Books for the new year: Spitalfields Life and Advanced Style

One of my New Years resolutions is not to buy new books until I have finished reading the ones I have mounting up on the book pile of shame! Internet shopping has made buying books impossibly easy and the Amazon ‘if you liked that, you’ll like this’ is sometimes just too tempting.

One of my Christmas presents was a Kindle and despite my initial skeptiscism, I am quite enjoying using it and have decided to buy all my novels on there and save buying actual books for special purchases. Cookery (although I increasingly use my iPad for recipes) interiors, art, fashion and style books, need to be experienced and appreciated in real life, as anything with pictures is simply not going to work on a Kindle. Therefore, I will be buying these two new books, published by two of our long time favourite blog writers, the Gentle Author and Ari Seth Cohen.

We have mentioned Spitalfields Life many times on TWR, as it’s been a daily read since it started in 2009. Recording the stories of many of the wonderful charachters, past and present that inhabitat and work around the Spitalfields area, the blog has now been turned into a book. The Gentle Author tells of how he spent a night in the bakery at St John with baker Justin Piers Gellatly, rode the rounds with Kevin Read the Spitalfields milkman, dropped in to the Golden Heart for a pint with landlady Sandra Esqulant, met Paul Gardner the fourth-generation paper bag seller, Steve Brooker the mudlark who discovered treasure in the Thames, Bill Crome the window cleaner who sees ghosts and Alan Hughes the master bell-founder whose business started in 1570.

I am currently reading Londoners by Craig Taylor which I am thoroughly enjoying and think Spitalfields Life will be a great follow on.

Another blog Amanda and I have enjoyed for some time now is Advanced style. I intend to make it my mission to become the kind of woman Ari Seth Cohen wants to photograph, by the time I reach 70 – even if it means hanging out on the upper east side, every day for a year! Like his blog, the Advanced Style book will celebrate the individuality and eccentricity of the older style icons he photographs on the streets of New York and will also act as a guidebook, featuring wardrobes, interviews, stories, and advice from a collection of his favourite subjects.

Spitlafields Life is out on March the 1st and Advanced Style, May the 10th.


  • Emma LP says:

    Thanks so much for these recommendations. I have only recently discovered how wonderful Spitalfields is so have pre-ordered the book! And Happy New Year to you both.

  • I’ve had a kindle for a while now, never thought I’d succumb, but the ease of a 30 second download in the middle off the night when I can’t sleep became too much to resist. Do I sound like I need help!? It leaves plenty of spare cash for all those fabulous statement books as kindle editions are often much cheaper. GG

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