Reader's Exchange

...and a beastly New Year

Hi there.  What's your sign?

Sounds just as creepy online as it does in person, but it relates so well to a New Year observation.

According to Chinese astrology, February 10, 2013 opens the Year of the Snake.  Given the popularity of library mascot Rocksssanne, every year at Round Rock Public Library is the year of the snake.  Still, who doesn't appreciate guidance for one's annual expectations, particularly when it's signified in terms of an easily relatable animal persona?

Though I'm impatient with glib political rhetoric that glosses over sticky realities or the immense diversity of situations, I'll cheerfully sample astrological predictions directed toward huge segments of the population.  History does not record my ever altering travel plans or schedule or delaying an important purchase based on the day's predictions.  I have, though, reconsidered my approach to anticipated conversations or adjusted the tone or frequency of certain phone calls or emails.  You know the reason why: despite discountable prognostications, horoscopes frequently lend wisdom by advocating patience, understanding, forgiveness...

I just checked my (vastly oversimplified) Chinese zodiac personality and outlook for 2013.  Am I allowing myself to be shallow while not affording politicians the same privilege?  Probably.   But you might enjoy peeking at your sign.

You'll be reminded that that understanding of animals and their unique characteristics transcends cultures and demographics.  Further, there's evidence that all animals have potential to reveal unexpected dimensions of their characters and capabilities.  In a global culture/economy, the folly of underestimating others merits caution wherever we can experience it.

Finally--and self-servingly--one's fortune may prove to be a day-brightener.  Did you know that my (Sheep/Goat) personality is considered highly creative, charming, tactful, sensitive, elegant, altruistic, intelligent, artistic, and refined?  As for the elements of insecurity, disorganization, lack of ambition, and capriciousness: I elected to gloss over those.  That's where the tact comes in.

Happy New Year! At any rate, it seems appropriate that Round Rock New Neighbors book group chose Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger (a personal favorite) as their first discussion pick of 2013 (Jan 21; more details here).  In The Life of Pi, Elsa Watson's romance Dog Days (named a Publishers Weekly "Best of 2012" pick), Spencer Quinn's Chet & Bernie mysteries, Betty Webb's Gunn Zoo mysteries, multitudes of fantasy tales invoking the power and mystery of dragons--the beastly element, treated whimsically, metaphorically, or otherwise, provides authors scope for expressing what brings out the best and worst in humans.

Naturally, these forthcoming titles, all due out in January 2013, caught my eye. You, too, may be intrigued by them:  Tiger Rag by Christopher Nicholas; Tin Horse by Janice Steinberg; White Dog Fell from the Sky by Eleanor Morse.

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