2021 Astro-Infused Book Reviews
Updated: Jan 13
I had this cool idea last year to astro-classify and review the different books I read or listened to according to their prominent themes. It was really fun and interesting.
In early 2021 I started a book club called "Minerva's Owl" on Facebook and attempted to choose books based on each sign. That, too, was a fun idea!! But there really weren't enough people in the club for it to be sustainable or have meaningful discussions ... yet. Maybe one day! I still love the concept!
You can join the book club here if you want to help it grow.
In the meantime, I'm going to keep reading away and will plan to do an astro-book review blog post at the end of each year! (Check back on this blog for last year's entry!)
Will describe the key themes of each sign, the books I read that fit those themes, and what I thought (ranked 1-10, 10 = best). For me, anything above a 5 is good. Ranking not on literary merit, but on how much I personally resonated or enjoyed the experience of reading the book.
You can use this list to learn more about astrology (by understanding the themes of the different signs) and yourself! The list may also be a good place to choose your next book! You'd probably enjoy books that fit with your sun, moon, and rising signs. Or if you find you resonate with books of a certain type that aren't your sun, moon, or rising, you probably have the planet that rules that sign in a prominent position in your chart. I love a variety of books (clearly!), tho I seem to enjoy Pisces and Scorpio books the most.
So, here we go!!
1. Capricorn Season - themes of stability, roots, family, expectations, real estate, status, ambition, restriction
-Last House Guest -Megan Miranda - interesting psychological thriller with themes of family, status, home/house. This could also fit a bit of a Scorpio profile. Kind of exciting at times. 6.
-Dutch House - Ann Patchett - well-written (literary style of writing) but slow-moving (for me) family drama involving complex sibling and family relationships, family expectations and struggles, restrictions. The role a specific house plays in family status, sense of home, and more is a prominent theme. Worth a read or listen and definitely carries a classic Capricorn (more slow, serious) tone. 8.
2. Aquarius Season - themes of progress, technology, independence, space, science, and non-conformism/revolt against oppression
-Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K Le Guin - award-winning sci-fi classic, bit difficult to get into but interesting once you get going. I really liked Ursula Le Guin's translation of the Tao te Ching, so I knew she was spiritual and would have some interesting philosophical ideas, and she did. 6
- Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein - another sci-fi classic. Also difficult to follow at the beginning (for me), but def got into an exploration of some highly progressive communal lifestyle choices. Ideas about love, possessiveness, sex, money, power, and more are explored. It's interesting. I recommend and enjoyed it. 8.
-Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card - another famous sci-fi classic. I enjoyed but didn't love-love it. Still, was glad to experience it. An uber-talented, savant child saving the world vibes. Gamers probably would enjoy. Also has an Aries tone, due to the war element. 7.
- Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood - the book is wonderful, as good or better than the show. I appreciated the kind of order and theatricality in the writing. The tv show creators did a good job in capturing this tone in some of their stylized scenes in the first season's episodes. The book is not very long and stops way short of the show. Also has Aries themes. 8.
3. Pisces Season - themes of water, imagination, emotions, spirituality, art, dreams, luminosity, magic
-The Marriage of Opposites - Alice Hoffman - beautiful, very Piscean book. Just flows along as if in a dream. Magical, ephermeal descriptions and setting on a tropical island. Themes of art, beauty, love. 9.
- The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin - interesting book about some kids from NY who see a psychic (very Piscean) who predicts when they each will die. Enjoyed but didn't love-love. 7.
- Wife Stalker - Liv Constantine - this book is a little Piscean because of the illusion, deception aspects of the story (those are more "shadow themes" of Pisces). I like everything Liv Constantine (pen name of 2 authors working together) has written because I'm a Scorpio and all "her" books have a mysterious, suspenseful tone with pretty interesting plots. So, this is a Pisces-Scorp choice. 8.
- The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern - well, it's my new favorite book, if that tells you anything. It's magical, dreamy, and the most imaginative book I've read since Harry Potter. Truly incredible and a work of art. Highly recommend. 10+.
-The Starless Sea - Erin Morgenstern - also incredible. Even more dreamy than Night Circus. A bit hard to follow the various plot lines, but if you stay with it, the characters are featured enough that you eventually can keep them straight. It's a story within a story within a story. Highly magical and imaginative. 9.
- The Book of Magic - Alice Hoffman - final book in the Practical Magic series (which is fabulous). Really loved this book. Magical, lyrical, beautiful, enchanting. 9.
4. Aries Season -themes of self-assertion, war/fighting, courage, starting something/initiation, action, will power, independence
- Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes - Suzanne Collins - I resisted reading the Hunger Games for years because I was afraid it would be too violent. But, when I finally read it in 2020, I really enjoyed it. Super engaging and creative, with a really inspiring message. These books are a mix of Aries (courage, will, fighting) + Aquarius (revolt against oppression, independence) themes. This book is the story of the president of Panem and is a prequel to the series. I enjoyed it but def read the first 3 books first. 7.
- American Dirt - Jeanine Cummins - Difficult to classify this, but I think the prominent theme has to do with independence and asserting oneself towards a better future. Definitely is super exciting and engaging. 9.
5. Taurus Season - themes of comfort, food, connection, beauty, money, security, physical enjoyment and pleasure. I didn't read many Taurus books this year. The book Lucky (under the Leo heading) could also be included here because money is a key theme.
- The Murmur of Bees - Sofia Segovia - this book, set in Mexico in the early 1900s, is very descriptive and really hits all your senses, which is why I classified it as Taurus. It also has prominent themes of security, embodiment, money/property, and physical rootedness in the world. Additionally, it's rather magical and has some strong Cancercian (family/mother) themes, as well. 7.
6. Gemini Season - themes of communication, thought, siblings, short trips, deceit, duplicity, books
- We Were Never Here - Andrea Bartz - fast-paced Reese book club pick about backpackers with a secret. There is a theme of deception and duplicity, lies, and travel. It was entertaining. 7.
- The Herd - Andrea Bartz - book about an exclusive co-working space and social club in NYC run by women. Deception, duplicity, lies, networking, smoozing, and communication themes made this one also feel "Gemini" to me. I liked it even better than We Were Never Here because I really enjoyed the co-working space concept and design. 8.
- Finlay Donovan Is Killing It - Elle Cosimano - Mis-communication is a central theme in this kind of comical book about an accidental hit woman. It was moderately entertaining. I bet it resonates more with a Millennial audience. 6.
- The Giver of Stars - Jojo Moyes - theme of "library/books" is foundational, but there are also prominent family/emotional/roots (Cancer) themes and relationship themes (Libra). A subtle Aquarian (do your own thing) theme, as well. Really enjoyed. 9.
- You - Caroline Kepnes - I enjoyed the TV series so thought I'd read the book. Def is dark and twisted. Could fit in Scorpio as well or Pisces. But the strong book and communication themes made me call it primarily Gemini. It is pretty witty and interesting, though also disturbing. Try it only if you like dark things or enjoyed the TV series. 7.
7. Cancer Season - themes of family, mother, motherhood, home, roots, emotions, the past/history
- Malibu Rising - Taylor Jenkins Reid - really enjoyed this book about family ties, mother, emotional bonds, a particular house/home in Malibu and the interesting family that lived there. 8.
- Three Wishes - LIane Moriarty - book about three triplet women and their emotional and mental bonds. Motherhood is a key theme, so I put it under Cancer, but it also could fit under Gemini or even Leo (there is a party/fun element). 7.
8. Leo Season - themes of children, games, gambling, love, play, fun, parties
- Lucky - Marissa Stapley - key theme of gambling/lottery winning is why I put this one under Leo. It could potentially fit a bit with Taurus (money themes), Gemini (duplicity), or Scorpio (secrets). Def entertaining. 8.
9. Virgo Season - themes of service, purity, morals, idealism, health, order, precision, efficiency, healing
- The Martian - Andy Weir - I called this one Virgo because of the highly structured, efficient, technical style of storytelling. It felt very precise. Precise is a key word for Virgo, so I am calling it Virgo. There's also a level of intelligence and analysis that really fit Virgo, too. Aries could be a secondary fit, since Mars rules Aries, and the book is set on Mars. Aquarius may also align due to themes of space and science. 8.
- Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - It is hard to classify this classic. I really loved it and cannot believe I waited this long to read it. I put it under Virgo ultimately because I felt that Jane Eyre was/is above all bound by honor and duty. She has high ideals and standards and wants to do the right thing. Libra themes of relationship and Gemini themes of teaching are also present. Beautiful book, especially for strong women with high ideals. I resonated 100%. 10.
10. Libra Season - themes of relationships, marriage, harmony, grace, beauty, balance, justice
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - Taylor Jenkins Reid - loved this book about love, marriage, and relationships. Could also be classified under Leo. 8.
- After I Do - Taylor Jenkins Reid - More explorations of love and relationships from Taylor Jenkins Reid. Explores the edges of conventionality, which is an Aquarian-type theme in several of her books. 7.
- One True Loves - Taylor Jenkins Reid - Can we have multiple soul mates? How to balance and choose when both are present at once... Interesting and somewhat emotional. 7.
- Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah - beautiful book about friendship. Also has Cancerian themes of family, motherhood, roots, emotions. Loved. 9.
- The Secret Wife - Gil Paul - interesting book about a man secretly married to one of the Romanovs in Russia (fiction but some accurate history). Could also fit with Leo (love) and Scorpio (passion, emotions, secrets). 8.
- Narcissus and Goldmund - Herman Hesse - truly incredible book filled with spiritual and philosophical insights centering around the relationship of two very different male friends. Could also be listed under Sagittarius due to the wandering nature of Goldmund and the spirituality of both characters. 10.
- Demian - Herman Hesse - another book exploring teacher-pupil/mentor-mentee type relationships, filled with philosophy and psychology. Excellent. 9.
11. Scorpio Season - themes of secrets, mystery, psychology, death, sex, power, transformation
- The Secret History - Donna Tartt - well-written, psychologically intricate book about a murder amongst college classmates and the emotional/psychological complexities involved in covering it up. 9.
- The Shining - Stephen King - had never read this chilling classic. Loved it! Definitely the scariest book (but in a great way) I've ever read. Different from the movie. The movie has fabulous artistic merit, but the book made much more sense. 10.
- The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - had also never read this popular book, though I did see the movie. Book definitely better. It's suspenseful and exciting. Also intriguing and spiritual. Enjoyed. 8.
- Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay - dark and twisted and really funny. Interesting to be in Dexter's head. Check it out if you enjoyed the tv series. 7.
- The Maidens - Alex Michaelides - somewhat similar plot elements to The Secret History (college classics students) but definitely a different outcome. 7.
- Mexican Gothic - Silvia Moreno-Garcia - loved this intriguing, slow-burn, atmospheric novel set in Mexico. 9.
- Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier - another gothic classic. So good if you like that sort of thing. 9.
- The Sanatorium - Sarah Pearse - more of a modern gothic tale with a fascinating setting. Story was pretty interesting and suspenseful. 7.
- Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury - a Halloween classic that I'd never read. Really loved it! Magical and spooky. 9.
- Jewel of the Seven Stars - Bram Stoker - also totally loved this Egyptian-themed book about mummies, jewels, and more. Not as a famous as Dracula but nearly as good, esp if you are fascinated by Egypt (as I am). 10.
- The Lost Apothecary - Sarah Penner -mysterious hidden doors, secret rooms, lost histories, ancient apothecaries. The setting is perfection and the story is also quite good. 8.
- Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes - sequel to YOU (Gemini section). Even darker than the first book, which is why I called it Scorpio. The "book seller" theme from YOU is minimized here. The psychological aspects (+ sex, death, and secrets) are even stronger. Only read if you liked YOU. 7.
12. Sagittarius Season - themes of adventure, travel, exploration, learning, other cultures, spirituality
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - a quirky little Sag classic I'd never read. Adventurous and whimsical and strange. 7.
- Fellowship of the Ring - JRR Tolkien - epic adventure with subthemes of friendship, valor, honor, duty, etc. It's a classic for a reason, and I'm glad I finally read it. 9.
- People We Meet on Vacation - Emily Henry - travel writer winds her way towards love. Could also be under Leo. Pretty good but not as good as "Beach Read" by the same author (read last year). 7.
Alright, that's my list! I love to read (and listen to Audibles). I'm grateful to all these books for keeping me intrigued and inspired during my expat adventures in Costa Rica and Mexico this year. Let me know if you've read any of these or have any awesome astro-suggestions for my next year's list.
Welcome Capricorn season!! It's been an interesting year. I cannot wait to see what's next, in print and in life!