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.

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.


Occasional Reviewers



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 Shiitake Worsthand another website hosted here on Neocities. It includes essays and opinions, podcasts and fiction.




I'm 20 years old and like reading, although music and video games take up most of my free time.

I'm a student at the University of Sydney. I am studying speech therapy.

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.


One-time Reviewers



I'm 22 years old with a degree in Graphic Arts. I spend most of my free time on the Net playing video games, mostly Rainbow 6 Siege.

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.

REAL NAME: Lachlan



I live in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and attend high school.

My passion is dancing. I have been attending a dance school since I was little, learning both contemporary and classical dance, including ballet. I have only recently gone en pointe.

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.



12 January 2021

Read Agatha Christie 2021

I recently stumbled upon Read Christie 2021, an Agatha Christie reading challenge published by the official Agatha Christie website. It’s a simple challenge – twelve separate prompts which need twelve of Christie’s books fitted to them. I love Christie’s books, so I signed up for the challenge. I’ve already read my first book for the challenge - The Sittaford Mystery, one of Christie’s standalone mysteries, without any of her regular detectives. It starts in a tiny hamlet, isolated by a massive snow storm, so it fits for the prompt ‘a story set during bad weather’. It’s an amusing story with a clever solution and a few great characters, but I thought the logical leap to determine the murderer at the end was a bit of a stretch.

I’m going to try to read Christies I haven’t previously read, so I might end up reading a few extras if my initial choices don’t match any of the prompts. Next one on my list is Third Girl, one of the later Poirot stories. The Agatha Christie website will have suggestions for some of the prompts. They’re featuring a book a month to match each of the prompts. For January, they have gone with The Hollow, for the ‘set in a grand house’ prompt.

- Toriaz

11 January 2021

New Books and Good Intentions

I bought three books in Sydney yesterday, despite my massive backlist to be read. The first was Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor. I thought it would be good to read an historical account before I read Vasily’s Grossman’s novel of the same name. I also bought Boccaccio’s The Decameron, a book I’ve long thought to read. Seeing that we’re in a pandemic – Boccaccio’s book is about ten people telling each other stories while they wait out the Black Death – the book called me. Finally, I bought Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon. I’ve previously reviewed Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Centre of the Earth. I thought it would be interesting to read this book alongside H.G.Well’s The First Men in the Moon as a comparison. I know the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing was in 2019, but I only just thought to do this.

I’ve also got other projects weighing on my mind for this year. My long drawn out reading of The Count of Monte Cristo needs to be progressed. I’m enjoying it, but I find little time to do it. If I complete that, I may get back to another project I started but abandoned: reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series. I’ve already written a series of mini-essays for some aspects of the first six books, but continuing this project right now is too much to do, especially in the middle of some house renovation. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start making more progress after March.

- bikerbuddy

2 January 2021

Visiting street libraries, including the former house of a famous Australian writer

New Year’s Day in Sydney was another wet one. We’ve had rain for weeks which has kept the temperatures mercifully low. With little else to do, we decided to check out a few more little libraries farther up the mountain in the morning, particularly this one:

This library sits near the front gate of what was once Ethel Turner’s house. Turner was an Australian author who wrote Seven Little Australians, now considered an Australian classic. Turner did not live at this house when she wrote her book, however. The house’s current owner arrived home while we were inspecting the contents of his library and we had a brief talk. He explained that there are seven large trees behind the property’s fence, one for each of the Woolcot children from the novel. We counted and indeed, there was seven trees, although one now sits just outside the property in what looks like a narrow easement that was possibly fenced off some time ago, now overgrown and impenetrable. You can see six trees in this photo:

The owner recommended another library we didn’t know about a few streets away, and then we visited another two libraries after that. I took pictures of them too:

The second library had a note in its window asking people not to leave so many books because it might break the support it is on. It’s nice to know people are being generous, though. It rained lightly the whole time we were out, even though the weather forecast predicted no rain. It occurred to me that even before our December wet spell, it always seems to be raining when we look at street libraries. Thankfully, the four we looked at yesterday all seemed weatherproof.


1 January 2021

About the New Year and Good Intentions!

Happy New Year everyone! At least, I hope it’s a better year than last year. As bikerbuddy pointed out a few days ago, last year had a few positives for the Reading Project. We’re hoping things continue to go well this year. 2021 is the beginning of the fifth year of this website.

Back in April I came to the realisation that I had a lot of books on my shelves that I hadn't read. I rounded up the ones I thought I would most like to read last year, took a photo and made a TBR list for the rest of the year. I got bikerbuddy to put my list on my Reviewer page. I started with a list of forty-eight (48). I predicted at the time that I might add a few(?) more to the list over the year, as I acquired more books. I ended up with ninety-seven (97) books on the list.

So now we’ve made it to 2021, how did I go with reducing my TBR pile? I managed to cross twenty-two (22) of the list. I reviewed most of these, but there were a couple I didn't feel like reviewing.

I also read a few books which weren't on the TBR list - what can I say, I'm fickle!

Twenty-two finished out of 97 (or even out of 48), isn't that great a result, especially since I seem to have added another 49 additional books to the initial list over the year. So, the net result is really -27 read!!! I have marked my report card as ‘must do better’.

What should I do in 2021? It seems pointless to maintain a TBR list with the intention of making it reduce in size while simultaneously allowing it to grow at more than double my reading rate. Do I want the pressure to be disciplined and actually reduce the number of unread books on my shelf this year when it proved ineffective last year? I've decided instead that I'm going to keep a running tally, with an opening balance for each year, a tally of books read, of new books added, and a closing balance at the end of the year.

The current book I’m reading isn’t on my TBR list (although I actually thought it was) and won't change the 2020 numbers. So, I'm closing off the 2020 count now. The books I got for Christmas and any I bought before the end of 2020 can go on the 2021 list:

  • Opening balance: 48
  • Books read: 22
  • Books added: 56
  • Closing balance: 75
  • Nett: -27
  • Opening balance: 75
  • Books read: tba
  • Books added: tba
  • Closing balance: tba
  • Nett: tba

I’ll get this running tally put on my Profile page in the next few days.

- Toriaz