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Until I have some of my own books for sale (coming soon…), here are a few recommendations - in no particular order.

No links, as wherever you are in the world you will know best how to source books, & I'm not (yet, anyway…) a bookseller.

Two books that started my interest all those years ago: Diary of a Century by Jacques-Henri Lartigue, and this one - A Day Off by Tony Ray Jones.  It was published, sadly, posthumously…

book 'Alias Johnny Stiletto' produced two books with witty, wry comments on his subjects, in and around London in the '70s & '80s

book Philip Thomas ('Banksy with a camera' as The Grauniad styled him) worked in London's adland and just carried a camera everywhere he went…
Unfortunately his website has disappeared (he moved to Hollywood in the 1990s) but the books are definitely worth seeking out.
I have in my mind's eye, one spectacular shot - from behind the wheel of a Rolls Royce at night (ALWAYS have your camera ready!) - that isn't in his books or left behind anywhere on the web.  But here it is, clear as day (like all the very best images), but only in my mind's eye…  Damn!

Any of Eve Arnold's books is good, though publishers still pack out the 'Marilyn' ones to the exclusion of better fare.

book A trio of Martin Parr books, from a very large collection.
Somehow, a bit like Ricky Gervais with a camera, you never know quite what to make of his images.

bookOr, more accurately, you never quite know what he makes of his images…


Wot - no Cartier-Bresson?  Well you don't need me to suggest his books, surely…
However,  Images à la Sauvette - The Decisive Moment - was re-published by Steidl in 2014, complete with its original Matisse cover.  Probably difficult to obtain now…

book book A Chilean artist / photographer, Sergio Larrain withdrew from photography after scarcely more than ten years activity.
A member (like Henri Cartier‑Bresson) of Magnum, he nonetheless retreated into meditation and formal calligraphy, dying in 2012.
An accidentally caught set of images led, indirectly, to the making of the film 'Blow Up' by Antonioni.

book I cannot let this page of recommendations go without mentioning a wonderfully inspiring book of photographs by the photographer James Ravilious.  They were put together by his wife Robin, the daughter of glass engraver Laurence Whistler, after his untimely death.  They spent their lives in North Devon where James recorded, informally, village farm life around him.
Seemingly almost as 'accidental' as Martin Parr's early adventures in Northern England, they are however totally different in the way that they record the lives unfolding.  As the book points out, almost all the photographs are captioned with names: James knew every one personally.

For further ideas, here are some interesting places to browse:

 Beyond Words   Once a welcome refuge just off Edinburgh's High Street as you wound down through the Old Town towards the Scottish National Gallery, it is now online only, more's the pity.

 The Omnivore   Astonishingly, this wonderful site is still free. It features curated reading lists, reviews & a searchable archive.  Not aimed at photography but important books & shows will be covered.

 Slightly Foxed   Writing of Beyond Words' demise as a physical bricks'n'mortar bookshop made me think of this - another real bookshop closed & gone online, leaving behind only this magazine.  Nothing to do with photography, but if you enjoy reading you will enjoy this.  ('Foxing' is a form of age deterioration peculiar to old books & paper generally - not to mention elderly humans…)

I discovered the astonishingly wide-ranging writer Geoff Dyer for the absolute bargain asking price of £3.49 for 'The Ongoing Moment' in Liverpool's Oxfam Bookshop.  I have never looked back - his 2021 latest is 'See Saw', and worth every penny you might have to pay for it…

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