What if everything you ever wanted isn't what you actually want? 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.
That was four years ago. Since, Millburn, now 32, has embraced simplicity. In the pursuit of looking for something more substantial than compulsory consumption and the broken American Dream, he jettisoned most of his material possessions, paid off loads of crippling debt, and walked away from his six-figure career.
So, when everything was gone, what was left? Not a how-to book but a why-to book, 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.
©2014 Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus (P)2014 Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus
As a new fan to the minimalists with my own reasons to look to the lifestyle I was worried that JFM's story would ultimately leave me feeling depressed and feeling sorry for myself. The idea that I wouldn't relate to his story because we have very different pasts made me hesitant to listen. All those fears were unfounded.
It's a very well written (if overly poetic) book with "interruptions" by Ryan that break up the formalities nicely.
The reader is (Brittish?) obviously not JFM. Which was distracting and his attempt at American accents for the voices of non minimalist characters was distracting though it suited the writing style most of the time.
Overall very worth your monthly credit though probably not something you'd read over and over. Might be worth getting a hard copy and minimising it after ;)
Loved the book. Everything that remains is innocent, honest and utterly beautiful. Joshua and Ryan's story will only want you to feel that you deserve more without feeling sympathetic to their situation but rather yours. This is their contribution to the masses... Blissful
Very honest account of how change comes to us all and the rewards that come with instigating that change yourself. Gives you alot to think about consumerism and how your things end up owning you.
"Narrator ruined it"
They chose a narrator with a British acctent, for an author from the Midwest. For me it was exceptionally distracting. your mileage may vary.
"Great Story: Missed Opportunity"
The book is written such that the Minimalists themselves should have done the voices.
The conversations and the add-in remarks would have been perfect if the two of them would have read this audiobook instead.
That said, if you enjoy hearing their story, this is the book for you. The principles of minimalism are discussed in more detail in other books, on their podcast, or on their site.
"Brisk and excellent"
Really enjoyed this as a first book from these authors. Am not sure this was the right place to start, but felt right to me. The disconnect between the American authors and the English accented narrator was repeatedly odd to me, and not just some of the strange pronunciation (some of the Midwestern locations in the text are definitely mispronounced, which the author himself would never do). This is nitpicking, and otherwise, I have only pleasant things to say about the text and narrator.
"Writing is anything but minimalist"
This book rambled in many directions and did not focus on minimalism in the ways I expected. The author is a frustrated fiction writer, and he allowed himself to go on florid tangents, which would have been fine as stand-alone creative writing exercises, but which felt out of place within this context. The muttered contributions from the colleague, who I understand is relegated to footnotes in the text format, were more direct and more interesting than much of the author's exposition about his childhood and his cruel observations about barflies in Montana. His interactions with women were *painfully* awkward. As background, the details of his wretched childhood were interesting, but I would like to know more about his Aspergers/OCD diagnosis and how that has impacted his decision to adopt a minimalist existence. I feel strongly that there's a great message here -- it's great to reject consumerism, especially during the holidays -- but the author's failure with relationships, and dependence on the internet for meeting like-minded people, is not a great advertisement for the minimalist lifestyle.
I found the choice of a British narrator for this first-person memoir by a guy from Dayton, Ohio to be very odd and distracting. I can't fault his performance, I thought he did a fine job, and with other material, I think I would have really enjoyed him. But here it just didn't work.
I *may* seek out the author's earlier book on the minimalist lifestyle, in the hopes they are more focused.
This was an excellent read that allowed the humanity of a struggle and journey to an answer we all could use in our daily lives.
"Not a fan of the narration"
I usually can handle all different types of narrators, and don't find as many of them annoying as it seems that other people do from the many reviews I read.
But, this one - this one was frustrating to listen to, unfortunately. First of all, I really don't understand why in the world they would hire a person with a British accent to represent two guys from the Midwest. It is just weird. I feel that the narration of a memoir should sound like the author of the author doesn't do it themselves.
With the English accent, it gives the book a style that doesn't actually match with it. Maybe the authors really wanted this guy to do the narration - I don't know.
I'm sure this narrator would be good with other books, although in the beginning of the book the way he lowered his voice at the end of each sentence was driving me batty. But I stopped noticing it after awhile, so I don't know if he stopped doing it or if I just got used to it.
Then there's the weird moments where the narrator is playing the other author's voice and jumps in with a similar voice, but just recorded at a different level, or something. Very confusing.
So my suggestion is if you don't mind reading books instead of listening to them, this one may be better in the written version.
Otherwise, the content of the book is fine - although you could watch their documentary film and read their blogs to get a lot of it, really.
"You need to resd this."
A must read for anyone looking for a way to relate to minimalism. Great true story and inspiration. Great Job on this one!
"Reaffirmed Minimalism in a Realist view."
After finishing the podcasts I ventured into Audio Book Land by way of The Minimalists. I'm filled to the brim and also slightly heartbroken that it's over. Onto the next. This was absolutely a fundamental part of my day.
"Refreshing asymmetrical perspective!"
This is such a wonderful book! It was an excellent listen, and it gives me a refreshing asymmetrical perspective on my own life! I recommend!
such an inspiring book! you will find real applicable life lessons here. love the writing style and language! as a bonus the reader is easy to listen too.
"Thoroughly Enjoyable memoirs from Joshua Fields"
My first listen from the Minimalists, thoroughly enjoyed, so much so that I listened from start to finish over the weekend. I'm slowly pursuing my own take on the subject, so it provided a little inspiration and entertainment along the way.
Do not expect a crash guide on minimalism here, just an informative and amusing memoir of Joshua Field's experiences that might inspire your own journey. Josh is living the 'American Dream'; he has a high paid executive job, recently married and a huge house filled to the brim with luxury items he's been accumulating throughout his life. However, things rapidly change; he goes through a heart breaking divorce, his mother dies who he hasn't spent time with for many month's and he he is on the brink of a nervous breakdown thanks to his ever consuming career. After a sorry attempt at suicide, you could barely call it this, he decides things need to change... step in 'minimalism', and now the journey begins!
One criticism is the experience would have been more personal if the guys had narrated it themselves, regardless of the outstanding job the chosen narrator did. I think I've gathered enough information from the guys on the subject for now, but, I look forward to the release of their new film.
"Go see some really poor countries"
They are the real mimimalists.
These guys just whiney felows who doesnt like to work.
"Self indulgent and boring."
I wouldn't. I can't understand why the authors didn't implement their minimalist principles to their writing. The book was just a description of a painful and boring work-based existence for the first 10 chapters that was just as painful to read as it probably was to live! Why force the mundanity of it onto others and charge them for it?!! It got slightly more interesting after Chapter 10 but by then I was too annoyed at the authors to enjoy it.
No. I feel they have tortured me. I shouldn't have stuck with it, I suppose, but I kept thinking it would change in the next chapter. If anyone wants to read a slow description of someone's life of the kind you imagine when people say: "I should write my life story," and you know it's going to be of no interest to you or anyone, then this is the book for you. But do yourself a favour and start at Chapter 10.
It was weird. The narrator was OK but why did the author's choose a British man? The text was so obviously American in content, style and context but it sounded like Julian Clary was reading it out. Just a strange mismatch.
Definitely the first 10 chapters could have been edited down to one chapter. The book didn't start until Chapter 11. Then it was quite good for about a chapter before it went back to self indulgent "listen to my boring description of my life written in flowery descriptions just to see how many words I can pack into a sentence."
The grammar is poor: "She is staring at her cigarette's glowing tip like a lit fuse." Is she like a lit fuse? Gosh, how did she manage that? Fancy dress?! The over-long descriptions contain more tautologies than I've ever heard! The author even uses the words 'small' and 'little' next to each other. It's like they've written a pamphlet of a few pages and then seen how long they can make the book by adding as many words as possible to the basic text. Edit! Edit! Edit! I am on Chapter 14 now apart from that one slightly promising chapter (11 or 12) that hinted of advice about living in a minimalist way, it seems to be just someone's personal diary that is of no interest to anyone else.
This book has changed my view on so many things in so little time. Highly recommended for anyone, especially those in fast paced careers and lost.
"Timing of listening to this was perfect"
I am so doing this. Small steps, but steps nonetheless. When are you next touring in the uk?
"A great experience, that changed things for me."
This story tapped into my thoughts like a stage show hypnotist. I already had similar, but fuzzy ideas, this book cleared the haze for me.
I thought the narrator very good, even if it took a chapter to get used to his melodic delivery. By the end it was as though he was talking to me one to one.
This could change your whole life.
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