Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: The Big Tiny

The fact that I ended up checking out this book from my local library was a complete accident. Last year, I was looking up books on happiness and came across this book as a Recommended Read. I, on a whim, reserved it at the library. Loved it and she mentions frequently that Dee Williams was an inspiration for the changes she made in her life.

Clearly, I had to reserve The Big Tiny as soon as I could at the library.

Williams is living "the American Dream" like the rest of us; desk job, car and recently acquired homeownership status and all of the expenses/headaches that go along with it when she collapsed and discovered a very serious health issue.While at the doctor's office, she flipped open a magazine to read an article about a man who built his own house, but in miniature. After flying out to meet him, the author becomes inspired to do the same thing.

And does just that. Her house size? 84 square feet.

The Big Tiny traces Williams' journey from sketching plans for her eventual house, to buying a trailer from an interesting group of Russians, fighting with various pieces of wood, downsizing almost of all of her possessions, and then setting up shop in a dear friend's backyard.

A reader couldn't help but be slightly jealous of her daily routine, which involves waking up under a skylight and drinking coffee on the front porch to watch the sunrise. She doesn't have indoor plumbing and has a weak internet signal, which forces her to interact with her community and with nature, which begins about four feet from her head.

Williams' experiences aren't all pleasant, but she ends the book, asking, " Whose idea was it that we should all get jobs, work faster, work better, race from place to place with our brains stewing on tweets, blogs...when in the end, all any of us will have is our simple beating heart..."

A very good question to ask. This memoir was a lot of fun to read. Williams does not take herself seriously at all and when I finished this book, I realized the nearly 300 pages flew by because it felt like I was talking to a friend over drinks. A recommended read for anyone's bookshelf.

(Photo Credit: Amazon.com)

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