It was Jo’s idea, ten 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 book might go where is a lovely way of looking back.
I haven’t done it every year, but as I seem to be out of the habit of writing about books I wanted to do something to round up what I have read.
I have read much more than I used to because a lot of things that I used to be able to do have fallen by the wayside, and I do miss writing about them but I start writing a little but never seem to finish because another book is always calling.
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.
My favourite book of each six is starred.
SIX BOOKS BY AUTHORS WHO HAVE NEVER LET ME DOWN
‘The Corner that Held Them’ by Sylvia Townsend Warner
‘Summer Visits’ by Margery Sharp
‘In This House of Brede’ by Rumer Godden *
‘Miss Mole’ by E H Young
‘The Spring of the Ram’ by Dorothy Dunnett
‘The Bird in the Tree’ by Elizabeth Goudge
SIX BOOKS THAT DREW ME BACK INTO THE PAST
‘Ariadne’ by Jennifer Saint
‘Mrs England’ by Stacey Halls
‘The Lady Tree’ by Christie Dickason *
‘Dictionary of Lost Words’ by Pip Williams
‘Pandora’ by Susan Stokes-Chapman
‘Matrix’ by Lauren Goff
SIX BOOKS WRITTEN BY WOMEN IN THE 20TH CENTURY THAT FELL OUT OF PRINT AND WERE LATER REISSUED
‘One Fine Day’ by Mollie Panter Downes
‘Strange Journey’ by Maud Cairnes
‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ by Elizabeth Jenkins
‘The Woods in Winter’ by Stella Gibbons
‘Frost at Morning’ by Richmal Crompton *
‘A Harp in Lowndes Square’ by Rachel Ferguson
SIX BOOKS HOLDING TALES OF MYSTERY AND INTRIGUE
‘The Crossing Places’ by Elly Griffiths *
‘The Moving Toyshop’ by Edmund Crispin
‘The Victoria Vanishes’ by Christopher Fowler
‘Death of a Bookseller’ by Edward J Farmer
‘Who Killed Charmian Karslake?’ by Annie Haynes
‘Through the Wall’ by Patricia Wentworth
SIX BOOKS THAT ARE WORKS OF NON-FICTION
‘One Woman’s Year’ by Stella Martin Currey
‘Seed to Dust’ by Marc Hamer
‘Parallel Lives’ by Phyllis Rose
‘The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop’ by Lewis Buzbee
‘All the Books of my Life’ by Sheila Kaye-Smith
‘Victoria the Queen’ by Julia Baird *
SIX BOOKS THAT HAVEN’T FITTED A CATEEGORY THAT I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE OUT
‘A Woman of Independent Means’ by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
‘The Ghost and Mrs Muir’ by R A Dick
‘A Single Thread of Moonlight’ by Laura Wood *
‘Dombey and Son’ by Charles Dickens
‘Bird of Passage’ by Catherine Czerkawska
‘The Long Road from Kandahar’ by Sara MacDonald
Do try this – if you haven’t already – working out what book might go where really is a lovely way of looking back.