The most recommended books about simplicity

Who picked these books? Meet our 10 experts.

10 authors created a book list connected to simplicity, and here are their favorite simplicity books.
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Book cover of Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More

Laura Fenton Author Of The Little Book of Living Small

From my list on small space design.

Why am I passionate about this?

I know small spaces from first-hand experience. As a writer based in New York City, I have lived in a series of impossibly small spaces, including a 6’ x 8’ bedroom in an apartment with no living room and a teeny-tiny studio that was made livable by installing a Murphy bed. Today I live in less than 700 square feet with my husband and son. When I set out to write my own book, I wanted to inspire readers to make the most of their own small homes and discover the freedom that living small provides. I have an extensive personal library of books about small space design, but these five are my all-time favorites.

Laura's book list on small space design

Laura Fenton Why did Laura love this book?

This book is not specifically about small spaces, but it would be a valuable addition to any small-space library for its message of living with less and conscious consumption. I discovered Erin’s writing and her blog Reading My Tea Leaves when I was a new mom looking for examples of families choosing to live in small spaces. Erin’s book Simple Matters is one I turn back to whenever I need a fresh burst of inspiration to declutter, simplify, and embrace a slower style of home-keeping. Simple Matters is not a coffee table book, it is meant to be picked up and read. 

By Erin Boyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Simple Matters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Erin Boyle shares practical guidance and personal insights on small-space living and conscious consumption. At once pragmatic and philosophical, Simple Matters is a nod to the growing consensus that living simply and purposefully is more sustainable not only for the environment, but for our own happiness and well-being, too. Boyle embraces the notion that "living small" is beneficial and accessible to us all-whether we're renting a tiny apartment or purchasing a three-story house. Filled with personal essays, projects, and helpful advice on how to be inventive and resourceful in a tight space, Simple Matters shows that living simply is about…


Book cover of Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism

Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter Author Of Green Interior Design

From my list on the future of design and sustainable living.

Why are we passionate about this?

After specializing in minimalism and zero/low-waste in luxury residential design, Lori Dennis Inc. was tapped to author two books on Green Interior Design. The mission is to make sustainable design and living fun and accessible. Both Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter discovered their passions for design at an early age, spawned from resourcefulness and creative resstaint. Having lived in NYC and LA, Lori and Courtney have a love of cities, community, and the great outdoors.

Lori's book list on the future of design and sustainable living

Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter Why did Lori love this book?

From the cover to its contents, Rachel Aust’s beautifully illustrated book, Less, lives up to its promise of minimalism. It is an excellent introduction to dive into living with less. She is fun and quirky and with her book’s guidance, you’ll be organized and decluttered, physically and mentally, in no time! 

By Rachel Aust,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Less as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Simplify life and amplify living by mastering the fundamentals of minimalism through this visual guide to embracing a minimalist lifestyle.

How can living with less contribute to a greater sense of fulfillment? It seems contradictory, yet the minimalist lifestyle, which focuses on scaling back your possessions and simplifying your life to just the essentials, achieves just that. Adopt minimal living, and you'll find that less is more:

More time because you don't waste it caring for and organizing stuff.
More space because you don't fill it with objects of marginal value.
More money because you don't spend it on unnecessary…


Book cover of Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More

Rebecca E. Williams Author Of The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress, and Anger That Trigger Addictive Behaviors, 2nd Edition

From my list on ridiculously simple self-care in addiction recovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a psychologist, an award-winning author, and a yoga and meditation devotee. Growing up in the Bronx, New York I saw firsthand the devastating impact addiction can have on individuals and families. That is why I have dedicated my professional life to understanding and supporting people recovering from addiction, mental illness, and life's challenges. I’m also the co-author of The Gift of Recovery: 52 Mindful Ways to Live Joyfully Beyond Addiction, which offers lots of strategies to manage daily stressors. I wholeheartedly believe there is a path back to wellness. It takes a foundation of self-compassion and daily focus on your healing. You deserve to be healthy and happy.

Rebecca's book list on ridiculously simple self-care in addiction recovery

Rebecca E. Williams Why did Rebecca love this book?

It isn’t often that a book comes along that feels surprisingly like sitting in meditation. Soulful Simplicity is that book. I loved the tempo and the energy of it. This book is such a beautiful combination of the art and practice of giving up what does not belong in a life of purpose. I have a copy on my desk to remind me to keep things simple and heartfelt. Courtney Carver has a lovely podcast with her daughter called Soul and Wit which offers us yet another reminder to be kind to ourselves no matter where we are on the journey of self-discovery and joy.

By Courtney Carver,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Soulful Simplicity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Courtney Carver shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives.

We are often on a quest for more—we give in to pressure every day to work more, own more, and do more. For Carver, this constant striving had to come to a stop when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Stress was like gasoline on the fire of symptoms, and it became clear that she needed to root out the physical and psychological clutter that were the source of her debt and discontent.
     In…


Book cover of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity

Ben Kirby Author Of PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities

From my list on for the questioning Christian.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the founder of PreachersNSneakers, a network of social media accounts and books of the same title, which looks to get others to question the state of the modern church and our obsession with wealth, entertainment and fame. Going through the process of curating the accounts and writing the book has helped me develop expertise on mega churches, celebrity pastors, social media and the prosperity gospel. My goal is to get all people to laugh, think and live more authentically.

Ben's book list on for the questioning Christian

Ben Kirby Why did Ben love this book?

This was another foundational book for the network I created, PreachersNSneakers, and seemed to validate some of the questions I already had about Christianity. This book is packed with statistics and other realities about how much poverty and suffering there is in the world compared to the small subset of Western Christians that live with relative wealth. This book helps wrestle with the idea that a few get to flourish while masses live in poverty and how we as Christians should live our lives knowing that fact. This book is challenging in the best way and is a must-read for those who have questions about the relationship between faith and money.

By Ronald J. Sider,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In an age obsessed with wealth, Christians seem to have forgotten that scripture encourages believers to give to the poor. Why do 1.3 billion people live in abject poverty? And what should Christians do about it?

Despite a dramatic reduction in world hunger, 34,000 children still die daily of starvation and preventable disease, and 1.3 billion people around the world remain in abject poverty.

Dr. Ron Sider, a professor of theology, examines the issues of poverty and hunger in modern society. While the Bible is full of instructions to care for the poor and warns against being seduced by riches,…


Book cover of The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

Yara Zgheib Author Of No Land to Light On

From my list on to read while taking a flight.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a child, every year, for Christmas, I would wish for wings, pixie dust, a flying carpet… anything that would make me fly. I will never forget the first time I did: my grandfather and mother took me with them on a trip to Brussels when I was about four. That blue, those clouds, that lightness… I have never stopped chasing them since.

Yara's book list on to read while taking a flight

Yara Zgheib Why did Yara love this book?

Really, any book or essay (or scrap of paper!) by Pico Iyer, the master of flight and finding that quiet, blue place above any clouds. The first three books in this list were to make you want to take flight. This is the how-to manual. Start it on the plane, as the engine roars to life, the wheels begin to turn… and go.

By Pico Iyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Stillness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part of the TED series: The Art of Stillness

In this age of constant movement and connectedness, when so many of us are all over the place, perhaps staying in one place - and locating everything we need for peace and happiness there - is a more exciting prospect, and a greater necessity than ever before.

Through his extensive interviews with creative geniuses of our day, as well as historical records and his own life experience, acclaimed author Pico Iyer paints a picture of why so many have found such richness in stillness and how - from Marcel Proust to…


Book cover of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

Jennifer Howard Author Of Clutter: An Untidy History

From my list on to read when you’re decluttering.

Why am I passionate about this?

I didn’t choose clutter as a topic—it chose me. Around the time Marie Kondo became a tidying-up sensation, my mother suffered a breakdown and could no longer live in her dangerously cluttered house. I’m an only child, so it fell to me to figure what to do with it all. So much stuff! It got me wondering: How did clutter get to be such a huge problem for so many people? The books on this list helped answer that question and made me feel less alone in the struggle with stuff. I hope you find them useful too.

Jennifer's book list on to read when you’re decluttering

Jennifer Howard Why did Jennifer love this book?

Dealing with a lifetime’s worth of possessions feels like a heavy task—heavy in every sense. In this breezy book, Margareta Magnuson reminds readers that it doesn’t have to be a drag. Figuring out what to do with all your things can be cathartic, liberating, even fun, a chance to relive some of the highlights of your life and celebrate where you’ve landed. It’s also a kindness to your nearest and dearest. As she wisely observes, “A loved one wishes to inherit nice things from you. Not all things from you.” I wish I could go back in time and give a copy of this book to my mother with that passage highlighted. 

By Margareta Magnusson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Soon to be a major TV series*

Dostadning, or the art of death cleaning, is a Swedish phenomenon by which the elderly and their families set their affairs in order. Whether it's sorting the family heirlooms from the junk, downsizing to a smaller place, or using a failsafe system to stop you losing essentials, death cleaning gives us the chance to make the later years of our lives as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Whatever your age, Swedish death cleaning can be used to help you de-clutter your life, and take stock of what's important.

Radical and joyous, eighty-something Margareta…


Book cover of The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own

Joni Hilton Author Of Housekeeping Secrets My Mother Never Taught Me

From my list on home organization.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ll admit it: I love the domestic arts. As a natural klutz, I knew sports would be out and I focused on organizing, cooking, gardening, cleaning, and decorating. My mother knew all the old-fashioned tricks and I collected the new ones. Today I have several thousand followers on my youtube channel, where I share life hacks, housekeeping hints, and even motherly advice as the Youtube Mom. One of my sons said that none of his buddies knew how to do laundry, cook, iron, etc., and suggested I have a channel to fill in the gaps for Millenials. Having hosted a TV talk show in Los Angeles, this appealed to me right away. And, you guessed it, lots of moms and grandmas write in as well, saying they never knew those tricks themselves. It’s truly gratifying to share these time-and-money-saving ideas.

Joni's book list on home organization

Joni Hilton Why did Joni love this book?

This is the book for people who want to truly embrace minimalism. Becker offers a spiritual approach to living with less, and really knows how to motivate his readers to slow down, live deliberately, be grateful, and donate generously. Even tips on staying out of debt. It will affect many aspects of your life, not just organizing. You simply feel like a better person after reading his book!

By Joshua Becker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The More of Less as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don’t Settle for More
 
Most of us know we own too much stuff. We feel the weight and burden of our clutter, and we tire of cleaning and managing and organizing.
 
While excess consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, fancier technology, and cluttered homes, it never brings happiness. Rather, it results in a desire for more. It redirects our greatest passions to things that can never fulfill. And it distracts us from the very life we wish we were living.
 
Live a better life with less.
 
In The More of Less, Joshua Becker helps you...
 
• Recognize the life-giving…