The Astrology Book Club: What to Read This Month, Based on Your Sign
Spring Reading for All Personalities
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 in the Literary Hub office, what to read first). There are lots of good reasons to pick one book over another, but one reason we’ve never really explored before here at Lit Hub is . . . astrology. So in December, we started a new series, in which every month, we’ll give you a literary horoscope guaranteed to come true: a good book to read, based (sort of) on your zodiac sign. Now that it’s finally spring, consider taking one of the following new books to the park with you—just remember to look up once and a while to smell the flowers.
Miriam Toews, Women Talking (April 2)
Deep-thinking, humanitarian Aquarius, who values their freedom more than any other sign in the zodiac, will be particularly affected by this novel, a fictionalization of a real story of a group of Mennonite women, systematically abused by men in their community, who join forces to save themselves and their children.
Maria Gainza, tr. Thomas Bunstead, Optic Nerve (April 9)
For the most artistic sign of the zodiac, the ultra-creative Pisces, I must recommend the wonderful Optic Nerve, in which an Argentinian woman writes about the art that has moved her throughout her life. Berger-esque, Cusk-esque, Sebaldian, but of course a magic all its own, this novel will delight any flexible, curious mind that happens upon it.
Jericho Brown, The Tradition (April 2)
No one is as busy as an Aries—hence this book of poems, which can be read quickly, in brief moments of respite, but whose power will force any reader, ram-like or no, to slow down at least long enough to take them in. Global and deeply personal at once, and vibrating off the page, these poems might even make an Aries reconsider their world.
Bryce Andrews, Down From the Mountain (April 16)
Taurus is an Earth sign—those born under it tend to be practical, outdoorsy, sometimes a bit stubborn. So for them, I offer a vicarious journey into the diminishing American West, where Millie, a grizzly bear, raises her cubs and collides with the American man.
Susan Choi, Trust Exercise (April 9)
There’s two sides to every Gemini—and two sides (at least) to this novel, whose brilliant central hinge I will not ruin for you. Suffice it to say that you’ll understand exactly what I mean when you read it.
Sally Rooney, Normal People (April 16)
Your typical Cancer has a deep wellspring of emotion, but hides it extraordinarily well—much like Rooney’s characters, who sometimes manage to convey what they’re feeling, but just as often suffer in angsty silence. It’s a wonderful novel of things said and not said that may just make your resident Cancer a little more likely to tell you what they’re thinking.
Sarah Blake, Naamah (April 9)
No one was more of a Leo than Noah—I mean, he’s a leader of men and beast who’s famous for taking a luxurious cruise—but it is his wife who is the focus in this feminist retelling of the Biblical story. Turns out she’s just as generous, powerful, and tough as her husband. Also, there are lions.
Jane Alison, Meander, Spiral, Explode (April 2)
For organized, analytical Virgo, I offer the best work of literary criticism I’ve read so far this year: Jane Alison’s Meander, Spiral, Explode, which explores patterning and design in narrative, questioning the supposed prominence of the “narrative arc.” What about other shapes, Alison asks, leading us through the work of the writers who use them—Sebald, Baker, Carson, Duras, Gabriel García Márquez, Kincaid, Lispector, Minot, Mitchell, etc. etc. etc. I think they would all be pleased by this book.
Clarice Lispector, tr. Johnny Lorenz, The Besieged City (April 30)
“Lucrécia Neves would never be beautiful,” Lispector writes in her newly translated 1948 novel. “She had however a surplus of beauty that didn’t exist in pretty people.” Being a Libra myself, I know exactly what she means. This novel is full of vulgar desires, wild horses, and ineffable beauty—all the things that Libra dreams are made of.
Emily Skaja, Brute (April 2)
Wounded, howling, passionate, brutal—these poems are as intense and passionate as a Scorpio’s moods. And god, the cover.
Nell Freudenberger, Lost and Wanted (April 2)
Like the protagonist of this novel (who researches five-dimensional spacetime, natch), your typical Sag is an avid explorer with an open mind—but not so open as to expect someone who’s just died to give you a phone call. It always happens to the ones who aren’t expecting it, you know?
Chris Rush, The Light Years (April 2)
Responsible, disciplined, even traditional Capricorns may be shocked by what happens in this memoir of wild youth and reinvention—but they may also be freed by it.