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The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir (Paperback)

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I'm a little bit obsessed with tiny houses. And by a little, I really mean a lot. I'm not kidding. And of all the books, blogs, and how-to guides I've read, this is the best. Author Dee Williams was living a fairly typical suburban life in the Pacific Northwest when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition. Taking stock of her life, she decides, like so many of us, that she just has too much stuff. She builds herself a new tiny home on wheels and a new life, in the process finding a new happiness, "one that isn't tied so tightly to being comfortable (or having money or property), but instead to a deeper sense of satisfaction- to a sense of humility and gratitude." A worthy goal for us all, I would say.

— From Jill's Picks


Part how-to, part personal memoir, The Big Tiny is an utterly seductive meditation on the benefits of slowing down, scaling back, and appreciating the truly important things in life.

More than ten years ago, a near-death experience abruptly reminded sustainability advocate and pioneer Dee Williams that life is short. So, she sold her sprawling home and built an eighty-four-square-foot house--on her own, from the ground up. Today, Williams can list everything she owns on one sheet of paper, her monthly housekeeping bills amount to about eight dollars, and it takes her about ten minutes to clean the entire house. Adapting a new lifestyle left her with the ultimate luxury--more time to spend with friends and family--and gave her the freedom to head out for adventure at a moment's notice, or watch the clouds and sunset while drinking a beer on her (yes, tiny) front porch.

About the Author

Dee Williams is a teacher and sustainability advocate. She is the co-owner of Portland Alternative Dwellings (, where she leads workshops focused on tiny houses, green building, and community design. Her story has been featured on Good Morning America and NBC Nightly News, and on NPR, PBS, MSNBC, CNN, and CBC. She has also been profiled or featured in hundreds of online blogs and articles, and in print media including Time, The New York Times, and Der Spiegel. Williams lives in Olympia, Washington, with an overly ambitious Australian shepherd, in the shadow of the house of dear friends.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780142181799
ISBN-10: 014218179X
Publisher: Plume Books
Publication Date: April 28th, 2015
Pages: 304
Language: English