The Epilogue Team joined forces to choose a book specifically for each astrological sign, so you know these recommendations are good! You’ll find that this list isn’t like many of the ones you’ll find elsewhere — it was carefully curated to include fresh new voices and perspectives (as if you’d expect anything else out of us). We hope you enjoy these and can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Don’t forget to check your moon and rising signs!
Aries (Mar 21 – Apr 19) ♈ :
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
Fiery and bold, Aries will find their own passion matched in this timely and ambitious novel.
“Onyebuchi’s voice work is magnificent, sharp and whipping. . . . Riot Baby, [his] first novel for adults, is as much the story of Ella and her brother, Kevin, as it is the story of black pain in America, of the extent and lineage of police brutality, racism and injustice in this country, written in prose as searing and precise as hot diamonds.”—The New York Times
Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor’s son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven’t happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability wreck cities in her hands.
Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.
Ella and Kev are both shockingly human and immeasurably powerful. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by racism. Their futures might alter the world.
Taurus (Apr 20 – May 20) ♉ :
Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food From 31 Celebrated Writers (edited by Natalie Eve Garrett)
Practical and comfort-seeking Taurus will love this collection of stories and recipes. (Also, none of us had ever met a Taurus who wasn’t a bit of a foodie!)
An illustrated anthology of essays about the comfort foods—and recipes—that helped writers survive painful times in their lives. With contributions from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Anthony Doerr, Colum McCann, Lev Grossman, Carmen Maria Machado, Claire Messud, Maile Meloy, Alexander Chee, Edwidge Danticat, and many more!
This collection of intimate, illustrated essays by some of America’s most well-regarded literary writers explores how comfort food can help us cope with dark times—be it the loss of a parent, the loneliness of a move, or the pain of heartache.
Lev Grossman explains how he survived on “sweet, sour, spicy, salty, unabashedly gluey” General Tso’s tofu after his divorce. Carmen Maria Machado describes her growing pains as she learned to feed and care for herself during her twenties. Claire Messud tries to understand how her mother gave up dreams of being a lawyer to make “a dressed salad of tiny shrimp and avocado, followed by prune-stuffed pork tenderloin.” What makes each tale so moving is not only the deeply personal revelations from celebrated writers, but also the compassion and healing behind the story: the taste of hope.
Gemini (May 21 – Jun 20) ♊ :
Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry (edited by Amber Dawn And Justin Ducharm)
Versatile and curious Geminis will love the opportunity to learn about the experiences of sex workers through the highly expressive medium of poetry!
A groundbreaking collection of sex workers’ poetry from around the world.
In this trailblazing anthology, more than fifty self-identified sex workers from all walks of the industry (survival and trade, past and present) explore their lived experience through the expressive nuance and beauty of poetry. In a variety of forms ranging from lyrics to list poems to found poetry to hybrid works, these authors express themselves with the complexity, agency, and honesty that sex workers are rarely afforded. Contributors from Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia include Gregory Scofield, Tracy Quan, Summer Wright, and Akira the Hustler. As an antidote to the invasive and often biased media depictions of sex workers, Hustling Verse is a fiercely groundbreaking exploration of intimacy, transactional sex, identity, healing, and resilience.
Cancer (Jun 21 – Jul 22) ♋ :
She of the Mountains by Vivek Shraya
Intuitive and sentimental Cancers will find the beauty and depth of She of the Mountains to be exactly what they want in a novel!
A contemporary illustrated queer love story interwoven with a reimagining of Hindu mythology.
In the beginning, there is no he. There is no she.
Two cells make up one cell. This is the mathematics behind creation. One plus one makes one. Life begets life. We are the period to a sentence, the effect to a cause, always belonging to someone. We are never our own.
This is why we are so lonely.
She of the Mountains is a beautifully rendered illustrated novel by Vivek Shraya, the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist God Loves Hair. Shraya weaves a passionate, contemporary love story between a man and his body, with a re-imagining of Hindu mythology. Both narratives explore the complexities of embodiment and the damaging effects that policing gender and sexuality can have on the human heart.
Leo (Jul 23 – Aug 22) ♌ :
The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara
Fierce and dramatic, you know a Leo will love this vivacious and dynamic novel that’s sure to awaken their inner lions.
A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and ’90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning.
It’s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city’s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone.
As mother of the house, Angel recruits Venus, a whip-fast trans girl who dreams of finding a rich man to take care of her; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics and design; and Daniel, a butch queen who accidentally saves Venus’s life. The Xtravaganzas must learn to navigate sex work, addiction, and persistent abuse, leaning on each other as bulwarks against a world that resists them. All are ambitious, resilient, and determined to control their own fates, even as they hurtle toward devastating consequences.
Told in a voice that brims with wit, rage, tenderness, and fierce yearning, The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family, and the dynamism of the human spirit.
Virgo (Aug 23 – Sept 22) ♍ :
The Seep by Chana Porter
Analytical and discerning Virgos will find this new take on dystopian fiction to be a refreshing balm for their perfectionist souls.
A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s fresh, pointed debut explores a strange new world in the wake of a benign alien invasion.
Trina FastHorse Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.
Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.
Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.
Libra (Sept 23 – Oct 22) ♎ :
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Balance-seeking and gracious Libras will enjoy the beauty and heart in this novel about family and love. (And yes, Ocean Vuong is a Libra, too!)
Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.
With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.
Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 21) ♏ :
I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well by James Allen Hall
Resourceful and passionate Scorpios will enjoy these wild essays that range from comedic to tragic, but which all come together to show that stubborn will to live within us all.
“Growing up queer in Florida in the 1980s, James Allen Hall’s life has taken him to places that high culture rarely treads. Losing their once-thriving family business in the pre-crash 2000s, his broke and unstable parents move into a two-bedroom student apartment shared previously with just his brother. His mother routinely attempts or threatens suicide, his father is depressed. In these essays, Hall lives alongside, and empathically lives through, his family’s meth addiction, mental illnesses, and incarcerations, and considers his own penchants for less than happy, equal sex with an agility, depth, and lightness that is blissfully inconclusive. I LIKED YOU BETTER BEFORE I KNEW YOU SO WELL is a tragic, funny, graceful book.” —Chris Kraus
Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21) ♐ :
Luster by Raven Leilani
Blunt and confident Sags will love the honesty infused into Luster and the opportunity to stretch their natural curiosity with a fresh and complex protagonist!
No one wants what no one wants.
And how do we even know what we want? How do we know we’re ready to take it?
Edie is stumbling her way through her twenties—sharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her admin job, making a series of inappropriate sexual choices. She is also haltingly, fitfully giving heat and air to the art that simmers inside her. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriage—with rules.
As if navigating the constantly shifting landscapes of contemporary sexual manners and racial politics weren’t hard enough, Edie finds herself unemployed and invited into Eric’s home—though not by Eric. She becomes a hesitant ally to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter. Edie may be the only Black woman young Akila knows.
Irresistibly unruly and strikingly beautiful, razor-sharp and slyly comic, sexually charged and utterly absorbing, Raven Leilani’s Luster is a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life—her hunger, her anger—in a tumultuous era. It is also a haunting, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent, and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.
Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19) ♑ :
The Queens of Animation by Nathalia Holt
Caps may be the workaholics of the zodiac, but that tenacity and initiative can lead to some really incredible results — much like the incredible women animators at Disney featured in Queens of Animation.
From the bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls, the untold, “richly detailed” story of the women of Walt Disney Studios, who shaped the iconic films that have enthralled generations (Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures).
From Snow White to Moana, from Pinocchio to Frozen, the animated films of Walt Disney Studios have moved and entertained millions. But few fans know that behind these groundbreaking features was an incredibly influential group of women who fought for respect in an often ruthless male-dominated industry and who have slipped under the radar for decades.
In The Queens of Animation, bestselling author Nathalia Holt tells their dramatic stories for the first time, showing how these women infiltrated the boys’ club of Disney’s story and animation departments and used early technologies to create the rich artwork and unforgettable narratives that have become part of the American canon. As the influence of Walt Disney Studios grew — and while battling sexism, domestic abuse, and workplace intimidation — these women also fought to transform the way female characters are depicted to young audiences.
With gripping storytelling, and based on extensive interviews and exclusive access to archival and personal documents, The Queens of Animation reveals the vital contributions these women made to Disney’s Golden Age and their continued impact on animated filmmaking, culminating in the record-shattering Frozen, Disney’s first female-directed full-length feature film.
Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18) ♒ :
SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas
Rebellious and free-spirited Aquarians will love the radical ideas and humor in SCUM Manifesto, even while it spurs them into action to make change in their communities!
First circulated on the streets of Greenwich Village in 1967, the SCUM Manifesto is a searing indictment of patriarchal culture in all its forms. Shifting fluidly between the worlds of satire and straightforward critique, this classic is a call to action—a radical feminist vision for a different world.
“To see the SCUM Manifesto’s humor, to let it crack you up page after page, is not to read it as a joke. It’s not. The truth of the world as seen though Valerie’s eyes is patently absurd, a cosmic joke. Humor such as this is a muscle, a weapon… It was the truth, and the truth is so absurd it’s painful.” —Michelle Tea
“Unhampered by propriety, niceness, discretion, public opinion, ‘morals’, the respect of assholes, always funky, dirty, low-down SCUM gets around… You’ve got to go through a lot of sex to get to anti-sex, and SCUM’s been through it all, and they’re now ready for a new show; they want to crawl out from under the dock, move, take off, sink out.” —Valerie Solanas
Pisces (Feb 19 – Mar 20) ♓ :
The Pisces by Melissa Broder
Sensitive and romantic Pisces will find everything they want in a novel in The Pisces — not to mention the title makes it a shoe-in for this recommendation!
“Bold, virtuosic, addictive, erotic – there is nothing like The Pisces. I have no idea how Broder does it, but I loved every dark and sublime page of it.” —Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter
Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety — not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound’s easy affection.
Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, THE PISCES is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.