The Big Tiny

The Big Tiny : A Built-It-Myself Memoir

3.79 (2,216 ratings by Goodreads)
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Dee Williams's life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest she had painstakingly restored--but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this stuff for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchen stocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn't compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury--time--that would come with downsizing. Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house--on her own, from the ground up--was just the beginning of building a new life. Williams can now list everything she owns on one sheet of paper, her monthly housekeeping bills amount to about eight dollars, and it takes her approximately ten minutes to clean the entire house. It's left her with more time to spend with family and friends, and given her 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. The lessons Williams learned from her "aha" moment post-trauma apply to all of us, every day, regardless of whether or not we decide to discard all our worldly belongings. 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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 139.7 x 205.74 x 35.56mm | 408.23g
  • Blue Rider Press a Member of Penguin Group (USA)
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0399166173
  • 9780399166174
  • 197,721

Review quote

"In "The Big Tiny, "Dee Williams creates a portrait of humanity through her own compelling experience. That she has written about home and life with such humor and vulnerability, and in her own unique vernacular, makes her story all the more universal."--Jay Shafer, author of "The Small House Book" "Williams has built an engaging and inspiring how-to/memoir that goes beyond the DIY perspective." ""--Booklist"" ""The Big Tiny "is irresistible. Dee Williams is as much fun on the page as she is in person. Comic, silly, and soulful, she takes us on her journey to simplify her life and along the way tunes in to our own inner desire to pare down to our nearly naked selves."--Jim Lynch, author of "The Highest Tide "and "Truth Like the Sun" ""The Big Tiny "is a beautifully written narrative, one that goes beyond happiness and living simply. The power of Dee's words will touch your heart, make you laugh, cry, and change your life."--Tammy Strobel, author of "You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap) " ""The Big Tiny "is comedic, eloquent, and damn informative all at the same time. If Dee Williams' story hasn't inspired you to reevaluate your life already, this book just may be the swift kick in the pants you need--the final awakening blow all rolled into one biblio-burrito of bad-assness."--Derek "Deek" Diedricksen, HGTV host and honcho of "Dee Williams aims for happiness 85 percent of the time, but I think you'll be 100 percent happy with the wisdom she shares in this beautiful book."--Chris Guillebeau, author of "The $100 Startup"show more

About Dee Williams

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 more

Rating details

2,216 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 23% (514)
4 41% (901)
3 29% (646)
2 6% (132)
1 1% (23)
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