Late Summer, 2012

Garden (outside our office) earlier this summer

Garden (outside our office) earlier this summer

Tiny Homes Roadshow I spent about 3 months on the road doing book signing/slide shows for the new book. About 15 appearances. City Lights and Gravel & Gold, both in SF; Builders Booksource in Berkeley; events in Mendocino, Arcata; Vancouver, Victoria, Hornby & Denman Islands in BC; then to Puyallup, Washington for the Mother Earth News Fair. A week at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota; the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif.; Spoonbill & Sugartown Bookstore in Brooklyn....
   We haven't had a book generate excitement like this since we published Shelter in 1973 - the reaction when people pick up the book. We're into our 3rd printing, with over 25,000 sold since the first of the year.

Tiny Homes Mini-books (we've given out about 6000 of the 7000 printed) are a total hit. 90% of the people I hand the mini to don't just smile, they laugh out loud.

One of the best things is the reaction from children. This pic is at the Maker Faire, where I handed them out to every kid I saw. A month ago I watched a 3-year old girl with blonde curly hair stand on the sidewalk by Trouble Coffee in San Francisco, looking (carefully) at every page of the mini-book. Last week I gave a copy (of full-size book) to a bunch of 10-11 year olds down at the town dock, and they all clustered around it, pointing and talking excitedly. We must be doing something right.

Reviews of Tiny Homes
There have been a ton of reviews and a bunch of videos on the book. See: The latest is a 6-page photo-packed article in The Mother Earth News (circulation 500,000):

Tiny Homes eBook for iPads (+ iPhones & iPods) is out there and is a better photo book than anything I've seen on the iPad, thanks to our Mac wizard, Rick Gordon. No kidding. There's nothing like the physical hold-in-your-hands book, but as far as eBooks go, this one (with 1,300 color photos and fixed layout) is outstanding. Last week it was #48 in the iTunes "Top Paid Books" category. Click here to check it out and get a free sample. Or, media people can contact us ( for a free review copy; we'll give you the link to download.
Our Suite of Building Books We've been back to publishing buildings books for 8 years now -since 2004 (Home Work). These 5 form a body of work; there's a thread running through them, with the earlier ones inspiring further homebuilding, which appears in later books:
Shelter (1973)
Shelter II (1978)
Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter (2004)
Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008)
Tiny Homes (2012)
These and other building books on our website at

Scented sweetpeas and the rare perfect crema espresso the other morning

Our Next Book will be Water & Wheels: Tiny Homes on the Move. I'm doing layout right now, and material is pouring in. We have a growing network of people interested in building and providing their own shelter these days, and right now they are sending us info on trailers, campers, housebuses, sailboats, and houseboats. Nomadic life in the 21st century.

Foreign Translations of Our Building Books
Shelter: In the '70s into French, Spanish and German. All now out of print; more recently, into Japanese, Korean, and now Chinese
Home Work: French, Korean, Japanese
Builders of the Pacific Coast: Korean
(Stretching is in 23 languages.)
I've had interviews and photos appear in several Japanese magazines lately (below), all on the subject of our building books. Wish I could read what they're saying about me.

Blogging is perfect for me. I get to communicate what I see as I move around the world. I get great feedback, much of it useful, educational, or inspiring. I've worked out a routine for travelling with my 2 cameras and 11" MacBook Air and getting photos and text out pretty quickly. I get at least one post out every day. I don't do Facebook, nor Twitter very often. There's only so much time.

The Condition My Condition is In I've quit competitive running after some 25 years. Knees. Too much hard downhill running. I decided to quit while I still have some cushioning left in knee joints, so I can walk another 25 years. I've been going on a few solitary runs with a pair of "barefoot running shoes" occasionally, hiking, going to a gym to build back up some upper body strength (shoulder injuries), and doing yoga twice a week. Now that I'm back from traveling I can accentuate the physical.

Innermost Limits of Pure Fun*
A few weeks ago, my college buddy and roommate, film producer Richard Zanuck** died unexpectedly. I wrote something about him on my blog and a few days later, his son Dean and wife Lili contacted me to ask if I'd say something about him at his funeral. After some reluctance, I agreed, drove my truck down to LA, and on a sunny blue-sky morning arrived at the Beverly Hills Episcopalian church and learned that there would be about 500 people there. Jeez. Not only that, but there were a total of 5 speakers and they were, in this order:
Dean Zanuck
Tim Burton
Sherry Lansing
Clint Eastwood
Lloyd Kahn
   Holy shit! I started to hyperventilate. Like a singer going to his gig and upon arrival learning that Otis Redding is the opening act.
   Well, in a nutshell, it was great: the family told me to tell the real stories, and I let it rip. True tales of 2 punk pranksters at Stanford in the '50s pedal-to-medal in pursuit of pure fun. Trips to Baja and Mexico, surfing, chasing girls, all-night drives to LA and Palm Springs, our exploding car at Malibu Colony, fights, practical jokes of fiendish intensity, the pure F-U-N of it all. Once I started with the stories, they were with me. Channeling fer shure. I swear about 100 people came up to me afterwards, saying they loved hearing this side of him. He was a much-loved guy. A sweet spot in time.

*Title of George Greenough in-the-curl surf film
** Producer of Jaws, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Sting, Driving Miss Daisy, Road to Perdition

Summer Garden 2012 (Early August)


Some (Eclectic) Music Links
Billie Holiday:
Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli:!/s/Sweet+Georgia+Brown/3mSGb3?src=5
Honeyhoney - Angel of Death:

I'm like a one-eyed cat,
Sleeping in a seafood store...
   -Big Joe Turner


To get to my blog, click here or type lloydkahn into your browser (or Google).