▼ Recent Reviews
Too Much and Never Enough

5 August 2020

How I Became the Fittest Woman on Earth

3 August 2020

The Room Where It Happened by John Bolton

30 July 2020

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

27 July 2020

Sissy by Jacob Tobia

23 July 2020

Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson

23 July 2020

Invisible Man

21 July 2020

The Moomins and the Great Flood by Tove Jansson

13 July 2020

The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde

7 July 2020

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

6 July 2020

Devolution bby Max Brooks

1 July 2020

The BFG by Roald Dahl

29 June 2020

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

24 June 2020

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

20 June 2020

QualityLand by Marc-Uwe Kling

16 June 2020

Camino Winds by John Grisham

12 June 2020

The Reading Project is independantly 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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Quote of the Week

Donald has, in some sense, always been institutionalized...

Mary L.Trump, Too Much and Never Enough, page 16

View an archive of Quotes of the Week

▼ Books Currently Being Read

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt

Reviewer: bikerbuddy

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2014...

Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

STATUS: Reading

The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley

The Cat and the City
Nick Bradley

Reviewer: Toriaz

a lithe thrill-ride through the less-glimpsed streets of Tokyo...

A tattoo artist beholden to traditional methods is caught up in a mind-bending commission; a homeless man is squatting in an abandoned capsule hotel; an overworked taxi driver is still grieving his wife's death; an American translator is struggling to adjust to her new big city life; a shut-in hermit is afraid to leave his house; a video game champion is searching for romance.

What links these people is a mythical cat, shapeshifting and wonderous, that dances through the streets of Tokyo. And, as it does so, the cat brushes up against the lives of those who live there and connects them in unexpected and, at times, magical ways.

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 International Booker Prize Short List has been announced with 6 titles remaining. The annoucement of the winning novel has been delayed this year due to COVID-19. The International Booker will now will be announced 26 August 2020. We'll try to get a review up for the winner as soon as we can after that:

  • The Enlightenment of The Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (Farsi – Iran), with an anonymous translator
  • The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (Spanish – Argentina), translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh
  • Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (German – Germany), translated by Ross Benjamin
  • Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (Spanish – Mexico), translated by Sophie Hughes
  • The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese – Japan), translated by Stephen Snyder
  • The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Dutch – Netherlands), translated by Michele Hutchison

The Longlist for this year's Booker Prize has been announced. Earlier this year I predicted a third win for Hilary Mantel for her concluding novel in her Thomas Cromwell series, The Mirror and the Light. So far my prediction is on track. Mantel has been nominated along with a dozen other authors. The Shortlist is due to be announced on 15 September and the winner will be revealed on the 27 October. The Longlist for this year's prize is:

  • The New Wilderness (Oneworld Publications) – Diane Cook (USA)
  • This Mournable Body (Faber & Faber) – Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)
  • Burnt Sugar (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House) – Avni Doshi (USA)
  • Who They Was (4th Estate, HarperCollins) – Gabriel Krauze (UK)
  • The Mirror & The Light (4th Estate, HarperCollins) – Hilary Mantel (UK)
  • Apeirogon (Bloomsbury Publishing) – Colum McCann (Ireland/USA)
  • The Shadow King (Canongate Books) – Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA)
  • Such a Fun Age (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing) – Kiley Reid (USA)
  • Real Life (Originals, Daunt Books Publishing) – Brandon Taylor (USA)
  • Redhead by The Side of The Road (Chatto & Windus, Vintage) – Anne Tyler (USA)
  • Shuggie Bain (Picador, Pan Macmillan) – Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA)
  • Love and Other Thought Experiments (Corsair, Little, Brown) – Sophie Ward (UK)
  • How Much of These Hills is Gold (Virago, Little, Brown) – C Pam Zhang (USA)

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 chapter 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.

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

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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