About the Reading Project

We started the Reading Project at the beginning of 2017. bikerbuddy was interested to learn website design and has had a lifelong passion for books, so he encouraged it. We told friends we would be starting a website and invited anyone interested to contribute. Naturally, a stack of people opted in, knowing that none of us knew anything about websites, I suspect, and assuming that we would lose interest in a short time. When we didn't lose interest and started to get a few pages together, we found there was actually only three of us willing to review regularly.

We had read about reading challenges on social media that tried to encourage reading a wide variety of books in a year. We wanted this site to be more encouraging than competitive, so we called it a project, rather than a challenge. While most of our friends haven't written for the site, we still encourage them to look at it and engage in discussions about books, which was the site's original intention.

We all live in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, in a town called Springwood. The pictures scrolling below try to give a sense of where we live. We'll add some more as time goes on.

We will happily accept reviews from anyone interested enough to write one. For more information on how to submit reviews to us, click here.

To subscribe to the Reading Project to receive weekly updates about out latest reviews and long-term special projects, click here.

The Turning Page Bookstore, Springwood

A Street Library, Springwood

Dr Baxter Gates, Springwood War Memorial

Springwood Presbyterian Church and main street of Springwood shops

Springwood Train Station

Braemar Gallery, home to Springwood art exhibitions and library, and The Hub, used for live entertainment

▼ Main Reviewers



I had the idea to start this website because I wanted to learn a bit about website design. I suggested reviews because I've been an avid reader all my life and I knew that reviewing would give us an endless source of new material to post.

I studied English literature and Communications many years ago, now. I worked as an English teacher for 25 years.

I prefer 'literature' rather than genre fiction, and I enjoy reading non-fiction, too. However, I try to read a variety of books. My reviews tend to be favourable since I choose which books I wish to read and review, unlike a professional reviewer.

My site tag is taken from my love of mountain biking. The Blue Mountains west of Sydney is a great place to do this. Unfortunately, as I get older, I've become unfit. I tend to work on this site and read books more these days.

I once received an email addressed to the "staff of the Reading Project". That amused me, since there is really only three of us and we make no money from this site. It's just a hobby.





I enjoy reading and thought that reviewing for this website would encourage me to read more often. Bikerbuddy and I came up with the idea while we discussed reading challenges we were seeing on social media.

I studied physics and have taught physics at university. I have worked as a scientist, but in my later career I now work for the government.

I like a range of fiction and non-fiction books, and I think this shows in the books I have reviewed for this site so far.

However, my favourite genre is Crime Fiction. I have read most of the Sherlock Holmes stories and Agatha Christie novels. I prefer the cosy detective branch of Crime Fiction most.

My site tag is based upon my real name.


REAL NAME: Victoria



I am a retired teacher who taught Social Sciences in high school, with a focus on Geography and Asian Studies, initially, but Legal Studies and Business Studies later on. I still work a day a week in a Blue Mountains school.

Now, I like spending my time with family, friends and Lucy, our wonder dog, watching movies and TV series, traveling as much as possible and getting out geocaching (a worldwide treasure hunt using a GPS to find things).

When I get time (though I’m mostly retired, there often isn’t a lot of it) I like to read books that are funny, especially those aimed at women. I also like crime thrillers and more recently, biographies. I also keep my brain active with my daily dose of word games.

My site tag is abased on a joke name I was given years ago. It is based on my love of chocolate rather than anything nefarious.


▼ Special Project Contributor

Michael Duffy

Michael Duffy

Michael has worked as a presenter on ABC Radio National and an editor and journalist for newspapers including the Sydney Morning Herald. With his wife Alex he ran the publishing company Duffy & Snellgrove. He now writes the Bella Greaves series of crime novels set in the Blue Mountains, which began with The Problem with Murder.

He is the contributor for the special project, Michael Duffy Interviews The Great Writers.

▼ Recent Contributors

Bojan the Librarian

Bojan the Librarian

Bojan the Librarian is the creator of the Neocities site Beau Jean, which hosts a number of pages devoted to a variety of topics, from books, gardening, horror films, and includes a personal blog.



Well, if I’m already taking the time to read this stuff, I might as well write some reviews.

I recently discovered that I actually really enjoy reading so-called “classic” literature. To be more precise, I enjoy reading it through a modern lens, and then poking fun at it the whole way like the entitled ass I am.

More generally and less interestingly, I’m in my mid-thirties, I’m an American with an addiction to tea, and I teach folks how to use a software application you’ve never heard of. And mostly, I’m just sitting back and enjoying the ride.

If you want to follow along with what I’m reading, head on over to https://skep.place. I’ve been having a heck of a fun time summarizing these works chapter by chapter, so if you’ve ever told yourself you’d like to read more older literature but knew it was a bold-faced lie, it might be your jam.

Skeps Place



In Amritsar, dwells he who is known as umbritzer, webmaster of the Neocities website, umbritzer. He reads all that is right and writes all that is read, whenever he can find the time between being recently married and finding a better job. He is extremely handsome but is too shy to flaunt his picture on the Internet.

▼ Former Contributors



I have a degree in Graphic Arts and I spend most of my free time on the Net playing video games.

I've taken my reviewer name from the username I use on gaming sites.

‘Gigzymandias’ is a combination of computer terminology (eg ‘gigabytes’) and ‘Ozymandias’, the title of the poem by Percy Shelley, which was a large inspiration for my final year art major work in high school.

Gigzymandias reached world number 1 rank for Doom Eternal in November 2021. On 27 November 2021 he competed in Friday Night Fights: Battlemode which is available to see on YouTube. He is interviewed after his win. If you're interested to watch it, follow this link, then skip 8 minutes and 12 seconds from the beginning in, to get past the wait screen.

Gigzymandias also has his own YouTube channel.

REAL NAME: Lachlan



I am an entity who enjoys reading and writing words, occasionally pictures. I used to pay a big organization to read and write words for four years. Later, I was paid to write words by a smaller organization. Now I have a strictly sexual relationship with words and the writing of them, no organizations allowed.

I was originally born as a Ford 3910 Tractor but thanks to hard work, the socioeconomic status of my family, and the gift of a multi-directional energy stone from a mysterious stranger who simply addressed himself as "M. Jordan," I was able to transmogrify into a mostly human looking male, though my features are distinctly more abstract and "alarming" than the current pinnacle of human male desirability, one Mr. John Stamos.

I'm hoping that reviewing books for this webterzone will be my ticket to strike it rich. I've packed up all my belongings into my wagon and set my compass westward, with nothing else but the dream of gold in my eyes and a song in my heart. Surely a book review at no more than one per month is a fool-proof way to become rich and famous, right?

Hasty is the designer and author of No Happy Nonsense (formerly Hastiest Handiworks - also Shiitake Worsthand - also Strange Crust) another website hosted here on Neocities. It includes essays and opinions, podcasts and fiction. He also writes the weekly fictional newspaper, the Weirdy Word, occasionally publishes Ear Rat Magazine and has started his own book review website, Books in a Dumpster.




I'm a former child from California living in Yokohama, Japan. I mainly read historical non-fiction and post-war Japanese novels. Sewing and taking photos on a film camera take up most of my free time. My username is from a sound clip of a friend saying "exceptional pain" later used as a ringtone.

incessantpain is the creator of the Neocities site incessantpain, chock full of personal writing and thoughts.



I like reading, although music and video games take up most of my free time.

I've recently graduated from the University of Sydney and am now a Speech Pathologist working in a hospital.

I plan to write more, but other interests usually take up my time.

My site tag is based upon a character in a book I liked when I was a kid.

NickoHeap is the designer and author of Latest Spin, a music review website, and also a YouTube channel of the same name.




I live in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

I have only written one short review for this website. I might write more sometime in the future.

REAL NAME: Niamh (pronounced Neev (an Irish name))



No one has seen the mysterious Seppy since he posted his one review and then went into hiding from the government.


▼ Blog

8 March 2024

Women’s Prize Longlist and Prize Season

The major prize season for 2024 has begun. The longlist for the 2024 Women's Prize for Fiction was announced on Tuesday, with 16 books on the list this year.

The full list is:

  • Hangman by Maya Binyam, published by ONE, Pushkin Press
  • In Defence of the Act by Effie Black, published by époque press
  • And Then She Fell by Alicia Elliott, published by Allen & Unwin
  • The Wren, The Wren by Anne Enright, published by Jonathan Cape
  • The Maiden by Kate Foster, published by Mantle
  • Brotherless Night by V.V. Ganeshananthan, published by Viking
  • Restless Dolly Maunder by Kate Grenville, published by Canongate Books
  • Enter Ghost by Isabella Hammad, published by Jonathan Cape
  • Soldier Sailor by Claire Kilroy, published by Faber & Faber
  • 8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster by Mirinae Lee, published by Virago
  • The Blue, Beautiful World by Karen Lord, published by Gollancz
  • Western Lane by Chetna Maroo, published by Picador
  • Nightbloom by Peace by Adzo Medie, published by Oneworld
  • Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan, published by Jonathan Cape
  • River East, River West by Aube Rey Lescure, published by Duckworth Books
  • A Trace of Sun by Pam Williams, published by Legend Press

The shortlist will be announced on 24 April and the winner on 13 June.

The Women’s Prize also announced this year it will award a prize for non-fiction. The longlist for this prize was announced on 15 February, the list of books can be found here: Women’s Prize For Non Fiction - Women’s Prize : Women's Prize (womensprize.com). The winner will also be announced on 13 June.

We currently have no plans to read and review Women’s Prize nominees or winners, although we have reviewed some. However, we do have an ongoing project to read Booker Prize winners. As always, the International Booker Prize is announced first each year, and the longlist for that is released in a few days’ time, 11 March. The shortlist is announced on the 9 April and the winner will be announced 21 May.

- Toriaz

5 March 2024

Email Subscriptions come to the Reading Project!

I was asked by someone last week whether the Reading Project has email subscriptions. I had to say that we didn’t. Since then, I’ve looked into it, and with an example from updates from Mike’s No Happy Nonsense website, I was led to a suitable host for email subscriptions.

As of today, an email subscription page is accessible from most pages on this website, either from the top menu bar or at the bottom of the About/Blog page or the main page of the website. Over the course of time, I’ll also introduce the subscription panel at the bottom of reviews.

But since you’re reading this and this is the most convenient place to try it out, you can give the email subscription a go here. It’s free.

PLEASE NOTE: You do not have to consent on the popup consent form that follows to receiving Promotional Emails, or to allowing your Personal Data to be used. Leave them unchecked if you wish. Just click the red Subscribe button on the pop-up forms.

- bikerbuddy

1 March 2024

New in the Great Writers Series – Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert was a 19th French writer who is best remembered for his classic novel, Madame Bovary, the story of a bored wife of a provincial doctor who has an affair with disastrous consequences.

Flaubert is the latest author in Michael Duffy’s Great Writers series, in which Michael profiles and ‘interviews’ authors. In all instances throughout the series the responses given by the authors are taken from things the authors are known to have said or written.

The Great Writers project pages can be accessed from page menus under the ‘Projects’ tab, as well as through the large display panel with buttons on the main page of this website. But since you’re here, here is a link to the Project Page, and here is a link to the Flaubert profile. Enjoy!

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