“Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists” by: Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

To begin this review, I sat with my thoughts bit, but I also did something I don’t often find myself doing…I read some of the other reviews by others on Goodreads first. I should not have done that.

I don’t see where all of the hate came from on this one. It’s a chuckle-worthy read. I loved the annotations by Ryan. I am sure it is easier to take in as a kindle reader than to be flipping back and forth on the hard copy, I can understand that being maybe an issue for some due to all of the footnotes/endnotes.

Many reviewers were saying that the author comes across as privileged/arrogant. I think much of that is projecting…but I try not to judge. Personally, I did not find this to be preachy or condescending. Yes, the verbage chosen could be construed as a little bit cocky, but if it is that much of an issue for you as a reader to have to look up words that you may not have known prior, why are you even reading in the first place? Isn’t part of the fun of reading to branch out and learn things? I digress.

Maybe this was an enjoyable read for me because I myself am already a minimalist and I found myself nodding along with the points being made. I’m not quite sure. I do know that the format was a bit forced during the conversation parts, which reminded me of Giles on the show Buffy The Vampire Slayer, as far as information dumping. It was still easier to read than if it wasn’t presented that way and instead was written as a prolonged monologue.

One other point was that I noticed a comment/review complaint made about the author talking badly about his ex girlfriend. I wondered if that person and I actually read the same book, because I didn’t come across that part at all. Were they reading a special edition with an extra bonus bitching chapter? (*sarcasm) Joshua was talking about his own flaws he brought to the relationship; his own drawbacks and lack of giving as much as he was getting. Where and how can that be construed as “bitching” about an ex?

I found this read to be helpful, meaningful, and filled with value for those that are seeking out to better their lives with something other than “stuff”.

I believe there is a fine line between being “cocky/arrogant” and being “self-assured/faking confidence” until one makes it. Maybe some people didn’t get that in reading this. I think Joshua is probably someone who has his own self-criticisms and faults (like we all do as humans) and tries to play up his own perceived strengths instead of his own perceived weaknesses.

I am also thirty and perhaps there is a generational difference in the interpretation of the text? I think that twenty, thirty, and forty-somethings can indeed write memoirs and shouldn’t be looked down on for it. I guess it is all what you as a reader bring to the book as well. Especially since a book is like a dialog between the writer and the reader. YOU bring your thoughts/past/experiences to books as you experience them too. *shrug*

I know that our reading choices and preferences are all different and varied and that’s beautiful. What I don’t care for however is when people give low ratings on books that don’t make any sense given the content (as this can sometimes deter other would-be readers from trying out something they may be on the fence about giving a shot and so miss out on something that may help them in some way).

Anyways, I would recommend this one and that’s all from me on the topic.

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