Thursday, 16 July 2020

Six in Six

When it's cold and grey outside, the only solution is books. And when you can't decide which one to read next, then the next-best thing is to blog about books!

Thankfully, FictionFan came to my rescue today with her recent post Six in Six.
The meme originates with Jo @The Book Jotter, who has been writing about Six in Six since 2012.

The idea is to reflect on the first 6 months of your reading experience for this calendar year. Then throughout July:
share 6 books in 6 categories, or if time is of the essence then simply share just 6 books. Whatever combination works for you as long as it involves 6 books. Of course the same book can obviously feature in more than one category.
Jo has an ever expanding list of six categories to choose from, or you create your own. I have done a mix of both.

Six best books of 2020 (so far):

My favourite and best books tend to be big on character, with a definite sense of place, and I do love fine writing.

Six shortlisted books:

  • Actress - shortlisted 2020 Women's Prize - not as good as I had hoped, but enjoyable enough.
  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line - shortlisted 2020 Women's Prize & one of the reasons why I love shortlists. I may never have found this gem if not for it's nomination.
  • Girl Woman Other - Winner Booker Prize 2019, shortlisted 2020 Women's Prize
  • Middle England - Winner of the 2019 Costa Book Award & all about Brexit.
  • Redhead by the Side of the Road - shortlisted 2020 Women's Prize & just missed out on being in the list above with it's lovely characters with issues.
  • The Parisian - Winner 2019 Palestine Book Awards

Six books in translation:

  • The Forest of Wool and Steel - a bit of a slog to be honest. 
  • The Conquest of Plassans - Zola never disappoints. The fiery ending in this one was a surprise.
  • The German House - thoughtful story about post-WWII Germany coming to terms with the Holocaust - who did what and who knew what.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude - a reread of this South American classic that made more sense second time around.
  • The Plague - review to come.
  • War and Peace - reading one chapter-a-day for the entire year. I'm half way through.

Six From the Non-Fiction Shelf:

Six classics I've read this year:

  • Moby-Dick - if you have the time, and you're in the mood for a long meander at sea, pondering the meaning of life, then this is a classic you should not overlook. Worth the effort.
  • Under Milk Wood - read as you listen to the sultry tones of Richard Burton narrate this wonderful play with words.
  • The Dyehouse - a forgotten Australian story thankfully rediscovered by Text Classics.
  • The Tempest - not my most favourite Shakespeare. I've learnt that listening to and watching plays is much better than reading them!
  • The Cardboard Crown - another little known Australian classic, part memoir, part fiction and part of a quartet.
  • Katherine Mansfield short stories - so far I've read 5 this year - 2 still to be reviewed. I love her!

Six books set in Australia or written by an Australian:

  • Cherry Beach - starts in Melbourne, finishes in Canada, lots of YA angst in the middle.
  • The Rain Heron - just missed out on being in the top 6 as well. The ending wasn't as strong as the start, but, oh, the beginning was tremendous stuff indeed!
  • The End of the World is Bigger than Love - a YA eco-dystopian 
  • Truganini - an insightful bio into the life and times of a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman.
  • Sand Talk - fascinating look at Indigenous thinking.
  • The Secret Library of Hummingbird House - fabulous time-travelling primary school aged fiction. Review to come.


  1. What a lovely way to reflect back, in a positive and bookish way, on our year so far.

  2. Well done! You've read a great mix of books so far and think what a sense of achievement you'll have when you finally finish War and Peace! Personally I had a sense of euphoria when I got to the end of it... 😉

  3. Thank you very much for joining in - I am looking forward to reading The Thursday Murder Club

  4. A good selection! I've been wondering about getting Osman's book, so it's good to know that you enjoyed it. I'm interested to see what you think about The Plague - I first read in school - and how it relates to the current pandemic.

  5. Great category choices, Brona - I have never seen anyone do a shortlisted category before and I also had non-fiction and classic category this year. I have to whole heartedly agree that plays are best seen performed, let's face that is what they were written for not to read as a book. 😃

    Here's my Six in Six post for this year, if you fancy taking a look: 🙂


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