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Minimalism: Essential Essays

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,480 ratings  ·  225 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 163 pages
Published September 24th 2011 by Asymmetrical Press
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Tim Dudek
Apr 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
I downloaded this book for free on my kindle. I overpaid.

This collection of poorly written (overwhelm is not a noun), repetitive (please keep telling me how you quit your job), and platitude filled essays does little to inform. Devoid of practical advice or an exploration of the philosophical elements of minimalism this book falls short of any of the other books on minimalism Ive read.

Being a quick read is its only positive.
Aug 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: more-to-learn, 2016
I'm going to be honest - I only got through about two thirds of this book before I decided to take "The Minimalists'" own advice and only devote my time to something I found worthwhile. While there were some thought-provoking ideas in these essays, the compilation of incredibly short blog posts in general had very little substance. The authors instead opt for hyperbolic statements about our technology-fueled world (to which I'm sympathetic) and broad unsupported claims about what makes life ...more
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised that I actually really liked this book. The essays are short enough that I can read one right before clocking in at work and it gives me something to think about throughout the day.

I initially purchased this book as I was minimizing my own belongings (apparently 30 pairs of shoes are "unnecessary" for someone my age) and it gave me somewhat of an accountability? to make sure that I was actually getting rid of things. Every now and then I find myself going back and rereading
Close Enough
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: english, eng_2019
Let's start off with this honest revealing I'm a minimalist by nature  :D , I have no problem to share even  my dear books with others . The biggest anti-minimalism in my world is my affectionate mother , she tends to collect many superfluous stuff; empty bottles, used wraps, rags, yarn, carton boxes...She believes that the more you accumulate things, clothes,  ..the more safer you will be. Actually, I think that is something related to a psychological matter .

I've tried several times to
Sara M. Abudahab
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
As someone who is interested in minimalism, I found this very enjoyable.
Dec 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
I appreciate their message and think minimalism has several great tenets that people should incorporate in their lives. Maybe it was everything at once but after a while, they just started to sound like smug, pretentious douche bags.

Millburn spends an entire essay on how easy it was for him to change his eating habits. Apparently cravings don't exist. You simply stop eating crap.

I call BS. Sugar is addictive and I absolutely had cravings what I drastically cut the sugar in my diet. It's nice
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
First sentence: There's a shopping mall in San Diego that used to be a prison.

Favorite quote: What these people don't understand, however, is minimalism is not about deprivation: it's about finding more value in the stuff you own. Minimalists do this by removing the superfluous, keeping only the possessions that serve a purpose or bring joy. Everything else goes by the wayside.

This way of living just keeps pulling me. These guys tell it as it is and they continually repeat that minimalism is
John Schumacher
I dig the concept but reading more than 1-2 of these essays at a time is unbearable because of their repetitiveness and, ironically, lack of much depth. I would have loved more practicality and not just being told over and over again that the writer quit his high-paying job in corporate America to follow his passion.
Sean Goh
May 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Minimalism jettisons the unnecessary in favour of the important.
Minimalists search for happiness not through things, but through life itself. Through living a meaningful life, fulled with passion and freedom, a life in which we can grow as individuals and contribute to other people in meaningful ways.
Growth and Contribution.

Sentimental items can be gotten rid of, because our memories are within us, not within our things. Holding on to things weighs us down emotionally.

The easiest way to turn off
I quite enjoyed this book. It is light read, with ideas and inspiration on moving, in small steps, one essay at a time, in a direction of a bit lighter approach to life.
It is not information packed, it does not offer a great value in sense of learning or discovering groundbreaking new ideas - but it is definitely enjoyable, leaves you with a feeling of lightness, and motivates to keep on editing and clearing out our lives.
If you are exploring minimalism or the concept seems appealing -
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel the same way about this book as I feel about their podcasts; I like the message, but the style comes across as douchey. At least one of the essays is about writing and they talk about winnowing things down to only what's important. That's a noble thought and certainly fits in with the rest of their philosophy, but it ends up generating a lot of one liners that reek of faux-profundity and self-congratulatory cleverness.

Plenty of food for thought in this book, you just might have to hold
I think my favorite essay is "Getting Rid of Just-in-Case Items". I think that most things/duplicates I own are for this reason solely.
Plus, I've already learnt about the irony in being a minimalist and the judgement & negative talk coming from people, and I believe that the best way to deal with it is ignoring them and repeating words of affirmation to yourself. You can always not tell people that you're a minimalist XD.
Minimalism is about owning and doing things that add value and
I just do not like their communication style. I don't know why...I applaud the way they've drawn a crowd to minimalism, but I am unmoved by their writing and documentary. Oh well.
Brent McCulley
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
Honestly, really impressive. The essays contained in this book don't feel forced, or water down internet blog post forced through a publishing company to print. On the contrary the Minimalists shine through these well organized collection of essays that contain everything from punching comedic truisms to profound philosophical insights all while never not straying from the path of practicality.

To be sure, Joshua Fields Millburn shines as his writing style is lucid, to sink, and impactful. If
Guilherme Zeitounlian
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is comprised of essays by The Minimalists, and is very short and easy to read.

However, I would advise against reading it in one or two sittings: I feel you can better absorve its contents if you read the book (which has 12 themes) in parts. And thus allow yourself time to reflect on its contents.

Some of the essays are unremarkable - but some may very well change your perspective on life, consumerism, relationships, contribution... and isn't this the reason we read books?

Because of the
I think this book would have more meaning for people if they were fans of the podcast. It does tend to restate similar ideas throughout the book but remember the essays were taken from their blog. I think if you focus on the outcomes you are working toward and take what they say and apply it to what would work for you the book would have value.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
Very good. This was a carbon copy of some of their blog post. It was great to have a distilled version. There are also some unpublished essays in here. Each essay taking no more than 4 minutes to read. I enjoy these guys ideas and have been listening to the podcast. Pretty good stuff.
VannTile Ianito
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
An easy-digestible piece of advice, gathered from a list of essays (to be read blog posts) which turns out to be satisfying enough.
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy to read short essays, almost like blog posts. Not as good as their other books.
Silvio Niklaus
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book! Easy, digestibal!
Since I listened to about 60 podcast episodes of the minimalists already, I knew a lot of the stuff, some parts were exactly said as written in the book.
All in all, great book which teaches you to focus on the important things in life.
Mark Robison
I like The Minimalists a lot. Theyve changed my life. As for this books of the essential essays cultivated from their blog, it was just all right. They are short and good for reading one or two before bed, and I think it may be too easy to dismiss some of the essays without noticing that each one is often just a brushstroke in a broader picture. And that broader picture is awesome. But, honestly, I get more out of their podcast than I did from this book. Grade: B ...more
David Andrews
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Millburn and Nicodemus are the founders of, a website that espouses (shocker) minimalism as a way of life. Essential Essays is a collection of posts from that website, generously called essays by the authors, curated and laid out along thematic lines, with the express purpose of helping people understand both their personal experiences with minimalism as a way of life, as well as minimalism in general.

Im not a fan of Millburn and Nicodemus - I recently came across their
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
"There is only one honest type of relationship status: Its Complicated.
Whether youve been married for decades, are recently single, or are involved in some sort of obtuse polyamorous love triangle, its important to understand that relationshipsall relationshipsare inherently complicated. We are human beings: mixed bags of thoughts, emotions, and actions; righteous liars and honest cheats; sinners and saints; walking contradictions; both the darkness and the light."

Recently the Insta page of The
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Just a collection of "essential" blog posts from the minimalist website.
I enjoyed the one about the one guy's 2000 books that he got rid of (one can always get them electronically and thus avoid clutter).

Minimalism is definitely something I agree with, but I get the feeling that the guys who wrote this don't really have any practical advice to offer. They seem unable to carry over their ideas/feelings/revelation in a concrete way. It all feels very abstract. I don't necessarily expect a list
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Lately I have been trying to simplify the chaos that has become my life. I stumbled upon The Minimalists website about a month ago. They offer great advise on how to simplify life and focus on what really matters. I was excited to read they were publishing some of their greatest essays into a book and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I downloaded it on my Kindle the day it was released and devoured it in just a couple of days. They offer great advise on how to live with less. It's a quick ...more
Kadi Viik
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
The essays of the Minimalists would be so much better if the author(s) got rid of their contempt for other humans. Sometimes masked behind self-irony (it goes something like "we are not only making fun of the zombie-like wanderers in shopping malls or girls in small town pubs, we are also admitting that we used to be like that!"), this contempt is poisonous and tedious to read.

I did find joy in some of the essays, but the problem with the Minimalists is the endless recycling of the same stories
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: essays
One or two nuggets in a heaping plate of cliches warmed up from the leftovers of Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss and others of this ilk. Very "all-knowing young Turk" style boosted by pop culture thermal winds driving millennial ecstasy over the newly discovered mass-market minimalism and post-"What Color is Your Parachute" world - crafted out of the unemployment/underenployment despair of post-recession corporate rule.
Aug 07, 2018 added it
I actually read the short version of the book on "Blinkist". Some of the material was interesting, but it was not a life changing book.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Good essays. Though it was a good organized experience, it was not that fun reading all the essays I've already read on the web. Though it was fun reading it the first time. :)
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are clearly devotees of Anthony Robbins. Which is fine, great even, but that means this short collection of brief essays didn't cover much new ground for me. I already learned about growth and contributing to others being two human needs. I already knew about associating pain and pleasure appropriately to gain leverage and take immediate massive action. And they even outright plagiarize (since there's no indication of a quote or attribution) Tony's joke ...more
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Joshua Fields Millburn left his corporate career at age 30 to become a full-time author. His essays at have garnered an audience of more than 2 million readers.

Millburn is the bestselling author of three fiction and four nonfiction books and has been featured on CBS This Morning, ABC, NBC, FOX, NPR, CBC Radio, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Forbes, Elle Canada,

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“Adding value to someone else’s life is one of the most important things you can do with your life, and it has nothing to do with money.” 7 likes
“Happiness, as far as we are concerned, is achieved through living a meaningful life, a life that is filled with passion and freedom, a life in which we can grow as individuals and contribute to other people in meaningful ways. Growth and contribution: those are the bedrocks of happiness. Not stuff. This may not sound sexy or marketable or sellable, but it’s the cold truth. Humans are happy if we are growing as individuals and if we are contributing beyond ourselves. Without growth, and without a deliberate effort to help others, we are just slaves to cultural expectations, ensnared by the trappings of money and power and status and perceived success.” 7 likes
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