Sunday, 17 February 2013

Review: The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno

I'm way behind the times here - I usually am - but I've just read a good book.  I'm incapable of reviewing books.  Just can't do it.  This is just my take on it.

The author is a Christian man called Dave Bruno, who was seemingly living the American dream, owned his own business, wonderful marriage, beautiful wife and children, lovely home but still grasping for more.  When he walked around his home, from room to room, just describing the stuff that was there, overwhelming him, Dave - I felt your pain, man.  The irony was, he was a Blogger, blogging about anti-consumerism!

It took him a while to plan but eventually he whittled his possessions down to 100 things or rather that was the maximum he could own at any one time.  He left a little leeway for things he might need to buy.  He counted all this books as a library, therefore one thing.  He could buy something new to replace, for example a coat, but would have to throw or donate the old coat to charity.  This was a personal challenge, he didn't expect his family to partake, and he did the challenge for a year.

He had model train stuff (like his father before him) that never got built (like his father before him), rock climbing gear that he didn't use, which served as a constant reminder of things he'd wanted to do but failed to do.  He accepted he wasn't a model train enthusiast or a rock climber, sold or gave the items away, and got over it.  This was possibly the starkest message of the book to me.  We get a bee in our bonnet about something, and we go and buy all this stuff, for a hobby or maybe a sport and then... it sits in a cupboard.  A constant reminder of our failure to see something through.  A reminder to make us feel guilty for frittering away money on something that we never use. We hang on to these things 'Just in case' when the reality is, we know we're never going to use them. 

It touched a nerve, if you read my posts regularly you'll know that I other people have too much stuff in too small a house.  My kids won't part with a McDonalds Happy Meal toy.

Has anyone else read this book?  What did you think?


  1. I haven't read it but the book sounds right up my alley! I'm a minimalist and try to keep as little as possible so books like this serve as a great reminder to me to not go off course. What was your biggest takeaway?

    1. It was really good Fawn, a lot of the reviews on Amazon were a bit critical, it seems people were expecting him to tell them exactly what to do, at the end of the day it was his journey, his stuff - isn't anyone capable of thinking for themselves anymore? No initiative at all.

      Personally? The cookbooks. They've got to go. And rather than paining me, which I thought it would do, I'm feeling relief about it. It seems the more cookbooks I've accumulated, the less I actually cook, and I have about 110-120 now. Hubby is going to do a car boot sale with my Mother this weekend so hopefully someone can rehome some of them and use them. But it was true what he said, all these things, train sets, rock climbing gear and in my case - cookbooks (lol) just sit there unused, and they were a reminder of what I didn't do. When I only possessed two or three books, I worked through them, trial and error. Now, I'm just overwhelmed by them. Here's to minimalism!


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