Favorite books

Truth be told I’m a slow reader, so consiquently I don’t read much.  Of the books that do cross my path, most are picture books. Not all, but most. I’m a visualy guy.

These are my favorite books on the subject of homelessness and near homelessness.


This is Linda Tirado’s first book. She is a very gifted wordsmith and did a great job explaining to me what it was like being in her shoes while doing everything possible to survive on minimum wage jobs, and the energy one goes thru staving off homelessness 24-7. And why poor people gravitate to things that a more well to-do person might see as unhealthy, distasteful or endulgent.  This is a must read for those with an open mind and are willing to listen to a representative of the little known third of the American population.

Margaret Morton cronicles 10 years in photos she took of homeless encampments and individuals in and around New York City.  It’s a sad look at how some cities would rather literally sweep the situation away, in most cases using bulldozers, rather than find a REAL solution to the problem of the growing number of Homeless people.

Kyohei Sakaguchi created this wonderful pictorial book showing the dwellings of Homeless people in some of Japan’s biggest cities. The athourities in Japan are lenient and give notice a day before sweeping an area, so the homeless residents have designed and created shelters that can be taken down and moved in short notice.

While gathering information for his College thesis, author Andrew Heben set out to visit and live amongst the homeless at about a dozen sanctioned and un-sanctioned homeless encampments thru-out America. After graduating from school he continued advocating for his local homeless population, and had a large hand in creating a model sanctioned encampment in Eugene Oregon. This book covers his discoveries and insights in the aquisition, financing, governance and layout of future sanctioned encampments. A must read for the homeless advocate.

Lloyd Kahn is one of my favorite authors. I’ve purchased most of Lloyd’s wonderful pictorial books covering free form hand building of homes, cabins, homes on wheels and much more.





 The ‘Whole Earth Catalog’ is One of Lloyd’s earliest books. I had a copy years ago but alas, it disappeared.

After seeing Dee Williams interview with Kirsten Dirksen I was mesmerized by her insightful way of thinking. I thought she should write a book. Not long afterward she did. It’s a must read for anyone seeking wisdom on the subject of downsizing one’s house hold.

No architectural library would be complete without Derek ‘Deek’ Diedricksen’s illustrated book. It’s just plain fun to read, and gives all kinds of whimsical ideas on small structures.


This is an oldie but goody. For those interested in ‘going underground’ the author, recently interviewed by Kirsten Dirksen (July 2015) goes in depth on his philosophy of cheap underground living spaces.

‘Roll Your Own’ came out in 1974. It was a small print run, and Amazon doesn’t even recognize the book. I found my copy years ago at a used book store. It’s a wonderful pictorial book on the Hippies-on-wheels culture that thrived in the 60s and early 70s, showing fanciful, whimsical exterior and interior designs that would make any nomad wanna be jealous with envy.

This is another great pictorial book showing numerous vintage teardrops and campers. Some are DIY builds, and definitely a course of inspiration.





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