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The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul Paperback – December 28, 2010


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The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul + The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Living simply is only an ideal until someone like Bruno gets particular. The way he got particular should make everyone think--hard, which is a very good thing.” (Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame)

“In a loving, wise, sometimes hilarious manner, Dave Bruno holds a mirror up to us and says to take a closer look at how we’re living. Reading this will lead you to a better life.” (Dean Nelson, Author of God Hides in Plain Sight and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University)

“[Bruno’s] musings about his slow and steady purge have developed a cult following online, inspiring others [toward] clutter-free living.” (Time magazine)

From the Back Cover

An ordinary man's inspiring journey toward a simpler, more meaningful life.

In 2008, average American family man Dave Bruno decided to unhook himself from the intravenous drip of consumerism that fueled his life by winnowing all his personal possessions down to just 100 things. Little did he realize that he would be igniting a grassroots movement—soon after Dave embarked on his journey, media around the world took notice and others started to follow his lead.

A cause for pause, The 100 Thing Challenge is a response to the culture of materialism in America, one that has filled our lives with the constant and unsatisfactory desire for "more." Dave Bruno offers compelling anecdotes and practical advice to help readers live more meaningfully, simply by casting off the unnecessary "stuff" that clutters their lives. The 100 Thing Challenge is a golden opportunity to experience the positive changes that occur as you defiantly hop off the treadmill of consumerism.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061787744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061787744
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dave Bruno is an author and advocate for simple living. He's the creator of the 100 Thing Challenge, a project focused on breaking free from the constraints of American-style consumerism. Bruno is a native of San Diego and lover of every outdoor square inch of California that he's ever hiked, biked, surfed, or seen. He lives with his wife and three daughters. Bruno's favorite of many household pets is his loyal mutt, Piper.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Brooke on November 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because I thought the premise was interesting: a man gives up everything except 100 items, and tries to make it through the year. Well, if that is what you are expecting from the book, then you will also be disappointed. When determining what he will keep for the year, he decides that anything that is part of the "family" is fair game (which literally includes just about everything in the house-- pots, pans, sheets, all of it!!), as well as anything he directly shares with his wife, etc. Oh, and all of his socks **combined** count as one item. All of his t-shirts **combined** count as one item. You following me here? He basically has decided to give up HARDLY ANYTHING!!!! What a joke. And his tone is so smug and self-satisfied like he has really doing something major here, yet all I could think of was what a fraudster. I couldn't even finish the book because I was so peeved that this wasn't the story I thought it was going to be. Don't get me wrong, in the first few pages he talks the talk fairly well, (smug tone aside), so it was a huge disappointment to find out that he wasn't really making the kind of sacrifice that I thought was going to be reflected here. This book is a big pat on the back to himself for all the spiritual work he had done figuring out who he really is, blah blah blah, and IMO is just a vanity piece. I can't even believe this book was published, considering how different the content is from the title.
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99 of 109 people found the following review helpful By T. Tuan on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. A recent convert to minimalism and fairly familiar with the new wave of bloggers that have publicized the value of living simply (Everett Bogue, Colin Wright, etc), I was interested in hearing the perspective of the man that started it all with the 100 thing challenge.

In this book Dave Bruno chronicles his experience weaning down his personal possessions and living with 100 things for the duration of a year. An exercise in changing the mindset of consumerism, he weaves personal anecdotes both from childhood and during his adulthood in with his account of trying to get out of the mindset of buying.

I agree with his notion that Americans have fallen into the trap of thinking that one can buy happiness and fulfill long-held and dreams or aspirations through a cash register. I appreciated his insights about how the most beneficial thing he gained through the challenge was not feeling the pressure or inclination to buy every time he set foot in a store. I too have found this through pursuing his challenge. It's a welcome mindset change of not always wanting more.

The author seems like a perfectly nice guy with genuine notions about making the world a better place. I have nothing to say against him personally.

However, I found reading his book to be less than enjoyable at times. Basically the structure is this - 1) thinks up and events leading up to the challenge, 2) the logistics of conducting the challenge, 3) post-challenge thoughts. It feels like an overly drawn out premise with not enough content to justify the one hundred some-odd pages. Points were repeatedly reinforced to the point where I felt like every other word was "American-style consumerism" or "100 thing challenge guy".
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76 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Montgomery on January 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Here are some thoughts.
- The title is very inspirational. Really!
- The very last word is the second-best-part of the book (not for it's summons or inspiration, but for it's finality).
- Bruno has very little to say except that he's an avid thinker -- always a turn-off when someone tells you they are an avid thinker. Oh, and to reiterate his point, he writes, a few pages later, that he could drive and think for hours. Great to hear. Hey, Dave, other people tell you you're an avid thinker. You don't say that about yourself.
- He lacks cleverness and wisdom and wit (Lord knows he's trying!) -- he 'ponders' how many businesses got started on napkins at Starbucks.
- He needed to stick to writing "I" instead of "We" when he was making comments about how unsatisfied the stuff "we" buy makes "us."
- We didn't need a whole chapter on how easy/hard it was to get rid of the wood shop you never used. I'm confused.
- I couldn't tell if he had an awesome Dad or if his Dad completely ruined his life because he didn't build that train track! I sensed Bruno was really grasping for straws on that one.
- He swears in it a few times -- he probably thinks it gives him some street cred. "Hey, I'm not one of those stuffy Christians who doesn't know how to swear a cuss!"
- Gosh! This guy spent alot of time at the mall!! If writing this book helped him stay away from the mall for a while, then, the whole thing was worth it.
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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Michele Corbett on December 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dave Bruno hit the nail on the heart with his personal story of coming to a point where he felt so stuck in stuff that he had to take action. Although his "action" could be viewed as a bit extreme (I don't know if I could reduce my clothes alone to 100 things), there is something in here for everyone. Reading about the process he went through in his own head and heart is so much more valuable than your normal self help book that merely gives you steps to follow with no context and no recognition that it's not as easy as a few simple steps.

Dave takes you on a journey of self discovery, and his insight along the way will inspire and challenge any reader. Even if you don't ever do anything as extreme as the 100 Thing Challenge, you will take away some principles that will change the course of your life for the better.
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