Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Six in Six - 2019

I just read this on Cath's blog, and thought it might be fun to do.

The idea comes from a new-to-me blog called The Book Jotter. Her post about this year's Six in Six is here. She notes that a book can feature in more than one category.

1. Six authors who are new to me.

Jenni Keer. I loved her book The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker. To use one of my favorites adjectives, it was charming. It was warm-hearted, with nice people, and a wonderful intergenerational friendship.

Debbie Tung. Another literary soul-mate. I just "met" her last year, but since I read her first book in November 2018, and her second in February of this year I thought I'd include her in this category. Her two non-fiction graphic books are Quiet Girl in a Noisy World, and Book Love. I so enjoyed them both.

Christopher Huang. I read his most interesting book, A Gentlemen's Murder. These quotes were on the Amazon page, and really, they say it all. My kind of book. I really liked it.

"Huang's impressive debut will delight fans of golden age detective fiction." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

"Dorothy Sayers is alive and well and writing under the name of Christopher Huang." ―Rhys Bowen, New York Times-bestselling author of The Tuscan Child 

"A must read for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry." ―Daryl Maxwell, Los Angeles Public Library 

Kathi Daley's The Inn at Holiday Bay: Letters in the Library, book 2 in the Holiday Bay series. I liked this very much. There's a nice write-up about the book here. I have the first in the series, and plan to read it soon.

E.C.R. Lorac - I've read Murder by Matchlight and Fire in the Thatch so far, and want more! You may read more about the author here.

Last, but definitely not least is H.Y. Hanna. I've read the prequel and five books in her Oxford Tea Room mysteries series. I can't seem to stop. As soon as I finish one, I begin the next. The books are set in my favorite place in the world, the one place I do hope to visit, Oxford England. I fell in love with this city watching Inspector Morse and Inspector Lewis, and now to read about it is simply heaven. The author went to Oxford, and knows the city well. She is very prolific, and you may read more of what she has written here. I have also bought a book in another of her series, The English Cottage Garden mysteries, and will read it when I've read the next four of the Tea Room books!

2. Six authors I have read before. All beloved old friends.

Harry Kemelman - I've now read all the Rabbi Small books for the second time, and find myself wanting to spend time with him again.

Rosamunde Pilcher - I re-read Flowers in the Rain, and then thought I'd try The Shell Seekers again. Probably needless to say to Pilcher fans, I loved them both. I didn't want either book to end. I did begin September, but it didn't hold my interest so I dropped it for now.

Agnes Sligh Turnbull. I've read her Little Christmas many times, and it always touches me deeply. I need to read more of her work.

Anne Tyler. This is to be my year of Anne Tyler. I've so enjoyed her work over the years. The books I've read so far this year are on the sidebar.

John Grisham. I've never read a book by him that I didn't enjoy! This year's was Calico Joe, but hope to read more. My  blogging friend in PEI said that Grisham is "very reliable", and that is exactly how I feel.

D.E. Stevenson. I've read so many over the years, but have many more to read. This year I read Spring Magic, and so enjoyed it.

3. Six authors I read last year - but not so far this year.

Ragnar Jonasson. I really do like his Dark Iceland series.

Frances Garrood. I loved her Ruth Robinson's Year of Miracles, and want to read more of this author's work.

Radha Vatsal. I really liked A Front Page Affair, book 1 in the Kitty Weeks series. An historical mystery set in 1915 New York City about a young journalist. So far there is just one more book, but I hope there will be more.

Rachel Joyce. I so loved The Music Shop. A perfect book. I would like to read more of her work.

Anthony Horowitz. I loved The Word is Murder last year, and want to read the next one called The Sentence is Murder. I also loved Magpie Murders.

George Bellairs. Wonderful writer. I read four last year. More here about him.

4. Six books from the past that led me back there.

A favorite category for me since I do love older books.

If Morning Ever Comes by Anne Tyler. This was published in 1964, her first book. It gave such a feeling of the time. I was 16 that year, and it was so much quieter than now. Less news, fewer weather reports, no screens except television with the two stations I could get.

The two Lorac books, Murder by Matchlight and Fire in the Thatch.

Everybody Always Tells by E.R. Punshon.

Spring Magic by D.E. Stevenson. I love books set during WW II that actually take place then.

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. It is quite amazing to me how different 1987 was from now. And parts of the book are set further back.

5. Six series of books read or started.

Samuel Craddock series by Terry Shames. I have almost read all the books. Love the Texas setting and the main character.

Inspector de Silva series by Harriet Steele. Love these books and read them as fast as they come out.

Holiday Bay series by Kathi Daley.

Robert Macdonald series by E.C.R. Lorac.

Rabbi Small series by Harry Kemelman.

Oxford Tea Room series by H.Y. Hanna

6. Six Favourite Places to Read.

Bed - I read only Kindle books there.

Kitchen chair by woodstove

Living room chair

Kitchen table while I eat breakfast


Terrace, where I recently put a chair in the shade, in one of my favorite spots.


  1. New to your blog! I LOVE DE Stevenson and love reading! Spring Magic is such a wonderful book. Have you read her Listening Valley? based on what you wrote above, I think you would really love this one. I can see that we have a lot of reading tastes in common and I am excited to read some more books that I learned of in this post, thanks so much! Have a great day today! :)

    1. Thanks so much for coming by and taking the time to leave a note! I must read Listening Valley. I know it has a connection to Celia's House which I loved.

  2. First of all, what a beautiful place to read, Nan! Love it. I could just put a second chair next to yours and we'd be perfectly happy, right? By the way, there is a second book in Radha Vatsal's series. It's called Murder Between the Lines and it's available on Kindle for $1.99 right now. Not to tempt you or anything....ha!

    1. Yes, we would be! The Vatsal book is on hold at the state's downloadable books. Thanks, though for the info!

    2. May I pull up a chair, too?! :) We probably wouldn't get much read, though, although I'd be perfectly content just sitting and chatting with my two pals. :)

    3. Better still, there is a terrace swing just out of sight in the picture. A tea for Kay and a cosmo for you?

    4. Yup, just have to pick up Teri along the way!

  3. Love your lists! I so appreciate all the great suggestions, thank you! And that white rose is just beautiful.

    1. And I thank you! Those roses have gone by and now there are 6 at the top, with none below. Looks like a crown.

  4. A lot on your lists sounds like I would enjoy those books very much! If I should ever run out of reading material, I know I'll go to your blog for inspiration. Right now, there are still around 70 books on my Kindle waiting to be read, and a TBR pile of about eight in my book case.
    As for favourite places, I was surprised to see that you read at breakfast. I thought you'd have your meals with your husband, but maybe the two of you get up at very different times (like my late husband and I used to).

    1. Yes, very different times. He's up before 5 and in bed by 8 usually. I'm up at 8-9 and in bed around midnight.

  5. I love the white rose in your header, Nan, so classically beautiful.

    I also love your 'places to read'... wonderful.

    I have Murder by Matchlight on my Kindle so I must get around to that soon.

    I couldn't think what I'd read by George Bellairs, when I checked it was Murder of a Busybody and I liked it a lot.

    Must look into the Oxford Tea Room series as it sounds interesting. I was just saying in answer to your comment on my 6 in 6 post that it would be wonderful if some of us who know each other via book blogging could get to sit down in a tea shop, drink tea, eat cake, and chat about books. There's a danger we would be there all day!

    Lots of excellent book recs here, will look into a few. Lovely post!

    1. Thank you for all your kind words, Cath! Oh, the food in those books is amazing! I can almost taste the scones. I think you'd like them. Coz(s)y and intelligent.

  6. Like to join you girls in that sweet spot. There would be no reading done that afternoon! Nan, every year on a book site I frequent, a couple of us set challenges like you mention. The one I set this year for me and the others was "10x3" 10 books written over 50 years ago, 10 books that have been on my shelves for too long, and 10 books from the overflow bookcase upstairs. Fun, that kind of thing, isn't it?

    1. You'd be most welcome! I like your challenge. Happily this one wasn't a challenge, just a looking back on what I'd already read. I'm terrible at challenges. ;<))

  7. This was a fun post which has given me some ideas of authors I need to read. I think I may do something like this for myself, this kind of challenge.
    Also, I love your header. I hope it is a very fragrant rose.

    1. As I wrote to Mrs Mac, this wasn't a challenge. It was just a look back at the past 6 months of reading. I'm no good at challenges. It seems that as soon as I say I'm going to read such and such a book, I don't want to do it. Very funny! The rose isn't too fragrant but it is a big deal because it is a zone 3 rose and will actually grow here! The only ones I've ever had were rosa rugosas. This is a delicate, beautiful rose and I can't believe it came back.

  8. Lovely to see where you sit and read, Nan. And some old favourites in your 6 in 6 and lots of new-to-me authors I haven't come across before.

    1. Thanks, Margaret. If you read any of them, I'll be interested to see what you think.

  9. Pilcher's September starts a bit slower than The Shell Seekers but I think if you persevere you'll be drawn in. I hope you'll read her 'Winter Solstice' and 'Coming Home' as well. The latter was made into a serial film which extended the story beyond what Rosamunde had written. The few episodes I saw on Netflix didn't impress.
    Before her success with The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher published a string of lesser short novels--the kind I could read in an evening. Lots of gardens, old houses, tea and scones! My favorite of those is 'The End of Summer'--which I have on cassette--and 'Under Gemini.' I'll be checking back to this post of recommendations having re-read most of my old favorites.
    Agnes Sligh Turnbull: Be sure to read 'The Gown of Glory' and its sequel, 'The Nightingale.'

    1. I did read September years ago, and will try it again sometime. I've read WS, but not CH. And I've read a few of the earlier books. And I thank you for the AST suggestions!

  10. Very nice post, Nan. On your list of "new to you" authors, I have not read any of them, but I have Murder by Matchlight by ECR Lorac and will read that soonish. Two other authors on your list that I want to read are Anthony Horowitz and George Bellairs. I have at least one by each of them to try.

  11. Thank you for taking the plunge and joining in with this meme.

    I could not get on with The Music Shop when I picked it up but I might try again now.

  12. My goodness. I consider myself an avid reader, but I don't think I can keep up with you. I have read some of the authors you mention, but not many. I can see I have to broaden my literary world. I read in my living room chair, and in bed. The kindle is for travelling. When we travel in the car we bring audio books. We loved the reader of the Nero Wolfe mysteries. The audio book we suggest to other travellers is "Scoop" by Evelyn Waugh. We found the satire not unlike the real world when we were in Beijing in the Tianenmen Spring.

  13. I've written down your Debbie Tung books and A Gentleman's Murder (love Sayers!). and must read the Oxford Tea Room mysteries. I fell in love with Oxford after reading Sayers and I love the Endeavour programs. The finale of this season was gripping but I worried so much about Thursday this season, wanting him and his wife to snap out of it.

    You know I love the Rabbi Small books and I got out Shell Seekers to reread when Pilcher died. I love Turnbull and Little Christmas. Reread her Golden Journey again last month. Love Tyler too and I think I must have every single D.E. Stevenson book that every few years I begin again with them as my easy-to-hold-in-bed book. I do the same thing with my Nelia Gardner White novels. Did you ever read her?

    I just got through rereading the biography of Sister Parish written by her daughter and granddaughter and now am reading The Last American Aristocrat, another biography. Large books like these I read at the breakfast table, a few pages each morning. And to cool off at the end of a summer day I'm rereading a stack of old fashioned books that mostly take place on Cape Cod, gentle books to wind down by. I've laid September out to read when I finish them.

  14. Excellent choices! Your comments on how different things were--so true! I love Anne Tyler and am still reading thru all of her books--I started with the Accidental Tourist when it came out. So sad that the newest is to be her last. I also love that you mention Gladys Taber in your sidebar! Nice.


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