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Discussion on: What are you reading at the moment?

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Austin S. Hemmelgarn

I just yesterday finished reading Anthony C. Yu's translation of Journey to the West. It's a rather long novel (2000+ pages over four volumes in the most recent print of the above-mentioned translation) that occupies a place in Chinese literature similar to some of the works of Shakespeare or Charles Dickens in the English speaking world. The story is good, and despite being published in 16th century China, the humor at times has a rather modern feel to it. If you're a fan of Dragon Ball and Naruto, I would recommend reading it, as a number of the story arcs and some of the characters provided inspiration for both (in fact, Son Goku is the Japanese reading of the Han characters for Sun Wukong). Dragon Ball is actually the next big thing on my watch list now that I've finished this (though it's waiting until I finish Bleach).

As far as my current reading list, I just started re-reading Isuna Hasekura's Spice and Wolf. It's a light novel series (there's also a manga series and an (incomplete and not entirely faithful) anime series too) set in a world reminiscent of 1500's Europe and follows the exploits of a traveling merchant named Kraft Lawrence and a homesick regional harvest god named Holo who becomes his traveling companion (and of course, because it's Japanese, takes on the form of a young lupine kemonomimi most of the time). It's technically low fantasy, but focuses on the travel itself, the business dealings that occur along the way, and the slow evolution of a romantic relationship between the two main characters instead of the usual high-action swords and sorcery type stuff normally associated with fantasy.