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June – and the P-word!

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Yes – that means I’m actually considering reading plans for this month; and we all know how disastrously things like that tend to go for me! For example, I honestly intended to take part in the LibraryThing Virago group’s First World War read-along – and I’ve totally failed to read even one book for that, despite having several on the shelves. I collapsed halfway through the group read of Barbara Pym last year, and if I’ve learned anything it’s that I can’t stick to reading plans and simply having to follow my reading Muse.

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However, despite that – there are two things I intend to try to read this month. The first is a Mary Hocking book. Mary sadly passed away earlier this year, and she’s a Virago author who is a particular favourite of HeavenAli, who’s designate June as RememberMary. So I intend to read the Hocking novel “A Particular Place” in support of this, and I do hope that lots of you can join in.

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The second book I want to read is the second book in Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” sequence: “Within a Budding Grove” (as it’s titled in my volume). I was very, *very* happy to finally make my way through the first part, and I want to keep the momentum going as much as I can without excluding other books. Spacing them out to say one a month would be manageable, which is what I hope to do. Plus I will be reading alongside another LibraryThinger, Laura, and it always helps to have someone to keep you company within an epic book!!

Apart from that, I am keeping my options open. I seem to be currently enjoying a lot of European lit, and also Moomins – but whether I will stay with them all throught the month remains to be seen. Watch this space…..

Remembering Mary Hocking

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Mary Hocking was a Virago author (though her books were also published by other firms) and unfortunately passed away earlier this year. Blogger Heaven-Ali is a huge fan, and has been flying the flag for Mary’s work for some time now. So it was nice to hear that she is dedicating the month of June to #rememberMary and is inviting other readers/bloggers to join in.

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Hocking is often compared to Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Pym, both of whom I’ve read and enjoyed, so I’m happy to join in. Plus, of course, it gave me the excuse for a little book shopping and I have chosen her Virago novel “A Particular Place” – the random way my reading is nowadays, it’s unlikely I’ll read more than one!

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There is a nice obituary of Mary here and it seems such a shame that her work is neglected; one of the large band of writers from the last century who wrote quality books which aren’t the all-bells-and-whistles big gimmicky sellers but nevertheless deserve to be read.

So please join us in remembering Mary Hocking in June!

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