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Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works

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How might your life be better with less? Imagine a life with less: less stuff, less clutter, less stress and debt and discontent—a life with fewer distractions. Now, imagine a life with more: more time, more meaningful relationships, more growth and contribution and contentment—a life of passion, unencumbered by the trappings of the chaotic world around you. What you’re ima How might your life be better with less? Imagine a life with less: less stuff, less clutter, less stress and debt and discontent—a life with fewer distractions. Now, imagine a life with more: more time, more meaningful relationships, more growth and contribution and contentment—a life of passion, unencumbered by the trappings of the chaotic world around you. What you’re imagining is an intentional life. And to get there, you’ll have to let go of some clutter that’s in the way. In Love People Use Things, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus move past simple decluttering to show how minimalism makes room to reevaluate and heal the seven essential relationships in our lives: stuff, truth, self, money, values, creativity, and people. They use their own experiences—and those of the people they have met along the minimalist journey—to provide a template for how to live a fuller, more meaningful life. Because once you have less, you can make room for the right kind of more.


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How might your life be better with less? Imagine a life with less: less stuff, less clutter, less stress and debt and discontent—a life with fewer distractions. Now, imagine a life with more: more time, more meaningful relationships, more growth and contribution and contentment—a life of passion, unencumbered by the trappings of the chaotic world around you. What you’re ima How might your life be better with less? Imagine a life with less: less stuff, less clutter, less stress and debt and discontent—a life with fewer distractions. Now, imagine a life with more: more time, more meaningful relationships, more growth and contribution and contentment—a life of passion, unencumbered by the trappings of the chaotic world around you. What you’re imagining is an intentional life. And to get there, you’ll have to let go of some clutter that’s in the way. In Love People Use Things, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus move past simple decluttering to show how minimalism makes room to reevaluate and heal the seven essential relationships in our lives: stuff, truth, self, money, values, creativity, and people. They use their own experiences—and those of the people they have met along the minimalist journey—to provide a template for how to live a fuller, more meaningful life. Because once you have less, you can make room for the right kind of more.

30 review for Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Celadon Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is the first book of this type that I have read, so if you read these types of books, you might want to take that into consideration. I hadn’t heard of the Minimalists before reading this book. I have heard of Marie Kondo, if that helps. This book address a minimalist lifestyle not only in terms of belongings but also in terms of self. I agree with the book’s title, the idea that we can do with less t Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Celadon Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is the first book of this type that I have read, so if you read these types of books, you might want to take that into consideration. I hadn’t heard of the Minimalists before reading this book. I have heard of Marie Kondo, if that helps. This book address a minimalist lifestyle not only in terms of belongings but also in terms of self. I agree with the book’s title, the idea that we can do with less things, and I found some helpful bits in the book (such as the questions to ask before you buy things and some of the coda bits for the chapters). The authors make it quite clear that what every person considers needed is going to be different. I liked that. The chapter about relationships has some valid, if at times oversimplified point. However, those good parts didn’t outweigh the problem though. The first problem is the structure and the writing style. The bulk of the book seems to have been written by Joshua Fields Millburn, and the book cannot deicide if it wants to be his memoir (which would be fine) or a self help guide (which would be fine). While some times this works, if not well, on a functional level, many times it does not. Too often it feels like the reader is being treated to a digression about Millburn’s life for little or no reason. Some of the bits are also repetitive. Quite frankly, his writing style is the total opposite of minimalist. It also feels like he throws in words just show that you he knows them. (Honesty, if I had to read about how he earned 200,000 a year in Dayton, Ohio before he became a lifestyle guru in LA, I was going to stab something. One or two mentions is fine, but after awhile it sounds like bragging). There are also a couple times when Millburn sounds downright cruel about people. For instance, he talks about a big fat guy eating a pizza and watching Netflix while on lunch break. While we can agree that this is unhealthy in terms of lunch, Millburn doesn’t know why the guy is unhappy and tone is on of superiority mixed with a small degree of pity. My second issue, and to be fair this is undoubtedly a criticism of the genre as a whole. It is the amount of selling that this book does. He mentions people they work with and their works (including that of his wife), he talks about the conferences and shows, the reader is encouraged to buy things and listen to things. So if we are suppose to get read of things, why are you selling things? (Let me stress this seems to be the case for pretty much every person who advocates a simpler, less thing filled life). Additionally, the rules, while good, are also adaptions of philosophy and ideas from other sources (again, this is most likely status quo for the genre. It is true of mindfulness for example). To be fair to the authors, they do seem to mention people they either have worked with or consulted and those people’s blogs, podcasts, businesses, so they are spending the consumer wealth around. But there are more serious issues at pay in the book. Millburn writes that he wishes this book had come out earlier because it could have helped people though the pandemic, that the solutions and questions presented would have allowed people to escape without as much harm. But which people is he talking about? The book proposes solutions to things, but in some cases you have to have a certain income to do some of those things. (For instance, adjunct faculty can find it extremely difficult to save three months of income and set it aside. Could an artist?) The comment about the pandemic comes across as tone deaf when you are aware of who were most effected either by COVID or by the lack of work. To imply that this book by itself would have saved those people the discomfort is, well, many things other than believable. It also is, unintentionally no doubt, dismissive of the people who died, over half a million in the US alone. Then there are the statistics that are cited to showcase consumerism and focus on status (which is rich coming from a guy who keeps stating his income). The problem is that some of the statistics are over ten years old and the data has changed (in particular in regards to malls, though it is unclear how that term is being used). One study that is, in fact, British, is implied to be American by the structure of the paragraph it is in. If I can’t trust how you use data or how recent your data is, can I trust you? But for me the biggest issue is the chapter about self. Millburn starts this chapter by mentioning his own battle with depression. The chapter then keeps moving (though it always feels like digressing) to various subtopics – such as healthy eating and taking care of yourself (the presumption is that everyone has health insurance, can afford a gym membership, has access to green space, and money to afford good food). While Millburn never directly states it, the implication or sense in the chapter is that in order to get over depression, you simply have to keep moving and work though it. (For instance, when Millburn mentions drugs of any type in this chapter he is usually negative). While this might be true for some people who suffer from depression, it is not true of everyone who suffers from depression. To even passively suggest that you just need to pull yourself out is insulting and, quite frankly, dangerous. It is this type of thinking that leads to much of the stigma attached to mental health. This chapter combined with the privilege that pervades other sections (health care, pay, what happens after arrest among other things, what a person could afford to do as a family outing even) weakens the argument. It should be noted that question of privilege is only addressed once, really, and then it is dismissed. On one the dismissal makes sense in terms of cost, on the other, not everyone lives an easy 20 minutes away from good shops. This true even in a city where a bus routes do not always go the quickest route. Not to mention, the privilege of having too much stuff. And while the book itself isn’t the type (nor is does it have the purpose) to challenge the whole of societal issues that plague us – some realization that some women in some jobs cannot get away with only four outfits or that a black teen arrested for shop lifting is likely to be treated differently than a white teen, for instance – would have made the book better. (Note: Thanks to Celadon Books for the ARC. Normally I would tag the publisher and use the hashtag, but I do not feel comfortable doing that with a negative review).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    This book has come at the right time: after COVID we are all having to 'reset' for the future. The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus) have 'mapped' out the brave new world we are all going to have to 'wade' into: but will it still be cluttered with all the things that we have now seen really do not matter? The Minimalists’ podcast and blog is not set down in a book which challenges us all to ask this most important of questions: do I own things or do things owe me? Highest r This book has come at the right time: after COVID we are all having to 'reset' for the future. The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus) have 'mapped' out the brave new world we are all going to have to 'wade' into: but will it still be cluttered with all the things that we have now seen really do not matter? The Minimalists’ podcast and blog is not set down in a book which challenges us all to ask this most important of questions: do I own things or do things owe me? Highest recommendation.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    Before having picked this book up I had never heard of the Minimalists, listened to their podcast or read any of their books. Having finished this book I'm pretty sure that's about to change. Filled with no-nonsense advice and hard truths; this book was VERY impactful. I found myself re-reading sections and bookmarking pages - I hardly EVER do that. At the heart this book is about minimalism, but in fact it is so much more than that. The sections on relationships, creativity, and money were so p Before having picked this book up I had never heard of the Minimalists, listened to their podcast or read any of their books. Having finished this book I'm pretty sure that's about to change. Filled with no-nonsense advice and hard truths; this book was VERY impactful. I found myself re-reading sections and bookmarking pages - I hardly EVER do that. At the heart this book is about minimalism, but in fact it is so much more than that. The sections on relationships, creativity, and money were so powerful that I'm still thinking about them. From 30 day challenges to worksheets to engaging questions - this book wants to change how you view your life and wants you to think critically about everything you own, everything you do, and everyone you associate with. It's a handbook that will make you think more deeply about aspects of your life that you take for granted. I really appreciate that this book wasn't preachy and didn't tell readers how wrong they are living their lives. You could do small approaches and monthly challenges to find what works best for YOUR life - because there is no one size fits all approach. I won't become a minimalist over night but I certainly aim to use lots of different advice that this book had to see what changes I can make to improve my life. An excellent book. #celadonreads #lovepeopleusethingsbook

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sweetheart_Seer

    *I was sent an e-arc from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.* Be forewarned: this review is going to be **brutally** honest. Literally in the preface, Josh is already busting out the thesaurus and trying to casually use the word "erumpet". Good grief, this guy is still not over himself yet. Wonder if he thought he was being pithy? Anyways, I was hoping maybe there would be some new ground here, new insight or some growth, but alas this is the same shit shoveled into a new *I was sent an e-arc from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.* Be forewarned: this review is going to be **brutally** honest. Literally in the preface, Josh is already busting out the thesaurus and trying to casually use the word "erumpet". Good grief, this guy is still not over himself yet. Wonder if he thought he was being pithy? Anyways, I was hoping maybe there would be some new ground here, new insight or some growth, but alas this is the same shit shoveled into a new book shaped package. I wonder if The Minimalists will ever get tired of themselves...particularly if Josh will ever realize how much of a narcissistic and arrogant person he comes across through his "writing", (still can't believe he actually "teaches" a writing class online. Who seriously would pay someone to teach them to write like that? Takes all kinds I suppose. I digress...) although all it serves to do is alienate the reader and make him come across as not an intellectual, but rather as a condescending dumbass. I threw in the proverbial towel pretty early on once I realized this is the same recycled nonsense just like their second Minimalists Documentary was. (Seriously, what was even the POINT? Everything was a rehash of what they already had done in the first one. Why bother?) I think I am simply over them and over their "brand". I don't know what the targeted demographic here is, as anyone who didn't already hit that wave of minimalism years ago probably isn't going to all of a sudden hit that moment of clarity now. Oh well, at least I got the chance to try this out. Lightning doesn't tend to strike twice, but I guess train wrecks do as that's how I felt about both their second documentary and this "new" nonsense. I'm sure they are probably still doing their podcast and will be talking about this book on there nonstop soon (if they haven't started to already). I quit listening to it years ago regardless. The entire book was basically a guide on what exactly? Minimizing your relationships? Ironic given the title. You see, I'm not sure what exactly I thought this was going to be, but it very highly missed the mark on anything close to clever, insightful, or good. Huge pass.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Is this a memoir? A social critique? A catch-all recap of the Minimalists' journey? A case study review? An over-the-top self help checklist manifesto? Yikes. They could use a minimalist editor. The good parts are totally drowned out with too much info, too many questions. Is this a memoir? A social critique? A catch-all recap of the Minimalists' journey? A case study review? An over-the-top self help checklist manifesto? Yikes. They could use a minimalist editor. The good parts are totally drowned out with too much info, too many questions.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    This is not an easy book to read and it is not a quick read. The chapters make you stop and reflect before moving on to the next chapter. The book challenges the reader not only with discussions on the physical stuff in one’s life but also on relationships. What I enjoyed the most about the book was all the new vocabulary words I learned. I always enjoy learning a new word. The book is well written, but it is obvious when one writer stops and the other takes over. This is a different writing styl This is not an easy book to read and it is not a quick read. The chapters make you stop and reflect before moving on to the next chapter. The book challenges the reader not only with discussions on the physical stuff in one’s life but also on relationships. What I enjoyed the most about the book was all the new vocabulary words I learned. I always enjoy learning a new word. The book is well written, but it is obvious when one writer stops and the other takes over. This is a different writing style but it does not affect the reading of the book. This is not the type of book I would go to a store and buy, but I did find it interesting. I received the book from Celadon Books free for an unbiased review. I read this as a hard cover book. It is 321 pages published by Celadon Books in 2021.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    LOVE PEOPLE, CHANGE YOUR LIFE uses minimalism as a springboard to align your values with your activities. A must-read for anyone who wants to live more fruitfully. Written by The Minimalists, whose popular Netflix documentaries have gained them lifelong fans. Pub Date 13 Jul 2021. Thanks to @joshuafieldsmillburn, @ryannicodemus, and @celadonbooks for the review copy; opinions are mine.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    'The Minimalists,' Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, share their life journeys towards intentional living using seven different areas of focus: stuff, truth, self, values, money, creativity and people. Readers are invited to use the lessons they have learned to enact positive change in their own lives. I, like many, had preconceived notions about what minimalism is. I thought it was about creating a living space that has like one chair, one table, and a cup with a single sharpened pencil 'The Minimalists,' Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, share their life journeys towards intentional living using seven different areas of focus: stuff, truth, self, values, money, creativity and people. Readers are invited to use the lessons they have learned to enact positive change in their own lives. I, like many, had preconceived notions about what minimalism is. I thought it was about creating a living space that has like one chair, one table, and a cup with a single sharpened pencil in it. You can see the room, can't you. In my mind, that was minimalism- bare to the point of ridiculousness. Millburn addresses this misconception early on in the book. "Minimalists don't focus on having less, less, less; they focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom." pgs 35-36 Sounds pretty good to me, Josh. So how do we get there? "Minimalism is a practice of intentional living. While it starts with the stuff, it's ultimately a stewardship program for one's life." pg 124-125 I've recently experienced some major changes in my life, which include relocating to a new home and moving almost a decade's worth of stuff. During the process, I took the time to try on every piece of clothing in my wardrobe and, to my not-unexpected dismay, about three-quarters of the clothing no longer fit. It was simply a matter of donating the old clothes then. But I found myself hesitating to do so. I've lived a lot of life in those clothes and just holding them brought back so many memories. I realize the memories aren't in the items, they're in me. Millburn points out that it's easy to make that mistake. "While it's true that our memories are not in our things, it is also true that sometimes our things can trigger memories inside us." pg 20 He recommends taking pictures of these treasured items so you can continue to access the memories at will while still making room for growth. Because that's what all of this minimalism stuff is geared towards: Living an intentional life so you can grow with the values that you've chosen for yourself. What you're aiming for is growing like a cultivated flower about to bloom rather than a tumor that spills out uncontrolled in all directions. "Growth is a critical component of a meaningful life- as long as it's responsible growth- because continual improvement makes us feel alive and brings purpose to our actions." pg 170 To do so, we must first confront the reasons why we're holding on to all these items in the first place. "Fear is a common theme with people who are starting to confront their stuff. We're afraid to pull back the curtain because we're afraid not of the stuff itself, but of the work that must be done to live a more rewarding life after getting rid of it." pg 102 And for me that's the crux of the issue- fear. What am I afraid of? I'm afraid of living a life that doesn't match up with my values. I fear change, not because it might be negative but because it pulls me out of my little routines into a place of uncomfortable uncertainty. Your fears are probably quite different from mine, but the point is that you have them. Do you know what yours are? Highly recommended for readers interested in self improvement, self help or the minimalist movement. Thank you to the publisher for a free advance reader's copy of this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Donald Powell

    This book is a comprehensive self-help book. Its focus on minimizing "things" and prioritizing the people in our lives is a solid framework to propose a logical and sound design for a way of living. The prose is clear, concise and supported by citations and experiences which will make sense to most Americans. It is much more than a book about minimalization, sharing many concepts, from a unique modern perspective, covered in most general self-help books. The whole book is a modern examination of This book is a comprehensive self-help book. Its focus on minimizing "things" and prioritizing the people in our lives is a solid framework to propose a logical and sound design for a way of living. The prose is clear, concise and supported by citations and experiences which will make sense to most Americans. It is much more than a book about minimalization, sharing many concepts, from a unique modern perspective, covered in most general self-help books. The whole book is a modern examination of what philosophers or religious writers cover in their books about living the best life. I was gifted this advanced reading copy. The only "complaint" were some obvious issues with the printing which I doubt would appear in the for sale published version.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    This was extremely eye opening. Love People Use Things really makes you think. It's a raw and honest look into each of our lives. I really enjoyed the recap and questions at the end of each chapter. It made me stop and reflect on what I learned. Did I ever learn a LOT! And not just about people as a whole. I learned so much about myself in regards to many areas of my life. This book isn't just about "stuff", it is so much more. I actually stopped in the middle of the book, went downstairs and st This was extremely eye opening. Love People Use Things really makes you think. It's a raw and honest look into each of our lives. I really enjoyed the recap and questions at the end of each chapter. It made me stop and reflect on what I learned. Did I ever learn a LOT! And not just about people as a whole. I learned so much about myself in regards to many areas of my life. This book isn't just about "stuff", it is so much more. I actually stopped in the middle of the book, went downstairs and started organizing and decluttering. Ended up having my teenage son carry out some heavy items and several boxes to set outside. And while I know this is FAR from living a minimalist life, it sure felt good to rid my life of items that are just taking up space and not bringing me joy. I for one will admit I am guilty of existential clutter ... I have bins of memories in my basement dating back to my childhood. I have even been guilty of clearing out our basement by selling and giving items away only to fill that space back up. I also realized my organization skills are just well-organized hoarding LOL! Overall I'm taking some really great lessons away from Love People Use Things. Though I will say that the book started to lose me a bit just after the half way point just a little. The first half though, excellent. There is definitely some really great wisdom in these pages. Thank you so much Celadon Books for my gifted copy!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie - One Book More

    hank you so much to Celadon Reads for this copy of Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. The authors, also known as The Minimalists, examine how minimalism can help you to live a rich and meaningful life. It goes beyond decluttering and shows how minimalism can help you to work on the seven most essential relationships in your life: stuff, truth, self, money, values, creativity, and people. I love the idea of simplifying one's life hank you so much to Celadon Reads for this copy of Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. The authors, also known as The Minimalists, examine how minimalism can help you to live a rich and meaningful life. It goes beyond decluttering and shows how minimalism can help you to work on the seven most essential relationships in your life: stuff, truth, self, money, values, creativity, and people. I love the idea of simplifying one's life both physically and mentally and the idea that sometimes less gives you more. Little changes that are highlighted in the book can lead to a more fulfilled and complete life. The book focuses on decluttering all aspects of your life - material possessions, relationships with others, money, your values and truths, and more. “Because once you have less, you can make room for the right kind of more.” I like how the authors use experiences from their own and other people’s lives to show how this minimalist approach brought meaning to their lives. These personal anecdotes, as well as the various questions and prompts throughout the book, put everything in perspective and give great context for their assertions. If your looking for ways to decluttering your life, if you like the idea of minimalism, then you should totally check this book out!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Miya

    I love these guys. I love what they stand for and how they share their stories. Their passion is beautiful. This is a wonderful read. Lots of great information, and pages that just make you think. Love people use things. It's something that will stick will me. I hope to revisit this again from time to time for reminders. I think there may be something new for me each time I read it. I love these guys. I love what they stand for and how they share their stories. Their passion is beautiful. This is a wonderful read. Lots of great information, and pages that just make you think. Love people use things. It's something that will stick will me. I hope to revisit this again from time to time for reminders. I think there may be something new for me each time I read it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Rochester

    Thank you to Celadon for randomly surprising me with snail mail once again. I love getting surprises in the mail every now and then. And this book was a very nice surprise. Non fiction can be very hit or miss with me but I swore to myself that no matter what book they sent, I would read it and give it all of my attention...and be honest when I review it. I think I was only a few pages into this book when I was posting some of what I was learning on Facebook. I am telling you, this book was so fu Thank you to Celadon for randomly surprising me with snail mail once again. I love getting surprises in the mail every now and then. And this book was a very nice surprise. Non fiction can be very hit or miss with me but I swore to myself that no matter what book they sent, I would read it and give it all of my attention...and be honest when I review it. I think I was only a few pages into this book when I was posting some of what I was learning on Facebook. I am telling you, this book was so full of much needed information that at times it felt like my head was going to explode. For all of you people who seem to have everything but are still unhappy? I would completely recommend reading this book and seeing if it helps at all. It just makes you look at things differently...It is written by the Minimalists and I wasn't too sure what the main idea of the book (outside of the title) would be or how it might relate to minimalism but they totally made it work. It IS about minimalism at it's heart but not in all of the ways you might think. So go on...give it a shot.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kate Olson

    (audio) Sigh. Where do I begin? I listened to this book while purging my house of a huge percentage of our belongings so I’m obviously the target audience. But let’s just say that it missed its mark. By a long long long shot. I only finished it because I wanted to be able to rate it here (I don’t star books I DNF) but admittedly skimmed sections. I like a lot of what The Minimalists do and really enjoy their podcast. I like a lot of their resources and believe in many of the fundamentals they pr (audio) Sigh. Where do I begin? I listened to this book while purging my house of a huge percentage of our belongings so I’m obviously the target audience. But let’s just say that it missed its mark. By a long long long shot. I only finished it because I wanted to be able to rate it here (I don’t star books I DNF) but admittedly skimmed sections. I like a lot of what The Minimalists do and really enjoy their podcast. I like a lot of their resources and believe in many of the fundamentals they preach about our relationship with stuff. But this book was a rich, white, privileged bro telling me how to live and not acknowledging any of the intricacies of how the rest of the world lives. I have so much more to rant about, but instead, I’d like to point you toward a 1 star review here on GR by Christine ~ she articulates it so much better than I can. HARD PASS.

  15. 4 out of 5

    R.J. Sorrento

    This is a helpful resource for many of us who want the motivation to declutter both physical and virtual things we consume. Love People, Use Things focuses on relationships and people more than the act of decluttering which is a different take. (I still prefer Marie Kondo’s method when it comes to decluttering physical objects). What I loved: the chapter on creativity and reducing distractions. I found the advice very helpful on a personal level. What I skimmed: the memoir-like excerpts from the a This is a helpful resource for many of us who want the motivation to declutter both physical and virtual things we consume. Love People, Use Things focuses on relationships and people more than the act of decluttering which is a different take. (I still prefer Marie Kondo’s method when it comes to decluttering physical objects). What I loved: the chapter on creativity and reducing distractions. I found the advice very helpful on a personal level. What I skimmed: the memoir-like excerpts from the authors about their personal lives. It didn’t really add to the self-help feel of the book. Overall, I found value in much of the advice and there was plenty of concrete advice and steps to make real change in one’s life. Thank you to Celadon books for the paperback ARC.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I had heard of The Minimalists but had not listened to or read their work. I truly enjoyed the writing style that was engaging yet thought-provoking. It is a book based on eight relationships we have with self, things, and others and that when you make space, you then can allow these other relationships to thrive. I enjoyed the snippets of stories about the authors' lives intermixed with suggestions. The questions at the end could be helpful if you want to make changes to your life. It was easy I had heard of The Minimalists but had not listened to or read their work. I truly enjoyed the writing style that was engaging yet thought-provoking. It is a book based on eight relationships we have with self, things, and others and that when you make space, you then can allow these other relationships to thrive. I enjoyed the snippets of stories about the authors' lives intermixed with suggestions. The questions at the end could be helpful if you want to make changes to your life. It was easy to read, found I wanted to pick it up. Definitely recommend it to all. Thanks to @joshuafieldsmillburn, @ryannicodemus, and @celadonbooks for the review copy; opinions are mine. #lovepeopleusethings

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    If you've watched their Netflix shows, read their other books or listened to their podcast, this is basically the same information rehashed with a few new bits, so it felt...unnecessary. If you've watched their Netflix shows, read their other books or listened to their podcast, this is basically the same information rehashed with a few new bits, so it felt...unnecessary.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Poignant and well written, the over-arching theme is to ask what brings meaning to life. The root idea of minimalism is not an austere life for it's own sake, but rather a clearing away of the "excess" or debris that accumulates in life. In other words: "You cannot buy a meaningful life-you can only live it." The Minimalists encourage their audience to dig deeper, to look beyond the stuff. What does a curated life look like? What does an intentional relationship look like? How can we be more hones Poignant and well written, the over-arching theme is to ask what brings meaning to life. The root idea of minimalism is not an austere life for it's own sake, but rather a clearing away of the "excess" or debris that accumulates in life. In other words: "You cannot buy a meaningful life-you can only live it." The Minimalists encourage their audience to dig deeper, to look beyond the stuff. What does a curated life look like? What does an intentional relationship look like? How can we be more honest with our own relationship with self? While this was not the book I was expecting, I gleaned a deeper understanding of how to go about crafting a meaningful life. "At best, the things we bring into our lives are tools that can help us be more comfortable or productive - they can augment a meaningful life, but they cannot bring meaning into our lives." Instead of an insipid book full of useless platitudes or worse, a judgmental tone with a "tough love" message under the guise of guidance, what you will find instead is a deeply human discussion, grounded within a personal experience freely shared and thoughtfully written. Well worth a read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nidhi Shrivastava

    Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus call themselves the "minimalists". I was first intrigued by this book when it came out because I thought that given that we live in the age of excess, this would be an interesting read because it can be arguably a hard and almost difficult task. This book, however, turned out to be more than what I was expecting. It is not only a book that encourages us to think about what is important ultimately in our lives and asks us to shift away from merely materia Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus call themselves the "minimalists". I was first intrigued by this book when it came out because I thought that given that we live in the age of excess, this would be an interesting read because it can be arguably a hard and almost difficult task. This book, however, turned out to be more than what I was expecting. It is not only a book that encourages us to think about what is important ultimately in our lives and asks us to shift away from merely materialist thinking. The authors explore our relationships with materialistic possessions, truth, self, values, money, creativity, and people. My favourite chapters were "truth" and "self-care", both of which are important cultural currencies in the digital era where we can access news at our fingertips and are too busy to take care of ourselves. Thank you to Celadon books and Bookish for providing me the Arc for this book! #LovePeopleUseThings I would be happy to recommend this book to anyone looking to recharge their lives!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    I've been consuming The Minimalists content for about 4-5 years now and this book really wraps up their journey and what they learned during the last 12 years in the best way so far. If you are a regular listener of their podcast, nothing is new here, but reminders are always good. The people chapter is the highlight of the book because it is the newest "message" from the guys. Millburn's chapter reminded me a lot of Daring Greatly by Brenee Brown, both really stress the importance of vulnerabil I've been consuming The Minimalists content for about 4-5 years now and this book really wraps up their journey and what they learned during the last 12 years in the best way so far. If you are a regular listener of their podcast, nothing is new here, but reminders are always good. The people chapter is the highlight of the book because it is the newest "message" from the guys. Millburn's chapter reminded me a lot of Daring Greatly by Brenee Brown, both really stress the importance of vulnerability. Millburn urges us to have those uncomfortable conversations with people often. His suggestion of asking people "what do you want from this relationship?" even friendships, and asking if they would like to be closer, is a scary proposition but powerful. This book helped me to really cast my relationships in a new light and realized that it is going to be difficult to build strong relationships with people that don't share the same core values as I do. The Coda for the People chapter is amazing and gives advice that reminded me a lot of an updated version of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Great book, summarizes their message fantastically, and gives actionable steps to start thinking about how living with less can change our lives.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Gibbons

    It's been nearly 8 years since I was introduced to The Minimalists by one of my closest friends. She took me to meet Josh and Ryan at this tiny little indie book shop in Little Rock during one of their early book tours, and I got to meet them again in Dallas when they toured for their first Netflix project, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. If you haven't seen it, I recommend that you do. With that said, if I'm a little biased, that may be true, but I think the point's irrelev It's been nearly 8 years since I was introduced to The Minimalists by one of my closest friends. She took me to meet Josh and Ryan at this tiny little indie book shop in Little Rock during one of their early book tours, and I got to meet them again in Dallas when they toured for their first Netflix project, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. If you haven't seen it, I recommend that you do. With that said, if I'm a little biased, that may be true, but I think the point's irrelevant. The message Josh and Ryan share today remains just as important as it was all those years ago—perhaps more so. As a society, we've lost meaning and purpose amongst the beatdown of the day-to-day grind. Take a look around at people's faces the next time you venture out in public. What do you see? "Love People, Use Things" —seems like an obvious concept, doesn't it? But sadly, not according to what I've observed and experienced over the last 36 years on this earth. As a species, we're lacking meaning and purpose in our lives. We behave as if we value objects over our relationships with people, we consume more than we contribute, and we chase after fleeting pleasures rather than pausing to listen to what our inner voices are desperately trying to tell us. Partly Self-Help, partly a guide on relationships (and grounded almost entirely in psychology), Love People Use Things is told primarily from the perspective of Joshua Fields Millburn who shares some of his incredibly intimate and vulnerable missteps from earlier in life. We also get some of Ryan's experiences, but the book mostly focuses on the lessons and insights Josh learned over the first 40 years of his life, and is supported by Ryan through additional commentary and end-of-chapter exercises for the reader. Having read The Minimalists' other books, listened to their podcast, read their blog, watched their documentaries, Love People Use Things has personally brought me a ton of value, and I would consider it their best work yet. It is essentially a relationship book that examines our relationships with the following: Stuff Truth Self Values Money Creativity People While I enjoyed every last section of the book, I especially favored the chapters on our relationships with Values, Creativity, and People. I think people from all walks of life will get a great deal out of reading this book and can't recommend it enough. If you're feeling lost and overwhelmed and need some help starting over, give this one a read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

    I wasn't a fan of the Minimalists before reading this, had never heard of them. Found myself taking notes, referring back to other sections, and I've already started implementing a few of the ideas presented in this book. (My husband was delighted when I spent two hours cleaning out his closet. My own closet was next, and I didn't flinch when I saw some of my clothing in a give-away stack. Not much, anyway. I've also been considering my various relationships and recognized one as toxic. Never th I wasn't a fan of the Minimalists before reading this, had never heard of them. Found myself taking notes, referring back to other sections, and I've already started implementing a few of the ideas presented in this book. (My husband was delighted when I spent two hours cleaning out his closet. My own closet was next, and I didn't flinch when I saw some of my clothing in a give-away stack. Not much, anyway. I've also been considering my various relationships and recognized one as toxic. Never thought of it that way before, I just knew that each interaction with this person left me feeling worse than the time before. Now I know why and can walk away-- if I choose to do that. My stress level decreased like magic.) Very impressed with the level of research that went into the theories that are explored. I made notes of several of the books he referenced that I want to dig into a little deeper. The exercises at the end of each chapter, the workbook at end of book, suggested questions for Book Clubs -- they all aim to involve the reader, to encourage each person to consider how to become the best version of herself. Joshua includes so much of his own life experiences, the good, the bad, and even the ugly. I could identify with several of his mistakes, and even a couple of the success stories. I really liked this book and will recommend it to others. I received an ARC from Celadon Books. The opinions expressed here are my own. #LovePeopleUseThingsBook #CeladonBooks

  23. 5 out of 5

    Juliana | heyjulianahey

    Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the ALC. I love The Minimalists. I’ve been watching their Netflix documentaries, reading their books, and listening to their podcast since 2017. Their message has inspired me to make lasting changes in my life, and I continue to find value in it years later. If you’re expecting a Marie Kondo style how-to book, this isn’t it. Love People Use Things is a why-to book. Joshua and Ryan do a great job explaining the difference between what most people think m Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the ALC. I love The Minimalists. I’ve been watching their Netflix documentaries, reading their books, and listening to their podcast since 2017. Their message has inspired me to make lasting changes in my life, and I continue to find value in it years later. If you’re expecting a Marie Kondo style how-to book, this isn’t it. Love People Use Things is a why-to book. Joshua and Ryan do a great job explaining the difference between what most people think minimalism is—an aesthetic (clean, empty spaces)—and what minimalism actually is—living with intention. Sure, decluttering is part of it. You have to get rid of the excess to make room for what you want to bring into your life. Joshua and Ryan share their personal journeys and encourage readers to ask themselves: what do I want to give my attention to? How can I reduce distractions, and live a more meaningful life? Without being preachy, and with the knowledge that the answer will be different for everyone, The Minimalists show how changing our relationship to things can lead to reevaluating our relationships with other people, money, creativity, our values, and ourselves. Note: If you’re familiar with The Minimalists previous books and documentaries, this book will be a bit repetitive at first, but stick with it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I'm at a loss on how to tell everyone how much I loved this book. I don't usually read any type of self-help books. But the tittle interested me and when I read the first look on Bookish First it really caught my attention. I was so thrilled to read this book. It is so much much more then how to just minimalize your life. Its how to get to be that person we all want to be. To love ourselves so we can then love and be loved by others. How to be a better person in order to live a better life. Who I'm at a loss on how to tell everyone how much I loved this book. I don't usually read any type of self-help books. But the tittle interested me and when I read the first look on Bookish First it really caught my attention. I was so thrilled to read this book. It is so much much more then how to just minimalize your life. Its how to get to be that person we all want to be. To love ourselves so we can then love and be loved by others. How to be a better person in order to live a better life. Who wouldn't want that! The authors describe there lives, Past and present (very entertaining) which adds a lot to the book. Then each section of the book describes your relationship to Stuff, Truth, Self, Values, Money, Creativity, and People. Never before have I used a highlighter in a book. But this one I did because I will be rereading this book again and again. I can't wait for this book to come out. It will make a GREAT gift for my daughters and close friends in my life. If you read only one book this year, This is the one you should read! 5 STARS

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I was so excited to receive my very first arc from @celadonbooks (thank you!) At first I approached this book as a sort of how-to minimize your clutter and get rid of the physical “stuff”, but it’s so much more than that. This book is for anyone who is interested in living a more meaningful and intentional life. It is about clearing space in your life for more truth and contentment and making room for the things that really matter. How would your life be better with less? As an avid antique hunte I was so excited to receive my very first arc from @celadonbooks (thank you!) At first I approached this book as a sort of how-to minimize your clutter and get rid of the physical “stuff”, but it’s so much more than that. This book is for anyone who is interested in living a more meaningful and intentional life. It is about clearing space in your life for more truth and contentment and making room for the things that really matter. How would your life be better with less? As an avid antique hunter and book collector, and sentamentalist (not a word, I know) I find it very hard to imagine letting go of things. But this book has given me some insight into how to approach the things I might bring into my home, or put on my calendar. Does it hold meaning or value to me? I will definitely be looking at things in a new light after reading this book and recommend it for anyone who might think there’s something missing in their lives. ⭐️ Rating: 3.5/5 #lovepeopleusethingsbook #celadonreads #partner #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookreview #theminimalists

  26. 5 out of 5

    Renee (The B-Roll)

    I have been following The Minimalists for a while since watching the first show on Netflix and then again, watching the second show on Netflix as well. Since seeing those two programs and listening to The Minimalists' podcast, I have found so many of their principles and ideas very important to me and I have enjoyed moving towards a sense of minimalism in my own life. This book is a fundamental piece of The Minimalists' ideas and does not disappoint! I love how this book really focuses on people I have been following The Minimalists for a while since watching the first show on Netflix and then again, watching the second show on Netflix as well. Since seeing those two programs and listening to The Minimalists' podcast, I have found so many of their principles and ideas very important to me and I have enjoyed moving towards a sense of minimalism in my own life. This book is a fundamental piece of The Minimalists' ideas and does not disappoint! I love how this book really focuses on people and relationships and why/how we do not really need to focus on stuff (which is a hard principle to get to if you are not used to it) and how we need to or should focus on how we work with people and why people are more important in our lives. I love this concept and am so glad that The Minimalists decided to write a book on this to help influence us more and show us what is truly the important parts of life.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Note: A big thank to Celadon for sending me a copy of it to read and review , while its not my usual type of reading I can definitely see why others would find this interesting and can see where this type of minimalist life would work, like for instance just starting out, downsizing, or just wanting your life to benefit you more.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barbara (The Bibliophage)

    Originally published on my book blog, TheBibliophage.com. A new book from podcasters The Minimalists is almost here. Called Love People Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works, it’s about relationships. And about why our relationship with stuff gets in the way of developing meaningful relationships with people. Written mostly by Joshua Fields Millburn, with assists from Ryan Nicodemus, it’s a practical self-help book for the 21st century. According to The Minimalists, getting our volumes of Originally published on my book blog, TheBibliophage.com. A new book from podcasters The Minimalists is almost here. Called Love People Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works, it’s about relationships. And about why our relationship with stuff gets in the way of developing meaningful relationships with people. Written mostly by Joshua Fields Millburn, with assists from Ryan Nicodemus, it’s a practical self-help book for the 21st century. According to The Minimalists, getting our volumes of stuff and money management under control deepens our connections with people. Because things—their acquisition, costs, and storage—ultimately takes over our lives. Also, living with less stuff changes the available cash we have for traveling or contributing to our communities. Millburn discusses getting straight with our values, ourselves, and our creative endeavors too. The Minimalist path is about being true to ourselves so we can be honest with friends, coworkers, family, and significant others. In between the many suggestions, rules, and ideas, Millburn shares stories about his childhood, early adulthood, and relationship with his mother. He admits that he did many things wrong in those years. Mostly, he chased the “American Dream,” with its focus on unrestricted acquisition and career advancement. Still, his life felt hollow and lacked connection until he started following the minimalist path. Since then, he and Nicodemus have introduced these ideas to thousands or millions of people through their podcasts, speaking engagements, and books. Yet they seem like down-to-earth guys. Living simply will do that to you. My conclusions I’m not a self-help reader. But when Celadon sends me a book, I read it. They never steer me wrong, and this is no exception. The Minimalists inspired me to clean out some drawers because all ten of those sunglasses aren’t necessary. My husband and I are debating upgrading our 2007 Honda for a hybrid. After reading this book, we unflinchingly discussed priorities and cash flow. Still haven’t settled on a vehicle yet, though! Early in the book there’s a story about a family losing everything in a fire. The way Millburn tells it, the fire made them (of course) grateful for their lives. And second, it freed them from lugging around a house full of mostly unnecessary stuff. Obviously, seeing sentimental items go up in flames is awful. But Millburn’s goal is inspiring us to sort and release things we don’t use. There are plenty of less dramatic stories too. For example, people pack everything up in one room, and then they unpack only items they truly need. It’s a Minimalist shock to the system, but it also sounds more honest than reorganizing. According to Millburn, reorganizing and sorting through stuff still leads to keeping more than we need. The more I think about this book, the more I must mention the preponderance of white privilege within it. Even though neither author had an easy childhood, their adulthood is certainly colored by the fact they’re white men. I felt the same way when I read You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha. There’s no doubt that white men can “pull up their bootstraps” and find success. The same process isn’t accessible as easily (if at all) for people of color. If you need that perspective, I recommend reading books by Mychal Denzel Smith or Mikki Kendall. Nevertheless, Millburn and Nicodemus seem genuinely interested in helping readers. Their choices are admirable, and the book explains it well. I recommend Love People Use Things if you’re looking for a new outlook that’s less about collecting stuff and more about creating meaning. Acknowledgements Many thanks to Celadon Books and the authors for an advanced reading copy in exchange for this honest review. Expected publication date August 13, 2021.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emma Griffioen

    2.5 stars! i had never heard of the minimalists before reading this, they have a podcast, other books, a website and more! so when i looked them up before starting this i was really excited! this book started off strong but plateaued quite quickly as i read it if i am going to be honest. i went in thinking that it was a non-fiction book, but it was more of a mix of that, a memoir, and a self help book! what i liked about this was the “memoir” style sections, the main narrator josh had a very inte 2.5 stars! i had never heard of the minimalists before reading this, they have a podcast, other books, a website and more! so when i looked them up before starting this i was really excited! this book started off strong but plateaued quite quickly as i read it if i am going to be honest. i went in thinking that it was a non-fiction book, but it was more of a mix of that, a memoir, and a self help book! what i liked about this was the “memoir” style sections, the main narrator josh had a very interesting life from his childhood to his journey into minimalism and i thoroughly enjoyed those sections! what i didn’t love as much was the self-help aspect of this book. there was exercises at the end of each chapter to do and i’m just not a big fan of those in books at all sadly! i also found a lot of the initial discussion about minimalism so interesting, but as we got into each chapter i just felt like it was an info dump and each topic could use a whole book of its own! along with that a lot of their discussions never made the full circle back to minimalism, i would have found it more applicable if it did! i also found them referencing a lot of discussions that were to come in later chapters in the footnotes with “more to come on that later!”, which i could have done without! i do understand now though that this is not their first book, and on that they mentioned was their book on values and i think that i would love that one! i think starting with one of their earlier books, or ever listening to their podcast to get a better grasp on their approach to minimalism would have benefited me before reading this! thank you so much to caledon books for sending me an arc to read and review! i really appreciate it! and if you’re into minimalism or non fiction definitely check out the minimalists podcast and give this book a go!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Self-help is not my genre. There were a few things working against Love People Use Things. One is that I’ve never heard of the Minimalists before reading this, and so I was immediately skeptical of the advice they had to offer (call me a cynic, but I’m just going to question any self-promoting franchise that asks me to live with less while also purchasing their books). Since I don’t immediately buy into the authority of the author(s), I need data to back up any recommendation made (that’s the sc Self-help is not my genre. There were a few things working against Love People Use Things. One is that I’ve never heard of the Minimalists before reading this, and so I was immediately skeptical of the advice they had to offer (call me a cynic, but I’m just going to question any self-promoting franchise that asks me to live with less while also purchasing their books). Since I don’t immediately buy into the authority of the author(s), I need data to back up any recommendation made (that’s the scientist within me), but self-help as a genre doesn’t have to cite the literature – which irked me as there were times even when I agreed with what Millburn was saying and *knew* of evidence that could be referenced, but wasn’t (ex. winning the lottery doesn’t actually make you happy – this has been well-studied). That’s just a bias against the genre, so I admit, Millburn and Nicodemus had an uphill battle when it came to winning a positive review from me. And I would have overlooked it if their philosophy really wowed me. Their brand of minimalism does have its insights. I agree, overall, with its broad points – it’s not so much living minimally, but living intentionally. But to me, that’s not mind-blowing. It’s as old as Buddhism, and doesn’t have the catchy practicality of Marie Kondo-ing your entire home. Yes, I agree that as Americans we consume too much. I agree that debt is bad. I agree in transparency and healthy eating and yadda yadda yadda. But I also feel like I was the wrong audience for their impact to land. I may not be as explicitly conscious of my spending habits as Minimalism asks, but I’m also not someone who maxes out credit cards on cars, TV’s, and vacations I can’t afford. That’s not to belittle people who do, or suggest that those behaviors aren’t problematic or widespread – more to say that with all his emphasis on the former, it felt like Millburn was pitching ideas that weren’t aimed at me. There were also small things that bugged me. One was the totally weird preface, with an opening sentence that had the word “erumpent” in it (I had to look it up, and still not quite sure if it was used correctly), and sentences like “...devastating silence blanketing empty movie theaters galvanized by dust and darkness." How do dust and darkness galvanize, exactly? I also, probably unfairly, judged Millburn early in the book, which further undermined his authority as a lifestyle guru (view spoiler)[ specifically for cheating on his wife with his dying mom’s nurse – I really do appreciate his honesty and people make mistakes! But as a medical professional, I just find that icky and a huge violation of patient-provider relations (hide spoiler)] At the end of the day, this book only reinforced my skepticism of self-help as a genre. I do feel vaguely motivated to declutter and donate some of my excess stuff though. Perhaps will start with Love People, Use Things.

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