Six in Six 2021

A half-year retrospective…

This fun meme is run by Jo of The Book Jotter. The idea is to look back over the first six months of the reading year, select six categories from the selection Jo provides or create your own categories, and then find six books you’ve read between January and June to fit each category. It’s my fourth time of joining in, and I really struggled to find six categories – I’ve discovered I’m reading far too much vintage crime! I’m also a million years behind with reviewing, so not all of these have appeared on the blog yet. However with only a small amount of cheating, here they are – all books I’d recommend…

Six British Library Crime Classics

Still loving this series and hoping they go on doing it for ever, despite the damage to my TBR…

The Port of London Murders by Josephine Bell

The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude

The Corpse in the Waxworks by John Dickson Carr

Murder’s a Swine by Nap Lombard

Two-Way Murder by ECR Lorac

Due to a Death by Mary Kelly

Six Audiobooks with Great Narrators

Honourable mention must go to two fabulous narrations that I never got around to reviewing – Patricia Routledge’s wonderful version of Wuthering Heights (loved the narration far more than the book), and Alan Rickman’s fab rendition of The Return of the Native (loved both equally). But here are six that I either have reviewed or will be shortly:

Revelation by CJ Sansom narrated by Steven Crossley

Cécile is Dead by Georges Simenon narrated by Gareth Armstrong

The Return of Sherlock Holmes narrated by Derek Jacobi

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute narrated by Robin Bailey

Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie narrated by Hugh Fraser

Gillespie and I by Jane Harris narrated by Anna Bentinck

Six New(ish) Releases

I’m still struggling to find contemporary books I love in either fiction or crime, but here are six released in the last year or so, all of which I gave either 4 or 5 stars…

The Less Dead by Denise Mina

The Silence by Susan Allott

Nightshift by Kiare Ladner

Last Days in Cleaver Square by Patrick McGrath

The Survivors by Jane Harper

The Pact by Sharon Bolton

Six Classics

I haven’t read as many classics so far this year, but I’ve managed to find six that I’d recommend – again, I haven’t yet reviewed all of them:

The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

The Silver Darlings by Neil M Gunn

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

My Antonia by Willa Cather

In Diamond Square by Mercè Rodoreda

Six New-to-me Authors

I’ve read loads of new-to-me authors as usual and many of them have already been included in the categories above, so here are the best of the rest:

The Old Buzzard Had It Coming by Donis Casey

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Taken by Lisa Stone

Way Station by Clifford D Simak

The Conjure-Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher

The Chill Factor by Richard Falkirk

Six Recent Additions to the Wishlist

Ok, this is cheating a bit since I haven’t read these. But as the bard said, some rules are more honoured in the breach than the observance… 😉

No Other Life by Brian Moore

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

The Female Man by Joanna Russ

The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux

City by Clifford D Simak

Every Seventh Wave by Tom Vowler

* * * * * * * *

So that’s my six sixes, and they tell me I need to read less vintage crime and more other stuff! Jo gives us till the end of July to do our sixes, so if you haven’t already joined in you still have time – it’s a wonderful way to waste spend some time!

Here’s to the next six months! 😀

33 thoughts on “Six in Six 2021

  1. I couldn’t agree more, FictionFan, about Fraser and Jacobi as narrators – they’re fantastic! And I love your roundup of authors. Mina, Harper, Bolton, Lorac… all great, and that’s not to mention some of the other authors you’ve chosen this time. Well done, and I think it’s an interesting idea to look back over one’s reading like that. It gives some interesting perspective, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve found it surprisingly hard the last couple of years – I don’t seem to be reading as eclectically as I used to. I blame Martin Edwards and the British Library! 😉 But it is a good way of seeing just how many great books and authors have crossed my path so far – let’s hope for more of them in the rest of the year!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whew! Good thing I don’t blog regularly anymore or I’d HAVE to do this!! I see another Simak on your list. I think I told you I have another tagged at the library. Hopefully both our choices will live up to Way Station. I’m also looking forward to your review of My Antonia. And… per your recommendation, I have several Agatha Christies narrated by Hugh Fraser tagged at the library. Now if I could just make myself do more audio!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, you should come out of blogging hiatus just so you can do it! It’s deeply time-consuming, but fun. 😀 I can’t remember why I chose City as my next Simak but I’m sure there was an excellent reason. Probably. I’m so far behind with reviews it might be a few weeks before My Antonia appears, but I’ll try to write it while I remember it. (I spent this afternoon trying to write a review of a book I’d more or less completely forgotten, it’s so long since I read it!) The Hugh Fraser Christies are so good I tend to race through, unlike most audiobooks which take me forever. He has the perfect voice for them, and you can tell he enjoys them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well let’s see, division of classic crime into subcategories?? You have two of my absolute favorite audiobook narrators on your list, Hugh Fraser reading Christie and Gareth Armstrong reading Simenon. I could listen to them all day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, if I go on the way I’m going I’ll probably have to do that next time! They’re both great narrators, aren’t they? It’s made such a difference to audiobooks now that so many really good narrators are doing them. It seems to be a separate skill – more than reading aloud but not quite acting. A good one makes all the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for hosting it again – always such fun to do! Haha, it is a bit of a cheat but it reminded me of all the good books I want to get as well as the ones I’ve already read. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Female Man is a recent addition to my wishlist, as well – I keep seeing lists of classic 60s and 70s science fiction by women and that’s one of the few that seems to be on all of them.

    I’ve only read 19 books this year so I wouldn’t be able to come up with six books for six categories, even if I pinched your idea of using books added to the wishlist! I always love reading everyone’s answers for this meme, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane reviewed it on Just Reading a Book a few weeks ago, which is when it got added to my list – my wishlist would be much smaller if there weren’t so many book bloggers. 😉

      Lots of people use the same book in different categories – it’s just me that makes it difficult for myself by trying to get 36 separate books. I struggled badly this year though – I’ve read lots of books but too many of them seem to be vintage crime…


  5. This looks like a fun meme, and a good way of reflecting on reading patterns. The audiobooks look particularly good of course, I didn’t realise Derek Jacobi had recorded Sherlock Holmes, I imagine his voice would be a good fit for them. I was wondering how you got on with Wuthering Heights in the end, I’m afraid it is not a favorite of mine at all: far to much in the way of hysteria, but the Routlege recording was still brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was the Derek Jacobi/Holmes recordings that started me listening to audiobooks a few years ago now, when I got offered one for review. He has become Watson to me now – I think he’s brilliant at them! I did mean to review Wuthering Heights but it got caught up in my big slump last year and several books waited so long for me to write reviews that I eventually felt I had to eliminate some of the older ones so I could get on top of things again. I thought Patricia Routledge was fantastic – even though I didn’t much enjoy the book I’d listen to it again just for her performance. Next time, I might fast forward through the hysteria bits though! Alan Rickman’s The Return of the Native is wonderful too, if you haven’t listened to it before.


  6. This sounds like one challenge I could actually participate in! And I say that all the time and never actually do it, but whatever.

    I love the title of that book-The Old Buzzard Had it Coming! I’m fairly on top of my reviews at the moment, I worry that if I wait too long I’ll forget what the book was about/my opinion on it and I’ll struggle to write anything when the time comes. So, you could almost say I write my reviews based on anxiety LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • These tags are fun to do. but time-consuming! I usually try to review within a few days but I fell behind during my slump and still haven’t quite caught up. If I leave it too long, I have to go back and re-read at least the last few chapters to remind myself of the book, so that makes reviewing take even longer to do. So I understand and share your anxiety! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I used to find it quite easy but it’s been hard the last couple of years – I must be reading less eclectically than I used to. Ha, yes, that vintage crime rabbit-hole is far too easy to fall down!


  7. Great selection of categories and books as always FF, even if there was maybe an overload of vintage crime 😉 And I don’t think it is cheating to include new wish list books, as I always have to include a category like that (usually a neglected authors or read last year but not this year) to make up my numbers. Happy reading in the next six months! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, yes, I do seem to have read an awful lot of vintage crime this year, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so I’m not even sorry… 😉 I love seeing what categories other people use – as usual we all go off in different directions.

      Liked by 1 person

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