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
Halifax: Transgression

25 November 2022

The Trees by Percival Everett

23 November 2022

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

19 November 2022

The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy

20 November 2022

Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes by Rob Wilkins

6 November 2022

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

26 October 2022

Barbaric: Murderable Offenses by Michael Moreci and Nathan C. Gooden

5 October 2022

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

11 October 2022

4:50 From Paddington by agatha Christie

9 October 2022

The Missing Partners by Henry Wade

30 September 2022

The Strange Death of Paul Ruel by Michael Duffy

30 September 2022

The Studio Crime by Ianthe Jerrold

25 September 2022

Gravity's Rainbow

22 September 2022

Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles

18 September 2022

Ballad for Sophie by Felipe Melo

15 September 2022

Nettleblack by Nat Reeve

4 September 2022

Small Things like These by Claire Keegan

29 August 2022

▼ Books Currently Being Read
Treacle Walker by Alan Garner

Treacle Walker
Alan Garner

Reviewer: bikerbuddy

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, 2022 . . .

Joe Coppock squints at the world with his lazy eye. He reads his comics, collects birds' eggs and treasures his marbles, particularly his prized dobbers. When Treacle Walker appears off the Cheshire moor one day – a wanderer, a healer – an unlikely friendship is forged and the young boy is introduced to a world he could never have imagined.

Reading Progress
Finished Reading - Review Pending
The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham

The Boys from Biloxi
John Grisham

Reviewer: WaywardWoman

A saga of two sons of immigrant families . . .

For most of the last hundred years, Biloxi was known for its beaches, resorts, and seafood industry. But it had a darker side. It was also notorious for corruption and vice, everything from gambling, prostitution, bootleg liquor, drugs . . . even contract killings. The vice was controlled by a small cabal of mobsters, many of them rumoured to be members of the Dixie Mafia.

Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco grew up in Biloxi in the sixties and were childhood friends. But as teenagers, their lives took them in different directions. Keith's father became a legendary prosecutor, determined to 'clean up the Coast.' Hugh's father became the 'Boss' of Biloxi's criminal underground. Keith went to law school and followed in his father's footsteps. Hugh preferred the nightlife and worked in his father's clubs. The two families were headed for a showdown, one that would happen in a courtroom.


Reading Progress
2% Complete
Dead Man's Quarry

Dead Man's Quarry
Ianthe Jerrold

Reviewer: Toriaz

A Golden Age Mystery...

On a cycling holiday in idyllic Herefordshire countryside, Nora and her friends make a gruesome discovery - the body of their missing comrade at the bottom of a quarry. But an apparently accidental fall turns out to have been murder - for the man was shot in the head.

Fortunately John Christmas, last seen in The Studio Crime (1929), is on hand with his redoubtable forensic associate, Sydenham Rampson. Between them they shed light on an intricate pattern of crimes... and uncover a most formidable foe.

Dead Man's Quarry is the second of Ianthe Jerrold's classic and influential whodunits, originally published in 1930.

Reading Progress
23% 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.

We are currently waiting for delivery of a copy of The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida.

‘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.’

- thebookerprizes.com

The 2022 Shortlist for the Booker Prize also included:

  • Glory, NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwean)
  • The Trees, Percival Everett (American)
  • Treacle Walker, Alan Garner (British)
  • Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan (Irish)
  • Oh William!, Elizabeth Strout (American)
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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.’

- thebookerprizes.com

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.

▼ 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.

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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

. . . absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans.

John Jay, Federalist Papers No.4


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.

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

Hawkesbury Lookout

Views across the Sydney Basin, with views of the Penrith Lakes Project in the foreground

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


Other recommended websites on Neocities!

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