CA Book Events Starting Today; Two New Pieces

I'm in Los Angeles for the next few days, then San Francisco later.

Hi! My book tour for The Longing for Less continues.

Tonight in Los Angeles, I’ll be doing a reading at the great Skylight Books at 7:30 PM, talking with Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG, whose design writing has been super influential to me. You should come just to see him.

Tomorrow in Los Angeles, I’ll be having a discussion with my pal Samantha Culp and Claus Benjamin Freyinger of Los Angeles Design Group at NeueHouse Hollywood at 3:30 PM. We’ll talk about minimalist design in retail and domestic spaces.

Thursday in Orange County, I’ll be reading and discussing the book at Orange County Museum of Art at 6:30 PM, in the museum galleries!

Weds, Feb 26th in San Francisco, I’ll be reading and talking with novelist Robin Sloan (!!!) at Books Inc. Opera Plaza at 6:30 PM.

I hope to see all newsletter subscribers at any of these events, or forward this to your friends and tell them to come! It’s great to be able to interact with people IRL and share the book that way.

New Writing

Terrace House & Domestic Coziness: A feature for London’s TANK magazine about my favorite TV show ever and the millennial dream of a stable, comfortable lifestyle.

The Tyranny of Coworking: A reported review for Metropolis magazine about a new coworking building that’s attached to Grand Central in Manhattan. Do you really want your entire work life subsumed into a single, holistic WeWork-like structure?


Buy the book! Call your local bookstore (it may be in the Home & Garden section) or try these websites: Bloomsbury / Amazon / Indiebound / Barnes and Noble / Books-a-Million

Minimalism Is Everywhere

The first week of my book: NYT review, op-ed, interviews & ways to support

The Longing for Less came out last Tuesday and it’s been easily one of the most stressful / exciting weeks of my life. It’s a joy to see the book out in the world and have people responding to it — critics writing about it, bookstores shelving it, and (especially) readers posting it on Instagram lol. (BTW it’s being shelved in a lot of different places in bookstores, so maybe ask for it by name.)

This newsletter is a recap of what’s been going on. You can order the book at these links: Bloomsbury / Amazon / Indiebound / Barnes and Noble / Books-a-Million and I’ll explain this more below, but if you already have the book and enjoyed it, please leave a review on Amazon, even if you didn’t buy the book there. It helps hugely.

There is also now an audiobook version available on Audible and elsewhere.

My Essays

NYT Op-Ed: My New York Times opinion essay about the book, “What We Got Wrong About Minimalism,” is also in the Sunday paper (today) if you see it!

Paris Review: I also wrote an essay for Paris Review about the difficulty of writing about minimalism, since it’s so often against language itself. “The word kills art,” as Philip Johnson said.


New York Times: Jennifer Szalai, the NYT’s daily nonfiction critic, reviewed the book in the Thursday newspaper. I love the way she gets at the purpose and themes of the book: “The ‘deeper minimalism’ Chayka pursues is more about vulnerability than control.”

Slate: Laura Miller, a critic whose work I’ve always enjoyed, reviewed the book. I wish she had liked the visual art aspects more, but I do think there’s much more to be said about design, politics, and minimalism.

Deez Links: Delia Cai wrote a really nice piece about the book in her media newsletter. It’s not as pretentious as it seems! “If anything, it feels like reading a dense but decidedly accessible text from your favorite college class.”

Washington City Paper: Emma Sarappo reviewed the book in my now-hometown alt-weekly, noting that DC is a great place to see minimalism. “As Chayka shows in the book’s moving last act, it’s still possible to encounter something sublime.”

LitHub: Andru Okun wrote a meandering essay that uses the book as a tool to look at other objects and experiences, which is exactly what I hoped. Also great company with Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing and Oli Mould’s Against Creativity.


It’s been really fun to talk about the book in interviews! Though I’m trying not to repeat myself. Here are some of the publications I’ve talked to:

— Vanity Fair (on changing the meaning of minimalism)

— Hazlitt (on minimalism as not giving a fuck)

— Fast Company (on the myths of minimalism)

— NumLock (on luxury goods, 4’33”, etc)

— Deez Links (on the publishing process)

— MrPorter (on sensory deprivation)

Upcoming Events

Washington, DC: Tuesday, Jan 28, at Politics & Prose Union Market at 7 PM.

Boston: Thursday, Feb 6, at Porter Square Books at 7 PM.


Buy the book! Ask for it at a local bookstore! Instagram the cover! Tweet that you got it! Send me a nice note about it!

But, especially, when you read the book please leave an Amazon review. The conventional wisdom is that there’s an algorithmic boost around 30-35 reviews, and while I don’t necessarily believe that, I am definitely going to be superstitious here.

Thank you readers for everything and don’t hesitate to email me questions / comments / suggestions to stop spamming so much.

— Kyle

The Longing for Less is out today!

Look for it online or in bookstores. Also please tweet and Instagram.

Hi! A short note that my book, The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism is out today and should be on bookstore shelves everywhere. (UK people can definitely buy it on UK Amazon at least.)

Once more, the purchase links: Bloomsbury / Amazon / Indiebound / Barnes and Noble / Books-a-Million

I wrote a tweet thread this morning about my favorite bits of the book, the people who I found most inspiring and some of the quotes I particularly liked. You can check it out below, and maybe RT it?

Kyle Chayka @chaykak
My first book, The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism is on shelves today from @BloomsburyPub! You can order it here:… But I also wanted to do a thread of my favorite people & quotes from the book —

Other than that, once you get a copy, I would love if you tweet about it, Instagram it, recommend it to your friends, paint a picture of it, literally anything! And send me photos of it on bookstore shelves!

A huge exciting day for me, excuse the haphazard email!! In the coming week I’ll be sharing more about the book, the process, and more multimedia. You can find all the collected excerpts and other info on my website.

<3 Kyle

One week until The Longing for Less

My book comes out next Tuesday! More excerpts, events, etc.

Hi all,

My first book, The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism, comes out in a week, on Tuesday January 21! Pre-orders really mean a lot right now, so I would love it if you reserved your copy from one of these online sources:

Bloomsbury / Amazon / Indiebound / Barnes and Noble / Books-a-Million

Or, even better, call up your local indie bookstore and ask them to order some copies. How could you say no to this?


The book has shown up in Wired, The Millions, and Town & Country as one to look out for this winter.

New Excerpts: The Invention of Minimalism & Donald Judd Goes to Marfa

— In The Nation, there’s an excerpt from the book on the moment when minimalism first took shape in the early 1960s and the word itself was coined by the British art theorist Richard Wollheim. At first, no one knew what to call minimalism. Could it have been Cool Art, Boring Art, or ABC Art instead? (Naturally, the artists didn’t like any of these labels.)

— In Artnet, there’s an excerpt about the artist Donald Judd, an ambivalent pioneer of minimalism who first theorized many of its ideas. Sick of the art world, in the ‘70s Judd moved from Manhattan to Marfa, Texas, and began renovating old industrial buildings into minimalist dwellings for himself and his family. Now, Marfa is a site of minimalist pilgrimage and a hip tourist destination — not exactly what Judd had in mind. But art becomes retail surprisingly quickly.

Events: With Laura Marsh & Tope Folarin

Weds, Jan 22nd: My official book launch will be in New York City at Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO at 7 PM, listing here. I’m really happy that Laura Marsh, my great editor at The New Republic, is going to moderate the conversation.

Tues, Jan 28th: My event in Washington, DC, will be at Politics & Prose Union Market at 7 PM. Novelist and P&P talk veteran Tope Folarin will be the moderator.

More details on other events in Boston, SF, and LA are on my website.

Sorry for all of this promotion! Soon the book will be out and it’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming. I will also be sending some Exclusive Book Content to this newsletter very soon.

Bonus: Other People’s Books

Two great books just came out today that you should read, Anna Wiener’s memoir of working in the tech industry, Uncanny Valley, and Garth Greenwell’s lambent novel Cleanness. I am also very excited to get reading Miranda Popkey’s Topics of Conversation, which I saw her read from brilliantly last night.

(Also if you have advice on book promotion / events / whatever email me??)

— Kyle

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