As someone with a to read list a mile long, I know it can be almost impossible to decide which books you should actually crack open. What if you choose a book full of plot holes? What if you choose a book and you hate it? What if, unbeknownst to you, the best book ever is on your list and you never pick it! Bookoscopes are here to help.
(Related: Fall 2016 ARC Porn That Will Get Any Book Lover Hot And Bothered (NSFW))
With the aid of astrology, which is definitely never wrong, I’ve picked the best books for you to read this fall based on your astrological signs. You’re guaranteed to love the book I picked, because it was chosen with your personality in mind! If you hate the book I picked, you’re wrong. So for all you nuts who were freaking out that Mercury was in retrograde (I still don’t understand what that means), this article is for you.
Against Me!, a punk band founded by Laura Jane Grace in the late 90’s, is a riotous, anarchist group renowned for its woes as much as its talents. Come to think of it, maybe you all should form a punk rock band, seeing as some of your traits are impulsiveness and aggression.
Against Me! was a true to form punk band, and was considered a modern day The Clash, but Grace was nonetheless plagued by financial and legal issues, as well as her fans’ belief that the band had sold out by going mainstream. However, Grace faced far greater issues than the ones presented by her band–at the time, she was still known as Tom Gabel, and was deeply unhappy with her given gender identity. In 2012 Grace finally found peace after 30 years of confusion, revealing she was transgender and was becoming Laura Jane Grace.
Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, while a mouthful of a title, is a stunning tale of Grace’s identity struggles in the turbulent world of punk rock, and how she came to be happy in and with herself. Her path has not been easy, but she has embodied all of the traits of an Aries–courage, bravery and honesty.
Aptly represented by a bull, a Taurus is stubborn as hell, but luckily, their stubbornness can be interpreted as commitment and a refusal to give up. As a Taurus myself, I can verify that stubbornness is one of our strongest traits (much to my mother’s chagrin). Less annoying traits of a Taurus include being dependable and stable, enjoying material pleasures (I’m currently wearing a cashmere sweater, so ✓✓✓), and enjoying working with our hands.
Tala Raassi’s book Fashion is Freedom: How a Girl from Tehran Broke the Rules to Change Her World is a culmination of all of these traits, and an inspirational tale to boot. Born in the States and raised in Tehran, Raassi chafed against the strict rules of modesty of Iran. Determined to explore her love of fashion, Raassi wore a miniskirt to a friend’s 16th birthday, and when the party was broken up by the local militia, was chased at gunpoint, arrested, and jailed for 5 days. She was punished with 40 lashes, but was determined to pursue her dreams of fashion. Moving back to the States after high school, she started a successful line of high fashion bikinis after failing to launch her business three times.
Raassi went on to become the official swimwear sponsor of the Miss Universe 2010 pageant, and has had continued success as a fashion designer, with celebs like Kristin Stewart rocking her bikinis. Raassi ultimately triumphed purely because of her determination, a lesson any Taurus will be proud to replicate.
I get that you guys are the twin sign and everything, but personality-wise you seriously sound like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You are simultaneously affectionate, gentle, curious, thoughtful, serious, restless, indecisive, talkative, and energetic. That sounds exhausting.
The perfect fit for your split personality is Deceit and Other Possibilities by Vanessa Hua, a compilation of short stories about immigrant families attempting to find their place in America. No longer at home in the land of their fathers, but not quite at home in the States, the families in these stories probe that feeling of in-betweenness. With myriad characters, all of whom are battling a vital aspect of their identity, Deceit and Other Possibilities tells of the heartbreaking struggles with self and society, traditions and change, homeland and new land. It’s sure to satisfy both sides of your personality, no lab experiments required.
If you were born between June 21st and July 22nd, congratulations, you have mommy issues! I’m serious. According to my exhaustive research (okay, Google), while loyal and emotional, you are also highly suspicious and really dislike any criticism of mom. Fear not—you’re not alone! Hamlet, Shakespeare’s favorite Danish prince, is the poster boy for mommy issues (technically it’s Oedipus, but I’m hoping you don’t relate to him).
As a Cancer, your deep-seated love for mommy dearest makes Ian McEwan’s Nutshell perfect for you! A retelling of Hamlet from the perspective of an unborn child, Nutshell probes the intricacies of loyalty, love and family. The nameless fetus experiences his mother Trudy’s (Gertrude) affair with his uncle Claude (Claudius) through Trudy’s womb, eavesdropping on their murderous plans to kill his father. Our narrator grapples with his sense of loyalty—should he abhor his mother for her treacherous ways, or his father, for not fighting for their family?
Either way, it’s pretty impressive to hear the articulation of existential pangs from an as-yet unborn baby, especially considering he can’t even hold his own head up. The trust, loyalty, and mommy issues explored in Nutshell are perfect for you naturally suspicious Cancers. Now go call your moms and tell them you love them.
The traits for a Leo sound frighteningly similar to a casting call for Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Creative, arrogant, stubborn, self-centered, you take over when it’s not your place, you think you’re always right, you like being admired and you like expensive things. I mean Jesus, guys! I had a hard time finding a book for Leos, but I finally found the PERFECT one!
Guy: Or Why Women Love Me written by Jowita Bydlowska focuses on “the misogynist bro next door” who is pretty much the worst. The description of the book by the publisher is so perfect, I’m just going to quote it, as I really can’t say it better. Guy is a “narcissistic, judgmental snob who rates women’s looks from one to ten; a racist, homophobic megalomaniac who makes fun of people’s weight; a cheating, lying, manipulative jerk who sees his older girlfriend as nothing more than an adornment.” So, good on you for being a Leo.
Luckily for you, there is a chance of redemption for Guy when he meets someone who challenges him like no one else, so maybe there’s a chance for you? Fingers crossed for you all…
Virgos are bomb employees, as you are naturally very loyal, analytical and hardworking, with an especially well-developed sense of speech and writing, lending itself to successful careers in journalism. In the theme of writing, I’ve chosen The Boat Rocker by Ha Jin for you to enjoy, as the main character Feng Danlin is himself a journalist who must investigate his novelist ex-wife.
Feng, a Chinese expatriate, writes scathing exposes on the Chinese government, making himself a threat to the Communist Party. However, his connection with governmental issues might be his downfall, as he is assigned to write an expose on his ex-wife’s behavior. His former love has sold her soul to the Communists in order to become a breakout writer, which infuriates the practical and loyal Fend to no end. He is determined to ruin his ex-wife’s carefully laid plans, but in his efforts to expose her as a governmental puppet, he induces the wrath of her political allies, and must escape with his work, his morals, and his life. For all those Virgos who work too hard (all of you), this book is the perfect escape.
You Libras seem like those fair-trade nuts who won’t stop telling everyone how meaningful that one service trip you went on in high school was. I bet you also run marathons, you animals. Your traits read like an Ivy’s dream student—just, diplomatic, fair minded, with a repulsion for violence, injustice, and conformity.
To help add to your superiority complex, I’ve picked for you Cannibal by Safiya Sinclair. A book of poems which inverts social, racial and gender norms, Cannibal is a carnivalesque take on The Tempest (I like Shakespeare, okay?) and postcolonial identity. Exploring racial relations and female identity in Jamaica and America, Sinclair marries grotesque ideas and beautiful notions to create a book which will undoubtedly challenge your view of equality and fairness, and will give you something that’s actually interesting to talk about at cocktail parties instead of your usual drivel about your favorite free-trade clothing, coffee, notebooks, etc. Seriously, enough with the free-trade talk.
Given the secretive, resourceful, and brave nature of Scorpios, the best career path for you is that of a detective or cop. Or, you could be a totally badass defense attorney and writer who specializes in overturning the convictions of serial killers, like Maggie Rose in Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton.
When Hamish Wolfe, a total babe of an alleged killer, refuses to plead innocent or guilty when tried for the deaths of four women, everyone, especially Maggie, is intrigued. Maggie’s interest is piqued even more when Hamish begins sending her handwritten letters from prison asking for her assistance with his case. Although she doesn’t trust this Ted Bundy-like killer, Maggie finds herself drawn in to his compelling web, especially when she realizes the killing (lol) she could make by turning his story into a bestselling novel. As stubborn as an Aries, Maggie is determined to have the upper hand in this battle for truth and justice, but the best laid plans oft go awry…
Candid to the point of tactlessness, Sagittariuses (the plural of these signs are so hard!) are regarded as the brutally honest friend you love to hate (the truth hurts, people). Super extroverted and very impatient, you will immediately tell others what they think, especially if they didn’t ask.
There is one person whose no-filtered opinion I always want to hear though, and that is Carrie Fisher’s. Carrie could not possibly give less of a damn about anything, and at 60 years old is firing off tweets like “So you have to be attractive to be groped by Trump. Finally! A reason to be ugly!”
This candor and humor is why her new book The Princess Diarist is perfect for any Sagittarius. A collection of the journals she wrote when she was filming the first Star Wars, as well as her modern day take on celebrity life, Fisher has compiled a smart, funny and brutally honest read. Tell us how you really feel Leia.
Capricorns, it’s the 21st century. Your know-it-all, condescending, traditionalist, xenophobic attitude is so outdated, it arrived with the Mayflower. You seriously need to be shaken up, especially considering the fact that your profile states you dislike “almost everything at some point.”
I’ve prescribed you Future Sex by Emily Witt to help you enter the real world, but I mainly picked it because I think it would be so funny for you to have to read this. A groundbreaking text on dating in the world of smartphones and apps, Future Sex is an incredibly in-depth look at life and love through the lens of investigative journalism. Discussing porn, polyamory, and “avant-garde sexual subcultures,” (fetishes, for you sheltered Caps), Witt very openly invites you to join her and wonder at the strange world of dating in which we now live.
I get that you would prefer to save sex for after marriage, and even then only for special occasions, but it’s time to download Tinder and join the modern world. With your smartphone and Witt’s startling observations on pleasure and love, it’s gonna be a brave new world. Sorry kids, bookoscopes are harsh.
Apparently you Aquarius nerds are turned on by intellectualism, so you better light some candles and call it a night with Siri Hustvedt’s A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind. I mean, just reading the title counts as an intellectual activity.
Hustvedt’s collection of essays ranges from the juxtaposition of art and feminism, specifically the gender biases which we apply to artists like Picasso and de Kooning, to neuroscience and philosophy, and is hailed as a bridge between the sciences and the humanities.
With thought provoking pieces which probe the super casual subjects of the human condition and man’s (and woman’s) place in the world, this book will appeal to the deep thinkers, the humanitarians, and the philosophers of Aquarius.
Ah, Pisces. The incorrigible romantics of the astrological signs. Your list of traits is enough to make a heartless straight shooter like me cringe—compassionate, artistic, gentle, wise, selfless. We GET it, you’re a Disney princess, chill. All you need is a few animals to help you with your chores, and you’d be set.
It might just be easier to just pick up Marina Abramovic’s memoir Walk Through Walls though, rife as it is with her genius and insight into her artistic performances. Detailing her enduring career from her Yugoslavic beginnings to her ground breaking MoMA retrospective, from her love affairs with her performance partner Ulay to her love affair with art itself, Abramovic’s memoir is an spiritual look into a wholly unique life. Pisces, rejoice, for Abramovic is all you stand for.