Sunny afternoons in the garden, chilling by the pool, or waiting for a train / plane (yikes, might be a long wait), or just relaxing at the beach – reading is a lovely way to while away time and lose yourself someplace else, the best escapism going.
I love reading. I visit my local library every week and get at least ten books, the librarians are now good friends.
I read a lot, but I’d estimate that only about one in 10 of the books I get out are really, really good, so I wanted to share my very best recent picks, and align them with your star sign (although, spoiler alert, every one of these is a banger so feel free to swap and share with other signs).
Let me save you some time and guide you to the best picks for your summer book bag.
Aries: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
March 21 to April 20
Achilles, ‘the best of all the Greeks’ is strong, heroic, and irresistible to all who meet him (much like you, Aries). Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland.
They become the closest of friends, and grow up together, train together, and get to play their part in the legendary Trojan War together, with tragic consequences.
This is a story of heroism (major fascination and ambition for all Fire signs), training for and participating in war (being ruled by the god of war, Mars, makes this interesting to you) and unlikely relationships in testing times (love is also a hot topic in your world).
Escape to ancient Greece and enjoy this compelling tragedy.
Buy it for £9.99 from Waterstones
Taurus: Booth by Karen Joy Fowler
April 21 to May 21
History fascinates you, especially dark and sinister history, because you like to look at what makes bad people tick and how terrible events come about. You enjoy analysing patterns and spotting the potential for danger.
Booth tells the true story of the brilliant and disastrously ill-fated Booth family. Six siblings, and their larger than life parents, fighting to survive in 1800s America.
Each of the sibling’s stories are told (jawdroppingly scandalous and sad in turn) but it is the youngest Johnny who is the reason this book was even written. He grew up to change the course of history by assassinating Abraham Lincoln.
Although you know the ending there is so much more to this story, and it’s fascinating to see it all unfold in slow motion.
Buy for £7.37 from WH Smith
Gemini: Tender Is The Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
May 22 to June 21
I am a Gemini myself so I am only recommending this to the people that I know can take it – because this book is hard going, if not almost unreadable in places, seriously.
This is a horrific and dystopian novel (translated from Spanish, as its author is Argentinian) which portrays a society in which a virus has contaminated all animal meat.
Because of the lack of animal flesh, cannibalism becomes legal.
And the rest you can imagine… not for the faint-hearted. A book you will not forget.
Buy for £7.37 from Amazon
Cancer: The Hemlock Cure by Joanne Burn
June 22 to July 23
Set in Eyam during the Great Plague (so that’s a bit of a plot spoiler, sorry), The Hemlock Cure covers witchcraft, feminine coming of age, village scandal and secrecy, sacrifice and toxic family relations. It’s like having a little spy glass back in time to view the comings and goings of a village right before a major tragedy unfolds.
This ticks a lot of boxes for Cancerian readers because feminine mystery, magic, secrets and lies, and troubled relationships are your fodder for a good drama, which this story certainly delivers.
I liked it so much that I went to visit Eyam afterwards, and looked at the museum, the plague cottages, and the church. It’s such a relevant story in today’s pandemic-affected world.
Buy for £10.62 from Amazon
Leo: Making Wolf by Tade Thompson
July 24 to August 23
Leo, you like bombastic, loud, action-filled and real-life thrillers, which this blockbuster sure is. A very movie-like story.
Weston Kogi, a London supermarket security guard, returns to his West African home country for his aunt’s funeral. After a few drinks with friends and family, he starts telling people he works as a big-time London homicide detective.
Big mistake, Weston. Huge.
That night he is kidnapped and forced by two separate rebel factions to investigate the murder of a local hero, Papa Busi.
What ensues is a white-knuckle, twisty, violent thriller as he tries to stay alive in increasingly desperate circumstances. Leo, you’ll love it!
Buy for £11.01 from Amazon
Virgo: Fall by John Preston
August 24 to September 23
Virgo, you’re not one for flights of fancy or fantasy, you enjoy real-life, true-story action. You also enjoy judging from a distance, which this scandalous tale will let you do to your heart’s content!
Robert Maxwell (father of Ghislaine…) lived an astounding rags to riches life before dying, in mysterious circumstances in 1991. He escaped the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, fought in World War 2, and was a war hero, came to England and became a Labour MP, made millions in business dealings and owned a number of newspapers and publishing companies.
Only upon his death, did the empire crumble and his immoral and long-hidden practices started to emerge from the shadows. Truly shocking. Virgo, you will be all over this.
Buy for £9.99 from Waterstones
Libra: Animal by Lisa Taddeo
September 24 to October 23
Libra, other people’s scandals, secrets, and their love life in particular, fascinates you. The more tawdry and extreme the better.
So, this tale will meet the brief.
The protagonist, Joan, after a lifetime of experiencing cruelty and misogyny, heads to the Hollywood Hills to find a woman who knows the secrets of her traumatic childhood, the reason~for her increasing madness.
The journey takes in all kinds of weird and wonderful characters, and you truly feel like you’re a part of Joan’s journey to self-discovery.
This is literally an exercise in shadow work. It’s visceral, raw, and gripping. Buckle up (and be glad this isn’t your world).
Buy for £7.37 from WH Smith
Scorpio: The Last House On Needless Street by Catriona Ward
October 24 to November 22
Scorpio, of all of the zodiac signs, you have the greatest appetite for terror, darkness, shocks and secrets. You enjoy analysing the underbelly of human behaviour and so you really should start reading Catriona Ward. All of her stories are brilliant. She’s the new Stephen King, IMHO.
And all of her stories share that great quirk of you having to rely on, but not entirely trust, your narrator. Are they the goody or the actual villain? You have to read on to find out…
This is the story of a serial killer and a stolen child. I can’t say more as there are major twists. Prepare to take a terrifying walk in the shadows…
Buy for £9.79 from Amazon
Sagittarius: The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper
November 23 to December 21
Sagittarius, you love sex. And this book is steeped in it.
Set in the seedy world of Pompeii’s brothels, the story follows sex worker Amara and her fellow ‘she-wolves’ through their struggles and triumphs (though, TBH, mainly struggles).
Amara is a great character, who you’ll relate to, because she is strong, shrewd, protective, feisty, and determined to escape her terrible situation (having been sold into slavery after her family died).
Freedom is a major must-have for all Sagittarians, so this story will move you, because to even imagine that you belong to someone else, body and soul, is a stirring notion.
Get lost in a bygone world and imagine how you’d outwit your captors and circumstances.
Buy for £7.49 from Waterstones
Capricorn: The Long Drop by Denise Mina
December 22 to January 21
You, Cap, do not suffer fools or fantasy, frankly. You much prefer to read about the real world, and this wonderful novel will immerse you in 1950s Glasgow and the murky underworld occupied by Peter Manuel, Scotland’s infamous serial killer.
On the September 19, 1956 Peter Manuel broke into a home and shot three women in their beds. The father of the house was away at the time, but found himself accused of, and imprisoned for, the murders anyway.
After his release, he set to investigating the murders himself and asked for informers. Peter Manuel bizarrely stepped forward and the two met for drinks, which turned into more drinks, which turned into the strangest night ever.
This book is a re-imagining of that night and its aftermath. Chilling stuff.
Buy for £7.15 from Amazon
Aquarius: Breath by James Nestor
January 22 to February 19
Non-fiction is probably the best go-to for Aquarian readers because you love to learn and absorb information easily. This book could also enhance your life, and you love self-improvement.
It’s all about how we breathe and, in short, how we’ve lost, as a species, the ability to breathe as we ought to, as well as guidance on how and why we should breathe as instructed here.
Doing so could have profound benefits for everyone’s health and wellbeing. We breathe in and out 25,000 times a day, it’s an essential function.
Read this and you will never breathe the same again. Better still, you’ll be making all of your friends and family read it too (which you do all the time).
Buy for £7 from Amazon
Pisces: You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce
February 20 to March 20
A super creepy fairy tale (Pisces, you have always loved fairies, admit it!).
Cassandra Tripp is an acclaimed writer and eccentric recluse, and she has also gone missing. Still, after the shocking deaths/murders of her husband, brother and father, Cassandra is thought to have reasons for leaving town.
All that’s left behind is her money and one final manuscript detailing the truth about what has really been going on all these years.
This is part thriller and part fantasy, so it will grip you for drama and stimulate you with magic at the same time. Pisces, you’ll love it.
Buy for £8.99 from Waterstones
Kerry King, the tarot queen, uses tarot and star sign wisdom to create inspiring forecasts and insights, with over 25 years fortune telling experience, and many happy clients all over the world. You can book a personal, written reading, which comes as a beautifully illustrated brochure, through Etsy or join her new Tarot Club and get weekly forecasts and more for £5 a month.
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