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
The Case of the Missing Marques by Nancy Springer

29 November 2020

Fleishman is in Trouble

26 November 2020

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London

23 November 2020

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

18 November 2020

Mexican Gothic by Silvano Moreno-Garcia

10 November 2020

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

8 November 2020

A Time for Mercy

5 November 2020

As Your Wish by Cary Elwes

29 October 2020

Finn Family Moomintroll

27 October 2020

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

25 October 2020

A Burning

20 October 2020

Rules for Perfect Murders bby Peter Swanson

18 October 2020

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. by Joyce Carol Oates

13 October 2020

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

10 October 2020

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

6 October 2020

The Discomfort of Evening

27 September 2020


▼ Books Currently Being Read

The Gathering

The Gathering
Anne Enright

Reviewer: bikerbuddy

Winner of the Booker Prize, 2007...

The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn't the drink that killed him - although that certainly helped - it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother's house, in the winter of 1968. The Gathering is a novel about love and disappointment, about thwarted lust and limitless desire, and how our fate is written in the body, not in the stars.

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 Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld has been announced as the winner of the International Booker Prize for 2020. Rijneveld becomes the youngest author to win the prize. Ted Hodgkinson, the chairman of the judges, said of the book:

We set ourselves an immense task in selecting a winner from our superb shortlist, filled with fiction bold enough to upend mythic foundations and burst the banks of the novel itself. From this exceptional field, and against an extraordinary backdrop, we were looking for a book that goes beyond echoing our dystopian present and possesses a timeless charge.

Combining a disarming new sensibility with a translation of singular sensitivity, The Discomfort of Evening is a tender and visceral evocation of a childhood caught between shame and salvation, and a deeply deserving winner of The 2020 International Booker Prize.

- Ted Hodgkinson

The Booker Prize winner for 2020 is Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. Margaret Busby, the chair for the 2020 judges, said of the book:

The heart-wrenching story tells of the unconditional love between Agnes Bain — set on a descent into alcoholism by the tough circumstances life has dealt her — and her youngest son. ... Gracefully and powerfully written, this is a novel that has impact because of its many emotional registers and its compassionately [realized] characters. The poetry in Douglas Stuart's descriptions and the precision of his observations stand out: nothing is wasted.

- Margaret Busby


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 chapters 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.

Quote of the Week

‘“We has them where we wants them,” he announced cheerily.’

[ John Brown's assessment of the situation at Harpers Ferry as his men are surrounded and defeated ]

The Good Lord Bird, James McBride

View an archive of Quotes of the Week

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.

Hancock House, Springwood, Australia

Hancock House, home to the Reading Project

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.


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