I admit to having a secret shame – for lack of a better word. Since going to high school and discovering Starcraft and other computer games, I had read very few books. Of course, the books that I did read were The Lord of the Rings trilogy and some prose compulsory to actually passing Year 12. Unfortunately, some of the things we had to read included selected plays by a bloke named Shakespeare. I didn’t get the appeal of his writings (probably because having to write essays about them didn’t help), although the movie version of Othello starring Morpheus did at least have two interesting points in it.

It wasn’t until very recently when the HBO series Game of Thrones began to air when I started reading again. Figuring that the show – brilliant as it is – didn’t have the depth and complexity that the books contain, I set forth on a journey to read again. I was right, all five of the books released so far have been brilliant. But I haven’t stopped there. I’ve decided it’s time to catch up on some classics and the first I’ve gone through (very, very slowly) are War and Peace and Anna Karenina. The next classics on my list are four of the most famous books from Chinese antiquity:

  • A Dream of Red Mansions – also known as The Story of the Stone
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms
  • Journey to the West
  • Water Margin

Both Water Margin and Journey to the West date back to the 14th century, although one has obviously become far more well known throughout the world than the other, with TV series, cartoons and movies all being based on Journey to the West. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing what the fuss about these four books is all about.

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