Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Camp NaNo Approacheth: Some writing tools reviewed THE NEW ASTROLOGY by Suzanne White


St. Martin's Griffin
$21.99 trade paper, available now

Rating: 5* of five

The Publisher Says: Though the practice of astrology is many centuries old, it is only perhaps once in a generation that a thoroughly new, totally original way of looking at the zodiac is discovered. The New Astrology is such a system.

For those convinced that there is nothing new under the sun--or the stars--Suzanne White offers a startling and provocative thesis: There are not 12 but 144 signs of the zodiac, each distinct, each unique, each vital to everyone's quest for self-understanding.

By combining the astrological systems of the traditional Chinese (terrestrial) with that of the Occident (celestial), Suzanne White demonstrates that each of us is governed by two signs. Hence, a Capricorn Tiger is likely to be quite different from a Capricorn Cat, as is a Leo Dog from a Leo Dragon, and so on. This unique blend of Western and Chinese Astrology gives detailed analyses of each of the 144 signs, including individualized sections of love, sex and romance, business, money, careers, home life and compatibility (or lack of it) with other signs.

Already a best-seller in France, The New Astrology is a massive undertaking and the result of more than a decade of research and study of the two systems. It offers insights into not only our own lives, but also those of all who are close to us. Suzanne White's prose is lucid, candid, and suffused with a sense of fun, but The New Astrology is above all a serious tool for self-awareness and understand the rich variety of human nature all around us.

My Review: No, I don't believe in astrology's powers of prediction; no, I don't subscribe to the practice of astrology for any purpose other than entertainment.

So why review the book at all? Because, writer friends, if it's not on your shelf today, get it on there via Prime in two days. Like, order now, I'll wait.

You see, Ms. White has thoughtfully made 144 character sketches in some detail for you! And she has helpfully diagrammed the best matches and the worst nightmares of each character!! MC needs to be brave? Pick a Leo sign...Leo/Dragon works. MC needs a bad first marriage? Pisces/Cat (her term for what traditionally is called Rabbit). Then a HUGE chunk of your work is done for you. It is AWESOME.

Oh, and real people? Well, they all have birthdays. Go look 'em up! Don't know which Chinese zodiac year 1677 is? There's a chart in the back of the book!

So what with this, and with Michael Moorcock's truly, absolutely never-fail method of fast execution (for which link one is grateful to one's minion Dantastic Book Reviews' own Dan), you are so good to go it's not funny.

My own tip to add to the pile: Always, always, always have poetry anthologies, Bartlett's Quotations, and the Bible nearby. You will need a title, at the very least; an epigraph is handy, too; and goodness knows a quick cheat-sheet of sonorous sentences can be a fabulously useful thing, too.

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