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Publisher's Summary

Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things that clutter our lives so we can make room for life's most important things - which actually aren't things at all.

At age 30, best friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus walked away from their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on what's truly important. In their debut book, Joshua and Ryan, authors of the popular website TheMinimalists.com, explore their troubled pasts and descent into depression. Though they had achieved the American Dream, they worked ridiculous hours, wastefully spent money, and lived paycheck to paycheck. Instead of discovering their passions, they pacified themselves with ephemeral indulgences, which only led to more debt, depression, and discontent.

After a pair of life-changing events, Joshua and Ryan discovered minimalism, allowing them to eliminate their excess material things so they could focus on life's most important things: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

©2015 Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (P)2016 Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

What listeners say about Minimalism

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Not what I was looking for

Should be titled: 5 values to live a meaningful life. I got this book thinking it would be about the philosophy and practical implementation of living with fewer things, what to get rid of, what to keep etc, there was none of this, instead it read like a life coaching book.

20 people found this helpful

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Tight version of stuff you can learn on podcast

As with their other books, you probably don’t need it as the podcast covers the same material. But this is a tightly organized version of their message. I think it has a lot of value that other minimalism books miss because it focuses on the why. Why do you want to live a minimalist life? Just getting rid of your stuff doesn’t help because you'll just replace it, as happened to me after reading the Tidying Up books. This shows you the value of living a more deliberate life and the things you can improve (health, relationships. passions, growth, contributions to the world) with the extra time and money you'll have. Nothing stellar, just nuts and bolts. It was useful to me. Grade: A-

Excellent narration. I’m used to their voices from the podcast but Justin Malik is so good that I hear their voices in him now.

15 people found this helpful

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Minimalism?

Let’s see, we get some subjective advice about nutrition, water consumption, relationships, etc. Whatever seems to randomly interest them. Don’t wait around for the topic of minimalism though, maybe they’ve moved on to life coaching & forgot to tell us.

14 people found this helpful

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A lot of plugs

It’s hard to escape the fact that the whole thing feels like an advertisement for their website...

4 people found this helpful

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Good Book. Narrators voice not so good

Narrators voice took a while to get use to and sometimes was difficult to focus on

4 people found this helpful

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Great Book!

I enjoyed the message and the overall authenticity of the authors and their willingness to pay their experience forward. This book is a great opportunity to contemplate what is important in life and re-evaluate priorities. I would highly recommend it.

4 people found this helpful

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Worthless pop regurgitation

The book says virtually nothing about minimalism. Instead, the authors present a litany of half baked pop ideas about how to live a happy life. What a complete waste of time!

2 people found this helpful

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A more meaningful life

This book is the start to your overall journey to becoming a minimalist. a must read!

1 person found this helpful

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Minimalism

I thought that the overall message was good, I’m all about breaking the obsession with material possessions but this book gave advice with no credibility. It was cliche all around and was trying to be insightful but just fell short.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen!

I watched the Netflix documentary and really enjoyed it, book was great too. great advise and easy to understand. Anyone who is trying to minimalize their lifestyle this book is great for it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mat_H
  • 08-14-19

Questionable Advice

Love the idea of the book, but the guys lost me when they mentioned a vegan or paleo diet should be followed and that listeners should stop taking prescribed medications....seriously? You’re not at all qualified to make such advice so don’t. It’s dangerous and irresponsible as an author to do so.

Their points on eating well and looking after your body are valid and outlining that some medications may be unnecessary if the issues are resolved at the root cause. But flatly saying that people should stop taking their medications and take up a paleo first is dangerous and stupid.

Completely lost me after that.

Otherwise a good book that makes some great points.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Ms Ann Barrett
  • 05-24-17

Insubstantial

I found this book a little, well, empty.

I love the idea of living a meaningful life and extracting oneself from the pressures of an intensely capitalist existence.

The book is really about the transformation of two American men with '6 figure salaries' who just got tired of it all and decided to concentrate on healthier things. That's it.

Whilst the message is mostly positive, It didn't really speak to me. There was a long passage about pull ups, which I really didn't enjoy. They are certainly on to something, but the book seemed a bit muddled and flimsy.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Tony O
  • 12-26-16

Lifechanging

really great book. full of great ideas and personal challenges. a must read for anyone who wants to change their life around.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-28-17

Useful

Good, practical content. Helpful if you are starting out towards an uncluttered lifestyle. Ryan and Joshua clearly lay out what has worked for them.

1 person found this helpful

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  • LC
  • 03-28-17

Disappointing

I was expecting a lot more after watching the Minimalism documentary. I felt everything was skimmed over, and I am left disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • V-Dana
  • 03-06-21

Key to true happines

This book will help you identify the key to true happiness which you can slowly progress to by taking steps described in the book.

it's a good listen and definitely worth to listen more than once. I have already watched documentary by the same guys about minimalism, so I kind of new what to expect.

it will be eye-opening for people who never stepped into the life of minimalistic thinking at least. I wish whole world would live like this.

The book is narrated With swift approach, but good.

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  • Agnes
  • 03-03-21

amazing and life changing book.

it's great to hear Joshua's and Ryan's story of leaving the 6 figure jobs to pursue their passion. something I am at cross roads of doing myself and hoping that every day work, following these steps will help me achieve it. could not recommend it enough.

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  • Marilia
  • 03-23-20

Great Book

Very easy to follow, great ideas and I love it.
Since I discovered minimalism I kinda started to declutter, buying less and I feel much happier and less stressed.

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  • Lucia
  • 01-11-20

Awesome

Awesome book and great reader. Shot but essential. Food for thought. A guide for a day by day life.

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  • LessButBetter
  • 11-03-19

Overly prescriptive and disappointing

Having watched the documentary, read the other books and listened to many podcasts, I was really disappointed with this one. Not only did the narrator once again talk at break neck speed, which is anything but calming, but the content was super prescriptive and lacks credibility. Example - yes, advise us on the benefits of simplifying our diets, but please don't tell us to such a degree what we should and shouldn't be removing or including! That needs individualised advice from a qualified healthcare professional. I love minimalism but feel in this book the authors are getting a little ahead of themselves with the scope of their advice.

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  • RT
  • 07-08-18

Watch the documentary on Netflix

I loved the documentary on Netflix so was excited to get the book on Audible.

The narrator (NOT the author) was so dispassionate, no feeling in his voice, I wish it had been read by one of the authors of this book because it just didn’t engage me. Also it was really nothing to do with minimalism at all! Not worth the credit, sorry, and I really wanted to love it as I had the documentary.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Haley
  • 03-20-18

save your time and money, go to their website.

I was hoping for a guide to the minimalist approach, getting started and some story's of how the writers came to it. The book professes to do all these things, but while you may be expecting some information about decluttering and it's benifits, it's actually a book about, health, relationships, passion, growth and giving. it's absolutely drivel from completely unqualified people. The chapter on health starts with we're not dieticians or doctors, but now we're going to tell you how to eat and exercise. I stuck with it, but the droning voice of the reader doesn't help. In one of the first sentences of the book they basically say 'hey were not going to tell you how to become a minimalist (as in the clutter reducing type), that's all for free on our website, instead were going to bore you with new age crap'. It seemed like one of the most frequent and contradictory statements that the book made was where it would say "we're not going to tell you, you have to do this it's totally up to you" but then a few sentences later it would tell you that you must do this or that." For a lifestyle that's is about value, this book is ironically a waste of time and money.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kkff
  • 09-28-19

Great book - boring narration

This was a great book, short and sweet with some great principles and engaging content. However the narration was a put off for me. I had to persevere in order to push through the boring reading as I wanted to 'read' the book. I would have ditched this for the paperback except for the fact that I paid for it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • holly
  • 05-09-17

This has changed my life!

This book allows one to assess one's life and move toward a happier, more fullfilled existence. I can relate to feeling like my stuff ownes me and that I have little time, energy and resources to nourish the things that matter to me and add value to my life. The concepts in this book are simple, easy to understand, and make so much sense. I have began to make changes in my life and am feeling much better already. Thank you for sharing your wisdom Joshua and Ryan :)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-27-20

Beginners guide to minimalism

I enjoyed this book very much. covers plenty stuff how to begin your journey into minimalism and what steps to follow.
some advise is very general but sometimes we just need things to be told in simple terms.
narrator was ok.

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  • Taylah Davidson
  • 11-03-19

Great book, PAINFUL narration

I struggled to listen to the end. The narration was terrible! very monotone and just difficult to listen to.

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  • Adam
  • 10-09-18

it's ok

a lot of obvious things in here. Not worth using your monthly credit on this.

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  • Melinda - YarnderWoman
  • 12-01-17

Wonderful

This book gives a great introduction to how Joshua (one half of The Minimalists) came to find this way of life. We also get insight from Ryan, who "interjects" throughout the book, which is good fun. The audio for these interjections is done really well, so you can always tell who's viewpoint you are listening to.

I'm already a huge fan of The Minimalists, and I recommend this book to new fans and established - it's a wonderful listen, with some really practical and thought-provoking ideas.

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  • Jasmine
  • 08-17-17

do it

enlightening. wanted to read for a while now. glad I finally got around to it.

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  • tara
  • 02-17-17

pretentious drivel

With little to no background research, these guys use their past history and personal advice to try and improve your life by living in a minimalist way for you. However most chapters came across as judgemental and many of their arguments were just plain stupid. Friends and family dont just fall into three categories and relationships can be very complex. Their recommendations on diet were just ridiculous. cutting out meat, sugar, dairy and gluten just because you tried it and it worked for you doesn't make it a minimal approach to eating well. The whole concept of nutrition and changes that can be maintained were glossed over. A minimal approach can be great however I did not feel that these guys were very good at explaining what that even means. A minimalist book made for plebs. I was not able to finish it, I snapped and turned it off after around chapter 6.

2 people found this helpful