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:
bloomsbury.com/us/the-longing… 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?

Previews:

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

Book Update: Guardian Excerpt! Launch Events!

More news about The Longing for Less, out Jan 21.

Hi!

My book, The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism, will be published January 21 by Bloomsbury, in bookstores everywhere but also available online if you want to preorder it, which helps me. You can buy it at places including these:

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

If you’re a journalist, critic, or editor and want to request a hardcover, just email my publicist Katie Boni at Katie.Boni@bloomsbury.com.

New Excerpt

On Friday, the Guardian newspaper in London published a long excerpt of the book’s first chapter, Reduction. It’s the biggest excerpt that will come out before the book does, and it’s a good glimpse into the interdisciplinary territory the book covers.

The first chapter deconstructs the contemporary trend of minimalism, while the second, third, and forth look at minimalism historically, trying to get back to a more fundamental idea through art, music, and philosophy. People seem to like this line about the illusion of minimalism that devices like the iPhone create:

Launch Events

I’m doing some tour dates after the book comes out! These are the initial stops. Also hoping to plan a date in London and possibly Montreal. If you have any suggestions for another place to go or can help us book a spot, just email me: chaykak@gmail.com.

New York: Jan 22, Powerhouse Arena, 7 PM

— With Laura Marsh, literary editor of The New Republic (Facebook event here if you want to RSVP)

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

Boston: Feb 6, Porter Square Books, 7 PM

— With novelist Miranda Popkey

Los Angeles: Feb 18, Skylight Books, 7:30 PM

San Francisco: Feb 26, Books Inc. Opera Plaza, 7 PM

Hope to see you at one spot or another! And again, shilling, you can and should pre-order the book from one of these links: Bloomsbury / Amazon / Indiebound / Barnes and Noble / Books-a-Million or call your local bookstore and request it.

The limbo between a book getting coverage and actually coming out is torturous! I’m very excited for people to actually be able to read the whole thing. In the meantime I am trying and failing to be chill. Thanks for bearing with me.

New Essay: Did the internet kill "Monoculture"?

My latest essay for Vox on how sameness has taken over digital culture.

Hello readers!

I have a new essay published today on Vox: Does monoculture exist on the internet?

When Game of Thrones and Avengers ended in 2019, there was a rash of anxiety from journalists and critics: Since digital streaming is fracturing our attention and consumption, would any media be so popular ever again? They were mourning the loss of some perceived universality that came with old media.

My essay finds that “the monoculture” is actually bigger and more homogenous than ever, thanks to algorithmic social media and streaming recommendations. We think we’re getting personalized feeds, but we’re actually being driven toward more of the same stuff, and stuff that looks more similar than different or unique. It follows a big thesis of mine: Algorithmic culture creates sameness, whether it’s on Spotify, Netflix, Airbnb, or Twitter.

This is a bad thing! I don’t want to measure the success of culture only by how popular it can become, or how optimized it is to algorithmic platforms. I talked to novelist Caleb Crain about how to resist the looming digital monoculture.

I hope you check out the piece, and let me know if you have any thoughts! This is all more material that I hope leads to my second book, on my ideas of AirSpace and how algorithms shape the creation and consumption of culture in the 21st century.

Again: Can monoculture survive the algorithm?

Loading more posts…