Six in Six: The 2020 Edition

We’re more than halfway through the year and I’m pleased to see that Six in Six, hosted by Jo of The Book Jotter, is back again! I love to take part in this as I think it’s the perfect way to reflect on our reading over the first six months of the year. The idea of Six in Six is that we choose six categories (Jo has provided a list of suggestions or you can come up with new topics of your own if you prefer) and then try to fit six of the books or authors youโ€™ve read this year into each category. Itโ€™s not as easy as it sounds and I usually find that there’s a lot of overlap as some books could fit into more than one category, but itโ€™s always fun to do.

Here is my 2020 Six in Six, with links to reviews where possible (I’m behind with reviews and will be posting the rest of them eventually).


Six classic mysteries

1. Murder to Music by Margaret Newman
2. Answer in the Negative by Henrietta Hamilton
3. The Long Farewell by Michael Innes
4. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
5. Blood Upon the Snow by Hilda Lawrence
6. The Hollow by Agatha Christie

Six books set in a country other than my own:

1. The Missing Sister by Dinah Jefferies (Burma/Myanmar)
2. Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten (Russia)
3. A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (Spain and Chile)
4. Fifth Business by Robertson Davies (Canada)
5. The Split by Sharon Bolton (South Georgia)
6. The House by the Sea by Louise Douglas (Italy)

Six books by authors new to me this year:

1. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
2. The Almanack by Martine Bailey
3. Mrs Whistler by Matthew Plampin
4. A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
5. Queen Lucia by EF Benson
6. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Six books about royalty:

1. Royal Flush by Margaret Irwin (Minette, sister of Charles II)
2. The Silken Rose by Carol McGrath (Eleanor of Provence)
3. The Great Matter Monologues by Thomas Crockett (Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Katherine of Aragon)
4. Blood Queen by Joanna Courtney (Macbeth and his wife Cora/Gruoch)
5. The Brothers York by Thomas Penn (Edward IV and Richard III)
6. The Irish Princess by Elizabeth Chadwick (Aoife, daughter of the King of Leinster)

Six books I’ve particularly enjoyed so far this year:

1. In a Dark Wood Wandering by Hella S Haasse
2. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
3. A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie
4. The Expendable Man by Dorothy B Hughes
5. A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley
6. Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau

Six pretty covers:

1. The Foundling by Stacey Halls
2. Requiem for a Knave by Laura Carlin
3. Becoming Belle by Nuala O’Connor

4. The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
5. The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey
6. The Lady of the Ravens by Joanna Hickson


Have you read any of these? Are you taking part in this year’s Six in Six too?

25 thoughts on “Six in Six: The 2020 Edition

  1. Judy Krueger says:

    Out of your 36 I have read two: A Long Petal of the Sea and The Dutch House. I plan to read Dreamland. I have 7 books I have read that I need to review. Oh the pressure!

  2. hopewellslibraryoflife says:

    Great lists! Two blasts from the past–both when I was in Peace Corps (89 to 91) Fifth Business, a book I wasn’t ready for at the time and In a Dark Wood Wandering which I devoured on the long flight up to the UK and the second long flight across the Atlantic. It’s such a good book!

    • Helen says:

      Fifth Business was an interesting book – I didn’t love it, but would like to read more by Robertson Davies. I really enjoyed In a Dark Wood Wandering, so I’m glad you did too!

  3. Sandra says:

    Those covers are sumptuous, Helen. I’ve read The Foundling but that’s all from your lists. I hope to get to Hamnet and The Dutch House before too long. I am probably going to join in before the month is finished although of course, I won’t have reviews to link to. But it will be fun putting the 6 lists together ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. Margaret says:

    I’ve read eight of these books. I have copies Hamnet and The Split, and am looking forward to reading them, bearing in mind that you found The Split has a slow start.

  5. piningforthewest says:

    I’m hoping to join in with this one too. I’ve only read four of your books, but a couple are waiting to be read by me.

  6. FictionFan says:

    I’ve read six and abandoned one! All the Christies and Lord Jim, The Lady of the Ravens and the Brothers York and enjoyed them all. The abandoned sadly was the Sharon Bolton, an author I usually love. Maybe it was just unfortunate timing…

  7. Lory says:

    Of these I have only read Fifth Business! I should really read Agatha Christie, I picked up a copy of Murder on the Orient Express and it should be perfect summer reading.

  8. setinthepast says:

    I liked Tsarina, Blood Queen and The Irish Princess. Not impressed with The Foundling – the idea was good but the plot was totally unrealistic. Waiting for the prices to come down on The Silken Rose and Lady of the Ravens!

  9. jessicabookworm says:

    Always look forward to reading your post for this, Helen – with how much more you read, you always come up with some great category choices. Particular like your ‘royalty’ category this year and those beautiful covers. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    I sadly haven’t read any of these, however I have a copy of The Lady of the Ravens lined up to read (hopefully) soon! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  10. Carmen says:

    I read The Dutch House and it was one of my favorite books last year. Next year (hopefully) I’ll be reading Long Petal of the Sea; I had scheduled for this year but I prioritized Netgalley ARCs to improve my review rating. I also have Dreamland on my TBR.

    • Helen says:

      I don’t think Isabel Allende is my kind of author, as I’ve tried two of her books now and didn’t like either of them very much. I loved The Dutch House, though, and I really enjoyed Dreamland – I hope you do too.

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