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The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul

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Overview

An ordinary man's inspiring journey toward a simpler, more meaningful life.

In 2008, average American family man Dave Bruno decided to unhook himself from the intravenous drip of consumerism that fueled his life by winnowing all his personal possessions down to just 100 things. Little did he realize that he would be igniting a grassroots movement—soon after Dave embarked on his journey, media around the world took notice and others started to...

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The 100 Thing Challenge

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Overview

An ordinary man's inspiring journey toward a simpler, more meaningful life.

In 2008, average American family man Dave Bruno decided to unhook himself from the intravenous drip of consumerism that fueled his life by winnowing all his personal possessions down to just 100 things. Little did he realize that he would be igniting a grassroots movement—soon after Dave embarked on his journey, media around the world took notice and others started to follow his lead.

A cause for pause, The 100 Thing Challenge is a response to the culture of materialism in America, one that has filled our lives with the constant and unsatisfactory desire for "more." Dave Bruno offers compelling anecdotes and practical advice to help readers live more meaningfully, simply by casting off the unnecessary "stuff" that clutters their lives. The 100 Thing Challenge is a golden opportunity to experience the positive changes that occur as you defiantly hop off the treadmill of consumerism.

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Editorial Reviews

Time magazine
“[Bruno’s] musings about his slow and steady purge have developed a cult following online, inspiring others [toward] clutter-free living.”
Mark Noll
“Living simply is only an ideal until someone like Bruno gets particular. The way he got particular should make everyone think—hard, which is a very good thing.”
Dean Nelson
“In a loving, wise, sometimes hilarious manner, Dave Bruno holds a mirror up to us and says to take a closer look at how we’re living. Reading this will lead you to a better life.”
Time Magazine
"[Bruno’s] musings about his slow and steady purge have developed a cult following online, inspiring others [toward] clutter-free living."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061787744
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Pages: 207
  • Sales rank: 390,158
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Bruno is a successful entrepreneur who cofounded ChristianAudio and helped it become a leading publisher of audiobooks. He has an M.A. in Religion in American Life from Wheaton College. Dave is a native of San Diego, where he lives with his wife and three daughters. He loves every outdoor inch of California that he's ever hiked, biked, surfed, or seen. Dave's favorite of many household pets is his loyal mutt, Piper.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Of Cats and Contentment xi

Part 1 The Challenge Takes Shape

1 The 100 Thing Challenge 3

2 A Reluctant Entrepreneur 13

3 "American-Style Consumerism" Got My Attention 25

4 Every Challenge Needs Rules 39

5 Personal Change Begins at Home 49

6 Purging Things and "Things Past" 61

7 The Hardest Thing to Cut 75

Part 2 The Challenge Takes Off

8 My 100 Thing Challenge Begins 89

The 100 Thing Challenge List 101

9 Imprecise Goods 103

A Challenge Christmas 111

10 Naturally, Our Stuff Goes Only So Far 115

A Winter Update 129

11 Reactions to the Spectacle 133

A New Frugality 147

12 The Short Answer to the Big Question 151

The 88 Thing Challenge 161

13 My Almost Perfect Wednesday 163

My 10 Thing Hobby 171

14 A Modest Proposal for the One Thing We Should All Keep 175

Epilogue: Keep Going 185

Appendix 1 How to Do a 100 Thing Challenge 189

Appendix 2 Post-Challenge Things 199

Acknowledgments 208

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2011

    Don't waste your time

    I admit I didn't read the book. I read the Introduction and Bruno wrote that, "domestic cats are replaceable". I was enraged at that line and would not respect anything he had to say. Maybe he knows about paring down, but obviously, he doesn't know about cats. If you have ever lost a cat and know they are not replaceable, don't get this book."replace" it with one of the many others in this category.

    15 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2011

    Disappointing Book-waste of money

    I was intrigued by the idea and also my daughter went to Pt Loma Nazarene Univ and I am looking to retirement and downsizing,so thought this would be interesting. The book is disappointing, boring and poorly written. I was also surprised at some of the words and some of his "humor" he uses since he works at a Christian University. It is not really 100 things, considering the way he counts his items, doesn't seem like he really gives up much. I think I have less "stuff" then he has to begin with. If you are trying to learn to live without, people like Dave Ramsey and Mary Hunt do a better job...

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    High hopes... big disappointment.

    Very interesting concept, the writing however was abysmal. Made it a struggle to get through.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Interesting idea; Very disappointing book

    I am not a person who reviews every book I read. I review only those that I find extraordinary in some respect. Unfortunately, this one is extraordinarily boring. I read the entire book just waiting for a redeeming insight or at least a chuckle. I got neither. Dave Bruno sets this up to be a major challenge but nowhere in the book do we see him facing much of a challenge. Yes, I was annoyed at the way he counted his things - how hard can it be when you don't count most everything in your house because you share it with your family - but I'm also annoyed that the book was not compelling even given the limits of the challenge. If you want to read a good book about taking a hard look at your lifestyle and how it relates to the world around you, I recommend "The Power of Half." If you want an entertaining read about gimmicky lifestyles/pursuits, read anything by A.J. Jacobs.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2014

    He Hates Cats, They're Just Things To Him!

    I would never buy this book, because in the sample he goes on and on about how dogs are superior to cats, which makes them just 'things' to him. Whatever your uninformed opinion is, cats are family members when you adopt them, just as valuable as dogs! They're intensely loyal, and if you've never bonded with one and figured it out, that's your problem, not ours. No veterinarian would share your opinion. In fact, I am sure they would all tell you to keep your cats indoors after hearing about your coyote problem. And not let them get eaten, and then take it out on cats and cat people. You've chosen not to protect your cats. Just because you haven't done that, and you feel, in consequence, that they are just losers and ' easily replaceable', okay, that makes you a monster! Dying because your guardian isn't protecting you doesn't make you in the slightest bit disloyal. I think your priorities are way off. I'd say they were put in a blender.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 3, 2011

    Great Read for Simplifying Your Life!

    Dave has great approach to breaking over consumption habits. It was inspiring to read how the challenge changed his life and the honest and humorous struggles he went through. He has tips at the end for doing your own challenge. I started clearing out my closet at Chap. 1.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    Great book to help you think about having too much stuff and how to get rid of it without feeling guilty.

    I thought this book was just what I needed to organize all of my "stuff". I have way too much orf everything, everywhere. I need to do this challenge at work as well as at home. I have two rental units for storage and have things hidden under beds and in every nook and cranny in the house.

    I did not know where to begin to organize my clutter but this book gave me some needed help.

    I don't know if I will scale down to a hundred things because I have at least a million but I want to start somewhere and this gave me ideas.

    Thank you Dave Bruno

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    Ask 100 Cat Lovers if their cat is replaceable...

    They will all say no! Don't bother with the households where dogs & cats are mixed. Clearly one person living there wants cats while others want dogs. True cat people adore their cats because unlike dogs they don't slobber and jump all over you the second you get in the house. Why would you adopt other cats and let them go outside after losing a cat to a coyote? You shouldn't be allowed to adopt a fish let alone a cat! I have no interest in readiing thce rest of your fudiculous book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    What an ass

    A pompous ass, he is one of the useless objects that should be tossed in the trash, someone please rescue those poor cats from this jackass! What a windbag!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 21, 2011

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    Posted January 30, 2011

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    Posted February 6, 2011

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    Posted January 9, 2011

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    Posted June 12, 2011

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    Posted March 28, 2011

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    Posted June 25, 2011

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    Posted June 6, 2011

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