Six in Six Book Meme

I found this delightful book meme with Margaret over at Books Please. It was something started by Jo at The Book Jotter. You summarise six months of reading, sorting the books into six categories. Jo suggests plenty of categories, but you can also create your own. The same book can obviously feature in more than one category.

Here is my version for 2015, with links to my reviews where those exist.  I had a hard time not using the same book more than once for each of the category – that was the one rule I set for myself, so that I could present as many books and authors as possible. It is fair to assume that books I loved and authors I want to read more of are interchangeable.

6 Books I Loved

Murasaki Shikibu: The Tale of Genji – the best three months of reading, total immersion in a very strange world, yet still fully relatable

Ansel Elkins: Blue Yodel

Tom Rob Smith: Child 44 – particularly effective when read just before watching the film, and comparing the two

Jean-Patrick Manchette: Fatale

Eva Dolan: The Long Way Home (although I could just as well have put her second novel Tell No Tales)

Jonas Karlsson: The Room

6 New Authors to Me

Sara Novic: Girl at War

Sherman Alexie: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Karim Miske: Arab Jazz

Kanae Minato: Confessions

Metin Arditi: Loin des bras

Yasmina Khadra: L’attentat

Some of them were more exciting than others, but I think I want to read more from each of these authors I’ve just discovered.

6 Books that Didn’t Live up to Expectations

Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train – entertaining enough, but quite average for my taste, despite its resounding success

Jenny Offill: Dept. of Speculation – poetic and thought-provoking, but ultimately too fragmented and cold for me. Perhaps suffering also in comparison to Elena Ferrante’s ‘The Days of Abandonment’, which I had read just before.

Matthew Thomas: We Are Not Ourselves – moving, well-written in parts, but just too long and trying to squeeze too much in

John Enright: Blood Jungle Ballet – I loved the first book in the series so my hopes were perhaps too high for this one

Vesna Goldsworthy: Gorsky – The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite books, so I thought I’d love to see it transposed into present-day London with all of its foreign money. But alas, it didn’t add anything new…

Stefanie de Velasco: Tigermilk – not the Christiane F. of the new generation of Berliners…

6 Authors I Want to

Elena Ferrante

Emily St. John Mandel

Laura Kasischke

Virginie Despentes

Kishwar Desai

Tana French

Would you look at that? They are all women!

6 Books I’d Like to See Translated into English

Hubert Mingarelli: La Route de Beit Zera

Jeanne Desaubry: Poubelle’s Girls

Jeremie Gue: Paris la nuit

Liad Shoham: Tel Aviv Suspects

Fouad Laroui: L’etrange affaire du pantalon du Dassoukine – or several other books by this author, he hasn’t been translated at all into English

Friederike Schmoe: Fliehganzleis

Sorry, they are nearly all in French. That’s because I can only talk about those books written in languages I can read other than English – and I’ve read far fewer German books this year and next to no Romanian books. This may be about to change…

6 That Don’t Fit into Any Category But I Have to Mention

Megan Beech: When I Grow Up I Want to Be Mary Beard – spoken poetry by a very young, talented and opinionated woman poet

Tuula Karjalainen: Tove Jansson: Work and Love

Daniel Pennac: Comme un roman – how schools or adults can kill the love of reading; and how to reignite it

Ever Yours: Van Gogh’s  Essential Letters

Etienne Davodeau: Les Ignorants – learnt so much about comic books and vineyards, all in a humorous way

Sarah Ruhl: 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write – something any mother/creator/professional can relate to


28 thoughts on “Six in Six Book Meme”

  1. Ah, the Pennac sounds great, Marina Sofia! Trust me, you don’t want to hear my diatribe on schools and reading. You don’t. I really like the variety in your selections here, and I’m so glad you found new authors to explore. It’s hard on the TBR, but it’s such a good feeling, isn’t it?

  2. I saw the announcement for this earlier and would love to do this. Just have to find the time. You have young kids and many other responsibilities… where do you find the time?

    Great list, pointing me toward some books I need to read. I still have not read Child 44.

    1. It didn’t take that long, to be honest – after all, most of the books were reviewed already. I just looked through my list on Goodreads and chose the ones that really stood out. Hard not to keep on choosing favourites, though…

      1. I dither about every choice, and even picking subjects for the lists. But you are right, it would not take that long if I just sat down and did it.

        1. Is mine the perfect choice every time? No! And if you ask me tomorrow, I might have voted differently. But this is what was top of mind at the time… Over-analysing is as dangerous as under-analysing (and I should know, because like you I tend to be in the over category).

    1. Me too! It did take some adjusting, as spoken word poetry is best spoken rather than read on the page – like trying to pin down a butterfly…

  3. Tana French is awesome and I say this even though her last two books didn’t work for me. She tends to write fiction with criminal elements to me. I like my criminal investigations front and center. Unless of course, you can write captivating character arcs.

    I need to read Fatale Great list.

    1. I haven’t read that much Tana French – for some reason our only local library that has English language books doesn’t stock her. But I do want to try more…

  4. What an interesting list! There are so many I want to read and so many I’ve never heard of before. Your selection in section 6 all look so good. I don’t read much poetry but having read your review of When I Grow Up I Want to Be Mary Beard I’m going to look out for that book. And incidentally I loved Mary Beard’s TV programmes – she’s amazing.

    1. Yes, I think I want to be Mary Beard too when I grow up… and how elegantly she replied to those who said she was too ugly, too old, too toothy and badly-dressed to present a programme…

    1. I’ve just been to your site – pleasure meeting you! That’s what these memes are so great for, meeting like-minded book-lovers. I’ve heard Child 44 is the best – the film is slightly different, perhaps a bit disappointing, but still quite good. I didn’t like his ‘The Farm’ that much.

      1. Pleasure meeting you too Marina! It is interesting to hear you didn’t like The Farm that much. I wasn’t that keen on reading it anyway. I do still want to watch the film, because Tom Hardy is in it 🙂

  5. I think this meme is a great way to look back at your first six months of the year. I haven’t read many of the books you’ve listed (I think Girl at War is the only one) but they all sound interesting! I’m pleased you loved The Tale of Genji – I’ve often thought about reading it but have never got round to it.

    1. Genji is a huge commitment. I managed to read it easily in my student days, but now when there are so many other work and family tasks to work around, it’s been a bit of a chore. I hope you do find some peace and time to read it though.

  6. This meme really is the perfect opportunity for some mid-year reflection. I see several books and authors I’ve enjoyed on your list. Dept. of Speculation was a big disappointment for me, too. I really wanted to love that one. I haven’t read Days of Abandonment yet, but am reading another Ferrante novel now (The Lost Daughter) as I await her final Neopolitan novel.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one not entirely convinced by Dept. of Speculation – most of my friends and fellow bloggers seemed to love it and I thought there was something I just didn’t get… I haven’t read any other Ferrante, certainly not the Neapolitan tetralogy, because I originally thought family sagas are not my thing, but I really liked her style.

  7. I’ve just read My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante and definitely intend to read more of her. At the beginning I thought what’s all the fuss about but by the end I was completely hooked.

  8. Lovely selection of titles! I really like your books you’d like to see translated category, great idea. I have Girl at War and We Are Not Ourselves on my to read pile. I’d like to read more by Emily St John Mandel too. I enjoyed your lists! Lindsay

    1. Thank you for visiting! While I was perhaps not quite as enamoured of ‘Station Eleven’ as you were, I really do like the author’s style and want to read more.

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