Welcome to Book Riot’s January 2023 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations! Perhaps you’ve set a lofty reading goal for the year. Well, we’re here to help you start your bookish year with a bang. Check out your horoscope for an idea of what’s ahead this month, along with a recommendation for a new or upcoming book perfect for your sign.
Retrograde: It’s not just for Mercury! All planets go into retrograde from time to time, and it’s not always a bad thing. Retrogrades are more of a time to slow down and reflect on the area of your life that planet represents. That’s going to be important in January, as we’re entering the new year with three planets in retrograde. The dreaded Mercury retrograde started on December 29 and will continue through January 18. That means you may experience some slowdown and frustrations in communication, technology, and travel. Mars, the planet ruling action, ambition, and aggression, has been in retrograde since late October and will station direct on January 12, making it easier to make moves toward your goals. And Uranus, which rules innovation and rebellion, has spent five months in retrograde, putting a wrench in how you handle change. That will end on January 22. So while 2023 may have a bit of a slow start, things will be back in forward motion by the end of the month.
January 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)
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni (Jan. 31, Berkley Books)
The planets are on your side, Aries. New endeavors are popular in January for all signs, but you’re in particular luck. As Jupiter enters Aries for the next five months, you’ve got an optimistic outlook and are primed for personal growth. Your love life is especially pleasant right now, and there’s lots of fun to be found in romantic escapades. Travel may be complicated by Mercury retrograde. I recommend Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni. When Nar’s tech bro boyfriend proposes, she realizes she’s been looking for love in the wrong places. Her mother excitedly plans a month-long search for Nar to find love and her cultural roots in Armenia. But instead of falling for the guys her mom lines up for her to meet, Nar falls for her wingwoman Erebuni. Nar isn’t out as bisexual to her family, but with Erebuni by her side, she’s ready to proudly embrace her true self.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita (Jan. 10, Berkley Books)
Don’t ignore red flags, Taurus. Uranus retrograde has you dragging your feet on big decisions and life moves. It’s okay to take time to weigh pros and cons. But not making a decision is a decision in itself, and one that could hurt you. Your path forward will become clear in the second half of the month. If you’re stuck, travel may be what’s necessary to find answers. You should read City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita. The small town of Point Mettier, Alaska, is so frozen and remote that it can only be accessed by one tunnel, and the entire town lives and works in the same high rise building. So when Anchorage investigator Cara Kennedy is called in after a severed hand and foot wash up on Point Mettier’s shore, she knows it’s a unique case. Things get even more complicated when a blizzard blocks the tunnel out of town, trapping Cara with the town’s 205 residents — one of whom is possibly a murderer.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
The Love You Save: A Memoir by Goldie Taylor (Jan. 31, Hanover Square Press)
Feeling stuck in your head, Gemini? As the new year begins, you find yourself more focused on the past than what’s ahead. Your introspection can cause frustrations in relationships and at work. Others may not understand why you struggle to hit the ground running in January. But your reflections will pay off in the months ahead, so ask your loved ones and colleagues for patience. Check out The Love You Save by journalist and human rights activist Goldie Taylor. Taylor grew up amidst abuse and neglect in East St. Louis. But during her traumatic childhood, she found comfort and her own voice through books. Authors like Toni Morrison and James Baldwin helped her find hope and a path to a better future.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer (Jan. 31, Berkley Books)
Get back to your roots, Cancer. January calls on you to find comfort in the people and activities you’ve loved the longest. Family time will be joyful, as well as enlightening for solving any problems lingering from last year. Your creativity is abundant this month. Returning to forgotten hobbies can bring full-circle realizations. Frustrations may lie ahead in your love life, though. I recommend River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer. When Barbados’s 1834 Emancipation Act is announced to the enslaved people at the Providence plantation, it seems like cause for celebration. But they quickly realize it’s being replaced with “apprenticeships” that are no different, and they still aren’t allowed to leave. Rachel runs away, determined to track down the five children that were taken and sold throughout her life.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
The Fraud Squad by Kyla Zhao (Jan. 17, Berkley Books)
Ready for a fast-paced month, Leo? Big things are ahead for you, from travel opportunities to exciting career prospects to new courses of study. Your goals for the year are likely off to a quick start. But beware of getting so wrapped up in your own momentum that you miss what’s going on with your loved ones. Family life may be stressful if you don’t give it the attention it needs. You should read The Fraud Squad by Kyla Zhao. Samantha Song grew up in a working class family, but she’s always dreamed of a posh lifestyle and writing for a high society magazine. Luckily, she finds two friends willing to help her position herself as a socialite: Anya, her wealthy coworker, and Timothy, the jaded son of an elite Singapore family. But faking her way into the circles of the rich and famous is harder than Samantha expects, especially with a gossip columnist digging for juicy secrets.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
The Villa by Rachel Hawkins (Jan. 3, St. Martin’s Press)
You’ve got a fresh slate, Virgo. There’s nothing more thrilling to you than a brand new planner and a chance to start over. Learning opportunities abound in January, so open yourself to new ways of approaching old problems. In love, follow your instincts. Great things might be ahead, but only if you trust your gut. Conflict with coworkers can make work difficult, so avoid ruffling feathers. Check out The Villa by Rachel Hawkins. Childhood best friends Emily and Chess are looking to reconnect over a stay at a swanky Italian villa. Emily, an author, becomes fascinated by a 1970s summer at the very same villa that led to a best-selling horror novel, famous music album, and a murder. As Emily investigates the villa’s secrets, long-brewing tensions between Emily and Chess surface as well.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
As You Walk On By by Julian Winters (Jan. 17, Viking Books for Young Readers)
You’re a peacemaker, Libra. Finding common ground among opposing parties is one of your super powers, and January requires you to put it into action. Mercury retrograde comes with many communication and travel snafus. If you keep a level head and find solutions, you’ll be rewarded. Just don’t let your family feel neglected while you focus on others’ problems. This month, read As You Walk On By by Julian Winters. Seventeen-year-old Theo feels brave when his best friend dares him to ask his crush to prom in the middle of a big house party. But then he gets publicly turned down, and he hides in an upstairs bedroom while panicking about his true self and future. But he isn’t alone for long, as other partygoers join him one by one to be the true selves they don’t feel they can show outside of the room. Soon, they’ve started a genuine, accepting party-within-a-party where new friendships and crushes are forged.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff (Jan. 17, Ballantine Books)
It’s time to get creative, Scorpio. The planets will throw many roadblocks into your path this month. Your success depends on how you choose to get around them. Your regular tactics may not be enough to keep you on track. Look to family members or trusted colleagues for advice, or try something new. Finances are especially tricky, so avoid new or risky investments and spend wisely. I recommend The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff. Geeta’s husband went missing five years ago, and local gossip says Geeta murdered him herself. But there’s an upside to the situation: Geeta has more freedom to run her jewelry business, and few people are brave enough to cross her. When women in town start asking Geeta to help them off their own abusive husbands, she must decide how far she’s willing to go to keep her reputation.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Windfall: The Prairie Woman Who Lost Her Way and the Great-Granddaughter Who Found Her by Erika Bolstad (Jan. 17, Sourcebooks)
You’ve got a winning attitude, Sagittarius. Planetary retrogrades may mean nothing is going to plan, but your positive outlook in January will take you far. Good health and high energy will put you ahead of your competition. Romance is in the air and new relationships may be formed, as long as you don’t misrepresent yourself to new partners. Beware of travel disappointments. Check out Windfall by Erika Bolstad. As Bolstad’s mother neared death, she told her daughter that they had inherited the mineral rights to a patch of land in the North Dakota prairies, one that was highly desirable to oil companies. Bolstad knew only that this land once belonged to her homesteading great-grandmother, whose husband mysteriously sent her to an asylum she never escaped. With a background in writing about fossil fuels and climate change, Bolstad set off to North Dakota to learn more about her family’s history and how the oil industry continues to impact the American West.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor (Jan. 3, Riverhead)
Are you feeling boxed in, Capricorn? The year is getting off to far too slow of a start for your taste. And unfortunately, the planetary positions aren’t giving you much power to change things. Bringing your frustrations home can only make for conflict with your family or partner. A little introspection now will make it easier to get things moving in a few weeks. You’ll be back on track soon. You should read Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor. In contemporary Delhi, the powerful Wadia family always gets what they want, sometimes through nefarious means. We meet the Wadia family at the scene of a car crash, where the family’s Mercedes crashes into a sidewalk and kills five people. But when the chaos settles, none of the Wadias are present; just a servant who can’t explain how this tragedy happened.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
The Daughters of Izdihar by Hadeer Elsbai (Jan. 10, Harper Voyager)
Share your vision, Aquarius. Your creativity is off the charts this month. That will prove very useful, especially when Uranus stations direct on the 22nd and makes way for big changes. But you can’t innovate alone. Build a team of trusted partners and communicate your ideas clearly. Travel is an important part of your journey in January, so look for answers to your problems on the road. I recommend The Daughters of Izdihar by Hadeer Elsbai. Nehal wants nothing more than to hone her waterweaving abilities and join the first all-women military regiment, but instead her family is marrying her off to an aristocrat to solve their own money woes. And Nehal’s husband seems to only have eyes for a poor bookseller named Giorgina. Giorgina has her own secrets too: she’s an earthweaver and part of radical women’s rights group. As Nehal and Giorgina’s paths intersect, they find they have much to offer each other.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Independence by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Jan. 17, William Morrow & Company)
Say what you mean, Pisces. Your people pleasing tendencies can keep you from being fully honest about things that matter. Mercury retrograde will ensure any confusion is amplified, so there’s no room for polite subtlety. Extra clarity will be surprisingly helpful in financial dealings. It can also help a romantic relationship take a big step forward. If you’re feeling drained, recharge with family. Read Independence by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Three sisters find love and safety at home amidst a violent political revolution in 1940s Bengal. But when their physician father is killed during a riot, they can no longer avoid the changes happening in the partition of British India. As they move toward their futures on different paths, they wonder if it’s possible to keep their family safe and together.
Thanks for joining us for your January 2023 horoscopes and book recommendations! Looking for more books you’ll love based on your sign? Check out your October, November, and December horoscopes and book recommendations!