Christian Review Magazine Issue 3 - March 2015 - Page 78

SCARY CLOSE by Donald Miller Nelson Books - Christian Living - Available Now Reviewed by Christian St John FLYLEAF SPREADS THEIR WINGS by Carl Phelan Melviney Press - Biography - Available Now Reviewed by Christian St John Over the years Donald Miller has released several best selling books including A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and probably his most famous work, Blue Like Jazz. In 2005 Flyleaf released their debut self-titled album to critical acclaim and great sales. Since then the band has released three more albums and played many live shows. Miller’s new book, Scary Close, is a book about relationships - like most people, Donald Miller desired real and authentic relationships. He was at the top of his game - he had become a top speaker and was great at impressing people. But he yearned for something more. Written by the grandfather of one of the band’s guitarist’s, Jared Hartmann, Flyleaf Spreads Their Wings is a look at the history of the band from their early days as Sporos, Listen, and Passerby (the band’s first names) to their rise to fame as Flyleaf. Like his previous books, Scary Close is on the level and revealing. Miller is not one to shy away from telling the reader just how it is, much of the time using his own faith walk and story as an example. For such a public figure, Miller holds nothing back to share with us what he learned as he set about ‘dropping the act’ and discover for himself the joys and pitfalls of healthy and honest romantic and platonic relationships. The book well documents the band’s history and even has a section at the end of each chapter in which the author lists the concerts Flyleaf played over the years (reviews and articles are also included). There are some included testimonies by the band members themselves as well as their friends and family. However, the book was missing the real tension and personal insights that one typically finds in books about bands and their members. Just don’t expect this book to be as candid, deep, and personal as recent “warts and all” books about Michael Sweet (Honestly) and Steve Rowe (Metal Missionary). A born storyteller, one can not help but be pulled in by Miller’s conversational writing style and candor. Reading any book by Miller is like sitting with a good friend as he shares what’s on his heart in an effort to help others glean simple truths through his own experiences. And Scary Close is certainly no exception. 78 > CHRISTIAN REVIEW MAGAZINE Flyleaf Spreads Their Wings is without doubt a must-read for die hard Flyleaf fans and anyone else wanting to know more about the history of the band.