books (256)

Which Cover Do You Like Best?

We are in the final stages with our latest book, The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building and Gardening. It’s 8½″ square, 168 pages, with about 540 photos of these things:

House/Kitchen/Cooking/Preserving/Foraging/Fishing/Gardening/Chickens/Crafts

It’s a book I’ve been meaning to put together for years, and it feels good to be in the final stages.

Above are two choices for the cover. Click either image for larger view. Whichever image we choose for the front cover, the other one will go on the back cover.

What do you think?

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Shelter Books Inspire Carpentry Career

June 20, 2019

Dear Lloyd,

I am writing to thank you for your work as a builder/publisher/disseminator of alternative building inspiration. Your books are what initially set me on the path which I am on today, and I’ve never been happier. I was staying with a friend in Oakland on my way home from hitchhiking the country when I was first shown Shelter II. This must’ve been 2013. I told my friend’s housemate that when I made it back to Washington, I wanted to build a tiny house. “Oh,” he said, “well I have some books you need to look at.” I spent the next two days sitting in their garden, pouring over Shelter II and Builders of the Pacific Coast. Completely engrossed, desperately excited.

Well, I made it back to Washington bought a hammer, and got to work. My blueprints were drawn on 2×4 off-cuts, mostly making it up as I went. Square enough, level enough.

I moved in once the roof was on and spent the next three years finishing it (I never finished it). When it was time to move on from “Shackie Onassis,” we hitched it to a tractor and took it down the road a ways to my friend’s farm where it resides today. While the house was being moved, I rode alongside in my skateboard — I am one of the only people who has skitched their own house (skitching is when you get a vehicle to pull you on your board, but you know that!).

That was years ago now. Today I make money as a carpenter, and I just can’t believe people pay you to do this shit! I love my job, my coworkers, and the places I get to work. I have a regular yoga practice, which is the only way I believe I’ll be able to keep doing building work as I age. I’m 32 right now and I want to keep at this for as long as possible. Yoga is key.

Anyway, I’m just trying to thank you for the work you’ve done. Your aesthetic and approach to building are foundational influences for me. That pic in Builders of the Pacific Coast of Sunray Kelly, barefoot, shirtless, on a roof with an electric chainsaw is still a “Fuck yeah, that’s what I want to be when I grow up” image for me.

–Take care, man, thank you so much for being an inspiration!
Marshall

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Lloyd’s Podcast with TheTinyHouse.net

Play the podcast:

Intro & synopsis from the podcast page (www.thetinyhouse.net/lloyd-kahn), which also contains more images and videos:

Today my guest is Lloyd Kahn; and if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve probably seen one of his books. Lloyd published the seminal book, Shelter in 1973, documenting alternative housing ideas not limited to, but including, tiny houses, well before the current modern movement.

Lloyd has a lifelong fascination with shelter, and this conversation, we trace the steps of how an insurance broker in San Francisco built his own home and slowly transitioned to publishing internationally about Geodesic Domes, Tiny Houses, Mobile Houses, Driftwood Shelters and more. DIY building. While many thousands of the homes that Lloyd has documented over the years are small or tiny, he’s got a healthy amount of skepticism about the tiny home movement.

In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about Lloyd’s books, his original influences of the counter culture of the 1960s, and how the concept of shelter has changed over the years.

In This Episode

  • How did Lloyd’s fascination with shelter begin?
  • Why Lloyd’s 1973 book Shelter is the most important of his work
  • Why Lloyd decided to pull his Dome Books off the shelves even though they were selling
  • Why Lloyd says that Builders of the Pacific Coast is Lloyd’s favorite book
  • Lloyd tells the story of meeting and building with Derek ‘Deek’ Diedricksen
  • Why Dome homes have fallen out of favor (and Lloyd is more than okay with that!)
  • How Lloyd got into publishing in the first place
  • What is causing the current fascination with tiny houses?
  • Lloyd’s advice for first-time DIY home builders
  • Lloyd’s two favorite houses of all times
  • Lloyd’s take on aging well (He’s 83!)
  • Lloyd’s new book coming soon: The Half-Acre Homestead (It sounds amazing!)

Links and Resources

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Gimme Shelter: February, 2019 — Driftwood Shacks Is Finally Done.

I started sending out newsletters to Publishers Group West reps (our distributors) in 2001, one every month or two — news of our books plus a few extracurricular things thrown in. I started adding friends and people I met who had common interests, and it got up to about 600 people. Then along came blogging, and later Instagramming, and I’ve been sending out these newsletters a lot less frequently.

Recently I’ve concluded that newsletters are a different and more direct form of communication than blasting everything out to the world via “social media.” So I’m building up this mailing list and now going to do them a little more frequently — once every month or two.

You can sign up for email delivery of the Gimme Shelter newsletter here:


Driftwood Shacks: It’s done!

Analog layout:

I print out photos on an old Brother copy machine to size, and print out text in two or three columns. (I actually write a lot of the text during layout.) Then I use a proportional wheel and scissors and an X-Acto knife to arrange a two-page spread at a time, then affix it with removable Scotch Tape. Yeah, can you believe it? Coffee, music, right brain function occasionally ganja-enhanced.

Sure, I know it can all be done on a computer, but I prefer to stay out of the binary world for creative work.

Digital preparation for printing press: Rick transforms the crude pasteups into precise files, using Photoshop and InDesign, and voila!

Hardcover • 8½″ by 8½″ • $19.95
160 pages • 176 color photos
ISBN 978-0-936070-80-3
Publication date March 12, 2019 (but it’s shipping now)

Info on it (and early copies): www.shelterpub.com/building/driftwood

Review copies: If you or someone you know wants a copy for review, click to send us address(es).

The Half-Acre Homestead

I’m working on this now, the 35th book I’ve published in 48 years (the tenth that I have authored). It’s the story of our lives for the last 40+ years: building a house, gardening, cooking, foraging, fishing, crafts, etc. It should be out in early 2020.

I’m using Google Photo, an app that, once installed, downloads all your digital photos. Then you can do a search: “garden,” “fireplaces,” “kitchens,” etc. and in a few seconds it pulls up all the images of the selected category. It was hugely useful for the driftwood book; dozens of photos I’d forgotten about.

Books in the Pipeline

After the homestead book: The 40th anniversary edition of Stretching (with stretches for the bad posture encouraged by cell phone usage); Hit the Road Jack, the latest on rolling homes; books on barns, Baja California Sur, the ’60s (through the eyes of a San Francisco native. Don’t get me started!

ABA Winter Institute

With Jamie Byng of Canongate Press, London

I had a great time at this event in Albuquerque (in late January). I signed about 70 copies of the driftwood book for book buyers; There were two authors at each table, and my tablemate was Mark Kurfansky, author of Salt and Cod and now working on a book for Patagonia on salmon.

I met a bunch of great people — book lovers all.

I spent two days before the conference at a hot springs spa in the town of Truth or Consequences, two hours south of Albuquerque, and had other adventures documented here:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lloyd.kahn
My all-over-the-place blog: www.lloydkahn.com/… (Links to posts from Albuquerque.)


Two photos from Albuquerque:

Who could resist stopping at Carmen’s (in Truth or Consequences)? Blue corn enchiladas and green chile. Carmen cooks; her daughter is the waitress.

 

My friend Ned Cherry at his man cave in the backyard of his adobe house in Albuquerque. We hadn’t seen each other in 30 years. (We’ve known each other for 65 years — since we were 18.)


Sorry this is so long, I didn’t have time to make it shorter.

“I love the life I live and I live the life I love.”
–Muddy Waters (written by Willie Dixon, 1915-82)

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