What to Read During the Year of the Goat
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2015 is the Year of the Goat. The Chinese Zodiac has a twelve-year cycle where an animal has been designated to each year. The Year of the Goat is the eighth year of this cycle.
Fun fact: Authors Doris Lessing, Iris Murdoch, and Alice Munro were born in the year of the Goat. So were Toni Morrison and John le Carré.
It is said that the year of one’s birth sign can be unlucky. So, for those born in the Year of the Goat, 2015 might turn out to be a tough year. But don’t worry. Each Chinese Zodiac animal comes with its own set of lucky numbers, colors, directions, and months. Based on what is lucky for Goats, we have selected some books to read until the Year of the Monkey takes over in 2016.
Lucky Numbers: 2 and 7.
The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien: The Two Towers is the second book in J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy The Lord of the Rings. What could be luckier than the second book in a trilogy that also has the number two in its title?
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon Jones: Marlon Jones’ novel A Brief History of Seven Killings was named as one of the top ten books of 2014 by The New York Times. The novel is a tale that follows a group of unscrupulous characters over the course of thirty years, from the streets of Kingston in Jamaica to New York City and back.
Lucky Colors: Brown, Red, and Purple.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson: Winner of multiple awards, critically acclaimed Brown Girl Dreaming is a memoir in verse, telling the story of Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood during the civil rights era.
Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock by Sammy Hagar: In his autobiography Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, singer Sammy Hagar gives the inside scoop on Van Halen, alien encounters, and making a fortune on tequila.
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Set in Nigeria, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a novel about the life of a family in which the father rules with an iron fist in the name of religion. During the upheaval caused by a military coup, sister and brother Kambili and Jaja are sent away to live with relatives. After encountering a way of life different from their own, conflicts escalate when the family is reunited.
Lucky Direction: North.
North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gunnar Karl Gíslason and Jody Eddy: Equal parts recipe book and culinary odyssey, North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by chefs Gunnar Karl Gíslason and Jody Eddy takes the reader on a foodie adventure through the land of volcanoes, glaciers, and geysers.
Lucky Months: August and November.
August: Osage County by Tracy Letts: Critically acclaimed and a success on Broadway, the play August: Osage County by Tracy Letts places the dysfunctional family under the microscope. In addition to being released in book form, the play was adapted, in 2013, into a movie where Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Juliette Lewis went head to head.
November by Gustave Flaubert: November by Gustave Flaubert is an intimate novel about a young man and a prostitute who find each other while searching for love and companionship.
The Book of the Year in the Year of the Goat
The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson: The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson is a book about the U.S. Army’s experiments with the paranormal. The book’s title comes from the psychological experiment of attemtping to kill goats by staring at them. I have chosen The Men Who Stare at Goats as the book of the year, not only because of its title, but also because Ronson was born in the Year of the Goat (1967).