Reseña: Un largo camino de mil años

Un largo camino de mil años, de Donald Miller

Esta es la segunda vez que leo este libro. La primera vez, lo hice porque una amiga de la familia lo recomendó; la segunda vez, lo leí porque pensé que era tiempo de visitar de nuevo algunas de sus ideas. Como algunos de ustedes ya sabrán, este libro no es de ficción, pero definitivamente es uno de los mejores que he leído.

Todo comienza cuando Donald Miller recibe una llamada de dos productores de cine que leyeron su libro Tal como el jazz y quieren convertirlo en una película. En un principio, Donald está entusiasmado con el proyecto, pero apenas se sientan a escribir el guion, comienza a notar los pequeños cambios que le están haciendo a la historia para volverla más interesante. Es ahí cuando se da cuenta de que, en realidad, su vida no es interesante y así es como empieza su viaje en búsqueda de una mejor historia.

“Si vieras una película sobre un hombre que desea tener un Volvo y que para conseguirlo trabaja durante años, no te pondrías a llorar cuando al final lo vieras salir del estacionamiento con su auto nuevo, probando los limpiaparabrisas. Tampoco le contarías a tus amigos que viste una hermosa película ni te irías a casa y pondrías música de fondo para reflexionar sobre la historia. La verdad es que una semana después ni te acordarías de lo que viste, a menos que te hubieras sentido robado y quisieras que te devolvieran el dinero. Nadie llora al final de una película que trata sobre un hombre que quiere comprarse un Volvo. […] Si lo que decidimos hacer con nuestra vida no es adecuado para crear el argumento de una película que valga la pena, entonces tampoco nos servirá para darle sentido.”

Un largo camino de mil años es un libro personal que además de narrar el viaje del mismo autor, cuenta las historias de las muchas personas que conoció en el camino, abarcando desde los eventos felices, casi fantásticos, hasta las los ciclos que acaban trágicamente.

Uno de mis aspectos favoritos de este libro es que no es una de esas obras filosóficas que nos llevan reflexionar lo absurda que puede es la vida y a examinar las profundidades de la naturaleza humana. El retrato de Dorian Gray es así y es probablemente uno de mis tres libros favoritos, pero su significado filosófico definitivamente no es la razón por la cual lo leo y re-leo cada que puedo. Lo que realmente me gusta de Un largo camino de mil años es que es un libro simple, escrito de manera simple (a veces incluso boba) que nos invita a ver la vida desde el punto de vista de un narrador. Miller argumenta que la vida no carece de significado, no es absurda y no necesita estar llena de transgresión y extremos para ser interesante; como cualquier buena historia, la vida sólo necesita tener propósito.

Esta es una lectura rápida y sencilla que habla de la vida, lo bueno, lo malo y todo lo que se encuentra en medio. El autor es cristiano y, dado que es un libro personal, obviamente hay temas cristianos, pero nunca se siente como un bibliazo a la cara. Como cristiana, yo lo disfruté muchísimo, pero tengo el presentimiento de que no-creyentes lo van a disfrutar también.

  Mi edición:  edición para Kindle.
Mi edición: edición para Kindle.

Review: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

This is the second time I’ve read this book. The first time I read it, I did it because a friend of the family recommended it, the second time I did it because I felt like it was time to revisit some of its ideas. As some of you may already know, this is not a fictional book, in fact, it is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read.

It all starts when the author, Donald Miller, gets a call from a couple of film-makers. They’ve read his book Blue like Jazz, and they want to turn it into a movie. Donald is relatively excited to do the project, but as soon as the three of them team up to start writing the script, he starts to notice all the little changes the film makers are doing to make the story more interesting and realizes that his life isn’t interesting at all. Thus begins his search not for meaning, but for a better story.

“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.”

This is a personal book that narrates not only the author’s own journey, but also the stories of the many people Miller encountered along the way, from the happy, almost whimsical events to the tragic ending of things.

One of my favorite things about this book is that it is not a philosophical masterpiece that send us on this path of reflection and self-awareness. It does not point out the absurdities of life and the depths of human nature. The Picture of Dorian Gray is like that and it is probably one of my three favorite books of all time, but its philosophical meaning is not why I read it and re-read it every time I can.

What I really like about A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is that it is a simple book written in a simple (sometimes even silly) manner that invites us to see our lives from a storyteller point of view. Miller’s point is that life doesn’t have to be meaningless or absurd, it doesn’t need to be full of transgressions to be interesting; like any good story, life just needs to have purpose.

This is a quick, easy read about life’s ups and downs, and all that is in between. The author is Christian and since this is a personal book, it obviously has Christian themes, but it never feels like you got slapped in the face with a Bible. I, as a Christian, enjoyed it thoroughly, but I have a feeling that open-minded non-believers will enjoy it as well.

  My edition:  Kindle edition.
My edition: Kindle edition.

What I read during Summer (2014)

It’s time to talk about what I read during Summer. This time I read a little bit of everything; it was pretty interesting.

A Heart of Worship

My edition: Paperback, published March 1st 1994 by Creation House.

For my Christian readers, the first one is A Heart of Worship, by LaMar Boschman. It’s a great study about what it means to Worship in spirit and truth. It’s short, easy to read, and well researched.

This reading is for everyone who wants to know about Worship, and for those in the music ministry, it should be obligatory.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

My edition: Paperback, published May 10th 2012 by Penguin Books Ltd.

John Green came back to my bookshelves this month with Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-written by David Levithan.

The story revolves around a guy named Will Grayson, another guy named Will Grayson, and their friend Tiny Cooper. Both Wills meet on a night in Chicago, and a weird friendship is born when Tiny decides he wants to date the other Will Grayson.

The book is quite funny, but I can’t say I like the story. Both Will Graysons are cool, but I have a serious problem with the Tiny Cooper character, mostly because he’s arrogant, self-centred (a prick, actually), but for some reason everyone loves him. Nevertheless, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy reading it.

I recommend it only to those who are already fans of John Green or David Levithan, or just love Young Adult novels.

La noche en que Frankenstein leyó el Quijote
(The night Frankenstein read Don Quixote)

My edition: Paperback, published September 18th 2012 by Planeta.

The night Frankenstein read Don Quixote, by Santiago Posteguillo was amazing. It’s not really a story, but it presents the stories behind some of the most important literary works. Who invented the alphabet? Where was Don Quixote written? What book managed to get published during the times of the Inquisition? What would Charles Dickens do if he lived today?

It is well-written, very informative, and definitely very entertaining. A quick journey through the  history of literature, recommended for everyone who wants to know a little more about what they read.