This summer, don’t forget to take a book with you to the beach, on your vacation, or to the park. We love doing fun things in summer and doing these fun things take a lot of energy – this means we need just as much downtime for relaxing with a good book.
Here are some recommendations of what to read, based on your zodiac sign! What Aquarius isn’t interested in contemporary Chinese science fiction and what Sagittarius wouldn’t enjoy a collection of essays by a humorist, after all? Find your rising sign, moon sign, and sun sign to enjoy as many books as you can this summer or go ahead and gift a friend a super specialized book as a present based on their astrology sign.
“Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia” by Marya Hornbacher
This isn’t just a book about having an eating disorder, it’s a book about feminine anger inverted onto the self. “Wasted” is a book that captures interest not because its subject, a white and middle-class woman with an eating disorder, is unique but because of the way it reveals its subject. Hornbacker, in this book, is not seen through the male, medical gaze and far from frail or fragile but often witty, livid, and mean. Her anger does not revolve around men, around family, or mass produced images of girlhood per se, but comes out in the unexpected moments of life, spiraling into what it means to be an ambitious woman in a capitalist state – something any Aries can relate to. This autobiography comes alive because it follows every tragic impulse of its hero – the angry woman who is able to analyze the source of her anguish but is still condemned to live it.
“The Promise of Happiness” by Sara Ahmed
Sara Ahmed gives us her read on happiness, thoroughly and fully. She embarks on a phenomenological journey of encounters with happiness in queer films, films about women, and films about immigrants. “The Promise of Happiness” proposes that if we look at happiness as a good thing, then we must see it as a good deed – one that is traded, accounted for, and designed. If Taurus is the sign concerned with creating good, with growing value, and with contentment pure and simple – any Taurus will benefit from complicating their relationship with happiness by reading this clearly written, slow-moving book.
“Changing My Mind” by Zadie Smith
Though Zadie Smith is most famous as a writer, this book of essays is about her experiences as a reader. “Changing My Mind” is organized into five sections: Reading, Being, Seeing, Feeling, and Remembering. Just as its title implies, Smith’s essays, written throughout the years, show that her ideas have never remained consistent, not even within the course of writing one essay. The book lets the reader live through the process of a writer who is not only writing but reading, not only reading but seeing, and not only seeing but living. For Gemini’s – who change your mind often – this book was made for you.
“Sour Heart” by Jenny Zhang
The stories in “Sour Heart” are claustrophobic. With the exception of one story, they ignore their heroes’ friendships, schools, and romances. Instead, they exist solely within the walls of the family. Zhang follows Chinese girls who are first generation, 1.5 generation, and second generation Americans and their lives in NYC. The hysterics of family are enough to fill this book until you feel that it will collapse onto itself. The book is a stark contrast to how Asian American families are typically portrayed: as high strung, model minority examples of how to succeed in America. Instead, the portraits in “Sour Heart” are messy, often gross, and revolve around poverty and mistrust to show the immigration process through numerous and infinite betrayals of memory.
“Theory of the Young Girl” by Tiqqun
The young girl is the stuff that celebrity is made of. Tiqqun, a community of various writers, offers an analysis on the young girl as a cultural archetype. The young girl is in all of us – in every aging businessman, in every adolescent boy, and in every working mother. The young girl, then, is a state of performance mandated by our existence as consumers. Leo, you’re the sign of love and attention. The need for love and attention is what creates the young girl as a consumer identity. Give this book a read and understand the way you’re allowed to and not allowed to exist.
“Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters” by Aph Ko and Syl Ko
Virgo, your birthday is in the harvest season. You’re the goddess of small details and criticality. Yet, you understand that all struggles are ultimately linked. Aph Ko and Syl Ko investigate the way movements are compartmentalized and set up against one another. They propose an intersectionality that takes real work to not only understand but live. The oppression of women and the oppression of black people is connected to the oppression of nature and, with it, non-human species of life. Virgo, go order this book directly from the publisher and you’ll love it.
“Emergent Strategy” by adrienne maree brown
This book was actually written by a Virgo Sun and Scorpio Moon, making it perfect for any Libra (since Libra is between those two signs). “Emergent Strategy” is about how to grow our movements toward social change. In “Emergent Strategy” any battle fought in the culture wars that define this era of the United States must be organic for it to make sense. Showing the strategies of non-human species as potentials for resistance, “Emergent Strategy” reminds us that nature will have its revolution – it’s just a matter of whether we will join it or not.
“Ghost Stories for Darwin” by Banu Subramaniam
DNA is ruled by Scorpio – so are ancestors. Both are about the hidden influences that create the stuff of life. “Ghost Stories for Darwin” is about our non-human ancestors written by a feminist scientist. Subramanium writes that most funded biological research is focused on competition between species and that there is far less funding for research about inter-specifies cooperation. She analyzes the relationship between indigenous and non-native species and compares it with immigration policies and the inhabiting of other identities. Lost species are paralleled with ancestors. Any Scorpio with a healthy appetite for the multitude of truths residing in how reproductive processes work needs this book.
“The Fran Lebowitz Reader” by Fran Lebowitz
As a Sagittarius, your first and foremost duty is to be funny. Just be funny – there shouldn’t be any expectations for you to be any more than that. Fran Lebowitz is here to make us wince, snort, and maybe cry. She’s famous for quotes like “You’re only as good as your haircut” and “Life is something you do when you can’t get to sleep.” “The Fran Lebowitz Reader” is a collection of writing from this self professed idler – someone who only writes the least amount she possibly can while still getting advances for future books. It has essays from Metropolitan Life (about living in a city) and Social Studies (social commentary), meaning that it’s basically a book full of sarcastic rants about everything that Fran Lebowitz hates.
“Globalization and its Discontents” by Joseph Stiglitz
This book was written before Trump’s presidency, but revised and republished recently. An academic economist, Stiglitz writes in plain language about just how twisted our global economic policies are. Case by case, he tackles the ways the IMF has dealt with developing countries, the East Asian Crisis, and Russia and asks why policies have encouraged global poverty rather than reducing it. Taking policies written to be intentionally confusing, so that world funds can seem to benefit the public while actually benefiting the financial community, Stiglitz creates clarity and gives evidence that the entire world is getting poorer and poorer in the interest of the (mostly) American corporation. In the most current edition, he then shows exactly how Trump’s nationally isolationist policies are not the solution to the discontents of globalization, but just another way to rob the public.
“Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction” compiled and translated by Ken Liu
This anthology of contemporary Chinese science fiction contains short stories written by Gen X and millennial (after 80’s and after 90’s) writers. This generation, living after the Cultural Revolution in a rapidly developing China, has stories to tell that carry out the purpose of science fiction as a genre – to critique modernity from the inside. There are armies battling intelligent rats, city populations divided in time schedules controlling who gets to be awake, hidden government policies, and mandatory silences in this book. The writers aren’t just appropriating a western form of novel making, they’re making science fiction their own and, in doing so, giving us another look at modernity.
“The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World” by Eileen Scarry
Scarry writes about the utility of pain. The body, in pain, is politicized through layer upon layers of analysis. This victim’s body demands no sympathy in this book but simply inhabits its pain as a consequence of our capitalist system. This book is poetic without glamorizing pain. Rather, it deconstructs the logic of a world that necessitates it. Suffering is an integral tool that creates the apparatus of the world we live in. Pisces, you need to read this book. It will hit you in the gut, making your disillusionment more worldly with disappointment. It allows you to understand how the figure of the victim is created in our society.