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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Authors Speak on Simplifying Our Lives

Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus at Boswell

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Let’s face it: Americans have a ubiquitous connection to “stuff.” While intrepid individuals like Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Gandhi are revered for their simple living, it was not until recently that the burgeoning trend of minimalism has become more widely embraced. With minimalism, people reduce their consumption, decrease their ecological footprint and advocate voluntary simplicity all in an attempt to find greater happiness, fulfillment and freedom. Minimalism involves more than simply paring down one’s material possessions, however, and adherents choose a simplified lifestyle for a variety of reasons.

For two young Midwestern-born men, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, a switch to simple living was drastic: At the age of 30, both quit their corporate jobs, threw away most of their material possessions and began to live a more sustainable, enlightened life. The pair, who have authored five books on the topic, is out with an inspiring new memoir that sheds light on what happens when one person decides to leave a comfortable corporate life in favor of living more deliberately. Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists is the touching, often humorous, eye-opening story of Millburn’s complete dive into minimalism. This engrossing, thought-provoking tale will lead readers to take stock of their own possessions and reflect on how our culture and consumerism impact who we are at the deepest levels.

The Minimalists, authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, will discuss Everything That Remains at Boswell Book Co. at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 16.

 

Book Happenings

 

Dasha Kelly

2 p.m., July 12

Reader’s Choice Bookstore

1950 N. Martin Luther King Drive

Milwaukee writer Dasha Kelly is out with her second collection of poetry, essays and short stories entitled Call It Forth. Kelly, a social entrepreneur in addition to an accomplished writer and artist, is the founder of Still Waters Collective, a creative group that teaches young people throughout southeastern Wisconsin not only writing and spoken word but also self-confidence and leadership skills. Kelly will discuss her newest collection at Reader’s Choice Bookstore.

 

Paul Salsini

7 p.m., July 15

Boswell Book Co.

2559 N. Downer Ave.

Milwaukee author Paul Salsini’s award-winning fiction series began in World War II Tuscany and continued to tell stories from the central Italian region through the ’50s and ’60s. The latest installment, A Piazza for Sant’Antonio: Five Novellas of 1980s Tuscany, runs the topical gamut from a family-run hotel in an old farmhouse to a parish priest confronted by a moral quandary caused by an uncaught serial killer (the latter based on true accounts). Salsini was The Milwaukee Journal’s writing coach, and his prose moves with brisk efficiency and nary a wasted word. The stories are written from the perspective of the locals, not the tourists, and are often delivered with deft irony.