Welcome to Book Riot’s February 2020 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations! Looking for the best new book to read this month? Let the stars be your guide! Find your astrological sign below for your February horoscope, perfectly paired with a newly released book.
WARNING: Mercury will be in retrograde February 17 through March 10. That means lots of technological problems, miscommunications, travel issues, and general mayhem. As I always say, the best way to avoid Mercury Retrograde disaster is by staying inside with a good book.
February promises to be a bit chaotic for Aries, but a positive attitude can help turn that chaos into big wins. Your busy social calendar offers many business opportunities, as well as a potential new love connection. It’s crucial that you use what you’ve learned from past mistakes this month. Failure is a learning opportunity; use those lessons when you find a fork in your path. You might enjoy Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America (February 18, Ballantine Books), a new essay collection by R. Eric Thomas. Through exploring his own experiences with society trying to push him to the sidelines, Thomas shows the power of centering yourself in your own story. It’s funny, heartfelt, and full of genuine joy.
Valentine’s Day has you in the mood for love, Taurus! Romance is strong for you this month, whether you’re in a relationship or not. Singles may find love while following their non-romantic passions, such as volunteering or spending time on a hobby. Mercury retrograde may mess with your money this month, so avoid risky financial decisions and be cautious with your spending. I recommend The Worst Best Man (February 4, Avon) by Mia Sosa. Carolina is a top-tier wedding planner who was left at the altar by her ex-fiancé. When she’s given an opportunity that could change her career, she’s ready to jump right in. That is, until she learns she must collaborate with the man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé’s brother.
Mercury retrograde has you feeling a bit flighty, so why not lean in and take an actual flight somewhere? The stars are aligned for successful travel ventures, particularly related to business. Go with the flow if plans change along the way, and don’t be afraid to talk to a stranger. Your charm will draw others to you in February, and new connections may be long lasting. Check out Bird Summons (February 11, Black Cat) by Leila Aboulela. Three Muslim women with very different personal dilemmas come together on a trip to the Scottish Highlands to visit the grave of the first Scottish woman to convert to Islam. On their journey, each is visited by a sacred, mythological bird that forces them to confront what they’ve sacrificed for love.
Cancers are spiritually minded in February. You’ve got big questions. How can you be your best self? What does fulfillment look like? How do your actions impact others? It’s a good time to engage in philosophical conversations with loved ones and mentors. While focused on these big topics, your home life may be a little turbulent. Be a peacemaker and help your family settle disagreements. Read the breathtaking novel Real Life (February 18, Riverhead Books) by Brandon Taylor. Wallace is a gay black man who feels out of place in his graduate biochemistry program in a mostly white Midwestern university. He prefers to keep a distance to protect himself, but a series of unexpected confrontations threaten to upend his defenses.
February is full of potential pitfalls for Leos. Your health could cause problems, finances are tricky, family life is dramatic, and travel is complicated. I’m sorry to tell you that you’ll definitely hit some speed bumps this month. The good news is that educational prospects are strong for you. It’s the perfect time to learn a new skill, attend an interesting lecture, or enroll in a class. You might enjoy Untamed Shore (February 11, Agora Books) by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Viridiana wants nothing more than to escape her boring fishing town in Baja California. When a wealthy American family arrives in town and hires her as a translator and secretary, she’s invigorated by the excitement and glamour. But she soon learns the family has dark secrets that may put her in a dangerous position.
Virgo’s success in February requires careful balance. You’ll be pulled between your career, family, and love life this month. And with Mercury retrograde throwing a wrench in your plans, it’s impossible to keep the level of control that you prefer. Accept the uncertainty and collaborate with others for best results. When in doubt, step back, look at your to-do list, and prioritize. I recommend The Only Child (February 11, Ecco) by Mi-ae Seo, translated by Jung Yewon. Criminal psychologist Seonkyeong is surprised when she learns that a famous serial killer on death row has asked to be interviewed by her. That same day, Seonkyeong’s 11-year-old step daughter shows up on her doorstep after her grandparents died in a fire. Between the girl’s strange behavior and the serial killer’s dark stories, Seonkyeong begins to see unnerving similarities.
You refuse to be boxed in this month, Libra. You have no patience for tedious tasks and boring conversations. Creativity, artistic endeavors, and travel will bring you pleasure in February. Look for opportunities to see and try new things. But don’t completely ignore your day-to-day tasks while seeking adventure, or things could go off the rails in your career and home life. You might enjoy Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (February 25, One World) by poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong. In this memoir, Hong uses her own experiences, combined with history and cultural criticism, to uncover the truth of what it means to be Asian American. She explores “minor feelings” of shame, suspicion, and melancholy that come from the conflict of American optimism and racial identity.
The planets may cause some inner turmoil for Scorpios in February. Your desire for action and progress is at odds with your preference for careful decision making. Roadblocks may spark your temper this month, causing you to lash out at people you love. Channel your frustrations through meditation or exercise, and celebrate small successes to avoid feelings of inadequacy. Check out true crime like Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country (February 25, Random House) by Sierra Crane Murdoch. In 2012, a young oil worker went missing on an Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Lissa Yellow Bird, an Arikara woman recently released from prison, heard of the man’s disappearance and obsessively searched for clues to what happened.
Life will come at Sagittarius fast this month, and you’ve got the energy to match it step for step. Work challenges? No problem! Family drama? You’ll handle it. New love interest? You’re all in. A positive attitude makes anything possible in February. Some of that energy will also turn out to be lucrative. Make sure to save the money you make this month, and avoid risky financial choices. Read The Antidote for Everything (February 20, Berkley) by Kimmery Martin. Best friends Georgia and Jonah are physicians at a South Carolina hospital. When employees of the hospital are instructed to stop providing care for transgender patients, Georgia and Jonah know that they can’t let a discriminatory rule keep them from caring for patients in need. But pushing back may cost them more than just their jobs.
You’ve got some messy emotions this month, Capricorn. As an earth sign, you like to keep your feelings tidy and compartmentalized, but that’s not always as easy as it seems. And with Mercury retrograde mucking up personal communication, misunderstandings abound. Avoid jumping to conclusions and take time to analyze your own emotional state before burning bridges. Check out Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who’s Been There (February 18, Dial Press) by Tara Schuster. Schuster is a successful TV executive whose path to adulthood included anxiety, depression, and shame. After learning to “reparent” herself, she discovered the power of self-love, and she’s ready to share her no-nonsense tips to help you be kinder to yourself.
Happy Birthday! Aquarius is in for a passionate February. Your love life is on fire, and your charisma is off the charts. It’s a great time to meet new people and start a new passion project. Complications may arise at work or within your family, but you can overcome any obstacle with your positive attitude this month. If others try to cramp your style, lend them a little of your cheer. I recommend Upright Women Wanted (February 4, Tor.com) by Sarah Gailey. When Esther’s father tries to arrange a marriage between her and a man previously engaged to her best friend, she know she must escape his control. She stows away with the Librarians, a group of rebellious queer spies known to help women escape the dangers of a fascist government.
You’re ready to take a leap this month, Pisces. Things have been moving a little too slowly for your taste lately, and you’re tired of standing still. Quick decisions could go either way in February. You may be able to snag a big opportunity, but you may also find disappoint in snap judgments. Consider what you stand to lose before diving into the deep end, just in case. You might enjoy Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (February 4, Random House) by Deepa Anappara. Nine-year-old Jai lives at the end of a metro line in a sprawling Indian city. When children in his neighborhood go missing and the authorities look the other way, Jai decides he must be the one to investigate. Could the circling rumors of soul-snatching djinns be true?