July 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 July 2023 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations! Can you believe the year is already halfway over? Now is an excellent time to take stock of how 2023 is treating you so far and what you’d like to prioritize for the six months ahead. It’s also a great time to pick up an excellent new book. But which one will best entertain and enlighten you? Let the planets be your guide! Check out your horoscope for the month ahead, paired with a new July book you’re destined to love.

Speaking of love, romance and passion will be unusual for all of us in the coming months. Venus enters retrograde on July 22 and will stay that way through September 3. Retrogrades generally signify a time of introspection, of reflecting on how your past is impacting your present and what you might want from your future. In Venus, the planet of love, attraction, and connection, this retrograde will bring past relationships back to haunt you, or at least to teach you some lessons. This Venus retrograde is occurring in Leo, a sign associated with self-confidence, creativity, and leadership, which makes it a great time to focus on loving yourself and letting that guide your romantic decisions.

July 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)

Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno Garcia book cover

Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (July 18, Del Rey)

Feeling restless, Aries? You hate standing still, and life has been a little stagnant lately for your taste. July finds you looking to make a big move. A new job, relationship, or travel opportunity lies ahead. Your love life is particularly exciting this month. But don’t take a leap just for the sake of breaking up the boredom. Any changes you make now will have long-term implications. You should read Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Montserrat is fighting her way to the top as a sound editor in the heavily male film industry of 1990s Mexico City. When her former soap opera star best friend Tristán discovers his next-door neighbor is a horror film director with a cult following, they both get a big opportunity to help the director complete a famously unfinished film. But first, they’ll have to break a long-standing curse placed on the movie by Nazis, one that changes everything Montserrat and Tristán think they know about film and the occult.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

cover of The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei; multicolored swirl pattern over a starry black sky

The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei (July 18, Flatiron Books)

Enjoy your moment in the sun, Taurus. The planets are clearing the way for a lot of personal growth for you in July. Many aspects of your life are moving in a positive direction. Your support network wants to recognize your achievements, so make time to celebrate wins with the people you love. Avoid letting little frustrations bring down your mood, and you’ll be in for a great month. I recommend The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei. As Earth falls to environmental disasters, a spaceship takes off with the only hope of humanity’s future: 80 carefully selected young people meant to build the next generation. But when a bomb goes off onboard, killing three and shifting the spaceship’s path, Asuka is the only surviving witness of the accident and soon finds herself suspected of causing the explosion. If she wants to clear her name and save the future of humanity, Asuka must find out who’s really sabotaging their mission.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

cover of The Splinter in the Sky by Kemi Ashing-Giwa; illustration of a Black person standing on front of floating shapes in the sky

The Splinter in the Sky by Kemi Ashing-Giwa (July 11, Saga Press)

Feeling scattered, Gemini? You’re sometimes accused of being a flip-flopper, and that bad habit might get the best of you this month. Big decisions will cause you a lot of stress; even small decisions can leave you feeling torn. It’s okay to consider your options, especially if you communicate your need for more time. Finances are risky in July, so when it comes to money, play it safe. Read The Splinter in the Sky by Kemi Ashing-Giwa. Enitan has largely ignored the political turmoil in her nation, instead focusing on growing her new tea-selling business. But when her lover is murdered and her sibling is taken hostage, Enitan can no longer stay on the sidelines. She becomes an assassin and spy, determined to save her sibling and get revenge, and she might just change the future of her homeland along the way.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

cover of In the Case of Heartbreak

In the Case of Heartbreak by Courtney Kae (July 25, Kensington)

You’re up for the challenge, Cancer. July won’t necessarily be an easy month for you, but you’ve got the energy and confidence to handle whatever is thrown your way. Problem-solving is your superpower right now. Your romantic life may be tumultuous thanks to Venus retrograde, but you’ll come out on the other side more sure of what you want and what you have to offer in love. Your perfect July read is In the Case of Heartbreak by Courtney Kae. Ben’s family cinnamon roll recipe has been a favorite of customers at his café for years, and he’s ready to expand their reach through a reality TV competition. Then his crush Adam, a musician Ben’s known since childhood, snubs him on camera. Ben hides his humiliation at his grandmother’s mansion while helping her prepare for her 80th birthday. But Ben’s grandmother hires Adam’s band to play the party, so Ben can’t avoid confronting his heartbreak for long.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

cover of The Sunset Crowd

The Sunset Crowd by Karin Tanabe (July 4, St. Martin’s Press)

All eyes are on you, Leo. You’ve been making big moves lately, and everyone wants to know where you’re headed next. That gives you a lot of power at work and in social situations to lead the group toward your goals. Think carefully about how you use your influence in July. It’s a fortuitous month for travel, so if you’re feeling stuck, you may find the answer you seek away from home. Check out The Sunset Crowd by Karin Tanabe. Set in the glamorous party scene of 1970s Hollywood, it follows three women’s intersecting lives through moments of desire, betrayal, and great ambition. Evra, a daughter of Hollywood royalty, is building her own fashion brand. Theodora works behind the movie scenes and is hungry for her producer debut. Bea is an aspiring photographer from a wealthy family, and she’s been secretly dreaming of Evra’s boyfriend since childhood. While all making waves in the L.A. social scene, they’re set on a collision course that’s sure to make a big splash.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

cover of Random Acts of Medicine

Random Acts of Medicine: The Hidden Forces That Sway Doctors, Impact Patients, and Shape Our Health by Anupam B. Jena, Ph.D., and Christopher Worsham, M.D. (July 11, Doubleday)

You’ve got this, Virgo. A lot of responsibilities are falling on your shoulders right now, and the pressure may take a toll on your self-confidence. But if anyone is capable of keeping all the plates spinning, it’s you. Know your strengths, ask for help in your weak spots, and take time to relax when you can. Your finances are especially strong this month, so treat yourself to something nice. Read Random Acts of Medicine by Harvard medical school professor Anupam B. Jena and critical care doctor and health policy expert Christopher Worsham. How does your birth month impact your lifelong health? Do your doctor’s political beliefs impact your care? Why do marathons impact the health of everyone in town, not just the runners? Luck and chance play a much bigger role in the field of medicine than we might expect. In this book, Jena and Worsham explore some of the ways our health is impacted by surprising outside forces, written in an accessible way for readers of all scientific backgrounds.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

cover of Life on Other Planets

Life on Other Planets: A Memoir of Finding My Place in the Universe by Aomawa Shields, PhD (July 11, Viking)

The whole world is cheering you on, Libra. You’ve learned a lot in the past few months, and all that experience is about to be put to the test. Your friends, family, and colleagues want to see you succeed. But you’ll have better odds if you focus on your own expectations instead of theirs. In love, fight for what you really want, not what society tells you to want. You should read Life on Other Planets by Aomawa Shields. Always fascinated by space, Shields was in the first year of her astrophysics PhD program when a white male professor told her that she would never make it in the field as a young Black woman. She spent 10 years working as a professional actor before regaining the courage to pursue her dream. In this memoir, Shields shares her journey of becoming an astronomer and astrobiologist, creating her own path despite being the oldest student and only Black person in her PhD cohort, and why she dreams of life elsewhere in our universe.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

cover of Goodbye Earl by Leesa Cross-Smith

Goodbye Earl by Leesa Cross-Smith (July 3, Grand Central)

Think two steps ahead, Scorpio. Situations are not as simple as they may seem in July. Your gift for strategic thinking and playing the long game will come in handy. It can also help you get a promotion or a new position in your career. Money matters will be the source of disagreement among family members. You may be asked to take sides. Look for unexpected ways to reach a compromise. I recommend Goodbye Earl by Leesa Cross-Smith, a novel inspired by the iconic song of the same name by The Chicks. Four friends were having the perfect summer after high school graduation, until Kasey swiftly moved away without explanation and lost touch. Fifteen years later, Kasey’s back in town for a wedding, and the friends are finally reconnecting. But when Kasey notices one of her friends is in a dangerous situation that seems far too familiar, she’ll do anything to protect her.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

The Sea Elephants Book Cover

The Sea Elephants by Shastri Akella (July 11, Flatiron Books)

Follow through on your commitments, Sagittarius. You’re itching to leave your boring to-do list behind and set off on a new adventure. But the planets are weighing you down with unavoidable responsibilities in July. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun this month! Travel can be highly rewarding, especially if it helps you reach your goals. Romance might also be a source of excitement. Check out The Sea Elephants by Shastri Akella. As a queer teen in 1990s India, Shagun has a troubled relationship with his parents, especially with his dad who threatens to send him to conversion therapy. After a terrible tragedy, Shagun runs away to boarding school, and then again to a traveling storytelling troupe that performs scenes inspired by Hindu myths, where he finds a surprising sense of community and space to explore all sides of himself.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Cover of To Have and To Heist

To Have and to Heist by Sara Desai (July 18, Berkley)

You’ve got friends in high places, Capricorn. There are bumps in the road ahead, especially in travel and finances. But you know just who to call when facing a challenge. Not only will asking for help allow you to reach your goals; it will also raise your spirits. Your loved ones can bring you lots of joy in July. Spend quality time together, and those good vibes will get you through the tough stuff. This month, read To Have and to Heist by Sara Desai. Everything has been going wrong in Simi’s life. Most recently, her best friend was accused of stealing a diamond necklace worth millions. Just as she’s trying to figure out how to prove her friend’s innocence, Simi runs into a hot, charming guy named Jack with a talent for locks, and a plan falls together. While coordinating a wedding between two mobster families, Simi and a highly unusual heist team will have to find the missing necklace and clear her friend’s name, all before they cut the cake.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

cover of The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt

The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt (July 4, Ecco Press)

Let your voice be heard, Aquarius. You often march to the beat of your own drum, and you’re used to being misunderstood for it. In July, a lack of clarity can lead to disagreements at home, among friends, and at work. Make sure the people who matter to you see things from your perspective. Thanks to Venus retrograde, you may need to take a romantic break to consider what you really want. Read The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt. Retired librarian Bob Comet has shaped his entire life around the stories of others. When he encounters a lost woman and helps her find her way back to the senior center where she lives, Bob decides volunteering at the center can help fill his quiet days. But as he gets to know the residents and builds an unexpected community, Bob delves into his own past and discovers he might have his own story to share.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

cover of I Wish We Weren't Related

I Wish We Weren’t Related by Radhika Sanghani (July 11, Berkley)

Focus on what you can control, Pisces. A lot is out of your hands in July. Other people around you have taken the wheel, and you’re feeling a little helpless. There’s plenty you can do to move toward your goals and find joy this month. It just may require you to try tools outside of your usual toolbox. You’ll feel most yourself when spending time with family, including chosen family. You should read I Wish We Weren’t Related by Radhika Sanghani. Reeva hasn’t spoken to her two sisters since an argument over a boyfriend tore them apart. But they’re going to have to face each other again because their family has even bigger drama now. Their Bollywood star mom just informed them that their dad hasn’t been dead for the past 30 years, as they’ve believed for their whole lives, but actually just died. And his dying wish was that his three daughters be present for his fortnight-long funeral prayers. Reeva’s begrudging attendance might show her a whole new side of the family she thought she knew.

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