It was Jo’s idea, a few years ago now, and it’s become an annual event – mark the end of the first six months of the reading year by putting six books into each of six categories.

It’s not quite as simple as that sounds, but working out what to do is a lovely way of looking back.

I’ve already spotted Jessica and Margaret posting their lists, and I am sure that there are – or there will be – others out there.

As usual, I’ve tweaked the categories to suit my reading style, and to make sure that this is a celebration of books I’m happy to remember.

Here are my six sixes:

Six books that told stories of times gone by

Landfalls by Naomi J Williams
The Ballroom by Anna Hope
The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh by Marina Fiorato
The Owl’s House by Crosbie Garstin
The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan
Pendower: a Story of Cornwall in the Time of Henry VIII by Marianne Filleul

Six books that told tales of crime and intrigue

The Murder of a Lady by Anthony Wynne
The Narrow Bed by Sophie Hannah
The Bungalow Mystery by Annie Haynes
Death on the Tunnel by Miles Burton
The Water Room by Christopher Fowler
Silence in Court by Patricia Wentworth

Six books from authors who have never let me down

The Innocents by Margery Sharp
Pray for the Wanderer by Kate O’Brien
The Warden by Anthony Trollope
The Rosemary Tree by Elizabeth Goodge
The Midas Touch by Margaret Kennedy
O Pioneers by Willa Cather

Six books written by women in the 20th century

The Uninvited by Dorothy McCardle
The Small Widow by Janet McNeill
My Cousin Justin – or, Turn Ever Northward – by Margaret Barrington
Good Daughters by Mary Hocking
The Tunnel by Dorothy Richardson
Filthy Lucre by Beryl Bainbridge

Six books that I haven’tfitted into a category but can’t leave out

Spring: A Wildlife Trust Anthology for the Changing Seasons
The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau
Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondely
The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons
The Sacred Combe by Thomas Maloney
Woman of Letters by March Cost

Six books that were sitting on my bedside table on the last day of June

‘Ruan’ by Bryher
‘Succession’ by Livi Michael
‘The Secrets of Wishtide’ by Kate Saunders
‘The Wooden Doctor’ by Margiad Evans
‘War and Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy
‘The Button Box’ by Lynn Knight

24 thoughts on “Sixes

    1. I was thinking of autumn, after Viragos and Women in Translation in August, but now you have me thinking that maybe I could start reading a chapter or two an evening when it’s warm and all Briar wants is to sit in the park and watch the world go by …

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great choice of categories! I love five of your authors who never let you down, so I really must try reading something by the sixth (Kate O’Brien). I will be posting my own list of sixes soon, but I haven’t finished putting it together yet.


  2. Thanks for the mention, Jane. I like your categories – so much more inventive than mine! Your list of authors who never let you down has reminded me of books I love and also of authors whose books I’ve not read – Margery Sharp for instance.


  3. Lovely categories – I love the one of authors who have never let you down. I wonder if I could think of categories for my own reads, “People I have travelled with,” maybe.


  4. Great list. i do remember reading your review on Sacred combe by Maloney a few weeks back. It is the one with thhe countryside and library/book keeping right? I hope I am not wrong. I was not able to get a copy of the book but I have noted the name.

    Margery Shrp and Willa Cather are on my TBR. Sounds good if they have never failed you.


  5. After two books for Paris in July that didn’t quite delight me, I have “Martha in Paris” on my nightstand. I don’t think Margery Sharp will ever let me down, either. (And, by the way, I just love the image. Her expression is priceless.)


    1. My first Paris in July Book wasn’t as good as I’d hoped but I’ve turned to Dumas now and I have March Cost and one or two others waiting in the wings. I do hope that you will love Martha and curious to know if you see the parallels with a certain character from The Ladies of Lyndon as I did.


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