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August 2023 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations

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Susie Dumond

Senior Contributor

Susie (she/her) is a queer writer originally from Little Rock, now living in Washington, DC. She is the author of QUEERLY BELOVED and the forthcoming LOOKING FOR A SIGN from Dial Press/Random House. You can find her on Instagram @susiedoom.

Welcome to Book Riot’s August 2023 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations! It’s your last chance to cram in some summer reading before…well, let’s be real, we all know you’ll continue reading in the fall. But what new August release is calling your name? Ask the stars! Check out your horoscope for the month ahead, paired with a book perfect for your sign.

Fun fact: August has not one but TWO full supermoons! Catch the full moon in its closest range to Earth on August 1 and on August 31. Astrologically speaking, full moons are a time for peak creativity and bringing projects to fruition. These supermoons will bring exciting moments for all signs where hard work finally pays off. You’ll find even more satisfaction if you establish a full moon ritual. Learn more in Yasmin Boland’s Moonology.

But it’s not all good news. The dreaded Mercury retrograde returns from August 23 to September 14. That means trouble with communication, technology, and travel. And this particular retrograde takes place in Virgo, which will magnify frustrations due to upset plans and miscommunications. As I always say, the best way to avoid Mercury retrograde madness is by staying home with a good book!

August 2023 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations

Note: Book release dates may have shifted between the writing and publication of this article.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

cover of Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim (Aug. 29, Hogarth)

You can’t read minds, Aries. You often assume the people you love look at the world the same way as you. But in August, beware of jumping to conclusions about what other people are thinking. A lot of things are out of your control right now, and you’ll have to figure out how to influence situations without being in the driver’s seat. Ask questions before jumping into action. This month, read Happiness Falls by Angie Kim. When Adam went missing, the only witness was his son Eugene, a non-speaking teenager with a rare genetic condition. It seems impossible to get information from Eugene about what happened, and things get even worse when the police start eyeing Eugene as the lead suspect in his father’s assumed death. Told from the perspective of Eugene’s bright and analytical 20-year-old sister Mia, it’s a twisty literary mystery full of unforgettable characters.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

cover of Under the Tamarind Tree

Under the Tamarind Tree by Nigar Alam (Aug. 15, G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

What can you learn from the past, Taurus? With several planets in retrograde, August finds you reflecting on bygone times. You may be surprised by how those remembered experiences can help you through today’s problems. It’s also an auspicious month for travel. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck, look for solutions far from home, or clear your head on a trip with family. You should read Under the Tamarind Tree by Nigar Alam. Rozeena’s quiet life in Karachi is disrupted by a phone call from a long-lost friend whose granddaughter needs a summer in Pakistan to heal from grief. When the teenager comes to stay with Rozeena and work in her garden, Rozeena is reminded of her own youth: the trauma her family survived during the Partition, the best friends she came of age with in Pakistan, and the shocking death that tore them apart. It’s a powerful story of family, friendship, and secrets in past and present Pakistan.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

cover of Bellies by Nicola Dinan

Bellies by Nicola Dinan (Aug. 1, Hanover Square Press)

Stick to the path, Gemini. You’re easily distracted and love a change in plans, which can often lead you on exciting adventures. But if you’re working toward something you truly want in August, don’t let wandering eyes ruin your shot. Focus is the name of the game this month. Reconnecting with an old friend or family member may help remind you of your true priorities. Be sure to check out Bellies by Nicola Dinan. Ming and Tom fell in love so fast during college that their relationship seemed destined. But that was before Ming told Tom she was a transgender woman. Through Ming’s transition, upheaval in their friend group, moves across the globe, and personal wins and heartbreaks, Ming and Tom wonder if they’re growing apart or can find a way to grow together.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

family lore book cover

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo (Aug. 1, Ecco)

Surround yourself with love, Cancer. You’re a social creature in August and will find great joy in time spent with family and friends. Your charm can even win over colleagues with whom you rarely see eye to eye, making way for career advances. Romantic opportunities abound, especially if you ask for precisely what you want. Beware of travel delays and difficulties after the 22nd. I recommend Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo. When Flor announces she’s planning a living wake for herself, her family knows she’s keeping some kind of secret. After all, Flor has long had the power to know the exact date when someone will die. Is the wake a sign Flor’s time has come, or someone else’s? As Flor’s wake approaches and her sisters and nieces gather, it becomes clear she’s not the only one with something to hide. It’s a magical story of one Dominican American family at the crossroads of their past and future.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

cover of Congratulations, the Best is Over

Congratulations, the Best is Over!: Essays by R. Eric Thomas (Aug. 8, Ballantine Books)

Be kind to yourself, Leo. Nothing comes easily to you in August. Career goals are out of reach, and conflict among family and friends makes your personal time anything but relaxing. You’ll need laser focus to get what you want this month. In good news, you’ll find strength in creativity and self-expression. If you need help sparking your imagination, travel can put you in the right state of mind. Read Congratulations, the Best is Over! by R. Eric Thomas. Midlife crises are hard enough, but throw in a global pandemic and it becomes a whole other beast. In these essays, at turns hilarious, heartwarming, and eye-opening, R. Eric Thomas shares his mental health struggles in recent years and how he found a path forward that feels something like hope.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

cover of Fit for the Gods

Fit for the Gods: Greek Mythology Reimagined, edited by Jenn Northington and S. Zainab Williams (Aug. 1, Penguin Random House)

Good things are coming your way, Virgo. Your fastidiousness is finally paying off, and it’s time to sit back and reap the rewards. August is a month for resting and indulging in things that bring you joy. Now is the time to take a trip or try a new activity you’ve been wanting to take on for a while. If you’re looking for love, it may come easily with someone already on your wavelength. You should read Fit for the Gods, a short story anthology edited by Book Riot’s own Jenn Northington and S. Zainab Williams. These stories reimagine classic Grecian mythological characters in diverse, inclusive, and thought-provoking new ways. With stories from authors like Sarah Gailey, Alyssa Cole, Mia P. Manansala, and more, it’s sure to change the way you look at Mount Olympus forever.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

cover of Falling Back in Love with Being Human

Falling Back in Love with Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls by Kai Cheng Thom (Aug. 1, Dial Press)

You’re putting out good vibes, Libra. You’ve always got great people skills, but this month, everyone is flocking to you for a piece of your positive energy. Even if you find joy in helping others, be sure to save some of the love for yourself too. Don’t skip any celebrations or family gatherings; they’ll be especially restorative for you. Finances are strong, so treat yourself to something nice. Read Falling Back in Love with Being Human by Kai Cheng Thom. From her activist work to her psychotherapy practice to her spiritual healing, Kai Cheng always believed that humans have intrinsic worth and goodness. But in a quickly changing world full of violence and anger, she struggled for a while to find the good. These love letters to humanity are Kai Cheng’s way of restoring her own faith and sharing that hopefulness with readers. It’s exactly the life-affirming, healing read we all need in 2023.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

vampires of el norte book cover

Vampires of El Norte by Isabel Cañas (Aug. 29, Berkley)

Look at the whole picture, Scorpio. Your emotions are powerful this month, and your initial reactions to situations might give you tunnel vision. Try to step back and assess before letting your gut get the best of you. In good news, you’re unstoppable in your career in August. While everyone else is vacationing, you’ll get ahead of your competitors and show what you’re capable of. Check out Vampires of El Norte by Isabel Cañas. As a healer working on her father’s ranch in the 1840s at the Mexico/U.S. border, Nena is used to having to protect her land against hostile forces. But some of those forces are more mysterious, dangerous, and undead than others. Nena was separated from her best friend Néstor as children after a creature attacked them. Now, Néstor is back, and they’ll have to face the monsters of their nightmares again.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Cover of Kiss the Girl by Zoraida Córdova best romance books summer 2023

Kiss the Girl by Zoraida Córdova (Aug. 1, Hyperion Avenue)

Indulge your inner child, Sagittarius. Planetary retrogrades are bringing out different versions of your past self and reminding you of forgotten passions. August is the time to embrace all the multitudes you contain. Return to something that once brought you joy but has fallen to the wayside. Put your job on the back burner and travel to somewhere you haven’t been in years. You should read Kiss the Girl by Zoraida Córdova. Ariel has never known a life away from stardom. But now, the famous pop band she’s been in with her sisters since childhood is wrapping up their last tour. Her father wants her to embark on a solo career, but Ariel dreams of normal, incognito life. When the cute lead singer of a new band invites Ariel to join him on the road, completely unaware of her popstar identity, she can’t resist breaking her father’s rules and running away with him. It’s a contemporary Little Mermaid retelling that’s making big waves.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

cover of More Perfect by Temi Oh, closeup of a rainbow iris and pupil

More Perfect by Temi Oh (Aug. 15, Saga Press)

Timing is crucial, Capricorn. Success is in store for you in August if you can wait for the right moment to leap. Nerves can push you to jump too soon, and conversely, second-guessing can make you miss your chance. Consider the full picture and you’ll recognize the perfect time. Romantic relationships are lucky this month; new love can be found while out of your comfort zone. I recommend More Perfect by Temi Oh. In a near-future London, people are desperate to get in on a new technology that brings an alternate reality to life. Panopticon, a network that allows users to see inside others’ thoughts and dreams, is marketed as a tool that can bring about world peace. When two young people with different perspectives on Panopticon discover the network has a dark secret, they must speak up in order to save humanity — even if it means risking their own lives.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

Cover of New Adult by Timothy Janovsky

New Adult by Timothy Janovsky (Aug. 15, Sourcebooks Casablanca)

Follow your passions, Aquarius. In August, you’ll have trouble committing to anything if your heart isn’t really in it. This can cause problems at work, especially if your job isn’t aligned with your personal beliefs. But it can also lead you to discover new things about yourself and connect more deeply with loved ones. Unabashed honesty is required for romantic relationships this month. Read New Adult by Timothy Janovsky. Aspiring standup comic Nolan is convinced life will be better in his 30s. It definitely can’t be worse than now, in his early 20s, when he’s managed to piss off everyone he loves in pursuit of a comedy career, including his best friend Drew, who he’s secretly in love with. When he wishes on a set of healing crystals to skip forward to the good part of his life, he wakes up seven years older with the career of his dreams — at the expense of all of his friends and family. Is there a future for Nolan where he can have it all?

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

cover of Board to Death: A Board Game Mystery by CJ Connor, showing a graphic of a board game with a bloody knife on it's surface

Board to Death by CJ Connor (Aug. 22, Kensington)

Take care of yourself, Pisces. You’re in for a rocky month, especially once Mercury enters retrograde on the 23rd. You may not be responsible for the chaos around you, but you’ll certainly be impacted by it. Boundary setting and self care are crucial in August. Even family life will be plagued by bad vibes. A creative outlet and time with a close friend will prove restorative for you. Check out Board to Death, the first in a new cozy mystery series by Book Riot’s own CJ Connor. Ben’s life changed direction when he moved back to his hometown of Salt Lake City to care for his ailing dad and run the family boardgame shop. But the biggest change of all comes when a mysterious game collector shows up dead on the store’s doorstep. With the help of the cute florist next door, Ben decides to put his Clue skills to use and try to solve the mystery before it kills his business. It’s a puzzling mystery full of quirky characters and delightful boardgame references.


Thanks for joining us for your August 2023 horoscopes and book recommendations! Looking for more books you’ll love based on your sign? Check out your May, June, and July horoscopes and book recommendations!