Thursday, May 10

New book!

Usually when I post an interesting book I haven't read, I put it under a links heading. But Sarah Susanka's new book, the not so big life, is getting a post.

One reason is that her very first book -- The Not So Big House -- inspired me over a decade ago to put how I am living under a microscope. It challenged me to focus on the things about homes that increase comfort and to see houses as places for people and not as status symbols. So there's the tribute factor.

A second reason is that there is an excellent blog by Susanka which links to resources to be used while reading the book and to a Community section which allows the reader to discuss the book, real time, with other readers. And I do think exploring new ways of making reading materials part of a larger conversation is worth observing.

The third reason is that I am excited about reading this. I have gotten frustrated with the Not So Big line, and in a larger sense Taunton, because they produce lucious books of homes you could have if you have the resources to get an architect and a flock of workers to build or remake your property. Early indications are that this book is a break from that (interview and excerpt here), and is more about taking the idea of breaking down your life -- including your house -- and figuring out what works.

I have the book on my library list and I'll let you know what I think when I get to it.

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NotSoBigLiving is the story of a woman inspired by Sarah Susanka, Bill McKibben, Airstreams, Tumbleweed houses, Mennonites, Jimmy Carter, hippies, survivalists, Anasazi, Pema Chodron and Joko Beck, Scott Peck, Buckminster Fuller, and Al Gore to see what she can do to reduce her carbon footprint in her mid-80's suburban townhome. Strategies include roommates, alternative travel, organic eating, planting a victory garden, mindfulness, and a belly full of laughter.