December 2009

TopNot So Big Gift Ideas
for the Holiday Season

If you're looking for the perfect gift for the design enthusiast, the Not So Big fan, or someone who is struggling to create a home and life with room in it for what really matters, look no further.  This e-mail contains Sarah Susanka's favorites (both from the Not So Big series and from other authors) for great gifts this season.

Note: all links in the recommendations below go to, but if you prefer to purchase from an independent bookseller instead, please go to Indiebound.

Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really LiveNot So Big Remodeling
Sarah's latest addition to the Not So Big House series shows us how it's possible to stay put and remodel your existing house in a Not So Big way, incrementally, as time and money allow.  Already much loved by readers, this book was named one of the top ten customer favorites of the year in the Home & Garden category on
The Not So Big House 10th Anniversary Edition
The Not So Big House10th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)
This new edition of Sarah's best-selling first book features a new cover, a new introduction and a new final chapter that shows how readers have implemented Not So Big strategies in their own homes.  The book's focus on the qualities of home rather than the quantities is timelier than ever this year.  Now also available in paperback.
The Not So Big LifeThe Not So Big Life
The Not So Big Life shows us how to change the way we live by fully inhabiting each moment of our lives. For anyone who is struggling to find meaning and direction in their life, this is the perfect gift.  To read more about what the book contains, click here.
For those who find it easier to listen than to read or for those with long commutes, the audio book is the perfect gift. 
Available from Random House:
The Not So Big Life E-Book
The Not So Big House: Home By Design DVD
The Not So Big House: Home By Design DVD
In this one hour program originally developed for Public Television, Sarah takes you through the most important Not So Big principles, showing how to apply each one to transform your house into the home you've always wanted.  The DVD is a perfect intro to Not So Big house design.
This newly packaged version of a Not So Big gift giving favorite includes The Not So Big House 10th Anniversary Edition (see above for details) and Creating the Not So Big House.  These two volumes offer all of Sarah's trendsetting architectural ideas in one slipcase set.

To see descriptions of all of Sarah's books, click here.

Return to top

In addition to her own books, Sarah has a number of recommendations for gifts that are in line with the Not So Big sensibility.  There are a lot of books being published these days about sustainable design and living.  Here are some of her own favorites, along with a few classics that, in her opinion, no household should be without.

West Coast Green Keynote SpeakersThe Spiral of the Seasons by John Sullivan
Although written primarily for those entering the fall and winter seasons of their lives, this book will be of immeasurable value to anyone wanting to learn more about the real meaning of life.  It's an excellent companion for The Not So Big Life.

Just Enough by Azby BrownJust Enough by Azby Brown
This extraordinary book should be required reading for anyone who wants to help make today's world more sustainable and capable of surviving the current imbalances of climate, energy, and resource distribution.  It holds the key to rebalancing both our planet and our own lives.

You Are Here by Colin EllardYou Are Here by Colin Ellard

You Are Here is a powerful inquiry into how we humans orient ourselves in space and identify places both familiar and new.  For anyone looking for a better understanding of how we process the world around us, it's a stimulating and provocative read.

In Pursuit of Elegance by Matthew MayIn Pursuit of Elegance by Matthew May
This wonderful and thought-provoking book examines the elusive element behind so many innovative breakthroughs that capture our imaginations, in fields ranging from physics and marketing to popular culture and design (including a segment on Not So Big).

Less is More by Cecile Andrews and Wanda UrbanskaLess Is More
by Cecile Andrews & Wanda Urbanska
A compelling collection of works by Simplicity experts (with an article from Sarah about de-cluttering), this book shows us that when we choose less, we regain our life and more - more time, more satisfaction, more balance, and ultimately, more happiness.

Get Your House Right by Marianne CusatoGet Your House Right by Marianne Cusato
This important and much needed book helps both homeowners and professionals get back in touch with the proportioning of house parts one to another and to the greater whole.

Simple Prosperity by David WannSimple Prosperity by David Wann
This powerful book by the author of Affluenza provides an alternative to the "pursuit of happiness by consumption" vision of reality.  Full of wisdom for real living, it will help you find a kind of wealth that's woven right within the fabric of everyday life.

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred GallagherRapt by Winifred Gallagher
This wonderful and inspiring book asks readers to remember something so simple and yet so little appreciated -- what you focus upon profoundly affects your quality of life. It is a much needed prescription for these tumultuous times.

Your Green Home by Alex WilsonYour Green Home by Alex Wilson
Author Alex Wilson explains what homeowners need to know to make their own home more environmentally friendly, and he does it in a way that makes a broad and complicated subject easy and enjoyable to read--no small feat!

Starting Green by Glenn CrostonStarting Green by Glenn Croston
An inspiring, well thought out and information rich roadmap for creating new green businesses for the coming conserver economy, this book can help us re-envision our economic future.

A Pattern Language by Christopher AlexanderA Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander
This 1977 classic provides a compendium of design concepts that have shaped the built environment for all of human history, ranging from city planning to house design and everything in between.  The book encourages readers to recognize their innate building sense by providing a language by which to discuss what we know intuitively makes sense. 

The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher AlexanderAlong with its sister, The Timeless Way of Building, A Pattern Language launched a paradigm shift in how we design and build.  In fact, Sarah's fourth book, Home By Design, is dedicated to Christopher Alexander to honor his influence on her work and thinking.

Return to top

Illuminated Rumi 2010 Wall CalendarIlluminated Rumi 2010 Wall Calendar
Art and translations by Michael Green
Based on One Song: A New Illuminated Rumi, this calendar is an interweaving of poetry and art - a magnificent meeting of ancient tradition and modern interpretation that uniquely captures the spiritual wealth of Rumi's teachings.

Rumi 2010 Wall Calendar by Brush DanceRumi 2010 Wall Calendar by Brush Dance
Translations by Coleman Barks
Art by Matt Manley

If you're a fan of Coleman Barks' translations of Rumi, as Sarah is, this calendar is an inspirational and beautiful adornment for any wall.

A Year With Rumi: Daily Readings, by Coleman BarksA Year with Rumi: Daily Readings
Translations by Coleman Barks
A Year with Rumi brings together 365 elegant and beautiful translations of Rumi's greatest poems.  Join Coleman Barks and Rumi for a year-long journey into the mystical and sacred within and without.
In This Issue
Recent Not So Big Publications
Not So Big Related Books
For Not So Big Life fans
Sarah's Websites
More from the Not So Big Series
The Next Book in the Not So Big Series
Share the News

Join Sarah on Facebook

West Coast Green Keynote Speakers

Sarah's Websites


The Not So Big House website
The Not So Big House site is full of useful information for people wanting to know how to build a house that favors quality over quantity. 
The Not So Big Life website
The Not So Big Life site is what Sarah describes as the second half of the book, providing a community through which to engage your own not so big life.
Sarah Susanka website
The portal to all of Sarah's websites, also has some great resources for architects.

More from the Not So Big Series
Click on the book images
to order from Amazon

Home By Design
Home By Design

Inside the Not So Big House
Inside the Not So Big House

Outside the Not So Big House
Outside the Not So Big House

Creating the Not So Big House
Creating the Not So Big House

Not So Big Solutions for Your Home
Not So Big Solutions For Your Home

Return to top

The Next Book in the Not So Big Series

More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home
More Not So Big Solutions For Your Home

Sarah's newest book, due out in March of 2010, is a collection of articles that she wrote and illustrated originally for Inspired House and Fine Homebuilding magazines. With attainable home improvements such as how to use color, how to unify an interior with trim, and how to design a laundry room that works, this compilation is packed with highly detailed and practical solutions to everyday home design challenges.

Now available for pre-order

Do you know someone who might enjoy reading this article?  You can use the button below to send it to them.


 If you would like to receive minizines and newsletters from Sarah Susanka, go to either The Not So Big House or The Not So Big Life and sign up for the e-mail list there.  The sign-up page allows you to choose which news to receive.

With best wishes for a happy holiday from all of us at Susanka Studios