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The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Mattersby Sarah Susanka
One of the world's most respected domestic architects, University of Oregon graduate Sarah Susanka is known to readers as the author of a The Not So Big House books, which teach how to get the most out of a home's square footage in order to enjoy the lifestyle you hope to foster within its walls. Devoted fans will be impressed, but probably not so surprised, by The Not So Big Life, in which Susanka applies the principles of her trade to everyday living. If your days have becomes as cluttered as your closets, if you wish your time could be spent in more purposeful, fulfilling endeavors, her exercises and common sense stories will help you blueprint a personal remodel of your own.
Synopses & Reviews
Have you ever found yourself asking, — Is this all there is to life? — Or wondering if this bigger life you have created is actually a better life? And do you wonder how it all got so out of control?
In her groundbreaking bestseller The Not So Big House, architect Sarah Susanka showed us a new way to inhabit our houses by creating homes that were better — not bigger, Now, in The Not So Big Life, Susanka takes her revolutionary philosophy to another dimension by showing us a new way to inhabit our lives.
Most of us have lives that are as cluttered with unwanted obligations as our attics are cluttered with things. The bigger-is-better idea that triggered the explosion of McMansions has spilled over to give us McLives. For many of us, our ability to find the time to do what we want to do has come to a grinding halt. Now we barely have time to take a breath before making the next call on our cell phone, while at the same time messaging someone else on our Blackberry. Our schedules are chaotic and overcommitted, leaving us so stressed that we are numb, yet we wonder why we cannot fall asleep at night.
In The Not So Big Life, Susanka shows us that it is possible to take our finger off the fast-forward button, and to our surprise we find how effortless and rewarding this change can be. We do not have to lead a monastic life or give up the things we love. In fact, the real joy of leading a not so big life is discovering that the life we love has been there the entire time. Through simple exercises and inspiring stories, Susanka shows us that all we need to do is make small shifts in our day — subtle movements that open our minds as if we werefinally opening the windows to let in fresh air.
The Not So Big Life reveals that form and function serve not only architectural aims but life goals as well. Just as we can tear down interior walls to reveal space, we can tear down our fears and assumptions to open up new possibilities. The result is that we quickly discover we have all the space and time we need for the things in our lives that really matter. But perhaps the greatest reward is the discovery that small changes can yield enormous results. In her elegant, clear style, Susanka convinces us that less truly is more — much more.
"Good news for adherents of : or aspirants to : the simplification movement. Architect and forward-thinker Sarah Susanka, author of the Not So Big House books, has extended her how-to franchise with The Not So Big Life, applying her pare-back-and-declutter philosophy to day-to-day behavior. Shelve the BlackBerry for this relaxed summer read." Christian Science Monitor
"Scaling down your life, like scaling down your house, is a good way to open your eyes to a new world and a new life. This not so big book will help you find your human scale and a life that suits you. It's practical, inspiring, and brilliantly conceived." Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and Dark Nights of the Soul
"[Susanka] writes compellingly about the quest for vitality and meaning in daily life, and how to find it by slowing down and paying attention." Seattle Times
"The slim book packs a big wallop and makes you think about what's important and what's not." Sheila Brady, The Ottawa Citizen
"Sarah Susanka has helped millions rethink their homes. Now she applies her visionary architectural principles to help us remake our lives. With remarkable insights and an array of smart exercises, she shows us how to remove the clutter, let in the light, and construct a not so big — but oh so much better — life. If you're feeling overworked and underinspired, this book is your answer." Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
Have you ever found yourself asking, “How did my life get so out of control?” Or wondering if this bigger life you have created is actually a better life?
Most of us have lives that are as cluttered with unwanted obligations as our attics are cluttered with things. The bigger-is-better idea that triggered the explosion of McMansions has spilled over to give us McLives-leaving us with chaotic, overcommitted schedules and no time to do what we want to do.
In The Not So Big Life, architect Sarah Susanka expands her revolutionary philosophy on inhabiting space to show us how to better inhabit our lives. Through simple exercises and inspiring stories, Susanka reveals that all we need to do is make small shifts in our day-subtle movements that open our minds as if we were opening windows to let in fresh air. The result: We quickly discover that we have all the space and time we need for the things in our lives that really matter. These small changes can yield great rewards. In her elegant, clear style, Susanka convinces us that less is truly more-much more.
About the Author
Sarah Susanka is a bestselling author, architect, and cultural visionary. Her "build better, not bigger" approach to residential architecture has been embraced across the country, and her "Not So Big" philosophy has sparked an international dialogue, evolving beyond our houses and into how we inhabit our lives. In addition to sharing her insights with Oprah Winfrey and Charlie Rose, Susanka has been named a "Fast 50" innovator by Fast Company, a "top newsmaker" by Newsweek, and an "innovator in American culture" by U.S. News & World Report. She is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. The author of seven books, Susanka resides in North Carolina.
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