The best books about simplicity

1 authors have picked their favorite books about simplicity and why they recommend each book.

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Soulful Simplicity

By Courtney Carver,

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

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.

Soulful Simplicity

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…


Who am I?

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.


I wrote...

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

By Rebecca E. Williams, Julie S. Kraft,

Book cover of The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress, and Anger That Trigger Addictive Behaviors, 2nd Edition

What is my book about?

If you struggle with addiction, know that you are not alone. Addictive behaviors are often the result of a significant loss. If you’re like many others, you may have turned to drugs, alcohol, or other troubling behaviors to avoid the pain of loss. But this only delays your healing, and can lead to a destructive cycle that leaves you feeling trapped. So, how can you break free?

This second edition of The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction will help you identify the root of your addictive behaviors while providing coping strategies to deal with the strong emotions that come from experiencing a loss. With these powerful mindfulness exercises and lifestyle tips, you will be able to replace addictive behaviors with healthy behaviors to begin healing.

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

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. 

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

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…


Who am I?

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.


I wrote...

Clutter: An Untidy History

By Jennifer Howard,

Book cover of Clutter: An Untidy History

What is my book about?

Inspired by the painful process of cleaning out her mother’s house, Jennifer Howard sets her own personal struggle with clutter against a meticulously researched history of just how the developed world came to drown in material goods. In an age when Amazon can deliver anything at the click of a mouse and decluttering guru, Marie Kondo can become a reality TV star, Howard’s bracing analysis has never been more timely. Slim and compelling, Clutter is a book for anyone struggling to understand why they have so much stuffand what to do about it.

The More of Less

By Joshua Becker,

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

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!

The More of Less

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…


Who am I?

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.


I wrote...

Housekeeping Secrets My Mother Never Taught Me

By Joni Hilton,

Book cover of Housekeeping Secrets My Mother Never Taught Me

What is my book about?

There’s an easy way and a hard way to do almost everything, and the Youtube Mom, Joni Hilton, shares time-saving tricks, DIY secrets, and hundreds of tips to make your home more organized and beautiful—a place where you’re delighted to invite guests. Whether you live in a dorm or a mansion, this book will surprise you with clever ways to run your home. What’s the secret to laundry, cleaning each room, time management, and getting the family involved? Even moms and grandmas will love this book.

Less

By Rachel Aust,

Book cover of Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism

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! 

Less

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…


Who are we?

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.


We wrote...

Green Interior Design

By Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter,

Book cover of Green Interior Design

What is our book about?

Green Interior Design is the most comprehensive guide to sustainable building, designing, and decorating on the market. This beautifully illustrated guide covers every detail of your home—from the drywall to the finial on the curtain rod—and how to find the most environmentally friendly versions of products and décor. This second edition of Green Interior Design is meant as much for the budget DIYer as it is for the luxury homebuilders looking to dip their toes into sustainability.

We hope readers carry this reference guide with them as they decorate apartments, furnish their first properties, and build their dream homes from the ground up. “Going green” is more than just a trend: It’s a global economic and social necessity.

Simple Matters

By Erin Boyle,

Book cover of Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More

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. 

Simple Matters

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…


Who am I?

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.


I wrote...

The Little Book of Living Small

By Laura Fenton,

Book cover of The Little Book of Living Small

What is my book about?

The Little Book of Living Small offers practical advice for managing a tight footprint. Packed with actionable advice, The Little Book of Living Small shows readers how to make the most of limited square footage―with grace and style―and serves as the cheerleader readers need to help themselves feel satisfied and proud of their choice to live with less. The book features twelve case study homes in which style-savvy, small-space dwellers (from singles to families of four) open their doors and share their design secrets. Stylistically these homes range from urban to rural, minimalist to bohemian, with the unifying thread that they are all real homes of 1,200 square feet or less and offer clever solutions for you to use in your own home.

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

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.

The Art of Stillness

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…


Who am I?

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.


I wrote...

No Land to Light On: A Novel

By Yara Zgheib,

Book cover of No Land to Light On: A Novel

What is my book about?

Hadi and Sama are a young Syrian couple flying high on a whirlwind love, dreaming up a life in the country that brought them together. She had come to Boston years before, chasing dreams of a bigger life; he’d landed there as a sponsored refugee from a bloody civil war. Now, they are giddily awaiting the birth of their son, a boy whose native language would be freedom and belonging. When Sama is five months pregnant, Hadi’s father dies suddenly abroad. Hadi must fly back for the funeral. He leaves America, promising his wife that he’ll only be gone for a few days. On the day of his return, Sama is waiting for him at Boston airport.

His plane lands, but Hadi never walks out of the Arrivals gate. He has been stopped, detained, and deported from the United States. Separated by the travel ban, trapped in a timeless, nightmarish limbo on either side of the world, Sama and Hadi must fight for a way back to each other, and to the life they’d dreamed of together. But does that life exist anymore, or was it only an illusion? 

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

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.

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger

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,…


Who am I?

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.


I wrote...

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

By Ben Kirby,

Book cover of PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities

What is my book about?

What started as a joke account on Instagram has turned into a movement. Through this provocative project, the founder of PreachersNSneakers is helping thousands of Jesus followers wrestle with the inevitable dilemmas created by our Western culture obsessed with image and entertainment.

In PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities, Ben Kirby approaches many of the difficult questions plaguing countless Christians’ minds, presenting experiences and input from both sides of difficult questions.This book will doubtlessly become a staple for church small groups, college ministries, and book clubs, emboldening struggling believers who want to live a more genuine faith. After all, the Lord works in mysterious colorways.

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