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
The Promise by Damon Galgut

13 October 2021

The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed

7 October 2021

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

30 September 2021

The Benson Murder Case by S.S.Van Dine

16 September 2021

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

17 September 2021

The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

7 September 2021

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

6 September 2021

Sooley by John Grisham

5 September 2021

The Maidens

27 August 2021

Sketches by Boz

25 August 2021

Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida

22 August 2021

The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji

15 August 2021

Project Hail Mary

14 August 2021

The Pickwick Papers

4 August 2021

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

1 August 2021

Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson

28 July 2021

▼ Books Currently Being Read
The Grand Tour by Olivia Wearne

The Grand Tour
Olivia Wearne

Reviewer: WaywardWoman

A story about aging disgracefully...

When Ruby and Angela embark on a Grey Nomads road trip, the last thing they expect is a tiny stowaway; one who will turn them from unsuspecting tourists into wanted kidnappers and land them in a world of trouble. As their leisurely retirement plans unravel, Angela's relationship with her brother Bernard goes from bad to worse. Bernard has his own problems to contend with. Adrift in life, his career as a news presenter has been reduced to opening fetes and reading Voss as an audio book (a seemingly impossible task). His troubles are compounded when his wife starts dating a younger man and a drink-driving incident turns him into a celebrity offender.As Angela and Ruby set about repairing burnt bridges and helping their unexpected guest, and Bernard attempts to patch together his broken life, they discover that even after a lifetime of experience, you're never too old to know better.

Reading Progress
100% Complete - Review Pending
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Reviewer: Toriaz

What would you change if you could travel back in time?...

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a cafe which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. We meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the cafe's time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer's, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the cafe, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold ...


Reading Progress
51% Complete
The Way by Swanns by Marcel Proust

The Way by Swann's
Marcel Proust

Reviewer: bikerbuddy

The first volume of In Search of Lost Time...

The Way by Swann's is the most frequently read part of Proust's epic novel, In Search of Lost Time. It introduces subjects that resonate throughout the entire work, including the narrator's love for Swann's daughter Gilberte, Swann's jealous passion for Odette, and the rise of the nouveaux-riches Verdurins. Proust's narrator vividly recalls his childhood in Paris and Combray, most famously in a fraught evocation of his mother's good-night kiss and in the iconic scene where the taste of a madeleine dipped in tea brings back a flood of memory.

Reading Progress
Finished Reading. Review Pending after Second Reading.
▼ Special Reading Projects Complete
The Count of Monte Cristo
Our second long-term Special Reading Project, now complete!
The Count of Monte Cristo

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.

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.

▼ Special Reading Projects

The International Booker Prize winner for 2021 is At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop. Luc Hughes-Hallett, the chair for the 2021 judges, said of the book:

This story of warfare and love and madness has a terrifying power. The protagonist is accused of sorcery, and there is something uncanny about the way the narrative works on the reader. We judges agreed that its incantatory prose and dark, brilliant vision had jangled our emotions and blown our minds. That it had cast a spell on us.

- Lucy Hughes-Hallett

The 2021 Booker Prize winner will be announced on 3 November. The shortlist, from an initial list of 158 eligible novels, is:

  • A Passage North Anuk Arudpragasam
  • The Promise Damon Galgut
  • No One is Talking About This Patricia Lockwood
  • The Fortune Men Nadifa Mohamed
  • Bewilderment Richard Powers
  • Great Circle Maggie Shipstead

I am reading The Promise, The Fortune Men, Bewilderment and Great Circle from the short list this year

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.

Quote of the Week

Inside us, there is no original evil, nothing to fear, no reason for regret. Our bodies contain everything. Let the world rise gently from them.

George A. Romero & Daniel Kraus, The Living Dead

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

Nepean River, Penrith, Australia

The Railway Bridge and Victoria Bridge sit side by side across the Nepean River with the new orange walking bridge behind.

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.

Mt Pilatus, Switzerland

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


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