We head to the kitchen in this week’s Bookshelfie episode as host Vick Hope is joined by vegetarian chef and author Anna Jones.

Anna Jones’ book choices are as tasty as her recipes as they cover the importance of teen fiction, the joy of a really sad book and how breaking bread with friends and family is the best way to live a rich and happy life.


by Judy Blume

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When I read this, when I was growing up, I don’t think there was much young adult fiction in the way that there is now. This was the only book that me and my friends could kind of connect with or read that felt like it was talking about relationships, about sex, about boys, and it was talking about the complication and constructs around that, that we were all feeling but it just didn’t seem to be written down anywhere.

How To Be A Domestic Goddess

by Nigella Lawson

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Nigella sort of came along and she was this woman that I kind of associated with she had a femininity she had a kind of looseness and turn of phrase. I mean, if we can all speak like that like Nigella. She speaks like she is right. And I first of all find that unbelievable that you know the she manages to weave such beautiful sentences without writing them down. But she was there and she was in lovely clothes. She had a cheekiness and a sort of a fun looseness to her cooking. It made me think that it was something that I could be part of.

Half of a Yellow Sun

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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I think that Chimamanda is nearly the same age as me. So I think I’m nearly 45. And she’s 46. And I remember the point in my life at which I read this, and I would have been about the same age as to Chimamanda. And that thought blows my mind, because I very much felt like I was still becoming the person that I was that I was still learning about the world at this point.

A Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion

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This is a deeply, deeply sad book. And I think I wept and wept and wept whilst reading it. But there was something in this book that made me hold on to the people I loved so much more deeply. And I think there’s a phrase in it that she uses saying, you know, I love you more than another day. And I think that feels like such a beautiful, it’s a tragic phrase.

Home Cooking

by Laurie Colwin

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I might not remember someone’s name, but I will remember the chocolate bar they love the most. And so this book kind of did that. For me it was it sort of made me know the writer in such a kind of nuanced way and and also I feel like so many books about food are about the kind of perfection or about the kind of veneer and are about getting it right. And I think this book Home Cooking felt messy.