12th Feb 2013
Chinese Zodiac Recommended Reads
Welcome, welcome to the Year of the Snake! Taking inspiration from the amusingly translated doom-sayer website Chinese Fortune Calendar we’ve put together a list of recommended reading for every animal in the Chinese Zodiac.
Remember some big Snake could swallow a Rat. Therefore, as long as you don’t push yourself too hard, then you will have a happy Snake year of 2013.
To avoid being swallowed by some big Snake, Rat people (like For Books’ Sake editor Jane Bradley) must avoid reading the hard grind (not to be confused with hard grinding – a bit of Anaïs Nin is highly recommended).
Stay away from weighty tomes and instead use The Secret History by Donna Tartt to prop (or drop) the big Snake’s jaws open. Feed the big Snake something substantial yet easily consumable like The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
Beat the big Snake to death with a few Agatha Christies and then wipe the blood off your whiskers with Ada Leverson’s The Little Ottleys.
Cow is an animal that lives in the farm. Snake might hide on the ground around the farm. They don’t bother each other… Therefore Cow people will have good fortune in 2013
High-steppin’ Cows will fare well this year; just keep your horns in the clouds and your hoofs away from those bothersome Snakes. What you need to read are books that concern themselves with higher things.
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf on the oppression of female creativity; The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman depicting the medical profession’s flawed response to psychological illness, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell on the formation of the unions. High minded reading matter without the angry aftertaste or danger of trampling a troublesome Snake.
Snake can have a sneak attack or a surprise raid on Tiger. Therefore, Tiger people need to pay attention on your invisible enemy, who might damage your reputation secretly in 2013.
The secret to surviving the Year of the Snake is to let suspicion be your bro, Tiger, and paranoia be your bezzie. I’m no Tiger but my little sister is a Snake and if you’ll take a jaded Rabbit’s advice you should know that sisters are the sneakiest of Snakes.
Read the following to learn which sly Snakes to avoid, all of which feature suspect sisters; The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, and Denver from Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Read to educate yourself and you might just survive 2013.
2013 is a year to make Rabbit people busy. That’s a good sign for career. Snake may slide away when it sees the Rabbit. So that is a Lonely Sign to Rabbit.
The thing is, fellow Rabbit, that we Rabbits are independent and we exude don’t-give-a-fuckery and Jesus didn’t have any friends in that desert either.
But just in case you do get a little lonely this year spend some time reading books to counteract this grim state of affairs. No one has ever been more alone than the narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper (see Cows); locked away by her husband with only the wallpaper for comfort.
Also check out The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (a lot of lonely nights in trees) and Affinity by Sarah Walters – a heart-rendering depiction of the female convicts in solitary confinement at the Victorian Millbank Prison. Yeah.
In general, 2013 is a good year to Dragon people. But your fortune doesn’t have no room for your carelessness and negligence.
The all-seeing Snake knows you, Dragon. It sees that sprawling collection of books-to-read strewn around your lair and the smoking piles of unreturned library books (pah, like the villagers will be seeing those anytime soon!).
Time to turn to those books you always meant to read but never got around to. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was another majestic beast the pitchfork mob got wrong and one of those classics all the non-goths forget to read.
Possession by AS Byatt haunts many a to-read pile so spend some time with the yearning yesteryear poets or dig into Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
Snake people should try not to make any mistakes. Do not expect any major prosperity in year of Snake.
Oh Snake, all the pressure of having a year to yourself is turning into self-sabotage. To avoid tangling and tripping yourself up turn to the following titles for guidance and a little gentle instruction.
Bathe in some CAPS ON, CAPS NEVER OFF!!!! in the form of How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran. Sharpen your fangs on The Collected Dorothy Parker.
Sharpen your fangs on The Collected Dorothy Parker...Buff your scales on Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett (pre-Secret Garden instruction for the delicate and self-effacing) and slither into All The Wrong People Have Self-Esteem by Laurie Rosenwald. You’ve got this Snake. You’ve got this.
If people recognize Horse’s ability, then the money opportunity will appear. Snake can help Horse to make that happen, because Snake can be a good friend of Horse.
Make the most of your friends this year, Horse, and you’ll reap the money opportunity. Read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (friendship across the generations in Nazi occupied Guernsey), To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café by Fannie Flagg and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
Having the Snake on your side will serve you well in 2013 and if you need a reminder of how not to treat your friends check out the Mallory Towers series by Enid Blyton; an A-Z of how to bully and shame people into being your friends.
When Sheep sees the Snake, Sheep might just walk away. Sheep is a vegetarian. Sheep won’t fight for food with Snake. They don’t bother each other. So they can get along fine.
The gentle Sheep will prosper in 2013 by adhering to their peaceful ethos of veggie-delights and dodging-fights. Books guaranteed to bring tranquility to the wooly-hearted include Dear Enemy by Jean Webster (try to avoid its rather creepy predecessor Daddy Long Legs, in which the protagonist calls her future hub “Daddy” all the way through), Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth Von Arnim will speak to your leaf-lovin’ ways) and The Exiles by Hilary McKay features many lazy days reading in the garden and disastrous cliff-top picnics.
There is a chance that Monkey people will receive negative reputation in 2013. If Monkey fight for that, then the war of fame will last whole year long
How else is a Monkey meant to win the war of fame without fighting it? Now is the time to equip yourself for battle, not to fear negative reactions from those sanctimonious Snakes.
Books about women who refused to succumb to peer-pressure are headed up by Louisa May Alcott’s Jo March from Little Women. Following doggedly in her footsteps are Sybylla Melvyn from My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin, Fevvers from Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter and Miss Jean Brodie from the book of the same name by Muriel Spark.
Snake likes to steal Chicken eggs. But Chicken doesn’t care that much, because human do the same thing… Chicken people should have a good fortune year in 2013.
Chicken is a wise creature; eggs are eggs, thieves are thieves, we are but leaves, floating in the wind. The secret to your good fortune in 2013 will lie within reimagined fairy tales – books that present received wisdom in a new light. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (Bluebeard, Beauty and the Beast, Puss in Boots), The Penelopiad (Penelope waiting for Odysseus to return home) or Bluebeard’s Egg by Margaret Atwood and Weight by Jeanette Winterson (Atlas holding up the world and a Gap Yahhh Hercules) all hold much potential for the thoughtful Chicken.
In general, the fortune of Dog people in the Snake Year is fair. Dog people have opportunities in career, money and love area, However, Dog people cannot expect the perfection in 2013.
‘The perfection’ is an elusive beast that many faithful hounds have hunted. Dogs must spend 2013 reminding themselves to be satisfied with what they have already achieved. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, The Woman’s Room by Marilyn French and Girl, Interrupted by Suzanna Kaysen will help you be thankful that you’re not a ghost child, wandering through a world of racist, sexist and psychological abuse.
The Travel Star in 2013 sometimes create a chance to trigger a good relationship… You might meet someone you like far away from your town.
Much like Beatrix Potter’s Pigling Bland, the Pig must migrate towards The Travel Star in 2013. Pigs are cheery, resilient souls and they will do well to take inspiration from some of their fellow travellers.
Whether your Star takes you to 1950s Paris with Elaine Dundy in The Dud Avocado, to the Rocky Mountains with cattle rustling Isabella Bird (A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains) or to the Mayan jungle with Four Frightened People by E. Arnot Robertson; you will always travel in good company.
Beulah Maud DevaneySharpen your fangs on The Collected Dorothy Parker...