• The Big Tiny

  • A Built-It-Myself Memoir
  • By: Dee Williams
  • Narrated by: Heather Henderson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (508 ratings)

Try our newest plan – access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Plus plan is $7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.97

Buy for $20.97

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A graceful, inspired memoir about building a home from scratch and discovering a true sense of self - in just eighty-four square feet - by Dee Williams, a pioneer in sustainable living and the proud owner of a very tiny house.

After a heart condition felled Dee Williams in the grocery store ten years ago, she initially threw herself headfirst back into her old life, which included a pricey three-bedroom house, overtime hours to cover homeowner bills, and a general lack of free time. In the midst of contemplating her future, a new sense of clarity took hold. What was all this stuff for? Mortgage payments and the time-suck of homeownership felt like a waste, and no one has the money or desire to pack it in and live on an island without family, friends, or health insurance.

Discovering the sustainability movement and building her own house was just the beginning of building a new life. Williams can now list everything she owns on one sheet of paper, her monthly bills amount to about eight dollars, and it takes her ten minutes to clean the entire house. It's allowed her to slow down, scale back, spend more time with family and friends - and given her the freedom to head out for adventure, or watch the clouds and sunset while drinking a beer on her (yes, tiny) front porch. Without escaping to the wilds or going off the grid, Williams achieved a happy balance of the normal and the radical and created a new model for simple, practical living. Part how-to and part why-to, The Big Tiny is not just a memoir of that "aha" moment post-trauma but an utterly seductive meditation on what it means to build the good life and the right life, every day.

©2014 Dee Williams (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Big Tiny

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    216
  • 4 Stars
    167
  • 3 Stars
    91
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    9
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    243
  • 4 Stars
    136
  • 3 Stars
    52
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    197
  • 4 Stars
    134
  • 3 Stars
    82
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    9

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Curious about the "Tiny House" lifestyle?

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Big Tiny?

Having wondered what it would be like to live in a tiny house, I found the author's story fascinating!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Reading this book left me with the desire to scale down, declutter, and live a less fettered existence.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Inspiring and beautifully vulnerable.

The courage of the author is inspiring. The book is well organized and the tone is both vulnerable and humorous. I enjoyed this short tale.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed bag

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I sincerely appreciated the author's frankness, opening up in a very real way with her writing. I feel as though I have met her, spent time with her, and gotten to know her. There's a genuineness with a little grandiosity about sky viewings. I learned about what drove her to her tiny house life.

I think the narrator sounds like a truly kind person, but I don't like her voice. I wish I did. She works at her craft. She sounds like she really invests in her stories and narrations, but there's too much energy for me. It actually takes away from the reading for me.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Her description helped me see that I'm not going to be comfortable with less than 400 sq ft living space. That was invaluable, and now I can drop my tiny plans and think small, just not tiny. The least interesting part was how the author goes on and on and on about the sky gazing, but then I might do so if I had a skylight over my bed.

What three words best describe Heather Henderson’s performance?

professional, energetic, excessive

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Humorous perspective from another pair of shoes

I am almost surprised I enjoyed the book as much as I did. The narration was great and story, one of a time of self discovery, was written warm and casual sense that made it quite inviting and relatable. It was easy to get sucked into the excitement of the little project and I found myself laughing audibly more often than I should have. Must be that Midwestern farm humor that I share a part in.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Get rid of "stuff" and learn who you really are

STORY (memoir) - I saw Dee Williams and her tiny house on a morning talk show as I was dressing for work, and her story intrigued me. Plagued with a failing heart, she decided to simplify her life so she can work less and enjoy more. Sounds good to me! But Dee goes to the extreme - with the help of friends, she builds a tiny house. It's only 86 square feet, with just a tiny kitchen, a composting toilet and a tiny "great room." The house is built on a trailer, so it's not as wide as a lane of traffic, and it's parked in a friend's back yard. She sleeps in a loft above the kitchen. She has no running water, so she fills a bucket with her friend's hose every day, and she showers at work. Her wardrobe consists of two pair of jeans and a dress.

Sound crazy? Kinda. But think about it...she owns her house outright and has NO BILLS!! Nada. Zip. I couldn't go to the extreme she has and I wouldn't even think about building a house myself, but the book does make me think how much more time I'd have if we downsized and lived more reasonably. Anyway, the book is interesting and kind of fun. My biggest complaint is there's too much about Dee. It's a personal memoir, after all, so it's full of her life before she decided to build the house, silly stories, her friends, her dog...but the parts where she's building and living in her tiny house made the book worthwhile.

PERFORMANCE - The reader has a nice voice and does a good job. No complaints, but nothing great about it either.

OVERALL - There's no sex or violence in the book but Dee likes to use the F-bomb when she gets upset, which happens several times over the course of her story. I'd recommend the story for anyone interested in building a tiny house, or for people like me who find her story interesting.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

More than a Tiny House Story

Being interested in the tiny house movement, I thought this would be a good read. This though is much more than a story of a woman taking on the task of building a tiny house; it is the story of someone coming to terms with life, death and and reflecting on what it means to live a life worthwhile. A really good read that will make you reflect on your own life. I have read some reviews that don't like the reader, but after watching some videos of Dee, I think Heather captures her personality perfectly. I would recommend this book even if you are not into tiny houses.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Nice Story

My Only PERSONAL Problem (hahaha) Where would begin to list my personal problems? Nope, not gonna go upstairs to bed. Carry my personal 50# dog? umm no. We are both up & down all night. I do worry what Dee would do if her defib went off while going up or down the ladder to her loft.

For me, I personally couldn't do it, not with a bed in a loft, I would need a single story. My biggest goal of the day is to clean & declutter my home, but I am so lost. Marie Kondo needs to make a personal visit.! As to building a home, my Grandfather built a 2 bedroom home in Miami that is still standing nearly 90 yrs later.

Dee is a Happy Camper, & I am HAPPY for her. Sad for her loss (friend & dog), I think to myself as I pat my 50# 14yr old dog.

There are so many variables to consider when making something from scratch! It's a really cool idea, and I would love to see tiny house neighborhoods. I think we would all want to move in for that. But again, I would be sleeping on the ground floor ;), & someone else would need to build my home for me.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book

This book was not only inspiring it made me laugh out loud and cry a few times. I was sad when it ended. Really would love to be one of Dee's friends.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

More than a book about a house

Any additional comments?

This book is more than just about a tiny house. It is about relationships, community, home, changing life styles and habits, and facing mortality. I enjoyed the story and the author's honesty.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Memior is the operative word

What did you like best about The Big Tiny? What did you like least?

I would have preferred less memoir and more tiny house information. The author's story was interesting but the book included precious little about actually building and owning a tiny house.

1 person found this helpful