Your Winter Reading Horoscope

The stars will tell you which new book to cozy up with this winter

Winter can be a difficult season, but luckily I know the cure for the winter blues: cozying up with a great book. But with all these “Best Of” and “Most Anticipated” lists that just came out, it’s hard to pick the right read. What a relief for you that this horoscope contains the definitive, perfect new books to read for every zodiac sign. It may be cold outside, but these new books will warm you right up.


Aries

God of Mercy by Okezie Nwọka

A magical-realist story about a village in Africa that refuses to be colonized, and a flying girl who could change everything is definitely the right book for Aries. Anti-colonialism, a war with the gods, the evils of the Catholic church, and the power of transformation are themes that any Aries can get behind. Check out our reading list by Okezie Nwọka about postcolonial novels reckoning with change in Africa.

In Case of Emergency by Mahsa Mohebali, translated by Mariam Rahmani

I felt like Aries in particular would appreciate a satirical novel about Iranian counterculture. In Case of Emergency follows a young woman with an opium addiction who wakes up to find an enormous earthquake has destroyed Tehran, she’s run out of drugs, and the only way to get more is to cross-dress and trek through a newly-changed city, avoiding her dysfunctional family and friends as best she can. Read our interview with Mariam Rahmani on translating Tehran Farsi.


Taurus

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa, translated by Louise Heal Kawai

This is literally a book about a young man who inherits a secondhand bookstore, and then is visited by a talking cat who wants to help him save all the unloved books in the world. Most Tauruses probably aren’t even reading this description because they bought the book immediately, based on the title alone. 

I’m Not Hungry But I Could Eat by Christopher Gonzalez

Food! Bodies! Cravings! What’s more Taurus than that? These short stories chart queerness and hunger in the lives and bodies of queer Puerto Rican men. Gonzalez’s book will make you crave connection and reconsider your relationship to your body. Read our interview with Christopher Gonzalez on the relationship between identity, desire, and intimacy.


Gemini

Fiona And Jane by Jean Chen Ho

As one of the Cool Girl books of winter 2022, Fiona and Jane has to go to Gemini. The interconnected short stories in this book trace the lives of two Taiwanese American women as they navigate life, love, and friendship. Read the short story “Kenji’s Notebook” from Fiona and Jane here

The Four Humors by Mina Seçkin

Another Cool Girl book that Geminis need to know about. A young Turkish American woman becomes obsessed with ancient medicine when she’s supposed to be studying for the medical school entrance exam. A story involving family secrets, questionable boyfriends, unpredictable sisters, and a search for meaning that gets out of hand is sure to entertain any Gemini. Check out our reading list by Mina Seçkin about books with millennial narrators who are children of immigrants. 


Cancer

Tides by Sara Freeman

After a tragic loss, a young woman flees her old life and ends up in a seaside town with no money and no connections. When she starts working in the local wine shop and falls for the quiet shop owner, she must confront her past and the reasons she left home. Romance, tragedy, mysterious pasts, and the sea—are you interested yet, Cancer?

No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib

A young Syrian couple living in the US are on the brink of achieving their dream life, when a family tragedy forces the husband to return to Jordan suddenly. On the day he’s supposed to return, his pregnant wife waits at the airport, not knowing he’s been detained at the border. A story about love and longing that’s ideal for tender Cancer.


Leo

High-Risk Homosexual by Edgar Gomez

Gomez’s intimate, entertaining memoir that moves from cockfighting rings in Nicaragua to drag queen conventions in LA is almost as fun and dynamic as you, Leo. This memoir about queerness, family, race, and power is perfect for charismatic Leo. Read Edgar Gomez’s essay on the pitfalls of writing his deeply personal memoir here

Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades

This one might not scream Leo from its description alone, but Andreades coming right out of the gate with a hugely popular debut novel written in the third person collective is extremely Leo energy. Following a group of girls as they grow up in Queens, New York and move out into the larger world, this novel is great for Leos who are looking for a book to impress their literary friends. Read our interview with Daphne Palasi Andreades on all the small glories and pains of immigrant girlhood.


Virgo

The Library by Andrew Pettegree and Arthur Der Weduwen

Listen, I’m a simple guy: if somebody publishes a book about the rich and extensive history of libraries, from ancient collections of scrolls to modern community spaces, I assign it to Virgos. Don’t pretend like you’re not interested in learning more about the complicated and exciting history of the library, because I certainly am.

The Latinist by Mark Prins

A dark, sexy campus novel that’s also a retelling of a classic myth? Hello, clever, mysterious Virgo. The novel follows a classics student whose prestigious mentor is both obsessed with her and bent on ruining her career. But when the student makes a discovery that could change her entire field, she may finally have the power to escape her mentor.


Libra

All of You Every Single One by Beatrice Hitchman

Okay, Libra, get ready for this: a queer bohemian love story set in Vienna in the early 1900s. A woman in an unhappy marriage runs away to Vienna with a female tailor, and together they navigate a rapidly-changing city that might just have a place for them. A queer historical novel full of truth, beauty, freedom and love: all of Libra’s favorite things.

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

A doomed romance narrated by a fig tree, and a young woman seeking answers about her parents’ mysterious past feels very Libra to me. This novel traces the aftermath of a political revolution by following two lovers with families on opposing sides of the war. It’s like Romeo and Juliet, but with a political and ecological bent, which is to say it’s perfect for Libras.


Scorpio

Devil House by John Darnielle

A book about true crime, haunted houses, and teenaged devil worshippers living in an abandoned porn shop? The only way this book could be more Scorpio would be if it doubled-back on itself and questioned the true impact of both true crime reporting and writing in general—oh wait, it does do that. You’re welcome, Scorpios. Read our interview with John Darnielle about turning real-life people into characters and the consequences of storytelling.

Cyber Mage by Saad Z. Hossain

I can’t tell you exactly what makes this a Scorpio book, but I can tell you 100% that every single Scorpio I know would be completely obsessed with Cyber Mage. This post-climate-apocalypse, cyberpunk fantasy novel literally has it all: nanotech, mercenaries, djinns, hackers, a Russian crime syndicate, mysterious AI, and, of course, high school drama. 


Sagittarius

I Came All This Way To Meet You by Jami Attenberg

Attenberg traces her travels across the globe and shares what she’s learned about writing and life in this memoir about finding your passion and holding onto it for dear life. Creativity, art, and travel abound, and I know Sagittariuses will love this book that’s part memoir, part travel writing, and part rumination on craft. 

Perpetual West by Mesha Maren

This romp of a novel travels from Virginia to Texas to Mexico and encompasses missing husbands, secret affairs with lucha libre wrestlers, the cartel, Mexican activist groups, and missionaries. As pulpy and fun as it is smart, Sags will be stoked on this book.


Capricorn

Admissions by Kendra James

James’ memoir about being the first Black legacy student to graduate from elite boarding school The Taft School is definitely a Capricorn read. A reflection on inequality in the education system, a meditation on what it really means to make it in an unjust country, and an often hilarious indictment of the American elite, any Capricorn is sure to find something to love in this book.

Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang

This novel about an ICU doctor facing challenges at work, in her family, and in the oncoming storm of COVID is perfect for hardworking, determined Capricorn. Joan’s job is her life, and she likes it that way. But when her father dies and her mother moves back to the US from China, Joan’s once-comfortable routine is suddenly thrown into chaos. Read our interview with Weike Wang on her new book. 


Aquarius 

Manywhere by Morgan Thomas

Aquarius, prepare yourself for this short story collection about queer and genderqueer characters searching for themselves in history, and creating queer mythology as they do. Very gay, very gender, very Aquarius. Read the short story “The Daring Life of Philippa Cook” from Manywhere here

People from My Neighborhood by Hiromi Kawakami, translated by Ted Goossen

A collection of interconnected very short, surrealist stories about strange and impossible characters—who could love this collection more than Aquarius? This book of magical, macabre, modern fairy tales is sure to entice the zodiac’s favorite weirdo.


Pisces

Chouette by Claire Oshetsky

It’s a book about a human mother who gives birth to an owl baby, so obviously it has to go to Pisces. A dark, magical, unsettling depiction of motherhood and authenticity. What more can I say? I know Pisces will fall in love with this book.

Defenestrate by Renée Branum

A generational curse, a journey to understand family lore, the city of Prague; this book has Pisces written all over it. In a family cursed to always fall—in every meaning of the word—a pair of twins must travel to the city where the curse began to search for a cure. A strange, magical book for a strange, magical sign. Check out our reading list by Renée Branum about family curses. 

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Thank You!