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The Minimalists: Essential Essays [Kindle Edition]

Joshua Fields Millburn , Ryan Nicodemus
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Joshua and Ryan both jettisoned most of their material possessions at age 30 to pursue more meaningful lives. Essential Essays highlights essays from the first nine months of their journey into minimalism.

Essential Essays is an edited collection of 29 of The Minimalists' favorite essays about living a more meaningful life with less stuff. This collection also contains a special forward by Joshua and Ryan, as well as two bonus essays you can't find anywhere else: "Dealing with Overwhelm" and "Focus On What's Important."

The book is organized into seven interconnected themes: Living in the Moment, Emotional Health, Growth, Contribution, Taking Action, Passion and Mission, and Change and Experimentation. The order of this collection is deliberate; it is meant to be read from beginning to end. Doing so will result in a better overall experience--a different experience from reading these essays all over the web--connecting various concepts that might otherwise seem unconnected.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

THE MINIMALISTS, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, write essays about living a meaningful life with less stuff for their online audience of more than 100,000 monthly readers at They have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CBS This Morning, NBC, FOX, NPR, CBC Radio, Zen Habits, and numerous other outlets.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1217 KB
  • Print Length: 163 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1938793013
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Asymmetrical Press; 7th edition (September 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005O0JNQS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,021 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical advice with a very personal touch September 27, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This collection of essays is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to scale back and focus on what's truly important in life. There's lots of good advice on how to get started in all areas, from career to health to possessions.

The essay that resonated most with me is the one on letting go of sentimental items. Joshua talks about dealing with his mother's belongings after she passed away. It really helped me finally let go of boxes and boxes of stuff I had in the basement, because it was a good reminder that people live on in our hearts and minds, not in objects. That includes me, too -- I really don't need my high school yearbooks to remember my teens, a song on the radio takes me right back as does a conversation with an old friend.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Millburn and Nicodemus have some good ideas on the philosophy and practice of minimalism, and present them in an accessible way. Most of these essays, read over time on their blog, would be thought-provoking and helpful for one trying to live a minimalist life, but laid end to end in this collection they are unduly repetitive. The grain of their reflections is insufficiently fine to convey a real sense of the texture of the minimalist life.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks depth April 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm really grateful to be a recipient of a free copy of this book. It had some good advice but lacked depth. I felt like I was reading short blog posts that didn't quite have enough umph to make it to book status. It would have been a little classier if they left out the four letter words. They just didn't add anything of substance.

That being said. I'll continue to be a fan of living minimal which includes not finishing this book as it's just not an enriching use of my time. I'll probably check their blog every few months...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not much more than their blog posts December 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yes, there are I believe two articles in here not on their blog, save your money and just read the blog instead.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Impressive Thinking For A 30-Year-Old, But April 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
But the thinking is pretty superficial, the essays are repetitive, and these "truths" should be self-evident by anyone who's ever had a deep thought.

On the plus side, I'm always envious of younger people who have "figured out" what life is really about. For the price, you can't go too far wrong reading this short collection. There are things to think about in the writing...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no personal touch April 27, 2014
By maki
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I rarely write reviews on site as I'm a resident in Japan and only buy English kindle books in site. (There's another site for Japanese Amazon site) That said, I could't help writing a review for this book because I couldn't understand why books written by these two men appealed to American people. Yes I'm from a country where the original Zen concept which is still alive inside me even in a way that I'm least conscious of. But times have changed and a lot of Japanese now consume a lot of stuff and there was a big movement to get rid of them a few years back. So I love the minimalists ideas and way of living, that's why I started reading this book to learn more.
I was so disappointed.... why? Because most of the things here are redundant. They once had a wonderful career, six digit salary, but not happy and they quit to pursue more meaningful life. That's it. Ok I got that. But if one of them ever wants to become a true writer in the future, this guy needs to be more specific to deliver his own story otherwise no one can relate to his story or emphasize at all. Maybe he tries to avoid personal touch so that general experiences may appeal to more readers. But it was simply boring. For example, he said that he had a wonderful career but he wasn't happy. But he never writes any personal stories to tell how unhappy he was at the time, maybe he could share some stories as to how he was struck that he must change his previous way of life.

He can't tell a story of his own. If he wants to become a writer, he needs to explain with his own feelings and words, that to me was lacking in this book. Basic information in this book was nothing noteworthy...
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Luxury of Less! September 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I found these thoughtful fellows a few months ago, and it inspired the best, easiest, and healthiest thing I've done in a while--seriously decluttering my home. It took me about 40 days to do their 21 day plan, but that's fine, and was without breaking my back (some days I just soaked in their well-wrought, hip but sincere essays!). I have been recommending them daily to friends far and wide since, and hope you'll check them out. I donated, transformed and tossed out about 2/3rds of my possessions, so now I only have my best and most beloved and useful things around me and it feels great--my upkeep time has plummeted and my spirits have soared! Thanks Joshua and Ryan!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
These essays are strong, yet encouraging, messages of hope through personal change. I'm not one for evangelising people, though it would be remiss of me to not acknowledge that I am grateful for these essays, and the continuing Minimalism community that Joshua & Ryan generously contribute so thoughtfully to.

No matter where you are on the continuum of Minimalism, these essays provide an honest reflection on the authors experiences, bundled with kind consideration for how it might be possible for you to see positive improvement in your life.

I felt an immediate sense of relief on first reading these essays that an alternative existed for my modern disease of "too much debt, too many distractions, too much multi-tasking, too much stuff, .... just too much!". Though, the real value is in re-reading, absorbing and practising small steps of change and seeing how much you gain just by letting some stuff go.

A fresh, honest and compelling truth here that continues to capture my attention.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
repeats the same stuff almost but great read
Published 13 days ago by Ifedimma
1.0 out of 5 stars but seems like everyone understands this minimalist stuff
OK, but seems like everyone understands this minimalist stuff.
Published 29 days ago by Charles P. Cogdill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I like these guys. They are an inspiration.
Published 1 month ago by Teresa Suzik
2.0 out of 5 stars High on philosophy. Low on practical solutions
Quite disappointing really. They have managed to raise the rather prosaic topic of de-cluttering to philosophical levels while not really adding anything to the subject. Read more
Published 2 months ago by JOSEPH OLIVER
5.0 out of 5 stars great daily advice
Everyday I read one essay. Truly motivating.Highly recommend for anyone looking to live the minimalist lifestyle . These guys got the right idea.
Published 2 months ago by wade pawlak
1.0 out of 5 stars Minimal information
This book could have been good, but was poorly written and most of the information has been said before. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. pierson
2.0 out of 5 stars There are a few chapters with some light tips like cutting TV and...
This book is far too much self help and not enough of a manual. There are a few chapters with some light tips like cutting TV and internet out of your life, but I'm not exactly... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars love this book of essays!
I love the minimalists. Something about them really resonates with me. Their words are so honest and true and the steps they took to simplify their lives are so easily... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stacy
5.0 out of 5 stars Order of operations
I really like this book. The collection of Essays are in a order designed to be read from front to back. Some are loge. Sone are short. Each one is important. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Scott Dow
4.0 out of 5 stars I recommend it to everyone even if you can't be completely ...
Interesting and revealing about our consumer driven society. Makes a lot of sense this book, I recommend it to everyone even if you can't be completely without material... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Marilyn Jeronimus
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