Recommendations and the books that the minimalists wrote

The minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, are one of the beacon bearers for an age that's forever getting under the burden of more stuff and an focus-less life.
10% Happier
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10% Happier

by Dan Harris

About the book:  10% HAPPIER is a spiritual book written for - and by - someone who would otherwise never read a spiritual book. It is both a deadly serious and seriously funny look at mindfulness and meditation as the next big public health revolution. Dan Harris always believed the restless, relentless, impossible-to-satisfy voice in his head was one of his greatest assets. How else can you climb the ladder in an ultra-competitive field like TV news except through nonstop hand-wringing and hyper vigilance? For a while, his strategy worked. Harris anchored national broadcasts and he covered wars. Then he hit the brakes, and had a full-blown panic attack live on the air. What happened next was completely unforeseen. Through a bizarre series of events - involving a disgraced evangelical pastor, a mysterious self-help guru and a fateful gift from his wife - Harris stumbled upon something that helped him tame the voice in his head: meditation. At first, he was deeply suspicious. He had long associated meditation with bearded swamis and unwashed hippies. But when confronted with mounting scientific evidence that just a few minutes a day can literally rewire the brain for focus, happiness, and reduced reactivity, Harris took a deep dive. He spent years mingling with scientists, executives and marines on the front lines of a quiet revolution that has the potential to reshape society. He became a daily meditator, and even found himself on a ten-day, silent meditation retreat, which was simultaneously the best and worst experience he'd ever had. Harris's life was not transformed into a parade of rainbows and unicorns, but he did gain a passion for daily meditation. While the book itself is a narrative account of Dan's conversion amid the harried and decidedly non-Zen world of the newsroom, it concludes with a section for the novice on how to get started.


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Everything That Remains
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Everything That Remains

by Joshua Fields Millburn,Ryan Nicodemus

About the book:  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.


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Essential: Essays by The Minimalists
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Essential: Essays by The Minimalists

by Joshua Fields Millburn,Ryan Nicodemus

About the book:  The best of The Minimalists. This book by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus collects the most relevant essays—some short, some long—from their popular website, TheMinimalists.com. This collection has been edited and organized to create an experience that's considerably different from reading individual selections online. From simple living, decluttering, and finances, to passion, health, and relationships, Essential is for anyone who desires a more intentional life.


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Simplicity: Essays
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Simplicity: Essays

by Joshua Fields Millburn,Ryan Nicodemus

About the book:  Simplicity: Essays is The Minimalists’ fifth book and second essay collection, a follow-up to their bestselling book Essential Essays. In the two years since the authors quit their six-figure corporate jobs and embraced simpler lives, they have written more than 200 essays on the subject of simple living. Simplicity: Essays serves as a “best of” collection for their most important collaborative writings. This 152-page book contains 46 edited and revised essays about living a meaningful life with less stuff, including “Getting Rid of Gifts,” “Asking Friends & Family to Embrace Change,” and “I Am Not the Center of the Universe.” It also includes a special forward by The Minimalists and two unpublished essays that can’t be found anywhere else: “Simplicity” and “The Worst Christmas Ever.” The order of the essays in this collection is deliberate; they are meant to be read in sequence from beginning to end. Doing so will result in an experience that is different from reading these essays individually throughout the web, connecting various concepts that may otherwise seem unconnected. These essays were written to encourage readers to think critically about the excess in their lives and, ultimately, to take action towards living more intentionally. This collection is short enough to be read in a few sittings, or it can be digested slowly, reading one essay a day for six weeks, applying its principals each day to your own life.


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As a Decade Fades
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As a Decade Fades

by Joshua Fields Millburn

About the book:  People don't know how to love the ones they love until they disappear from their lives. As he approaches thirty, Jody Grafton's career as a singer-songwriter falls apart: he loses his record deal, his money, his fame--even his desire to create new music. While he stares at the rubble of his one-hit-wonder musical career, his mother is diagnosed with lung cancer, his marriage ends abruptly, and Jody starts drinking heavily to deaden his new reality. When he hasn't a single reason left to live, he attempts suicide and ends up in a psych ward where he's prodded with questions he isn't yet prepared to answer. Amid the tailspin, Jody receives a phone call from his recently estranged girlfriend and she has unexpected news: she's pregnant. As a Decade Fades begins with this phone call. As his twenties twilight, Jody Grafton grapples with loneliness, depression, lust, and infatuation while glancing at the mounting wreckage in his rearview. When he can't fit--or force--the pieces of his life back together, he leaves his native Ohio to search for answers in the most unlikely of places.


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Lying
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Lying

by Sam Harris

About the book:  As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption—even murder and genocide—generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie. In Lying, best-selling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on "white" lies—those lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfort—for these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process.


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Freedom
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Freedom

by Jonathan Franzen

About the book:  'Freedom' captures the temptations and burdens of liberty - the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Walter and Patty Berglund as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.


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Infinite Jest
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Infinite Jest

by David Foster Wallace

About the book:  A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.


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A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again
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A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again

by David Foster Wallace

About the book:  A collection of insightful and uproariously funny non-fiction by the bestselling author of INFINITE JEST - one of the most acclaimed and adventurous writers of our time. A SUPPOSEDLY FUN THING... brings together Wallace's musings on a wide range of topics, from his early days as a nationally ranked tennis player to his trip on a commercial cruiseliner. In each of these essays, Wallace's observations are as keen as they are funny. Filled with hilarious details and invigorating analyses, these essays brilliantly expose the fault line in American culture - and once again reveal David Foster Wallace's extraordinary talent and gargantuan intellect.


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Making Nice
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Making Nice

by Matt Sumell

About the book:  Named a book of the year by BUSTLE and ELECTRIC LITERATURE “Alby is Holden Caulfield in the Internet age..." --Los Angeles Times Hailed as "indelible" by Entertainment Weekly, a "cringe-inducingly funny" (The Wall Street Journal) gut-punch of a debut about love, grief, and family "unleashes one of the most comically arresting voices this side of Sam Lipsyte's Homeland" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) In Matt Sumell's blazing first book, our hero Alby flails wildly against the world around him—he punches his sister (she deserved it), "unprotectos" broads (they deserved it and liked it), gets drunk and picks fights (all deserved), defends defenseless creatures both large and small, and spews insults at children, slow drivers, old ladies, and every single surviving member of his family. In each of these stories Alby distills the anguish, the terror, the humor, and the strange grace—or lack of—he experiences in the aftermath of his mother's death. Swirling at the center of Alby's rage is a grief so big, so profound, it might swallow him whole. As he drinks, screws, and jokes his way through his pain and heartache, Alby's anger, his kindness, and his capacity for good bubble up when he (and we) least expect it. Sumell delivers "a naked rendering of a heart sorting through its broken pieces to survive.*" Making Nice is a powerful, full-steam-ahead ride that will keep you laughing even as you try to catch your breath; a new classic about love, loss, and the fine line between grappling through grief and fighting for (and with) the only family you've got. *Mark Richard


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The Total Money Makeover
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The Total Money Makeover

by Dave Ramsey

About the book:  A strategy for changing attitudes about personal finances covers such topics as getting out of debt, the dangers of cash advances and keeping spending within income limits.


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Dead I Well May Be
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Dead I Well May Be

by Adrian McKinty

About the book:  This Irish bad-boy thriller -- set in the hardest streets of New York City -- brims with violence, greed, and sexual betrayal. "I didn't want to go to America, I didn't want to work for Darkey White. I had my reasons. But I went." So admits Michael Forsythe, an illegal immigrant escaping the Troubles in Belfast. But young Michael is strong and fearless and clever -- just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, squatters live furtively in ruined buildings, and hundreds are murdered each month. Michael and his lads tumble through the streets, shaking down victims, drinking hard, and fighting for turf, block by bloody block. Dodgy and observant, not to mention handy with a pistol, Michael is soon anointed by Darkey as his rising star. Meanwhile Michael has very inadvisably seduced Darkey's girl, Bridget -- saucy, fickle, and irresistible. Michael worries that he's being followed, that his affair with Bridget will be revealed. He's right to be anxious; when Darkey discovers the affair, he plans a very hard fall for young Michael, a gambit devilish in its guile, murderous in its intent. But Darkey fails to account for Michael's toughness and ingenuity or the possibility that he might wreak terrible vengeance upon those who would betray him. A natural storyteller with a gift for dialogue, McKinty introduces to readers a stunning new noir voice, dark and stylish, mythic and violent -- complete with an Irish lilt.


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