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Books from the Year of the Rooster


2017 is the year of the rooster according to the Lunar calendar followed by many countries throughout Asia. Australia’s vibrant Asian communities all celebrate the Luna New Year in special ways. I miss participating in the big festivals and eating great foods like tang yuan. This year though, I thought I would celebrate in my own bookish way. Chinese New Year, as it is also called (although it is not just China that celebrates this event), works on a 12 year cycle. Each year has its own animal: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal has its own strengths and weaknesses that it brings to the year. Many people also refer to these animals as the Chinese zodiac.

Those born in the year of the rooster belong to yin (from yin and yang), and the element in metal, jin. They are most compatible with the ox and the snake. I wonder if the same can be said about the books published in this year? The rooster is capable, independent, warm at heart, and quick-minded. So, to celebrate 2017 and the rooster, I selected some books that were published in the previous rooster years.


Aldous Huxley – Crome Yellow

F. Scott Fitzgerald – Flappers and Philosophers

Ryunosuke Akutagawa – Autumn Mountain

Marcel Proust – The Guermantes Way


Jorge Amado – Cacao

Agatha Christie – The Hound of Death

Dashiel Hammett – Woman in the Dark

Virginia Woolf – Flush: A Biography


Simone de Beauvoir – The Blood of Others

George Orwell – Animal Farm

John Steinbeck – Cannery Row

Tove Jansson – The Moomins and the Great Flood


Daphne du Maurier – The Scapegoat

Patrick White – Voss

Vladimir Nabokov – Pnin

Shusaku Endo – The Sea and Poison


Margaret Atwood – The Edible Woman

H.P. Lovecraft – Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos

Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse-Five

V.S. Naipaul – A House for Mr Biswas


Toni Morrison – Tar Baby

Terry Pratchett – Strata

Stephen King – Cujo

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Chronicle of a Death Foretold


Anne Rice – Lasher

Jeffrey Eugenides – The Virgin Suicides

Jeffrey Archer – Honour Among Thieves

Stephen Ambrose – Band of Brothers


Markus Zusak – The Book Thief

Zadie Smith – On Beauty

Kazuo Ishiguro – Never Let Me Go

Uzodinma Iweala – Beasts of No Nation


Niel Gaiman – Norse Mythology

Roxane Gay – Difficult Women

Min Jin Lee – Pachinko

Hanif Kureishi – The Nothing

What do you think of these rooster books? Have any of them appeared on your reading lists before?

And let me know what your favourite book is and what Lunar year it published! As always, share the reading love.

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