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.
- The Dutch House – a genuine delight with lots to saying about mothering.
- Girl, Woman, Other – rich, diverse story-telling. Immensely satisfying
- In Love With George Eliot – gentle, insightful peek into Eliot’s writing life and marriage.
- Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line – my hidden gem for the year.
- The Parisian – an extraordinary, rich, classic story of a man out of time and out of place. Review to come.
- The Thursday Murder Bookclub – entertaining from start to finish. A September release. Can’t wait for book 2.
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:
- The Feel Good Guide to Menopause – because it will happen to at least half of us one day! Might as well be prepared.
- The Fast 800 – the latest update by Mosley on his diet that actually works for me.
- A Month in Siena – exquisite, beautiful and thoughtful essays on art, loss and family.
- Ten Doors Down – an adoption memoir.
- Fathoms – glorious stuff all about whales.
- 488 Rules for Life – lots of fun.
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.