6 In Culture Corner

10 of the Best Books by Bloggers

I could spend a whole evening catching up with my favourite bloggers, a cup of tea in hand. There are hundreds of them that I find entertaining – food bloggers, style bloggers, street art bloggers, travel bloggers, culture bloggers, design bloggers and lifestyle bloggers. I have folders filled to the brim in each category and pop into them at random whenever I want to relax.

But sometimes, I’d rather put the glaring light of the screen away and curl up with something a bit more tangible: the old fashioned book. Something with pages, something with a book-like smell, something that is permanent and unchanging. And bloggers can be good for that as well, in a different way.

Granted not all bloggers (and probably not most bloggers) are made of the stuff of authors. But, from cookbooks to street style volumes, here’s a few books I truly enjoy, that were written and/or photographed by bloggers:

1. WHAT KATIE ATE BY KATIE QUINN DAVIES. This is easily the most stunning cookbook I have ever owned and the recipes are tasty too. Katie studied food photography and has very a particular style – it’s dark and seductive, messy in a good way with drips of jam or sprinklings of powdered sugar on the table. Nothing is overly complicated to make and she loves using seasonal ingredients. Even though it’s a cookbook, I read it cover to cover. The language she uses is very personal and fun to read, much like you’d see on a blog. Katie’s from Ireland originally and lives in Australia with her husband.
The blog: http://www.whatkatieate.com/

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2. A SUITCASE AND A SPATULA BY TORI HASCHKA. Another cookbook that I love, A Suitcase and a Spatula is based on Tori’s travels around the world and the food she has discovered in the many places she has visited. She says, “More than a scarf, or a pair of cufflinks, it’s the food and recipes from travels that prove the best souvenirs.” And she has certainly brought some delicious ones back home to Sydney that ended up in her book. For Tori, the tastes bring her back to a certain place. For me, it’s a small way of getting my travel fix without leaving the kitchen.
The blog: http://www.eatori.com/

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3. THE SELBY IS IN YOUR PLACE BY TODD SELBY. The Selby Is In Your Place is all about how we create our own personal environments and gives us a satisfying look into other people’s private homes, offices or studios. Each featured person also fills out a questionnaire which is printed in their handwriting along with a watercolour profile image of them.  Todd focuses on creative people which makes for some interesting photos. The Edible Selby is a second book by Todd, also worth a read and obviously focused on food. Next month, I’m looking forward to seeing book three published: Fashionable Selby.
The blog: theselby.com

4. THE SMITTEN KITCHEN COOKBOOK BY DEB PERELMAN. Deb cooks from a tiny kitchen in New York which goes to show you don’t have to have a giant space to make delicious food. It made it to number 2 on the New York Times best seller list and received a few awards and countless amounts of praise. Everyone of the 100+ recipes comes with a story and there are loads of colourful photographs as well – a must in any cookbook I buy. The majority of the recipes are actually vegetarian (strange for me, as a big lover of meat!) and most are brand new, stuff that hasn’t yet featured on the blog.  
The blog: 
http://smittenkitchen.com/

5. CUPCAKES AND CASHMERE BY EMILY SCHUMAN. Emily’s book has a subtitle that elaborates on the type of content to expect: A Design Guide For Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space, And Entertaining With Ease. This is what her blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere does, and her book goes beyond that. It’s split up by seasons and along with some practical tips on entertaining, perfecting playlists, style stuff like layering jewellery and make-up tricks and a few recipes using seasonal ingredients. It’s one to keep handy!
The blog: http://cupcakesandcashmere.com/

6. COMFORT AND SPICE BY NIAMH SHIELDS. On top of other recognition like the Best Food blog award at the Observer Food Monthly Award, Irish blogger Niamh (pronounced knee-uv) was included in the top ten food bloggers from around the world list by The Times as well as their list of 40 bloggers who really count. The writing is witty and there is 157 recipes in the book that dig into her Irish roots as well as take influence from her travels. There’s five sections: Brunch, Speedy Suppers, Long Weekend and Sugar and Spice, plus a Drinks section. Recipes are simple, but with a twist. 
The blog: 
http://eatlikeagirl.com

7. THE HAPPINESS PROJECT BY GRETCHEN RUBIN. This book title actually has a second part, which is “Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.” It spent two years on the New York Times bestsellers list and has inspired dozens of readers to kick off their own happiness projects based on Gretchen’s advice. She has as second book called Happier at Home and is working on a third on another happiness topic which is due out in 2015. 
The Blog: 
http://www.gretchenrubin.com/

8. DESIGN SPONGE AT HOME BY GRACE BONNEY. Blogging since 2004, Grace finally pulled the best of Design Sponge into a book that was published in 2011. Considering the blog is updated some 6-8 times a day, that’s a lot of material to sift through. The result includes about 50 of her best DIY projects and 65 home tours as well as all sorts of design tips and resources. There’s also a bunch of useful tutorials. The before and after pages are fun to flip through too. And it has a pretty fabulous cover – one to leave out on the coffee table.
The blog: http://www.designsponge.com/

9. THE SARTORIALIST BY SCOTT SCHUMAN. Scott has been travelling around the world for many years, taking photos of people in the streets with interesting style. This book and the second one that followed, “The Sartorialist: Closer”, is a compilation of some of his favourite images along with his commentary. His books look beyond the fashion industry to the “varied sartorial tastes of real people”, though he does travel to most of the world’s fashion weeks to photograph the street style that surrounds them, at a time when people take more risks with what they wear.
The blog: http://www.thesartorialist.com/

10. FACE HUNTER BY YVAN RODIC. Similar to The Sartorialist, Swiss photographer Yvan Rodic travels the globe under the name of The Face Hunter, in search of individual styles that catch his eye. This books is a collection of some of the best images from about 30 different cities around the world. Following its success, last year, “A Year in the Life of Face Hunter” was released with a second round of images featuring some of the quirky and stylish people he came across the previous year. Look closely – his eye for the small details is the best part.
The blog: http://www.facehunter.org/

Would you recommend any others? 

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Mandy
    February 11, 2014 at 6:21 am

    What a fantastic set of books! I love that I haven’t heard of any of the authors – it shows me just how much talent is out there to discover. I’d add one book by Londoner Fran Pickering – The Cherry Blossom Murder. It’s a novel, so a different league to these books, but it’s very good!

    • Reply
      littleobservationist
      February 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Oo, thanks for the tip! I haven’t actually read any novels written by bloggers – I’m always drawn to those pretty coffee table style books and cookbooks for some reason.

  • Reply
    Diana Mieczan
    February 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Oh boy, great list. I have both of the cookbooks (1 and 4) and THE SELBY book too. They are truly brilliant!!! Now, I totally need to get the Comfort and spice – sounds incredible. Thank you, darling. xo

    • Reply
      littleobservationist
      February 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Yea, the Selby book is excellent. I’d definitely recommend it. I’m looking forward to the release of the fashion version soon. Glad to hear Buffer is on the up, by the way! xo

  • Reply
    Kayla Seah
    February 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is an absolute must! There’s not a week that goes by where I don’t find myself glued to one of its amazing recipes. Thanks for this great list.

    • Reply
      littleobservationist
      February 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Yes, definitely a good one to have around! Interesting blog yourself, by the way. Will bookmark!

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