▼ Recent Reviews
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

19 February 2020 2019

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

17 February 2020

The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Nell

16 February 2020

Bring Up the Bodies

13 February 2020

The Guardians by John Grisham

9 February 2020

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

9 February 2020

Life & Times of Michael K by J.M.Coetzee

3 February 2020

The Light Between Oceans by M.l.Stedman

31 January 2020

Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe

27 January 2020

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

22 January 2020

The Aunt's Story

19 January 2020

The Captain and the Glory

7 January 2020

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

7 January 2020

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

1 January 2020

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

21 December 2019

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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▼ Books Currently Being Read

The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox

The Absolute Book
Elizabeth Knox

Reviewer: Toriaz

An epic fantasy...

Taryn Cornick believes that the past is behind her - her sister's death by violence, and her own ill-concieved revenge. She has chosen to live a life more professional than personal. She has written a book about the things that threaten libraries - insects, damp, light, fire, carelessness and uncaring. The book is a success, but not all of the attention it brings her is good. There are questions about a fire in the library at Princes Gate, her grandparents' house, and about an ancient scroll box known as the Firestarter. A policeman, Jacob Berger, has questions about a cold case. There are threatening phone calls. And a shadowy young man named Shift appears, bringing his shadows with him. Taryn, Jacob, Shift - three people are driven towards a reckoning felt in more than one world.

STATUS: Reading

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey

The Monkey Wrench Gang
Edward Abbey

Reviewer: Hasty

Audacious, controversial and hilarious...

Ex-Green Beret George Hayduke has returned from war to find his beloved southwestern desert threatened by industrial development. Joining with Bronx exile and feminist saboteur Bonnie Abzug, wilderness guide and outcast Mormon Seldom Seen Smith, and libertarian billboard torcher Doc Sarvis, M.D., Hayduke is ready to fight the power - taking on the strip miners, clear-cutters, and the highway, dam, and bridge builders who are threatening the natural habitat. The Monkey Wrench Gang is on the move - and peaceful coexistence be damned!

STATUS: Reading.

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune
Frank Herbert

Reviewer: NickoHeap

Classic Science Fiction...

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's life-span to making intersteller travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis' second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands.

In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them.

And his journey will change the universe.

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 shortlist for the Booker Prize 2019:

  • Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments [WINNER]
  • Lucy Ellmann (USA/UK), Ducks, Newburyport
  • Bernardine Evaristo (UK), Girl, Woman, Other [WINNER]
  • Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), An Orchestra of Minorities
  • Salman Rushdie (UK/India), Quichotte
  • Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey), 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

The Booker Prize winners for 2019 were Margaret Atwood for The Testaments and Bernardine Evaristo for her novel Girl, Woman, Other. I predicted Atwood’s win in a blog post, but did not predict a joint win which last happened in 1992 for The English Patient and Sacred Hunger. My review for The Testaments can be found here.

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.

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.

Cowra, NSW, Australia

Cowra was the site of the mass breakout of Japanese prisoners of war in World War II. The ruins of the prisoner of war camp are preserved and are open to the public.


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