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Extended Audio Sample The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters Audiobook, by Sarah Susanka Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (395 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sarah Susanka Narrator: Kimberly Farr Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2007 ISBN: 9781415935743
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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.

For many of us, our schedules are chaotic and overcommitted. Here, Susanka shows us that it is possible to take our finger off the fast-forward button. She reveals that form and function serve not only architectural aims but life goals as well. 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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marci | 2/15/2014

    " Just what it sounds like. Now if I could only do this.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robbie Lockard | 2/9/2014

    " Inspiring. I want to read it again next year. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karina | 1/27/2014

    " I was disappointed by this book. Maybe my expectations were too high. I mean, I love to read books about house design (and Susanka's Not So Big House books are awesome) and I love, love, love to read books about living a simple life. So why did this attempt totally flop? I don't know, but I really wish it hadn't. I was bored by the first page. I skimmed most of it. It was way too long for what it was, repeated things over and over, and was stretching the analogy a little too far for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 1/26/2014

    " Very well written-like so many of Susanka's books but this particular one is so methodical and dense in self evaluation without pointing you to direction afterwards that I just skimmed it to finish. If you are really, really lost and have a lot of time on your hands this book might feed your soul in thinking about the space you live in. Otherwise search for another title. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fay Croxford | 1/22/2014

    " little disappointed. Loved the architectural analagies but got a lot more personality adjusting from other books, particulary LDS books "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 sleeps9hours | 1/18/2014

    " Odd for an architect to make a move into self-help and this book demonstrates why. She seemed to believe that successfully working with people to create a beautiful living space was analogous to being a great life coach or therapist. Not so. She is far out of her element and strains to attach architectural metaphors to all aspects of life. More interesting if seen as a view into Susanka's personal ideology. Although this was a disappointment, her Not So Big architecture books are great! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 beth | 1/10/2014

    " Not finishing this one. I wanted a practical guide but this has more philosophical references than I need! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin | 1/10/2014

    " This book has some very good ideas about evaluating you life and the direction you are headed. However, it is extremely introspective and analytical. It is a book you must make time for, and I found my attention span waning after a while. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 12/30/2013

    " Read it - do it - live it - love it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 11/29/2013

    " Found some inspiring practices and passages in here, but overall, found this one a bit bland. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 C | 11/10/2013

    " Perhaps because the author is an architect like myself, I found a connection here and enjoyed the book. It may not be for everyone, none of the information is profoundly new but it helped me keep a small journal where I began to sort out what matters. Her Not So Big House books are fantastic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 10/18/2013

    " Interesting view on how to have perspective on the things in one's life - how to make a life that fits your real needs..still actively reading "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cody | 9/16/2013

    " It took me a long time to read it. Her take on a easier life based on her architecture style does make a lot of sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tonya | 6/20/2013

    " I started to read it but I misplaced it. I think I left it in St. George. I will finish it once I find it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 4/7/2013

    " this book is awesome though at times a little overwhelming with all i need to do- the work, the inquiries, the writing, the adjusting- it's not just a book, but a remodeling project for my entire life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamra | 12/3/2012

    " Interesting book about living better by living in the moment rather than over filling our lives. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Celia | 5/22/2012

    " So tedious I never finished it...which is unlike me. She should have stuck to her architecture/landscape books which are terrific. Analogies between life & home/space were kind of interesting... for the first chapter, but quickly lost their novelty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Brewster | 5/5/2012

    " In the middle of restoring an old home this book changed my life. I believe in this Miracle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MollyD | 10/20/2011

    " I love the Not So Big home books, so I was pretty sure I'd like this motivational improve your life book. Very uplifting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon Cassie | 8/2/2011

    " I've been reading this book slowly for a long while and finished today. Lots of wisdom here, excellent examples of exercises that can stimulate your thinking in the direction of positive change. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cara | 4/12/2011

    " Sarah Susanka lives in Raleigh and I sure wish she'd come redesign my house -- and my life -- in nearby Cary. Fantastic metaphor and very thought provoking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina | 4/3/2011

    " I'm listening to the book on CD, and I have a hard copy of the book in order to do the exercises. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 1/6/2011

    " would probably have liked it a little more if not so much already on my plate. There are some interesting exercises in the book, but just don't have time for them right now. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellie | 10/3/2010

    " I liked Susanka's perspective as an architect for explaining how to control the clutter in our loves. Her ideas are nothing new, however. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MollyD | 9/26/2010

    " I love the Not So Big home books, so I was pretty sure I'd like this motivational improve your life book. Very uplifting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 beth | 6/4/2010

    " Not finishing this one. I wanted a practical guide but this has more philosophical references than I need! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather RK | 2/11/2010

    " Sarah Susanka writes about profound things in a simple, down to earth way. Being an architect, she uses accurate metaphors from architecture to convey ways of "remodeling" one's life. Inspirational. "

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About the Author
Author Sarah Susanka

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. She is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. She resides in North Carolina.

About the Narrator

Kimberly Farr is an actress and eight-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for narration. She has appeared on Broadway and at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Roundabout Theatre, Playwright’s Horizons, and the American Place. She created the role of “Eve” in Arthur Miller’s first and only musical, Up from Paradise, which was directed by the author. She appeared with Vanessa Redgrave in the Broadway production of The Lady from the Sea and has acted in regional theaters across the country, including a performance in the original production of The 1940’s Radio Hour at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage.