Some say Linda Goodman's Sun Signs book is quaint and mildly amusing in an old-fashioned way, and others say this book literally changed a large part of their life. In either case, this is the book that brought astrology out of the closet and into mainstream popularity.
The Impact of Linda Goodman's Sun Signs
Linda Goodman's Sun Signs (1968) stayed on the New York Times bestsellers list for six months and is given credit for the astrology boom in the hippy-dippy 70s. With this book, Linda threw open the doors for a generation of astrologers and other people who were in search of a bit more insight than just a newspaper column. Due to "Sun Signs" popularity, two follow-ups, Love Signs (1978) and Star Signs (1988) were published. By the time of Linda Goodman's death (1995), her books had sold over 30 million copies, had been translated into over a dozen languages, and continued to sell over 200,000 copies a year. Her final book Relationship Signs (1998) was published posthumously.
Linda Goodman's Sun Signs Review
Linda Goodman's Sun Signs is a smart and entertaining deep-dive into basic astrology. It begins with a foreword that is a lengthy and fun explanation of why sun signs are so important. In the afterword, she reveals her hopes for the future of astrology. Between these two sections, Linda Goodman's witty narrative explores each sign's associated characteristics (strengths and weaknesses.) She divides each sign into sections, such as "How to Recognize Taurus," "The Taurus Man," "The Taurus Woman," "The Taurus Child," "The Taurus Boss," and "The Taurus Employee."
Fun and Easy to Read
While astrology can often seem overly serious, Linda's approach is playful. She introduces each section with a quote from Lewis Carrol's puzzling, riddle-ridden Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and each section is peppered with humorous characterizations. Linda also suggests making a game by observing behaviors and then classifying them into one of the twelve astrological signs. She demonstrates this with the Peanuts cartoon characters when she writes: "Good old Charlie Brown is obviously a Libran, and Lucy could only be a Sagittarius with an Aries ascendant and her Moon in Virgo. As for Snoopy, well, anyone can easily see he's an Aquarian dog, the way he wears that crazy scarf and the World War I aviator's cap, while he chases an imaginary Red Baron from the roof of his doghouse. (Snoopy may also have an afflicted Neptune.) Try it yourself, and you'll have gobs of fun."
Written Decades Ago
Keep in mind this book was written decades ago, and its gender approach is likely to be bothersome to some 21st-century readers. However, astrology as a determinant of personality does not age; it's just that the interpretations go through a cultural filter. However, not to read this book because it's gendered or dated is to miss astrology's larger message as well as Linda Goodman's wisdom and wise-cracking sense of humor. An example is this bit she writes about an Aquarian woman: "She'll wear a sweater backwards, mix her brandy with milk, arrange flowers in a fishbowl, rinse her hair in shaving lotion or make a rock garden on your desk. But don't ask her why. She doesn't know herself. The unique and unusual is her wave-length, that's all." Or this bit about Aries: "Aries are stubborn enough to touch a hot stove twice, but not the same stove..."
Reading Linda Goodman's Sun Signs
Reading Linda Goodman's Sun Signs will sharpen your astrological chops, and you'll also be learning something serious and useful. Still, you may be having so much fun, you won't realize that you're learning anything at all. Linda Goodman treats this "sun sign guide" like a regular book, making it fun, adding in similes and metaphors, and in every chapter, she seems to be introducing a new character. You can find Linda Goodman's Sun Signs in any online book store or you can download it for free as a PDF.
About Linda Goodman
During World War II, Mary Alice Kemery assumed the name Linda for a popular radio program called Love Letters from Linda. She met her second husband, Sam O. Goodman, while working in radio and took his last name. Linda began her writing career in newspapers. It's also reported that she wrote speeches for the civil rights leader Whitney Young.
Linda Goodman's interest in astrology began with reading booklets at the grocery store. From there, she devoted herself to learning astrology. It wasn't long before she was practicing astrology professionally. Co-mingling her narrative writing skills with her astrological knowledge led to the publication and popularity of Linda Goodman's Sun Signs.
Linda Goodman's Birth Chart
Linda Goodman never revealed her complete birth data. But Frank C. Clifford, a birth data collector, citing her birth certificate, revealed that Mary Alice Kemery, popularly known as Linda Goodman, was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, on April 9, 1925, at 6:05 a.m. Linda's birth chart reveals she's a triple Aries (sun, Venus, and ascendant) with Mars in Gemini.
An Aries Through and Through
Linda Goodman lived in Cripple Creek, Colorado when she passed away in 1995. In March 2021, The University of Colorado Springs student newspaper featured Linda Goodman in Women's History. She is described as "An Aries through and through, Goodman was a five-foot bundle of raw energy, sharp insight, and progressive ideals. Goodman firmly believed in race and gender equality, often writing about both subjects throughout 'Sun Signs' and 'Love Signs.' "
An Astrological Primer
Linda Goodman's Sun Signs was and still is an astrological primer written in a language everyone could understand. Still, it's also a book seasoned astrologers, many of whom began their astrological journey with this book, often return to for inspiration and a bit of good-natured astrological humor.