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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