Shelf Swap with Anna James

Shelf Swap with Anna James

I love swapping book recommendations, so I’m asking one person each month to pick five books from my Goodreads shelves that they want to read and five books from their own shelves that they think I might like to read.

I’m delighted to welcome Anna James (@acaseforbooks), books journalist, event chair, literary scout, and vlogger, to Pretty Books for Shelf Swap!


The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkin Gilmans
I’m determined to fill in some more gaps from my feminist reading list this year, and this is near the top. I’ve read a lot about it and know the story and ideas, but want to experience it first hand.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
My love of epic YA series was reinvigorated earlier this year by binge-reading all of Cassie Clare’s The Mortal Instruments books and Sarah J Maas is next on list. I’ve heard so many good things about both of her series.

Relish by Lucy Knisley
I really enjoyed Lucy Knisley’s debut graphic novel, French Milk, about a six-week trip to Paris she took with her mother so would love to read more of her work. And then this one is about cooking, which is my second love after books so I think it’ll be right up my street.

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
North Korea is a fascinating and terrifying place I’d like to know more about and I’m a big fan of narrative non-fiction to learn more about the world. This account of real lives in North Korea won the Samuel Johnson Prize so it’s sure to be well researched and well written.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I don’t quite know how this one passed me by considered what a fanbase it has but I’m determined to read it before the film comes out!


All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
From looking at Stacey’s Goodreads shelves I think she’d really like this whimsical novella about an ordinary guy whose friends, and wife, are superheroes. It’s sharp and weird and funny and a little bit heartbreaking.

Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
I think Stacey enjoys quite classic feeling children’s books but with a bit of edge, and Diana Wynne Jones is my go-to for that category. I love the whole Chrestomanci series but this is the one I started with; weird and wonderful, I think Diana Wynne Jones is a genius.

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
This probably comes as no surprise if you follow me on Twitter as I’ve been raving about it since I read it in January and was then over the moon that it made this year’s Baileys shortlist. It’s quirky and clever and thought-provoking and all about identity and independence. And squirrels.

Momo by Michael Ende
This is the book I recommend to everyone; it is in my all time top five and is a must for book lovers. It’s a super quirky, beautifully written story about using your time well, friendship, loyalty and the power of storytelling.

Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer
One of my favourite books of 2014, it’s told entirely through letters and is loosely inspired by the relationship between writers Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell. It’s gorgeous, witty and romantic although it goes to some pretty dark places. It’s all about words and letters which think Stacey will like.

Thank you for swapping bookshelves, Anna!

Which of these books would you read?

6 thoughts on “Shelf Swap with Anna James

  1. Home for Peculiar Kids.. Definitely.So much hype around that one.Hope to read it before the movie too.Opened the book and saw the pics but I’ll get back to it soon :-)Nice post,great list of books.Happy reading.

  2. I’ve read Miss Pergrine’s and absoluetly loved it! Love this shelf swap idea too btw ♥

  3. Momo by Michael Ende. The blurb said it was an all time favorite and should be read by everyone. I can’t really argue with that.
    I also read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as well as the following to books in the trilogy. A fantastic series! Ransom Riggs weaves the pictures into the story with such precision you can’t help but be impressed.

    • I’ve only read the first book in the series – I’m planning to pick up the other two shortly before seeing the film. I hope I enjoy them just as much!

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