Lucy, the Reading Project Dog

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▼ Recent Reviews
Tales from the Pandemic

16 March 2023

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

6 March 2023

Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie

1 March 2023

An Oxford Tragedy by J.C. Masterman

26 February 2023

Adam Bede by George Eliot

24 February 2023

The King Must Die by Mary Renault

18 February 2023

The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham

17 February 2023

Howards End by E.M. Forster

10 February 2023

Dr. No by Percival Everett

20 January 2023

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie

22 January 2023

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

13 January 2023

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

6 January 2023

Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy

9 January 2023

Murder Before Evensong by Reverend Richard Coles

2 January 2023

Liberation Day by George Saunders

1 January 2023

Amphigorey by Edward Gorey

31 October 2022

Dick Fight Island by Reibun Ike

29 December 2022

▼ Books Currently Being Read
The Inquest
The Inquest
Henrietta Clandon
A Golden Age Mystery . . .
Reviewer: Toriaz

The setting of Inquest is that most fabled of locales in Golden Age mystery fiction: a house party at an English country mansion. Hebble Chace is the residence of Marie Hoe-Luss, widow of a wealthy English businessman. The latter is said to have expired during a house party in France, from the accidental consumption of deadly mushrooms, though some believe a more sinister explanation.

Now Marie has reassembled all the original guests from that house party, with the addition of Dr. Soame, narrator of the tale. When one of their number falls to his death from a high window, is it misadventure—or foul play? And come to that, was William Hoe-Luss even murdered anyway?

Reading Progress
22% Complete
Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
Martin Chuzzlewit
Charles Dickens
A black comedy of hypocrisy and greed . . .
Reviewer: bikerbuddy

The greed of his family has led wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit to become suspicious and misanthropic, leaving his grandson and namesake to make his own way in the world. And so young Martin sets out from the Wiltshire home of his supposed champion, the scheming architect Pecksniff, to seek his fortune in America. Martin's journey is an experience that teaches him to question his inherited self-interest and egotism.

Reading Progress
88% Complete
▼ Special Reading Projects

The Booker Prize winner for 2022 is The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Jarunatilaka. Shehan Karunatilka is the second Sri Lankan author to win the Booker Prize. Michael Ondaatje was the first with The English Patient in 1992.

‘Any one of the six shortlisted books would have been a worthy winner. What the judges particularly admired and enjoyed in The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida was the ambition of its scope, and the hilarious audacity of its narrative techniques. This is a metaphysical thriller, an afterlife noir that dissolves the boundaries not just of different genres, but of life and death, body and spirit, east and west. It is an entirely serious philosophical romp that takes the reader to ’the world’s dark heart’ — the murderous horrors of civil war Sri Lanka. And once there, the reader also discovers the tenderness and beauty, the love and loyalty, and the pursuit of an ideal that justify every human life.’


The 2022 Shortlist for the Booker Prize also included:

The International Booker Prize winner for 2022 is Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree. It is the first book originally written in any Indian language to win the International Booker Prize, and the first novel translated from Hindi to be recognised by the award.

‘Set in northern India, the novel follows the adventures of an 80-year-old woman who unexpectedly gains a new, and highly unconventional, lease of life. The result is a book that is engaging, funny and utterly original, at the same time as being an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries - whether between religions, countries or genders.’


The 2022 Shortlist for the International Booker Prize also included:

  • Heaven by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Samuel Bett and David Boyd from Japanese
  • Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, translated by Frances Riddle from Spanish
  • A New Name by Jon Fosse, translated by Damion Searls from Norwegian
  • The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft from Polish
  • Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, translated by Anton Hur from Korean

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.

40 of 66 Booker winners reviewed
The Iliad by Homer

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)

Book 6 of 24
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was the emperor of Rome from 161 to 180 AD. His reign oversaw a period of relative peace in the empire, and he was the last of what was considered five good emperors.

Marcus Aurelius was also a stoic whose notebooks, written for his own benefit, have become a key text to understand stoic philosophy.

For this special reading project I provide the complete text of Marcus Aurelius notebooks, known to modern readers as Meditations, taken from a public domain edition hosted on Project Gutenberg. I hope to provide historical context and notes about the text as I read.

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

(Please Note: The pages for this project are still under construction)

Not Yet Started
The Golden Age of Crime

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.

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

This project has no fixed completion
▼ Special Reading Projects Complete
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.

Quote of the Week

Make commerce one huge lie and mighty theft. Deface the banner of the nation for an idle rag; pollute it star by star; and cut out stripe by stripe as from the arm of a degraded soldier. Do anything for dollars! What is a flag to them!

Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), London, Penguin Books, 2004, Chapter 17, page 266

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 photgraph was taken.

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

Rookwood Cemetery

This structure was originally built as a rest house in the 19th Century. It is now known as the Elephant House because it resembles the Elephant House at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

New Parliament House, Canberra

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

High Court of Australia, Canberra

The High Court of Australia is Australia's highest court and is located near Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra

Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Canberra

Queen Elizabeth Terrace, located near the International Flag Display overlooks Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

The Royal Botanic Gardens are the site of the first European farming attempts in Australia

Berkelouw Book Barn, Berrima

Set in the rural landscape, the Berkelouw Book Barn has been trading since 1812

Other recommended websites on Neocities!

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