The Astrology Book Club: What to Read This Month, Based on Your Sign
Summer Reading, Pt. 3
With all the good books that come out each month, it can be hard to decide what to read (or, if you’re anything like the people erstwhile of the Literary Hub office, now of our homes and Slack, what to read first). There are lots of good reasons to pick one book over another, but one we’ve never really explored before here at Lit Hub is . . . astrology. Hence, this “book club,” which is actually just a a literary horoscope guaranteed to come true: a good book to read, based (sort of) on your zodiac sign. Here’s what you should be reading this month.
Alexandra Kleeman, Something New Under The Sun
Hogarth, August 3
There’s no denying it: Aquarians like weird shit. They’re different and they know it. They pretty much always go in for genre-bending, big picture thinking, and anything both smart and wacky. Luckily, this month, they’ve got a new novel by Alexandra Kleeman, a funny, probing climate fabulist-noir set in a near-future Hollywood where the water is as fake as the people.
Sumana Roy, How I Became a Tree
Yale University Press, August 31
If you have a friend who kinda sorta wants to be a tree, that friend is probably a Pisces—the sign most in tune with the overlapping realities of the universe and most ready to dissolve into romantic abstraction. Also the sign most likely to get caught meditating under a spreading willow. So perhaps this friend will appreciate this book, which is not just a meditation on trees but also an exploration of how they have functioned in literary history, theology, and this world of ours.
Megan Abbott, The Turnout
Putnam, August 3
The hard thing about recommending books to an Aries is that they get bored so easily. If something doesn’t grab them in the first few pages, they’re very likely to wander off and, I don’t know, find someone to challenge to a duel. Best bet for them this month is Megan Abbott, who tends to keep things tense and fraught from beginning to end.
Pat Barker, The Women of Troy
Doubleday, August 25
What’s a Taurus’s favorite story? One she already knows. But it’s not like you can read the same books over and over forever (even a Taurus has her limits) so sometimes, an update on an old tale is just the ticket. Barker’s latest is a retelling of The Illiad from the perspective of the women of the newly conquered Troy—some of whom are bent on revenge. Start boiling that tea, Taurus.
Calvin Kasulke, Several People Are Typing
Doubleday, August 31
In this irreverent debut by Lit Hub’s own Calvin Kasulke, the consciousness of a mid-level employee at a New York PR firm gets uploaded into the company’s Slack—and he wants to escape. Honestly, it’s the kind of thing that would only happen to a Gemini—after all, they’re always landing zingers on Twitter, and they’re certified as the lifeblood of the group chat. Maybe . . . literally?
Kat Chow, Seeing Ghosts
Grand Central, August 24
Cancers are like sponges for other people’s emotions: they see, they feel, they absorb, and it doesn’t break them; it only makes them stronger. That’s true for books, too, and Cancers tend to go in for reading material that gives them that same sense of human connection. This month, I suggest Kat Chow’s memoir, which tells the story of her family through the prism of her mother’s death, and is sure to fill a little bit of that deep well.
Mona Awad, All’s Well
Simon & Schuster, August 3
The only time Leos really need a book is to have something to do while they’re waiting for their friends to show up so they can start talking. But maybe I can snag these theatrical, stylish creatures with this theatrical, stylish novel—in which a college theater professor wracked by pain but desperate to put on her favorite Shakespeare play (despite her students’ complaints) makes a deal with . . . well, somebody, and winds up getting everything she ever wanted. For a while, anyway. And if nothing else, Leos will find many passages to read out loud to their friends within.
Rafia Zakaria, Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption
W.W. Norton, August 17
Virgos aren’t really happy unless they feel like they’re working toward something—ideally something bigger and more important than themselves. So when they’re down for the cause, they tend to really get down—at least in their own, Virgoish way, which tends to mean reading, analyzing, and processing. And I think we can all agree that reconstructing modern feminism to include everyone—especially those who have been historically excluded—is a cause to get down for.
Halimah Marcus (ed.), Horse Girls
Harper Perennial, August 3
Libras, like horseback riding, are all about balance. They’re also prone to giving into their own wild fantasies, and they tend to have really good hair. Which might or might not make them horse girls, at least in the way we used to think about them—which this book, with essays by Carmen Maria Machado, Jane Smiley, T Kira Madden, and Maggie Shipstead, among others, seeks to explode, question, and reinvent. This too, of course, being perfect for a Libra, who would much rather appreciate every side of something than ever have to choose just one.
A.K. Blakemore, The Manningtree Witches
Catapult, August 10
Infinitely cool, interested in power, and forever seeking the unknowable, of course Scorpios are going to be enchanted by this weird, tensile debut set in a small town in Puritanical England, into which the Witchfinder General grandly sweeps. The language alone will keep them up at night, thinking.
Meghan O’Gieblyn, God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning
Doubleday, August 24
Those born under the sign of Sagittarius want to know everything about everything, particularly when it has to do with their own mind (wheels within wheels, you know?). So I suspect they will be fascinated by this investigation into the biggest questions of human existence (ie. what is consciousness? what is life? normal stuff) in the face of our rapidly spiraling technologies. The more you know!
Claire Luchette, Agatha of Little Neon
FSG, August 3
Yes, for responsible, pragmatic Capricorn, I have chosen a book about nuns. But it’s also a book about nuns who—gasp—depend on one another, even if they later self-actualize. Caps will read it with a little bit of wistfulness, and a lot of consideration.