Everything That Remains by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

“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.

In pursuit of looking for something more substantial than compulsory consumption and the broken American Dream, Millburn jettisoned most of his material possessions and walked away from his six-figure career.

‘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 twenty years.”

A few weeks ago I was trawling through Netflix. It was a weekend and I didn’t have much to do (or if I did, I wasn’t in the mood for doing it), and I came across a documentary: ‘Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things’. Watching it through set my head spinning, and made me stop and seriously think about the way I live my life, so much so that I immediately ordered this book, which is written by two of the guys who presented the documentary.

After waiting with great anticipation for the book to arrive through the post, when it was finally delivered a few days ago, I started reading straight away, ignoring my waiting list of over 40 unread books stacked on my shelves.

Before I discovered The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus), I was under the impression that minimalism only existed in art forms; in paintings and music among a few other things. I had never heard the word ‘minimalism’ in association with a way of life or lifestyle choice, but I found the concept incredibly interesting.  The fundamental idea of minimalist living, is about having more with less; living more purposefully, more deliberately, with fewer material possessions to weigh you down.

Millburn has an incredible voice on the page, it’s clever and clear yet concise, always to the point, with no extra fluff. Nicodemus’ brilliant additions were funny and enlightening, as it gave insight into an additional opinion on the topic. It was occasionally a little difficult to read these interjections at the right time in the book; they were in the form of end-notes at the back of the book, and the reference numbers hidden in the text that linked to these were very small, meaning I sometimes missed them and had to backtrack to search for the teeny digits!

Nevertheless I loved reading ‘Everything that Remains’, and I hope to gradually put what it preaches into practice. I am at a very different stage in my life compared to The Minimalists when they started on their journey. I have no six-figure career to walk away from, so my approach to minimalism will likely be very different.

Last week I came home for the Easter Holidays and spent a few days having a huge clear-out. It was extremely freeing to reorganize my belongings, and I feel happier now that I know what I own, and where everything is.

This brilliant little book has inspired me, and I would 100% recommend it to anyone.

5/5 rating.


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An aspiring cellist, I absolutely adore reading, and even if it means squeezing it into the cracks of my busy life I am still determined to read more! For me, a truly great novel isn't just flashy with a fast paced plot and glossy characters, it is good literature that traps you with every word and entices you to read on. I write quick-to-read book reviews on CreativeThoughtBubble, as well as occasionally publishing short stories of my own.

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