The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Two Men, A Minimalist Lifestyle, And A Book

By Maggie Hellwig in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 12, 2012 8:20PM

2012_12_12_minimalism.jpg
Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life was published by Asymmetrical Press.

You might be more familiar with minimalism as it pertains to art or literature. Generally speaking, the word means to cut out the excessive or unnecessary elements. Two young writers, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, are practicing the concept as a lifestyle, sloughing off all the exorbitant material in life so that only the meaningful components remain. The duo has yielded various books , the most recent being a summation of their efforts thus far. Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life is a piece of nonfiction that examines each of their lives, pre and post minimalism, and how the philosophy has improved their circumstances. Their words are perhaps a bit (or a lot) of propaganda, but definitely original enough to pique our interest.

The Minimalists, as they call themselves, both abandoned their corporate jobs and lifestyle at the age of 30 to find a more emotionally satisfying existence. Joshua, hailing from Dayton, Ohio, decided to leave behind his suit and tie after his mother passed away and his marriage ended--both in the same year. Since then he has become successful fiction writer, teacher of an online class called "How to Write Better," and co-founded a publishing company. Ryan changed his habits after being laid off of a six-figure job. He has written a few non-fiction books with Joshua and is ├╝ber passionate about mentoring. Both of their powers combined, non-materialistic celebrity was born.

They've been taking their doctrine and new page-turner on the road. Come Thursday Joshua and Ryan will be hanging out at The Book Cellar reading, answering some questions, and possibly attempting to persuade Chicagoans to throw their televisions out of a window. Whether this kind of zen is your thing or not, their stories should be quite engaging.

December 13, 7 p.m.,The Book Cellar: 4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave., FREE!