Scary Close is a book that is a bit challenging to people like myself, who are introverts. Sometimes it takes a lot to be around people and to open up and be honest. I enjoyed going on the journey with Miller as he found how to balance life with an extrovert and the own problems that come with being an introvert. Honestly, I could relate easily to his desire to rent a cabin and be away from people for an extended time just to write. I think all introverts can relate to the always occurring problem of being with people and opening up and risking yourself with those who enjoy and long for the spotlight vs. being alone in a room to recharge.
Miller holds nothing back in this book, even sharing some stories from his therapy sessions. He talks about his childhood experiences at school and other issues that I think most people would hesitate to tell their close friend, let alone a random reader. However, that's what I appreciated most. The honesty, transparency, and vulnerability. It revealed to me how much I long to be those things with certain people, but it comes at the risk of ignoring what others will think of you. Miller reminds his readers that life isn't supposed to be about "more" and "impressing others." There's more to life and happiness than that.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of this book
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5One man's torturous journey to intimacyMarch 8, 2015bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2Miller found out that being authentic was scary. He shares his experience of finding out that he was hiding his true self behind a reactionary construct of humor. He began to understand why he had created the act in the first place. He also realized that he had found at a young age that he could get respect from writing. But he began to wonder what it would be like if he dropped the act and began to trust being himself.
Miller takes us through his journey to intimacy, to a deep sense of meaning. He shares the retreat he went to, the counselor he saw, the books he read, the guys he talked to, and the woman who helped him (his then future wife, Betsy).
He shares his breakthroughs and the insights he gained. He recognizes the paradox of relationships. Individuals must be independent and free in order to be with each other. Intimacy means we are independently together. (97) He was able to identify manipulation and control. You can't control somebody and have intimacy with them at the same time. (95)
Sometimes Miller had to learn lessons that seemed obvious to me. For example, I'm convinced honest is the soil intimacy grows in. (168) He does mention that women seem to have an easier time of it than men. So perhaps men will identify with the torturous route Miller took to honesty and intimacy. He owes a great deal to Betsy as she was stability through his journey, even when he acted like a jerk.
This book is not pushy Christian. Miller does share his Christian experience but is also not embarrassed to say he hadn't attended church for over five years. His thoughts will probably resonate with the younger generation who question the value of community worship and fellowship.
People who are discovering who they are might appreciate this book, especially men. It is very experience oriented, as opposed to instructional. Miller just shares his own experiences, lots of his own experiences. I think I know more about him than I ever wanted to. Men may need the type of encouraging experience found in this book. Women might find themselves repeatedly saying, Well, I already knew that.
Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Intimacy 101February 23, 2015Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3Going into a job interview, I used to worry about over-selling myself. At some point, I decided that I would rather lose out on a job opportunity than to suffer the indignity six months down the road of wondering if my boss was wishing she could find that stellar employee she had thought she was hiring. Ive tried to have the same mindset with my family, thinking that it would be better to have them actually know me than to have them be impressed with me (although I wouldnt complain if both could be true). The fact that I attend a small church, webbed through and through with relationships, also requires a high degree of congruency. The person I am when Im sitting in the library teaching the Bible had better be the same person who stands in the parking lot and hollers at her (and sometimes other peoples) children!
This connection with other people and this vulnerability of being fully known was missing from Donald Millers life. As one of the eleven people in the universe who has not read Blue Like Jazz, I approached Scary Close with tabula rasa. Even so, I found the tale of his meandering quest for intimacy and the memoir-like account of his courtship with his wife to be refreshing and redemptive because, ultimately Hooray, he gets it!
Donald Miller spent his early adult years building a career based on an image that worked well for him, but he was brought up short when a wise counselor asked, How else will we connect with people unless we let them know us? It is profoundly lonely to realize that all your friends love an image that you have projected. The scary question always lurks: What if they knew the real me?
Miller helps his readers to see that most of us hide our truest selves beneath an outer ring or a character that we learn to play in order to win or to deserve love and acceptance. In his case, humor and intelligence made him feel powerful and professionally successful, but his dating life was a death spiral of codependency and resentment. Letting go of his need to be impressive and to control every atom in the universe was necessary in order for Miller to become the other healthy person in his relationship with Betsy. To expedite the process, he decided to hang out with better people, and soon found that he also wanted his work style to evolve from self-involved introvert to collaborative team-player.
As Miller interacted with his fiances family, he realized the same principle bears out in family life: transparency within the family is a predictor of emotional health and happiness in children. To this end, Scary Close offers help for recognizing and ending manipulative behavior, overcoming fear of intimacy, and avoiding the loss that comes from careful living.
Two concepts from Scary Close flashed like comets across my relational sky:
1. All relationships are teleological; i.e. going somewhere; living; alive and moving and becoming something. Married for nearly twenty-five years, I dont want to find one day that weve begun to coast downhill in our relationship just because we have taken it for granted and stopped working at it.
2. No human relationship will ultimately satisfy my heart, and even intimacy with God will not yield ultimate fulfillment on this planet. To expect otherwise is to deny the reality of our present condition of groaning within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body, (Romans 8:23). In the meantime, however, until that soul-healing is complete, it is wonderful to walk beside another fallen creature in understanding and acceptance, and to see in our children the fruit of having let them become scary close.
This book was provided by Nelson Books through BookLookBloggers in exchange for my unbiased review.
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