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.

Continue reading “1874 – far from the madding crowd ~ thomas hardy”

2011 – last summer ~ kylie ladd

I know it’s awfully nerdy, but I’m admitting it anyway: I love routine. I am obsessed with structure. That’s why my blog works the way it does, I guess: read a book, write a review, move forward to the next year, rinse, lather and repeat. There’s a particular elegance about structure; about symmetry. That’s just the way my mind works.

But, as lovely as I find structure, I have to admit, there’s also a certain beauty about breaking with routine every so often. Chaos can be just as enticing as order.

This week, I’m breaking my own rules. And it’s for a very good reason.

Continue reading “2011 – last summer ~ kylie ladd”

2005 – on beauty ~ zadie smith

Have you ever read a novel that makes you feel absolutely certain it was written with you in mind? As if the author somehow possessed the ability to reach majestically across time and space to squeeze you gently on the shoulder to say this is for you.

That’s the way I felt this week, when I read Zadie Smith’s On Beauty.

Continue reading “2005 – on beauty ~ zadie smith”

1774 – the sorrows of young werther ~ goethe

Um. This was meant to be a review of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. Obviously, it’s not. Let me explain…

I realised at some stage of Friday that I couldn’t possibly finish The Waves in time to post my review this weekend. As I explained in my post on Friday, The Waves is far too rich, too lovely to be crammed into the space of one week. It seemed almost disrespectful.

Make no mistake – my review of The Waves will be online next weekend. But until then, here’s something else you might enjoy.

Continue reading “1774 – the sorrows of young werther ~ goethe”