Jason’s Ranting & Raving

Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.

Archive for November, 2009

Book Review: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller

Posted by jaystile on November 21, 2009

My friend recommended a book he had just finished reading that he was very excited about. The book is A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller. I love it when people recommend books to me. My friend was so excited about it he bought me a copy and had it shipped to my house. Its nice to share the experience together and have a little discussion about it.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a non-fiction tale of Donald Miller. It recounts a period in his life where he transitions from merely living to being alive. Mr. Miller had written a memoir about his early life. Someone decided they would like to make a movie about it. Mr. Miller realizes that the character ‘Don’ is really quite boring. This starts his journey to becoming a different person.

The analogy
This book revolves around one analogy, life is a story where you are the main character. What makes a good story? Well first, you need to sympathize with the main character. That means you root for the person who helps those close around him and his community. Second, the character must experience conflict and adversity. You don’t get that by sitting in front of the TV. One must put themselves out there and TRY to do something. Not only that, you have to keep trying until you succeed. A character only changes and grows through adversity and that is true for everyone.

My opinion
I like the analogy! If you’ve read my other posts on expert theory, my rants against television: I agree. Hard work and doing something make you feel good about your life. TV just wastes it. It made me think about my own life a little bit and what stories I would tell about it’s main character. I think I have a pretty good story, personally, not great, but pretty good.

There is something that was not well received. I’m an atheist and don’t believe in a higher power. I believe that people need to be honest with themselves and make the best use of the short amount of time they have. Donald Miller makes numerous references to god and faith. It was unnecessary to support the overall message of the book which is how to have a meaningful life through struggle and adversity. Finally, the title is garbage.

Go ahead and read this book. It is only 250 pages and a very easy read. You might even take something away from it that motivates you. Life takes you in different places and sometimes this is away from your friends. I would like it to be known that I miss my friend that sent me this book. He is a great person and I love him dearly.


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Book Review: Successful Real Estate Investing: How to Avoid the 75 Most Costly Mistakes Every Investor Makes by Robert Shemin

Posted by jaystile on November 15, 2009

Successful Real Estate Investing is a series of essays about the different mistakes the author has made in real estate. It’s worth a read if you plan on purchasing real estate as an investment. The key takeaways:

  • Pre paid Legal (PPL) is worth it
  • Get your contracts reviewed by said PPL
  • Never say that your LLC is just for asset protection
  • The rent has to come first
  • It’s more important to call the tenant’s previous landlord, not their current landlord
  • Inspect properties frequently
  • Buy properties within 30 minutes drive.
  • Get umbrella insurance
  • Don’t let fear cripple you into inaction
  • If you’re doing fancy financing, like lease-optioning to someone when you’re lease optioning the property, just be open about it.

I also enjoyed the negotiating tips that were in the appendix.

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