Through Painted Deserts is apparently the first book written by Donald Miller, but was only subsequently published after Blue Like Jazz made such a splash. He refers to having rewritten the book for its present form, so I would assume there was a small scale printing previously.
Of Miller's books, this one reads most like a novel as it gives his account of his travels with his friend Paul from Houston to Portland with a pilgrimage to the Grand Canyon in the middle. Absent from this edition are the kind of challenging and insightful statements that I had come to expect from Donald Miller. His goal here is obviously different. All in all, Through Painted Deserts is an interesting read, but not one that you cannot live without.