Welcome to Book Riot’s February 2021 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations! It may be the shortest month of the year, but it’s still action-packed with buzzy new book releases. Find your February horoscope below, paired with a newly released book you’re sure to love.
BE YE WARNED: Mercury will be in retrograde through February 20, with the post-retrograde shadow lasting through the end of the month. That means there’s trouble ahead for all signs in the zodiac when it comes to communication, travel, and technology. As I always say, the best way to stay safe from Mercury retrograde (and COVID-19!) is staying home with a good book.
Aries (March 21–April 19)
This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith (February 2, Grand Central Publishing)
Your friends are your lifeline this month, Aries. When Mercury retrograde foils your plans, you’ll need help to set things right. Luckily, you’re great at building relationships and have a strong social circle. With a little support, February may be the perfect time to start a meaningful new project. Close colleagues at work will be crucial when miscommunications cause office drama. You should read This Close to Okay by Leesa-Cross Smith. When therapist Tallie sees a man standing on the edge of a bridge, she saves his life by convincing him to come to her apartment for coffee instead. The emotional weekend that follows provides healing for the stranger-turned-friend, but also healing that Tallie didn’t realize she needed.
Taurus (April 20–May 20)
Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad (February 9, Random House)
Don’t rely on quick fixes this month, Taurus. February will present challenges at home and at work. Instead of trying to brush them aside, consider the long term consequences of your actions. Don’t patch a problem when you can get to the root of it. It’s also a crucial time for education and personal growth. Learning something new now could make a big difference in the year ahead. Check out Between Two Kingdoms by award-winning New York Times journalist Suleika Jaouad. Jaouad’s dream of being a war correspondent were derailed by a leukemia diagnosis that led to four years in a cancer ward. Once she was declared cancer free, she learned that the end of a fight against cancer was only the beginning of the healing process.
Gemini (May 21–June 20)
Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz (February 2, Grove/Atlantic)
Geminis must focus on self care in February. Difficult times are ahead for work, finances, and family. This could take a toll on your physical and emotional health. Don’t push yourself to the limit. That signature Gemini charm will be the key to solving your problems. You know how people work; use that to your advantage. Avoid travel if possible, as Mercury retrograde may affect your plans. I recommend Milk Blood Heat, a debut short story collection by Dantiel W. Moniz. These dark, emotional stories show a variety of characters at critical moments in their lives. Moniz focuses particularly on the crossroads of girlhood, and her stories refuse to provide neat, tidy endings.
Cancer (June 21–July 22)
I Am the Rage by Martina McGowan, MD (February 1, Sourcebooks)
Cancers will struggle to accept change in February. You tend toward the sentimental, making it hard for you to let things (and people) go when they no longer serve your best interests. But clinging to the past won’t do you any favors this month. You have big life changes ahead, and they aren’t necessarily bad. Look to family as you move forward; they can help you recognize what matters. Read I Am the Rage, a powerful new poetry collection on racism in America by Dr. Martina McGowan. Just like the title, Dr. McGowan does not hold back her rage and fire for justice. Covering topics like police brutality, institutional racism, and Black motherhood, these poems pack a punch.
Leo (July 23–August 22)
Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon (February 2, St. Martin’s Griffin)
You’re surrounded by love this month, Leo. Romantic relationships, both new and old, are brimming with passion. Time spent with family and friends will lead to lasting memories. You’ve gained the admiration of your colleagues, which will help you weather any storm at work. Money matters, however, may be challenging in February. Spend wisely and avoid risky financial moves. You may enjoy Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon. After ending a summer fling, Annika and Hudson find themselves together again as dueling app developers. Annika’s app Make Up coaches couples through fights to avoid breaking up, while Hudson’s app Break Up is designed to end relationships quickly and easily. It seems they have nothing in common, but as their companies and personalities clash, they both learn something new about true love.
Virgo (August 23–September 22)
Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh (February 23, Berkley)
Virgos should look before they leap in February. With Mercury in retrograde, things may not be what they seem. Before you make a big decision, consider all alternatives. Careful research and educational pursuits may be more rewarding than starting on a new path. Disagreements among family may also cause headaches. Joy can be found in time spent with dear friends or romantic interests. Check out Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh. Aarav’s socialite mother disappeared a decade ago, along with a quarter of a million dollars in cash. Everyone assumed she was an unhappy housewife leaving her family behind. But when her body turns up in the lush New Zealand forest, it’s clear something far more sinister happened that night ten years ago, and Aarav is determined to find out what.
Libra (September 23–October 22)
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers (February 23, Park Row Books)
Libras have romance on the brain this month. You’re feeling flirtatious, and that will have a positive effect on the weeks ahead. Your love life is full of passion and excitement in February. But your charming nature may also help you win over decision makers in other pursuits. Big career goals are within reach. Mercury retrograde may complicate travel plans, so stay close to home. I recommend Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. Grace has always been a disciplined over-achiever, as evidenced by her new PhD in Astronomy. That’s why she’s surprised by her own actions at a drunken girls’ trip to Vegas that end with her married to a woman she doesn’t know. Struggling to figure out the next move in her career, she spends a summer in New York with her new wife and learns to embrace the unexpected.
Scorpio (October 23–November 21)
Let’s Get Back to the Party by Zak Salih (February 16, Algonquin Books)
You can’t always get what you want, Scorpio. That’s a reality you’ll have to accept in February, as challenges abound in your personal and professional life. Put aside your own aspirations and focus on collaborating toward team goals. Pushing your interests will not only prove useless; it may also take a toll on your health. Be protective of your schedule and plan for restorative alone time. You might enjoy Let’s Get Back to the Party by Zak Salih. Two former childhood friends living in D.C. grapple with what it means to be a gay man in a changing society. Both are lonely; one’s loneliness leads him to drown in sadness, while the other’s turns to rage.
Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee (February 16, One World)
Sagittarius is ruled by logic in February. Professional problems are better solved with careful analysis than hard work this month. Friends may look to you for your thoughtful perspective. Even romantic relationships will be more intellectually stimulating than physically passionate. But don’t let your head get the best of your heart; compassion is key during time spent with loved ones. Check out The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee, a political commentator who specializes in the American economy. In this book, McGhee explores how racism is at the root of most of America’s economic, infrastructural, and other public problems. Her writing criticizes the paradigm that progress for some comes at the expense of others, instead arguing that racism has a cost for everyone, not just people of color.
Capricorn (December 22–January 19)
We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman (February 9, Random House)
You’re looking for good vibes this month, Capricorn. If it doesn’t feel good, why do it, right? While that philosophy may lead to some fun in your love life, it could also cause some frustrations. Excess spending may lead to money troubles in February, as could disrupted travel plans. But your upbeat attitude will help you solve any problem at work and gain your colleagues’ respect. Read We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman. After finding herself at the center of a public scandal, young playwright Cass leaves New York to reinvent herself in Los Angeles. She is quickly drawn in by filmmaker Caroline, who is working with a cast of teen girls on a semi-documentary about a real-life female fight club. But as Cass grows concerned about Caroline manipulating the teens, she wonders if she’s gone too far in pursuit of fame.
Aquarius (January 20–February 18)
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey (February 16, Tor Books)
Watch your words, Aquarius. Mercury retrograde makes February ripe for misunderstandings, which could lead to conflict among your family and social circles. Challenges at work are made even worse by clashing personalities. You already struggle to express yourself clearly, and that’s a big liability this month. Don’t assume what others are thinking; take the time to talk it out. You might enjoy The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. Evelyn has won awards for her research on advanced cloning techniques. But when she learns her husband stole her research and used it to make an obedient, “more perfect” clone of her, she’s furious. Even worse, Evelyn and her clone must team up to hide potentially life-changing secrets.
Pisces (February 19–March 20)
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (February 2, St. Martin’s Press)
Pisces suffers from a wealth of choices this month. Many potential paths present themselves in February. This may cause some anxiety, as you can’t please everyone. Family members may grow frustrated if you ignore their advice, but remember that you control your destiny. Single Pisces may be pursued by multiple love interests in February. Enjoy the attention and avoid hasty decisions. Check out The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. Set against the harsh backdrop of a Texas drought during the Great Depression, it follows farm owner and mother of two Elsa, who must decide if she should wait out the drought on her family’s farm or try her luck out West. The Four Winds is a powerful tale of heroism in hardship, hope, and the American Dream.