1874 – far from the madding crowd ~ thomas hardy

If you’ve visited Book to the Future before, chances are, you’ll know exactly what’s going on. But if you’re new to this site, this post might take a little explaining…

So. It’s like this: I’m moving forwards in time, reading and reviewing one novel every week to represent every year from 1900 until the present day. However, at the conclusion of every decade, I read a book published before 1900 – just to make things more interesting. Take a look at the Table of Contents tab at the top of this page for some of my past choices.

(And by the way – if you’re new here, welcome!)


Reading Thomas Hardy is just like an armchair, dragged from a stuffy room and into the afternoon sun.

For me, a Hardy novel is my own special kind of paradise. It’s comfortable, warm, and lovely. As I turn the pages, I can’t stop myself from smiling with joy. Given Hardy’s penchant for tragedy, this might seem somewhat perverse to the casual observer.

This is no mere literary crush, dear reader. This is love. I discovered Hardy when I was seventeen. Now, in my thirties, my feelings grow stronger with every Hardy novel I read. I consume Hardy’s novels slowly. I’m determined to space them out evenly over my life.

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1945 – brideshead revisited ~ evelyn waugh

The past few books I’ve read have left me feeling much the same way I feel around three o’clock in the afternoon on Christmas Day; that time when, slumped in a feeble plastic chair on the back lawn of my parents’ house, my stomach bulging, I swear to everything I hold sacred that I will never eat again.

I’ve read some truly brilliant books lately. It’s just like having Christmas dinner every week. It’s great – but I’m left feeling overwhelmed, overindulged…as if I couldn’t possibly consider ever reading another book on my life.

I am bloated with books.

In fact, if this was the last novel I ever read, I think I’d actually be okay with that…

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1931 – the waves ~ virginia woolf

Repeat after me: there is no such thing as too much Virginia Woolf.

I tackled her 1928 novel, Orlando, just a few weeks ago. And, before that, I reviewed one of her lesser-known novels, Night and Day, back in 1919.

Too much Woolf? Impossible! I hope you agree.

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1930 – as i lay dying ~ william faulkner

It’s not like I set out on purpose to read two iconic works of American literature in two consecutive weeks. No, really. Honest.

After reading Huckleberry Finn last week and As I Lay Dying this week, I’m starting to think with a Southern accent. Please send help. It’s gettin’ powerful bothersome.

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