The Reading Project is independently run to provide reviews of books from a variety of genres, as well as engage in long-term projects of personal interest, including a reading of The Federalist Papers, the works of Homer, novels from the Golden Age of Crime and all the Booker Prize winning novels since 1969. Contributions are welcome. More information can be found in our About page.

Please Note: Most areas of this site have been adapted for phone screens but some areas have not. This is an ongoing process.

▼ Recent Reviews
The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude

17 June 2024

Morgan's Run by Colleen McCullough

17 May 2024

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

10 May 2024

The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley

29 April 2024

Wanting by Richard Flanagan

30 April 2024

The Coffin Maker's Apprentice by Chris McGillion

21 April 2024

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent

15 April 2024

The Exchange by John Grisham

11 April 2024

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

6 April 2024

The Escapades of Tribulation Johnson by Karen Brooks

23 March 2024

In the Fog by Richard Harding Davis

18 March 2024

The Wager by David Grann

13 March 2024

The Crocodile's Kill by Chris McGillion

10 March 2024

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

24 February 2024

Michael Dufy Interviews Gustave Flaubert

1 March 2024

Windhall by Ava Barry

23 February 2024

The Red and the Black by Stendhal

16 February 2024

The Consolations of Philosophy byb Alain de Botton

6 February 2024

▼ Books Currently Being Read
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss
George Eliot
A story of first love, sibling rivalry and regret . . .
Reviewer: bikerbuddy

Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family. As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires is painfully played out as she finds herself torn between her relationships with three very different men: her proud and stubborn brother; hunchbacked Tom Wakem, the son of her family's worst enemy; and the charismatic but dangerous Stephen Guest.

Reading Progress
80% Complete
Think Twice by Harlan Coben
Think Twice
Harlan Coben
Myron Bolitar Series No.12 . . .
Reviewer: WaywardWoman

'Where is Greg Downing?' Sports Agent Myron Bolitar is in his new office on the top of a skyscraper in New York when two FBI agents ask him this very question.

The man they refer to is a top basketball player and Myron's former client and old rival. Greg's DNA, they tell him, has been found at the scene of a high-profile double-murder, and he is now their main suspect.

It can't be Greg, Myron tells the two agents - the reason he is Myron's 'former' client is because Greg is dead. He died three years ago of a heart attack. Myron went to his funeral and gave the eulogy.

Reading Progress
43% Complete
Morgan's Run by Colleen McCollough
Morgan's Run
Colleen McCollough
An Australian historical drama . . .
Reviewer: bikerbuddy

It was one of the greatest human experiments ever undertaken: to populate an unknown land with the criminal, the unloved and the unwanted of English society. Amid conditions of brutality that paralleled that of slavery, The First Fleet was sent to a place no European but the legendary Captain Cook had ever seen. Left to live or die on the hostile Australian continent, these convicts and their equally isolated guards occupy the centre of McCullough's riveting new epic.

Richard Morgan convicted felon and educated, intelligent, resourceful man finds the will to survive, experience the joys of love, and finally make an indelible mark upon the new frontier.

Reading Progress
Finished Reading - Review Pending
▼ Special Reading Projects
The Booker Prize

With this project we have a long-term commitment to read and review all Booker Prize winners since 1969.

The Booker Prize winner for 2023 is Prophet Song by Paul Lynch.

‘From that first knock at the door, Prophet Song forces us out of our complacency as we follow the terrifying plight of a woman seeking to protect her family in an Ireland descending into totalitarianism. We felt unsettled from the start, submerged in – and haunted by – the sustained claustrophobia of Lynch’s powerfully constructed world. He flinches from nothing, depicting the reality of state violence and displacement and offering no easy consolations.’


The 2023 Shortlist for the Booker Prize also included:

Project Progress
36 of 60 Booker winners reviewed

View the Booker Prize Winners and those we have reviewed by clicking here.
The International Booker Prize
Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov

The Booker Project also involves a long-term commitment to read and review all International Booker Prize winners since 2016.

The International Booker Prize winner for 2023 is Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov.

‘Our winner, Time Shelter, is a brilliant novel, full of irony and melancholy. It is a profound work that deals with a very contemporary question: What happens to us when our memories disappear? Georgi Gospodinov succeeds marvellously in dealing with both individual and collective destinies and it is this complex balance between the intimate and the universal that convinced and touched us.’


The 2023 Shortlist for the International Booker Prize also included:

Project Progress
7 of 8 International Booker winners reviewed

In the long term, we hope to review all the Booker Prize winners.
Homer - The Iliad
HEADING: The Iliad The Iliad by Homer

This project is based around a reading of Homer's The Iliad. Book by book, we provide summaries and provide analyse of aspects specific to each. Each book has a dedicated page which includes art inspired by moments from this epic poem.

Long regarded as one of the pinnacles of Western literature, The Iliad tells the story of the Trojan War in its final days, as Achilles, the supreme Grecian warrior, withdraws from the conflict over a disagreement with Agamemnon.

The ancient Greeks regarded this epic poem as a representation of real history, and in the 19th century the Homer enthusiast and amateur archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, excavated what is now believed to be the site of the ancient conflict.

For this special reading project I plan to eventually provide summaries of each of the twenty four books of The Iliad, notes on characters and the Greek Gods, a character map and a general discussion at the end.

Click here to visit the main page for this special reading project.

(Please Note: This is an ongoing project and not all pages are complete)

Project Progress
Book 12 of 24 Books
The Golden Age of Crime Fiction
The Golden Age of Crime

The Golden Age of Crime Project is an ongoing commitment to read and review books from the Golden era of Crime Fiction.

The Golden Age of Detective Fiction was an era of classic murder mystery novels, predominantly from the 1920s and 1930s. Well known writers of the Golden Age include Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Margery Allingham, Ronald Knox, Anthony Berkeley and G. K. Chesterton.

But these books have roots in earlier works of detective fiction, and there are still mysteries being written today that would fit in with the ‘feel’ of the Golden Age (Anthony Horowitz is an excellent example of a modern day writer of contemporary ‘Golden Age’ mysteries).

For this special reading project I am reading as widely as possible from this era, but especially books by authors suggested by Martin Edwards' study of the period, The Golden Age of Murder.

Martin Edward's The Golden Age of Murder is an account of the Detection Club, featuring some of the most famous crime writers of the first half of the 20th Century, as well as the background to famous and obscure crime fiction from this era. This book was the initial inspiration for this project. You can read our review of this book here.

Click here to visit the main page for this special reading project.

Project Progress
This project has no fixed completion
▼ Reading Projects Completed
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo
Our second long-term Special Reading Project, now complete!

I read Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo as a long term reading project. The book is long, over 1000 pages of small print and 118 chapters. I decided as I read, since I would not always have time to read it consistently, that I would make a chapter by chapter summary.

The novel begins in the period just before Napoleon's escape from the island of Elba. Edmond Dantes is arrested and imprisoned after he is framed as a Napoleon conspirator. This is the story of his escape, how he finds his fortune and seeks revenge on those who betrayed him.

For those interested in reading the book, or simply curious to find out more, click on the cover of the book or click here. You will have access to the full summary I wrote, character notes on the major characters, a downloadable character map I produced, as well as a quick access to my review of the book and a link to the Gutenberg Project, where you can download the book for free.

The Federalist Papers
Our first long-term Special Reading Project

The Federalist Papers were written in 1787 to 1788 to defend the new American Constitution against its critics. They explained the Constitution and have provided future generations guidance as to how the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be interpreted.

The Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and America's fourth president, James Madison, cover issues of America's independence, including the need to ensure against foreign influence, as well as how the new Federal Government would operate. The Federalist Papers also deal with the separation of the powers of each branch of government, as well as government oversight, which includes the power of Congress to impeach. For these reasons, The Federalist Papers are still important documents which have been referred to in debates about the presidency of Donald Trump.

You can now read summaries and commentaries of all 85 Federalist papers here on the Reading Project.

Michael Duffy profiles some great writers of the last few centuries in a series of interviews that never happened based on things the authors actually said!

Bookish Quote of the Day

The pictures below represent places we have travelled or enjoy. In each picture there is someone who is reading. The photos represent the portability of books and the idea that they might be enjoyed almost anywhere. Click on the Google Earth Symbol to view where each photograph was taken.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel from Supertree Grove

The Supertree is part of a group in Marina Bay Sands Gardens, with the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore, as backdrop

Harry Hartog Bookstore, Penrith

Harry Hartog Bookstore is the newest and largest bookstore in the Penrith region, west of Sydney

Singapore, Flower Dome

The Flower Dome is located in Singapore's Gardens by the Bay

Singapore Botanic Gardens Bandstand

The Bandstand in Singapore Botanic Gardens was erected in 1930 and is now often used for wedding photos.

Swan Lake, Singapore Botanical Gardens

Swan Lake is a small part of Singapore's Botanical Gardens, established in 1859 and honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Old Government House, Parramatta

Residence of ten early governors of New South Wales between 1800 and 1847

Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park, Sydney

Centred in Hyde Park, this Art Deco fountain features scenes from Greek Mythology

Everglades, Leura, Blue Mountains, Australia

A former residence, art gallery, cafe and garden which hosts outdoor theatrical performances

Rookwood Cemetery

Rookwood Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere and was used in the 19th Century as a place of recreation

New Parliament House, Canberra

New Parliament House is built into Capital Hill and was opened in 1988 in time for the Bicentennial Celebrations

Other recommended websites on Neocities!

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