What if everything you ever wanted isn't what you actually want? Twenty-something, suit-clad, and upwardly mobile, Joshua Fields Millburn thought he had everything anyone could ever want. Until he didn't anymore.
Blindsided by the loss of his mother and his marriage in the same month, Millburn started questioning every aspect of the life he had built for himself. Then, he accidentally discovered a lifestyle known as minimalism...and everything started to change.
That was four years ago. Since, Millburn, now 32, has embraced simplicity. In the pursuit of looking for something more substantial than compulsory consumption and the broken American Dream, he jettisoned most of his material possessions, paid off loads of crippling debt, and walked away from his six-figure career.
So, when everything was gone, what was left? Not a how-to book but a why-to book, Everything That Remains is the touching, surprising story of what happened when one young man decided to let go of everything and begin living more deliberately. Heartrending, uplifting, and deeply personal, this engrossing memoir is peppered with insightful (and often hilarious) interruptions by Ryan Nicodemus, Millburn's best friend of 20 years.
©2014 Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus (P)2014 Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus
This book rambled in many directions and did not focus on minimalism in the ways I expected. The author is a frustrated fiction writer, and he allowed himself to go on florid tangents, which would have been fine as stand-alone creative writing exercises, but which felt out of place within this context. The muttered contributions from the colleague, who I understand is relegated to footnotes in the text format, were more direct and more interesting than much of the author's exposition about his childhood and his cruel observations about barflies in Montana. His interactions with women were *painfully* awkward. As background, the details of his wretched childhood were interesting, but I would like to know more about his Aspergers/OCD diagnosis and how that has impacted his decision to adopt a minimalist existence. I feel strongly that there's a great message here -- it's great to reject consumerism, especially during the holidays -- but the author's failure with relationships, and dependence on the internet for meeting like-minded people, is not a great advertisement for the minimalist lifestyle.
I found the choice of a British narrator for this first-person memoir by a guy from Dayton, Ohio to be very odd and distracting. I can't fault his performance, I thought he did a fine job, and with other material, I think I would have really enjoyed him. But here it just didn't work.
I *may* seek out the author's earlier book on the minimalist lifestyle, in the hopes they are more focused.
The narrator had a pleasing voice; however, his voice would lose volume toward the end of most paragraph. I'm sure this was intentional for effect; however, when listening while driving with the windows down, it became very annoying to have to rewind 30 seconds inky to have to turn the volume up and then down again when he started a new paragraph.
So, I have finished the book and I have a couple of gripes. 1) I can't get passed the accents of the authors/readers and 2) I was hoping to come away with some tips/tricks to minimalism. Instead, I got a load full of I did this and that and got rid of stuff. Some more suggestions (I assume they are in subsequent books) would have been helpful.
The there are the accents. These guys claim to be from Ohio and Tennessee and the sound like they are from the UK. I don't know if they are Europeans masquerading as Americans or not, but I had a hard time believing the Midwestern/Southern roots of these guys. It took me out of the story.
If you want to know about the philosophy, then this book may be for you, but if you are looking to apply what they are talking about, then you should probably look elsewhere.
Really enjoyed this as a first book from these authors. Am not sure this was the right place to start, but felt right to me. The disconnect between the American authors and the English accented narrator was repeatedly odd to me, and not just some of the strange pronunciation (some of the Midwestern locations in the text are definitely mispronounced, which the author himself would never do). This is nitpicking, and otherwise, I have only pleasant things to say about the text and narrator.
Great storyline that also teaches key aspects of minimalism. I had never heard of minimalism before this book.
Would be great to have some tools or challenges bulleted to help a beginner on the process of initiating minimalism but there were quite a few examples blended into the story.
Loved this book! In the beginning took some getting used to the style and was wondering if this was the book I was looking for, so grateful I stuck with it. The movement is something I have felt inside but didn't know there was a name for it. Been walking around my house despising that it owns all of my time and now I feel like I have a choice as to what I allow to spend my time on. Already made a few sweeps of unnecessary "necessities" and going to keep going. Thanks for the freedom, minimalists!!
This book has encouraged me to change my approach to life and the stuff l have filled it with. It has motivated me to change the way l live and to avoid becoming a Dave to what l own. Thank you.
This book has changed my view on so many things in so little time. Highly recommended for anyone, especially those in fast paced careers and lost.
"Timing of listening to this was perfect"
I am so doing this. Small steps, but steps nonetheless. When are you next touring in the uk?
"A great experience, that changed things for me."
This story tapped into my thoughts like a stage show hypnotist. I already had similar, but fuzzy ideas, this book cleared the haze for me.
I thought the narrator very good, even if it took a chapter to get used to his melodic delivery. By the end it was as though he was talking to me one to one.
This could change your whole life.
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