It is always a dangerous thing to suggest that any one astrological sign has only particular tastes in books. This list is by no means complete and is heavily weighed toward well-written biographies. If something from another sign catches your eye, by all means give it a try!
Aries: Aries likes people who “tell it like it is.” In Lit: A Memoir by Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club, writes about her childhood in Texas, alcoholism, and recovery using powerfully emotional language, unwavering truth, and humor.
Aries thrives on action and will enjoy Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls. This story is based on the life of her maternal grandmother, whose roles included school teacher, ranch wife, bootlegger, poker player, mustang breaker, racehorse rider, and frontier pilot.
Taurus: Taurus loves nature and those things that appeal to the senses. For them we recommend The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley. With a scope as big as the national parks, this bio shows how conservation became part of the American identity.
For something more fun, try Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater by Frank Bruni, former restaurant critic of the New York Times. This is a delightful memoir full of people, food, and life on the fat side.
Gemini: Gemini likes variety so we suggest Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–And the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller. This book about three white female musicians is actually a story about their roles and influence on civil rights and other movements of the 1960s.
Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips embodies the Gemini theme of brothers and sisters. This haunting book is a portrait of a family from West Virginia during the Korean War. This story will resonate for a long time.
Cancer: Cancer rules families, food, and history. Something that includes all of these is Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. Enjoy a fascinating and well-written explanation of the theory that we became human only when we learned to cook.
A not-to-be-missed autobiography is True Compass: A Memoir by the late Edward M. Kennedy. It is a window into the life of his prominent family and a moving testimony to what a man can do if he refuses to quit.
Leo: Warm-hearted Leo likes a good drama. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel is a great read and winner of the Man Booker Prize. It is the story of an independent and brazen man, Thomas Cromwell, in the court of King Henry XIII.
For something a little different try Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker by James McManus which is a wonderful history of the game.
Virgo: Virgos should be proud that Stephen King is a Virgo. If you have never enjoyed the pleasure of this prolific author, try: Under the Dome. This time, an alternate world inside an invisible dome appears in the midst of a small Maine town.
Virgo rules work, so we suggest Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. Author Matthew B. Crawford has a Ph.D. in philosophy and the chops to be able to rebuild a VW engine.
Libra: Libra is about relationships and John Adams’ diplomacy and happy marriage to Abigail are wonderful examples of both. It has been around a few years, but for a wonderful mix of history and story telling John Adams by David McCullough is a delight.
Libra loves beauty and will enjoy the well-written and sympathetic biography Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin Kelley.
Scorpio: Scorpio likes to get to the bottom of things. The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives edited by Otto Penzler, is a fascinating inside view of 24 popular mystery writers and how they developed their characters and craft.
Scorpio is intense, so we suggest Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer. This novel is full of transformation, death, erotic decadence, poverty, desire, and self-awareness. What’s not to like?
Sagittarius: Sagittarius will enjoy Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi. It will tell you why he does not like sports.
Another fascinating story is Passing Strange by Martha A. Sandweiss is the amazing true story of a white man who lived a double life as an upper class world explorer and also the father of a black family who knew him as a black Pullman porter and steelworker named James Todd.
Capricorn: Capricorn rules business, and while not all may be interested in money, there are two excellent books to recommend relevant to the current worldwide economic downturn. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, by Liaquat Ahamed. This is a window to the world of high finances, bubbles, and busts.
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis is a remarkable history of the meltdown from the inside out.
Aquarius: Aquarius, ever the rebel, might enjoy a graphic novel called Asterios Polyp written and illustrated by David Mazzucchelli. This book took ten years to create and is about an academic with attitude – typically Aquarian material.
Another fascinating book that will appeal to the Aquarian sense of social justice is When A Crocodile Eats the Sun, by Peter Godwin. It’s a poignant picture of what happened in Southern Rhodesia when it became Zimbabwe and was destroyed by a tyrannical dictator.
Pisces: Pisces likes books that take one beyond the usual and we have two that should spark your imagination. The first, Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits by Linda Gordon is a very thorough biography of one of the most influential women in American photojournalism.
To indulge your taste for fantasy, Pisces should try Except the Queen by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder to spend some happy hours escaping in a world of fairies and intrigue.