Reading Review: Embrace Whimsy

One of my Finish Year Resolutions is to read 50 books. I thought it might be fun to do a quick review each week for the book I’m reading. Books are better read together… Ok, I just made that up, but just go with it.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

I’ve read this book before. This is the book that inspired the insanity that was running a marathon. Inspiring books are always good to read at the beginning of the year. I’ve mentioned this book several times so today I just want to share one of my favorite parts.

A little background, in case you aren’t familiar, Donald Miller wrote a book called Blue Like Jazz. Some movie guys contacted Don to turn that book into a movie. Through the process of “editing his life” to turn it into a good story for the movie, Don wondered if perhaps real life could be lived in a way that would be a good story. In Million Miles he talks about this editing process and about story and about the elements that go into a good story and a good life.

In the early stages of exploring the idea of living a good story, Don is having a conversation with a friend and asks him what it takes to live a great story. His friends response is that you have to “embrace whimsy”. His definition of whimsy is “the nagging idea that life could be magical; it could be special if we were only willing to take a few risks.”

I love that idea! It makes me think of Disney World.

Don goes on to define a story as “a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.” The greater the “something”, the better the story. The greater the conflict, the better the story. The greater the risks, the better the story.

This year, I hope I live a good story. I hope I’m willing to take a few risks and that I can embrace whimsy.

I highly recommend the reading of this book. Check it out here.

What are you reading right now?

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4 responses to “Reading Review: Embrace Whimsy

  1. Joanna January 23, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    That’s a great finish year resolution. I’m doing a pretty similar one- I’m aiming to read 15,000 pages worth of non-fiction which works out to 50-80 average sized books.

    I’ve read A Million Miles twice already, but might put it back on my list again for this year. I found the idea of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, taking risks and choosing to do worthwhile things being necessary to create a meaningful life to be quite provoking. That idea was partially responsible for my decision to go on a mission trip, something that ended up being an amazing experience.

    • Chrystal January 23, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      That’s awesome Joanna – 50-80 non-fiction books is a big goal. What are some of the books you hope to read this year?

      • Joanna January 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        I’m aiming to get through some of the modern Christian classics like John Stott’s The Cross of Christ and John Piper’s Desiring God. I’m planning to read a few on marriage because I figure I should put being single longer than I expected to good use by learning something. I’m also planning to do some reading on topics I didn’t get to learn about in depth (or at all) at university like anthropology and social theory.

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