Jun 24, 2021
Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road
Posted by Donald Miller

Follow Don and Paul as they dive headlong into the deepest of human questions and find answers outside words answers that have to be experienced to be believed.Day 1 Trips like ours are greener grass left unknown for fear of believing trite sayings sayings that are sometimes true But our friends back home live an existence under the weight and awareness of times a plFollow Don and Paul as they dive headlong into the deepest of human questions and find answers outside words answers that have to be experienced to be believed.Day 1 Trips like ours are greener grass left unknown for fear of believing trite sayings sayings that are sometimes true But our friends back home live an existence under the weight and awareness of times a place we are slowly escaping a world growing fainter by the hour and the mile Day 13 It feels again that we are leaving who we were, moving on into the people we will become, hopefully, people with some kind of answers, some kind of thing to believe tht makes sense of beauty, of romance Something that would explain the red glow against Paul s face, the red glow that seems to be coming off the console Did you notice the engine light is lit, bud I ask Day 83 I sit in the van, waiting for her to come out when I notice a window in one of the classrooms open, and a backpack comes falling out, spilling a few books onto the lawn After the backpack comes Elida, falling atop the pack and laying low, peeking back into the window to see if the teacher noticed She gathers her books, reaches into the classroom and closes the window, then runs toward the van as though this were a prison break As you read Through Painted Deserts, you ll soon realize this is not just one man s account of finding light, God, and beauty on the open road Rather, this book maps the jo

  • Title: Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road
  • Author: Donald Miller
  • ISBN: 9780785209829
  • Page: 213
  • Format: Paperback
  • Through Painted Deserts Light God and Beauty on the Open Road Follow Don and Paul as they dive headlong into the deepest of human questions and find answers outside words answers that have to be experienced to be believed Day Trips like ours are greener grass


    My new favorite author Donald Miller he wrote Blue Like Jazz and his friend Paul take a road trip from Texas to Oregon Miller believes all of us must leave home at some point to discover who we are really meant to be This book is a part of his journey towards himself and God.Miller feels most of us get caught asking how in life How do I get a good job How do I find a good wife How do I buy a nice house Yet Miller asks the why questions, which make his life difficult Why do I need a job Why do I [...]


    About life Great story Real Only complaint is unrealistic dialogue humans talk in contractions However, the adventures and messages in the book than make up for that one continuous error Debated about putting on Favorites shelf, but if I have to debate about it, then it s probably not a Favorite Close, though.


    When I first read this book, it was entitled Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance , and I picked it up because of the obvious allusion to Robert Pirsig s classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance not that I had ever read it, mind you I read it, really enjoyed it, and then had a friend tell me about Blue Like Jazz well over a year later I actually did not make the connection that it was Miller s story until well into BLJ when he made an oblique mention to his trip At any rate, it [...]

    Trevor Dailey

    Through Painted Deserts is an autobiographical account of Miller driving with his friend Paul from Texas up to Oregon in a Volkswagen camper van In many ways this book is a idealistic escape recounting an idealistic escape To summarize, Don and Paul slowly make their way up to Portland, OR, sleeping in their van mostly the entire way The friends encounter vehicular issues during their journey, sometimes as simple as a carburetor gas cap but sometimes much I don t want to give too much of the ac [...]


    I can t believe that the guy who wrote this book specifically emphasizing not feeling like you have to buy things to be happy now runs a marketing company for a living At any rate, this is early Donald Miller, and you can see the roots of what became the phenomenon of Blue Like Jazz This book is about a road trip It s pretty good, but I found it all a bit funny when I thought about the actual timeline of the events in the book you get Donald riffing deep about how hard it is to integrate back in [...]


    Midway through the book I was not enjoying the book terribly much, it was good, but it wasn t comparing to A Million Miles in a Thousand Years It wasn t too deep and I hadn t been awed by any truths yet, it was simply telling of the adventures Don and Paul had on their trip to Oregon, nothing too spiritually or otherwise deep Then I was reading it before class one day and the girl next to me excitedly exclaims, I love that book Doesn t it just make you want to go on a road trip And since that po [...]


    I had to put this book down I loved Blue Like Jazz, and saw this book for 5 at a used bookstore right before a long bus trip This book was great, while I was on the bus All the feelings of traveling and doing something new, hopes, dreams etcke this book enjoyable That is when you might actually care about all the fluff that this book contains about Miller s own road trip with his friend I found that once I got home and tried to read it, I felt like it was a waste of time reading for pages about [...]


    I loved this book despite its many flaws The writing is uneven The banter doesn t always come across that way and seems incredibly mean spirited Not at all related to the uneven tone, the author also periodically behaves like a complete jackass and apparently had no shame about it because he wrote it down and shared it with us without apology That said, sometimes the writing is truly beautiful And the author s experiences are similar to some of my own road trips in one way or another a couple of [...]

    Samantha Kurtz

    I purposely chose to read this book last out of all the Donald Miller books I knew it would be my favorite and it did not disappoint I ve always been attracted to Miller s writing style something about it really resonates with me It s of a conversational style of writing This book is about a road trip that Miller and a friend Paul take from Houston, TX to Portland, OR I think the subtitle to this book perfectly sums up the story Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road I really enjoyed this read [...]

    Elizabeth Hernandez

    After reading this I really want to read the other books in his repertoire It was a nice light read that made me thing about the plans I had originally made for my life Plans to see of the world than I ve seen so far and plans that didn t involve settling down in one location I like the idea that while God doesn t always give us all that we ask for He does give according to our needs and that the life He gave us is meant to be enjoyed with all His simple blessings We don t need much to be happy [...]


    This book made me want to sell everything, buy a VW van, get my own dog and travel the country with no agenda Essentially, the entitled rich kid s after college dream Some day I will get there A great book about traveling, God, and big questions One of the things that will stick with me from this book is at a point where he talks about Marriage as this beautiful companionship He was able to describe marriage as I have always thought about it It is pretty amazing to experience that now with Annie [...]


    Since I ve wanted to be friends with Donald Miller for quite some time, it was a pleasure to take a road trip with him and be reminded that God is dazzling us I feel like anytime I read Miller s writings, I m reminded of what is important not necessarily the specifics but the major ideas that make something worth the while Definitely a book I d recommend, really to anyone Even if you aren t interested in spirituality at all.


    It s an alright travelogue, but I like Miller s other work .

    Aunt Edie

    Narrated by Scott Brick Early Donald Miller Not the best book I ve listened to, nor the best book Miller has written, but it was certainly okay Brick is not my favorite narrator except he has one trait I appreciate his voice narration works at 1.5x speed so I know I can scoot through books he reads This has been sitting in my library since I bought it for a road trip ages ago We were following a similar route and I thought it would be a fun and thoughtful listen but we switched it off after only [...]

    Brad Erickson

    This book was pretty lame, especially when compared with the other book of Miller s I have read, Searching For God Knows What He attempts to be deep and thoughtful, but only comes across as shallow and thoughtless His behavior throughout his travels are boorish and arrogant I wouldn t want him for a travel partner, that s for sure The most interesting part of the book was at the end where he s working at the summer camp near Sisters, Oregon, but that was short lived.

    Timothy Koller

    Reread one of my favorites by Miller Definitely a great resource as I left my extended family in PA and moved to CO, and yet not as powerful to 32 year old me as it had been than a decade earlier.

    Michael Walker

    A man s counter read to Kathleen Norris, by a true wordsmith.

    Gavin Tuckey



    Great audiobook for the mornings


    I have not read Blue Like Jazz Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, and I think that might be part of why I ended up not getting this book.It is interesting, though It follows a lot of the traditional rites of passage young men go through, particularly the famed road trip that American men have wanted to participate in ever since the automobile was invented, or at least since Kerouac released On the Road.But that is part of what confuses me Miller frames the book wonderfully in the b [...]


    Riding through the country in an old, beat up Volkswagon van, hiking the Grand Canyon, sleeping under the starsd exploring a brief hippy lifestyle LOVE this Millerine, thoughtful, perceptive, relatable And it makes me want to go on such a road trip.

    Sean Goh

    Donald Miller has some very accessible expressions relating to his experience with God, especially on the open road Everyone has to change, or they expire Everyone has to leave home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.Funny how they guys who are really good at something never make you feel like crap about not being good at whatever they are good at.I don t want the perfect girl, really You figure every girl is beautiful, you know It s our arrogance that makes us think one [...]

    JP Charter

    4.50 Stars


    I enjoyed Don Miller s Blue LIke Jazz and Searching for God Knows What Both were enjoyable, easy reads containing good writing And, Don Miller will ask some challenging questions of Christians, especially those who are cultural Christians.Through Painted Deserts continues this tradition As two young men journey from Houston, Texas to Oregon, Don Miller provides us with details which make you feel as if you are sitting with them My favorite excerpt from this book was the description of Las Vegas [...]

    Jeremy Manuel

    I ve enjoyed Donald Miller s books in the past In fact, Through Painted Deserts Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road is the third book that I ve read of Miller s In this case though, I found my thoughts on the book much mixed than I did with either Blue Like Jazz or A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.Through Painted Deserts is a book about Miller s road trip with a friend in an old Volkswagen van The story is about Miller leaving his hometown in Texas and seeing of the world The book conta [...]

    Ray Zimmerman

    I hesitate to put the label Christian Writing on this book, because that label automatically gains approval by some people and rejection by others In all fairness to the book, it is a great read, and any reader will enjoy the story The book is certainly spiritual than religious, and not in any way dogmatic The story of their hike into and back out of the Grand Canyon is in itself justification for reading the book Donald Miller began his writing career with this work of nonfiction drawn from a [...]

    Debbie Petersen

    I feel badly giving Donald Miller only two stars for this one after falling in love with him a little after reading Blue Like Jazz It had some pleasant moments but read like someone s personal journal from a road trip There was a lot of detail that was not really interesting or pertinent to the story, and nothing much really happens I was irritated with some of his behavior toward the endling a high schooler he loves her He doesn t really go deep here except for the author s note at the beginnin [...]

    Matthew Shults

    Book is too dry.It s literally the entire memoir of a road trip Obviously the expected landscape imagery but the majority of the book was spent describing what a guy buys at a gas station, including an in depth analysis of potato chips.Certain parts seemed to stand out simply because of their appeal from the numbing mindlessness of doing nothing on their road trip, it made anything else seem interesting.Real life nature is to be experienced and beheld, not described in a book, and that s typical [...]

    Justin Tapp

    Through Painted Deserts Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road was written after Blue Like Jazz my review but the events in the book took place mostly before Blue Like Jazz Whoever thought it was a good idea to make a movie from Blue Like Jazz must be the same person who thought it be a good idea to have Don read his own audio books He has a monotone way of reading that puts you to sleep, but it s generally my preference to hear the author tell his own story.Don and his friend Paul take a beate [...]


    The only thing that forced me to continue reading this book, was the prospect of ripping it apart in this review I actually have been fantasizing about this moment since last night as I painfully continued to read the last few chapters of this lame excuse for a book I hated Don throughout this entire book For someone writing a book about themselves, he sure managed to make himself look like a completely arrogant, selfish, materialistic, and self involved Christian who thinks he is owed something [...]

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    Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road