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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Driven

Driven: An AutobiographyDriven: An Autobiography by Larry H. Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I'm so torn on the rating one gives for an autobiography. Would people think my rating was about the author's life or the quality of the book? That in mind, I'll clarify my rating. I am giving this book 5 stars, not because the writing was excellent, or that Miller should be given sainthood, but because I think that keeping a record of one's life is very important. I think Miller deserves 5 stars for sharing his life and the lessons he learned.

I really struggle reading non-fiction. It takes me back to all the textbooks I had to read in college. It's not that non-fiction can't be interesting or entertaining, but generally it doesn't appeal to me as much as most fiction does.

However; growing up in Utah, I'm definitely familiar with Larry H. Miller, and I decided to give his book a try so I could learn more about him.

I'm happy that I made it through, and in less than a month (this is huge for me), even though I had several fiction books calling my name.

Miller's life really was interesting. He grew up poor, with a mother who didn't seem to understand him (she even called the police on him a few times and he didn't know why). He didn't go to college, but he was driven from very early on to do the best he could with whatever he did. He married his high school sweetheart. She practically raised their five kids on her own while Miller was working hours and hours to provide for the family and become the best at his profession. He regrets that he didn't spend more time with his family.

His hard work paid off monetarily. He was the owner of many car dealerships and other businesses. He owned the Utah Jazz. He was generous with his money, and didn't want it to change him and his wife. They lived fairly simply, although he did "splurge" on a huge house for them in Salt Lake, and on cars (he especially liked Shelby Cobras).

He gave some great advice in the book about being on the same page as your spouse as far as money is concerned. He didn't hide that fact that he didn't take care of himself as he should have; which eventually lead to his early death.

Miller's life was inspiring, imperfections and all.