Books on Minimalism & Mindfulness: Part 2

As I promised in another post over a year ago (read it here), I'll be using this post to review a couple more books on minimalism and mindfulness. In the past week, I've revisited three and read one new book. I'll review a couple of them now, and hopefully it won't be another fifteen months before I review the others.

Review 3: Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge that Proves Less Really is So Much More
ISBN: 978-0525541455
Author: Courtney Carver

The most common and often most difficult category to tackle as a budding minimalist is clothing. Shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, jewelry--all of these things are hard to part with at first because we typically use them to show the world who we are. Carver focuses exclusively on creating seasonal capsule wardrobes (33 fashion items used for 3 months at a time) to minimize wastefulness with our fashion choices. The concept is that every 3-month season will have 33 fashion items associated with it (it's important to note that this does NOT mean buying 33 new items for every season)--and items from each season can overlap. The book serves as a guide through the project, of course, and also contains a handful of real life examples from other women who have tried the Project 333 challenge. We all have a personal style that can become smothered by fast fashion and constant acquisition of the latest, hottest thing. By creating a smaller wardrobe, our personal style can breathe and finally shine. If you need additional motivation to downsize your wardrobe, Carver and I both recommend watching The True Cost documentary. 

I think the value of this book is highest for anyone whose biggest hurdle in their journey toward minimalism is clothing. My wardrobe has already been kept fairly small for years, and I wear the same clothes year-round, so Project 333 isn't quite for me. That said, I love the concept, and wholeheartedly recommend this book to every soon-to-be minimalist fashionista and shopping addict. You can be fashionable, look lovely, and still be a minimalist. Project 333 will help you get there.

Review 4: Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
ISBN: 978-0393609035
Author: Fumio Sasaki

We all know Marie Kondo by now... but we should also know Fumio Sasaki. Right away, this book grabbed me because Sasaki shares photos of what his life was as a maximalist right next to what it became as a minimalist. He also includes photos of his friends' minimalist homes, showing the clean simplicity of Japanese minimalism. This book is not a how-to guide on becoming a minimalist in quite the same way as Marie Kondo's books, or even Courtney Carver's book mentioned above. Instead, it is an intensely personal, introspective investigation of what led Sasaki to give up his old maximalist lifestyle in favor of a new minimalist lifestyle. He does expand into broader trends toward minimalism in Japanese culture, and explores how Japanese minimalism went to the West only to come right back to Japan (namely in the form of iPhones). Sasaki does have a bit of an obsession with Apple products and Steve Jobs (who I'm not a particular fan of as an open source fanatic), but he does relate the simplicity of the products and the minimalist agenda of Jobs to his own form of minimalism in a tasteful way. 

I'm glad I revisited this book because it makes me wish I had taken photos to document my life before and during my journey deeper into minimalism. This book's value is one I think is high for all minimalists, whether they're newcomers or seasoned discarders. Fumio Sasaki's personal journey is enlightening, inspiring, and will help any minimalist (or maximalist) hold up a mirror and find something new to change for a better, more satisfying lifestyle.

I have a handful of other books I'll be reviewing (hopefully soon), so keep your eyes peeled. If you're interested in buying one of the books I review, please consider supporting the author directly where possible, or supporting a smaller bookstore. Happy reading!