Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Blurb from Goodreads

Far from the Madding Crowd, Hardy’s passionate tale of the beautiful, headstrong farmer Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors, firmly established the thirty-four-year-old writer as a popular novelist. According to Virginia Woolf, “The subject was right; the method was right; the poet and the countryman, the sensual man, the sombre reflective man, the man of learning, all enlisted to produce a book which . . . must hold its place among the great English novels.” Introducing the fictional name of “Wessex” to describe Hardy’s legendary countryside, this early masterpiece draws a vivid picture of rural life in southwest England.

Why I Want To Read It

And just like that, it is Monday again! The weekends are over so, happy Monday everyone! I really hope that everyone’s Monday is happy. I know, it is the day of the week most of us dread the most. I can understand why. On the other hand, Mondays represent a fresh start, new doors, and new opportunities to become better. To be honest, I am still adjusting my mind as it is still in vacation mode. Anyway, I hope that in this coming week, you will be able to accomplish everything you set out to achieve. I hope that your week will be productive. However, if you are not up to it, I hope you spend the week resting and recovering. More importantly, I hope everyone is doing well, in body, mind, and spirit.

To kickstart the blogging week, I am posting a new Goodreads Monday update. I kicked off my reading year by reading works published in the previous year – this is a reading catch-up reminiscent of how I started my 2022 reading journey. After that, I read two works by James Joyce, the second of which, Ulysses, was my 1000th novel. The long-awaited moment of reckoning has come and I am glad I was able to survive it this time around and I was able to appreciate the beauty of the book’s complexity. I previously listed the book on my 2017 Top 20 Reading List but I had to give up midway through as the story was barely making sense. I guess the passage of time and my “maturity” as a reader has aided me in my second encounter with Ulysses; my did-not-finish list is once again empty and I hope it stays that way.

Anyway, back to the purpose of this update. I thought about it and I guess it is a no-brainer that I should feature a book about love. Yeah, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day that has come to represent love. It is really not my favorite day (HAHA) for some personal reasons. Nevertheless, I am praying that everyone feels love and is loved not only on the 14th but every day. That’s that. For this Goodreads Monday update, I am featuring a popular literary classic that straddles the territory of love stories, Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd.

English literature is a deep well that is brimming with works of romance; the works of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters are just among the most prominent. Hardy and Far From the Madding Crowd are themselves prominent. The book was even adapted into a film as recently as 2015. Hardy has also written popular works such as Tess of the d’Urbervilles, my first book by the English writer. To be honest, I struggled with the book. I really wasn’t a fan of it. This, however, is not precluding me from wanting to read Hardy’s other works. In Far From the Madding Crowd, I hope I find the connection I felt was missing in Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Rereading Tess of the d’Urbervilles is another option by the way but with the number of books I want to read, finding time to reread any book is quite a challenge.

Nonetheless, I am looking forward to Far From the Madding Crowd. I haven’t watched the movie because I am not much of a movie enthusiast. Oh, I just learned that the book was Hardy’s first major literary success although it was his fourth novel. This makes me more interested in reading the book. Maybe this year? Only time will tell as it has also been some time since I read Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Moreover, I am in the midst of a journey across British and Irish literature; I am about to start reading Irish Murdoch’s Under the Net, my second novel by Murdoch. How about you fellow reader? What books have you added to your reading list? Do drop it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday and, as always, happy reading!