Monday, July 21, 2014

Review & Giveaway - "The Big Tiny" by Dee Williams

At the age of 41, Dee Williams nearly lost her life. After collapsing in a grocery store, she was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. While in the hospital, she witnessed a tragedy ... the death of the woman in the next bed. Those experiences reminded Ms. Williams that life is short and gave her a new appreciation for the important things in life, namely her friends, family, and home.

While she loved her home, she now saw it with new eyes. She questioned the need for so many rooms and realized that they were filled with unused stuff. She thought about the cost of maintaining a large home and the time required to do so. Ultimately, she decided to downsize ... in a big way.

Review & Giveaway - "The Big Tiny" by Dee Williams

An Excerpt From The Big Tiny by Dee Williams:
"... I chose this path because the idea of building a house sounded like the old, fun me—the woman who thought it was a total jazz-up to hang by her thumbs fifty feet in the air, scaling some rocky crag to get a better view of the valley below. I chose this because I thought I could be happy living in a one-room house without running water or a refrigerator, and I imagined I’d learn something about myself by stripping myself down to the basics—by living with two dinner plates, three spoons, two pairs of pants, a dress, and my wool skivvies. And I figured I could be happy, at least for a while, living in the shadow of my friends Hugh and Annie’s house, in their old garden plot just off the alley.

I thought I’d find something in all of this, and I got more than I bargained for. I discovered a new way of looking at the sky, the winter rain, the neighbors, and myself; and a different way of spending my time. Most important, I stumbled into a new sort of “happiness,” one that didn’t hinge on always getting what I want but rather, on wanting what I have. It’s the kind of happiness that isn’t tied so tightly to being comfortable (or having money and property), but instead is linked to a deeper sense of satisfaction—to a sense of humility and gratitude, and a better understanding of who I am in my heart.

I know this sounds cheesy, and in fact, it sounds fairly similar to the gobbledygook that friends have thrown at me just after having their first baby. But the facts are the facts: I found a certain bigness in my little house—a sense of largeness, freedom, and happiness that comes when you see there’s no place else you’d rather be. ..."

When I first agreed to review this book, I thought it would be a Do-It-Yourself guide, of sorts. While it does talk about green building concepts, such as using recycled materials and minimizing waste, it speaks more to the realities of living in a very small space (84 square feet). It answers some of the questions I have about small homes. For example, where does one put (or in this case, park) a tiny house? Is it connected to water, sewer, and electricity or is it totally off the grid?

The book reads as a wonderful story. I felt Ms. Williams' determination as she filled a cart with lumber and I sensed her exhilaration when she cleared an overpass on the highway. I found myself quickly turning pages to find out why she was running across a backyard in a towel and why her dog took to hiding under the house.

Moreover, I understood that freeing ourselves from stuff and large spaces gives us the opportunity to experience nature in an intimate way.

The Big Tiny is appropriate for everyone. Whether you're interested in downsizing, building your own home, eliminating excess stuff, or simply slowing down to appreciate life, you'll benefit from Ms. Williams' experiences.

To buy the book, click HERE.


The generous folks at Blue Rider Press and Penguin Random House want to give one lucky Reduce Footprints' reader a copy of The Big Tiny. WhooHoo!

This giveaway is open worldwide and will last for one week. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Images and permission to reproduce excerpt from Penguin Random House

I received a copy of "The Big Tiny" in order to write this review. I received no other compensation. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and reflect my honest opinion of the material reviewed.