Your Fall Reading Horoscope

Let the stars decide for you which new book to read this autumnal season

Imagine: You’re curled up in the corner of your favorite coffee shop, wearing a striking combination of knits/flannel/denim, drinking your favorite coffee and watching the leaves fall outside. You pull out a tote bag with an enviably cool logo and reach inside to pull out the perfect book—but what book is it? In an effort to help you live out your autumnal cafe fantasy, I’ve consulted the stars and found out which new books will be perfect for each zodiac sign. Read on to find out the new releases you should curl up with this fall.  


Aries

How to Wrestle a Girl by Venita Blackburn

This collection of short stories and flash fiction stars girls, women, and queer people who are fighting their way through their lives with scraped knuckles, bruised knees, and very little fear. I think more than a few Aries can relate to that. Read our interview with Venita Blackburn about writing for young women of color. 

A Long Way from Douala by Max Lobe, translated by Ros Schwartz

When Jean’s older brother, Roger, runs away from home in the wake of their father’s death, Jean sets out with his friend, Simon, to find Roger before he can get to the Nigerian border. This funny, affecting, boisterous journey through Cameroon will keep Aries on their toes from start to finish. 


Taurus

Snowflake by Louise Nealon

This family novel/coming-of-age story about a girl growing up on a farm outside of Dublin who begins commuting to Trinity College for classes has everything a Taurus might want: a distant mother figure, a brother obsessed with dead authors, a young women uncertain about her fate and her place in life, a farm. Any book set on a farm immediately goes to the Tauruses, that’s just a fact.

The Wrong End of the Telescope by Rabih Alameddine

Two women in a refugee camp in Greece—one a doctor, one a Syrian refugee—become bonded over a secret illness. Telescope explores the very Taurus themes of home, family, and bodies.


Gemini

Cairo Circles by Doma Mahmoud

Set in both New York City and Cairo in the early 2000s to post-Arab Spring, this book follows a cast of characters across years and continents, through terrorist attacks and romance and kidnappings. Geminis will enjoy reading a book that lets them peer in at the lives of such complex and flawed characters. Read our conversation with Doma Mahmoud about class and privilege in Cairo.

The Pessimists by Bethany Ball

This book is so Gemini I’m going to scream. Set in small-town Connecticut, The Pessimists follows various upper-crust-y couples whose children all go to the same private school. It’s gossipy and lavish and picks apart the wealthy elite in the most satisfying way. I can already feel all the Geminis reading this clicking “add to cart”. Check out our reading list by Bethany Ball about the weirdest schools in literature.


Cancer

The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honoree Fannone Jeffers

Love Songs follows a Black woman tracing her family history back through the generations to understand who she is and where she came from. As if that plot isn’t Cancer-y enough, please note that this book is literally the first novel of an award-winning poet. Read our interview with Honorée Fanonne Jeffers about ancestral legacy. 

Savage Tongues by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

A young woman returns to Spain with her best friend to clean out her dead father’s apartment and finds herself confronted with a trauma she’d managed to keep buried since she was a teenager. Savage Tongues deals with grief and memory in a way that Cancers will surely appreciate. Read our interview with Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi about trauma narratives. 


Leo

The Book Of Mother by Violaine Huisman, translated by Leslie Camhi

In this novel about the difficulties of loving a Leo, a daughter must reckon with her love for her wonderful, volatile mother when her mother suffers a breakdown and becomes a more dangerous version of herself. I know Leos prefer to see themselves at their best, but it can be fun to see how you might look at your worst, too.

The Eternal Audience of One by Rémy Ngamije

When Séraphin, a cool Namibian millennial, finally gets to move out of his hometown in Namibia and to the exciting city of Cape Town, he’s thrilled to finally kickstart his life with parties, friends, and sex. He gets all of this—but also, of course, much more than he expected. Séraphin is a textbook Leo, and this book is sure to appeal to any Leos who’ve been craving adventure lately. Read our interview with Rémy Ngamije about writing a novel about immigrant life in Africa. 


Virgo

Hao by Ye Chun

This short collection about language and silence is perfect for thoughtful Virgo. The stories in Hao span centuries and explore the varied experiences of women and their relationships to language, and how this shapes the world around them. Virgos love watching the tiny ripples of big events, and this collection always leans into the ripples. Read the short story “Stars” from Hao here

We Imagined It Was Rain by Andrew Siegrist

The loosely connected short stories are all linked by water, and a clear-sighted understanding of complex emotions. Virgos are famously straight-shooters (sometimes to a fault), and they’re sure to love this collection that pierces to the emotional heart of many different, complicated situations. 


Libra

Fault Lines by Emily Itami

Forbidden romance, illicit affairs, a beautiful city—do I have your attention, Libra? This novel about a housewife in Tokyo who falls in love with a man who isn’t her husband and must choose between her old life and her new one sounds like it was written just for Libras. 

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

This is perhaps an unexpected Libra pick, but something told me Libras would particularly enjoy it. It’s winter in rural Ireland, just before Christmas, and a coal and timber merchant faces the Catholic Church that’s taken control of his town. It’s a book about doing the right thing even when it’s difficult, an idea I know fair-minded Libras will love. 


Scorpio

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

When Andrew’s best friend, Eddie, dies by apparent suicide a week before Andrew is supposed to move in with him, Andrew’s life is thrown into chaos. Haunted by Eddie’s ghost, Andrew tries to put together the pieces of his friend’s life to understand his death. Do I even need to explain why this is a Scorpio pick? 

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

A ghost story based in Japanese folklore about a terrifying ghost bride haunting a group of friends who decide to get married in her former home. Again, it’s a Scorpio no-brainer (and a great Halloween read, too). 


Sagittarius

Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados

How could a book about party girls in a new city go to anyone but Sagittarius? This glittering novel told in diary entries follows party girls Isa and Gala over the course of a summer spent in New York City as they dance and drink and hustle their way through the city. Sagittariuses will feel seen. Check out our reading list by Marlowe Granados about the top party girls in literature.  

Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park, translated by Anton Hur

Forgive me for giving you two party novels, Sagittarius, but I feel like we could all use a little more fun in our lives right now. This novel about a Korean millennial in Seoul trying to party his cares away will probably feel a little too real for most Sagittariuses, but the complicated queer romances and spot-on humor will make up for that. Enjoy this book with an ice-cold Marlboro Red. 


Capricorn

In Every Mirror She’s Black by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Three Black women with very different lives are bound together by their relationships to a wealthy white Swedish businessman in this fast-paced, astute novel about race and class in the modern world. A novel that’s simultaneously exciting, thoughtful, and relevant? Capricorns are sure to love it.   

Hurts So Good by Leigh Cowart

I see you, Capricorn. I’m sure you’re acting shocked to find this book here, instead of under Scorpio, but I know that secretly you get it. Caps are lowkey the masochists of the zodiac, and a book about the pleasure and science of pain is perfect for you secret little weirdos. So please, indulge yourselves—I won’t tell anyone. 


Aquarius

The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell by Brian Evenson

A sci-fi, cli-fi, futuristic short story collection with a title that whips this hard absolutely has to go to the Aquariuses. This collection is as good as it is weird, and it gets very weird (think sentient prosthetic legs and people who make their living stealing from parallel dimensions). Read the short story “The Shimmering Wall” from The Glassy Burning Floor of Hell here

Everything Good Dies Here by Djuna, translated by Adrian Thieret

Okay, yes, I’m giving Aquariuses two speculative short story collections—but consider this: you’re going to love them. Everything Good Dies Here is a boundless, unexpected, wild ride of strange stories that take inspiration from genre fiction, classic movies, and apocalyptic literature. Aquariuses will find everything they’re looking for and more in this collection.  


Pisces

Names For Light by Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint

I’ve got two words for you, Pisces: Experimental memoir. Through lyrical prose, memories, and mythology, Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint tells the story of her family’s history and immigration from Myanmar to America. This beautiful book is perfect for pensive Pisces. Read our interview with Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint about what binds a family together. 

The House Of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber

Magical boats, talking cats, and sea monsters all populate this magical realist coming-of-age story about a Hadrami girl in Mombasa trying to rescue her missing father. This book is strange and delightful in all the right ways, and dreamy Pisces won’t be able to get enough of it.

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