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 and all the Booker Prize winning novels since 1969. Contributions are welcome. More information can be found in our About/Blog page.

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▼ Recent Reviews
Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

23 February 2021

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

21 February 2021

The Dry by Jane Harper

21 February 2021

Born to Run by Christopher Douglas

14 February 2021

The Anarchy by William Dalrymple

10 February 2021

V2 by Robert Harris

31 January 2021

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?

31 January 2021

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

27 January 2021

Notorious RBG

25 January 2021

The First Men in the Moon

18 January 2021

From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne

12 January 2021

Blunt Force by Lynda La PLante

12 January 2021

Normal People

11 January 2021

The Shadown King by Maaza Mengiste

8 January 2021

Rivers of London

29 December 2020

Mindhunter by John Douglas & Mark Olshaker

29 December 2020


▼ Books Currently Being Read

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs

Reviewer: bikerbuddy

About this book...

Fate favours the infant son of John and Alice Clayton when he is found and adopted by a female ape after the death of his parents. Growing up in the African jungle, Tarzan becomes a skilled hunter and the protector of animals from the local tribe.

When a new party of white people arrive, an unexpected chain of events occur that lead Tarzan to discover his true ancestry and fall in love with the first white woman he has ever met - Jane Porter. Will his love for Jane lead to Tarzan claiming his rightful place in society, or will he renounce his heritage to remain as Lord of the Jungle?

STATUS: Reading.

▼ Special Reading Project Complete
The Federalist Papers

Our first long-term Special Reading Project, now complete!

The Federalist Papers were written in 1787 to 1788 to defend the new American Constitution against its critics. They interpreted 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 powers of the powers of each branch of government, including 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.

▼ Special Reading Projects

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld has been announced as the winner of the International Booker Prize for 2020. Rijneveld becomes the youngest author to win the prize. Ted Hodgkinson, the chairman of the judges, said of the book:

We set ourselves an immense task in selecting a winner from our superb shortlist, filled with fiction bold enough to upend mythic foundations and burst the banks of the novel itself. From this exceptional field, and against an extraordinary backdrop, we were looking for a book that goes beyond echoing our dystopian present and possesses a timeless charge.

Combining a disarming new sensibility with a translation of singular sensitivity, The Discomfort of Evening is a tender and visceral evocation of a childhood caught between shame and salvation, and a deeply deserving winner of The 2020 International Booker Prize.

- Ted Hodgkinson

The Booker Prize winner for 2020 is Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. Margaret Busby, the chair for the 2020 judges, said of the book:

The heart-wrenching story tells of the unconditional love between Agnes Bain — set on a descent into alcoholism by the tough circumstances life has dealt her — and her youngest son. ... Gracefully and powerfully written, this is a novel that has impact because of its many emotional registers and its compassionately [realized] characters. The poetry in Douglas Stuart's descriptions and the precision of his observations stand out: nothing is wasted.

- Margaret Busby


View the list of all Booker Prize Winners and those we have so far reviewed by clicking here.

In the long term, we hope to review all the Booker Prize winners.

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexander Dumas

Reviewer: bikerbuddy

Click the cover or title to follow my summary as I read each chapter...

I am currently reading Alexander Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo as a long term reading project. I've chosen to make this a Special Project given the length of the novel. It has 118 chapters and over a thousand pages of close, small print.

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.

I am summarising each chapter as I read. When I eventually finish the novel I will also write it a review. In the meantime my progress can be checked by looking at the counter below, which indicates how many chapters are currently read and summarised.

Quote of the Week

For here is the man, and here is the case, that will provide an answer to this question: will a court of Senators convict a guilty man if he is rich?

Against Verres, Cicero

View an archive of Quotes of the Week

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.

Hancock House, Springwood, Australia

Hancock House, home to the Reading Project

Lily Pond, Faulconbridge, Australia

Now a rest spot, this lily pond was once the site of a quarry

Springwood Golf Course

Near the Country Club entrance where meals are served and a local trivia night is run each Thursday night.

Views of Parramatta, Australia

Parramatta was the site of Australia's first successful colonial farms. Now it is a growing metropolis.

The Parthenon, Athens, Greece

The Parthenon was built as part of the Athenian reconstruction after the Persian Wars 2500 years ago and was completed shortly before Athens' war with Sparta, which saw the end of Athenian military dominance.

Bondi Beach, Australia

Bondi Beach is famous for its white sands and the Bondi Baths at the Southern end of the Beach. Each year, Bondi hosts Sculptures by the Sea.

Book Nook, Innsbruck, Austria

An outdoor book exchange in a suburban neighbourhood in Austria.

Fitzgeralds Valley, NSW, Australia

The scenic Fitzgerald's Valley is located only two hours from Sydney.

Moorilda, NSW, Australia

Moorilda is typical of many rural New South Wales across the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

Mt Pilatus, Switzerland

Reached by cable car, Mt Pilatus offers magnificent views across the Alps in the middle of winter.


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