Welcome to Book Riot’s May 2021 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations! May brings summer sun and a heaping helping of new summer reads. Which to choose? Look to the stars! Find your May horoscope below, paired with a newly released book you’re sure to love.
Of note for all signs is the total lunar eclipse on May 26. Lunar eclipses tend to mark a moment of emotional epiphany, a metaphorical (and literal) alignment that may lead to big life changes. So strap in for that fun time toward the end of the month!
Aries (March 21–April 19)
Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir by Brian Broome (May 18, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
You have a polarizing month ahead, Aries. May will find you feeling creative and motivated, but with no place to go. Things are stalled at work, and you hate feeling stagnant. Channel your imagination into artistic projects or hobbies. Family time is full of disagreement, but also provides a chance to repair a bad relationship. In romance, things will look up after the 20th. Check out Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome. This moving literary memoir follows Broome as he comes of age in small town Ohio while Black, gay, and poor. It takes the form of essays, connected by scenes from a bus ride where Broome encounters strangers who remind him of different points in his life. It’s beautifully written, poignant, and full of hope for future generations.
Taurus (April 20–May 20)
Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick (May 25, Berkley Books)
Looking for love, Taurus? If so, you may just find it in May. Romance is fortuitous this month for long term relationships and for new love, especially if you’re open to surprises. But your passion and energy extend beyond relationships, as well. You may fall in love with a new place or pastime, or find appreciation for new artistic works. But money is tight, so keep your romance on a budget. Read Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick. Now that she’s in her mid-20s, Hara Wilson thought she’d dealt with the complicated emotions of being a Korean adopted by white parents. But when her father dies unexpectedly, she’s thrown into an identity crisis tailspin that leads her on a trip to Seoul. What follows is a K-drama-worthy romance that provides answers to questions Hara didn’t know she had.
Gemini (May 21–June 20)
Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon (May 4, MCD Books)
May starts off a little rocky for Gemini. The combination of work and money stress has you in a salty mood, and it’s hard to leave that behind during time with loved ones. Your usually strong communication skills may fail you, leading to confusion and frustration. Good times can be found in new experiences, the more unusual, the better. Get out of your comfort zone and things will improve. I recommend Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon. Life in a religious cult is all Vern has ever known. Now 15 and pregnant with twins by the abusive cult leader, Vern escapes to the woods to raise her babies off the grid. But when the cult refuses to let them go, she learns she has more strength to protect them than seems humanly possible.
Cancer (June 21–July 22)
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala (May 4, Berkley Books)
May forces Cancer to choose between career and family. It’s usually an easy decision for you — family all the way — but family time may be full of conflict, and your job is especially rewarding this month. Only you know which to prioritize at this time. In either case, your high energy will help you complete any task. Small projects at home may prove fruitful and restorative. You should read Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala. Lila Macapagal has her hands full after moving home to help save her Tita Rosie’s failing family restaurant. When her ex, a harsh food critic, dies shortly after a run-in with Lila, she finds herself as the primary suspect. Against her better judgment, Lila knows she must take on the case herself if she wants to clear her name.
Leo (July 23–August 22)
Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick (May 25, Berkley Books)
Think before you leap, Leo. A positive attitude plus a slew of new opportunities could lead you to some impulsive decisions in May. Sure, plenty of good things may come from quick moves. But some may also lead to regrets later this year. Ask trusted advisors if you’re on the fence. Distractions hamper your love life, but things will turn around after the lunar eclipse on the 26th. Check out Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick. When event planner Carter meets openly gay Prince of Wales Edgar while running a United Nations event, it’s the perfect fairytale love story. But once the media finds out and Carter is faced with the realities of dating the future king, he realizes their fairytale love may be more complicated than he thought.
Virgo (August 23–September 22)
The Renunciations by Donika Kelly (May 4, Graywolf Press)
Be kind to yourself in May, Virgo. Family stress and disappointments at work may take a toll on your mood. Even your best laid plans are foiled by things outside of your control. But all is not lost; it’s a great month for personal growth and learning something new. Reflective alone time will be especially restorative. And your love life will be blissful, as long as you can leave work stress at the door. Read The Renunciations by Donika Kelly. This poetry collection is a powerful ode to resilience and drawing boundaries of the self while recovering from trauma. It’s heartbreaking, but also brings hope in the form of healing remembrance.
Libra (September 23–October 22)
The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel (May 4, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
You can’t have it all this month, Libra. As much as you love balance, some months force your focus to one area of your life. In May, work is stagnant no matter how hard you push toward your goals. Focus instead on enjoying time with loved ones and on spoiling your love interest. Artistic expression will be a balm for your soul in May, so make time for creative projects. You should read The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel. In this graphic memoir, Bechdel recounts her life through six decades of fitness fads. It’s a fun and engaging way to approach her life story, but even more, Bechdel explores how various exercise methods served as a way for her to explore her mind-body connection and her place in the universe.
Scorpio (October 23–November 21)
The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak by Grace Lau (May 1, Guernica Editions)
Scorpios are full of surprises in May. Changes abound in your life, and instead of fighting them, you’re using them to your advantage. At work, your ability to think on your feet will impress your colleagues. Spontaneity with loved ones will make for memorable adventures. And trying something new in your love life may be revolutionary. Money is tight, so get creative with what you’ve got. I recommend The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak, a debut poetry collection by Grace Lau. Lau’s poems explore the many identities a body can contain, while also wrestling with topics like capitalism, immigration, religion, and queerness. It’s a fresh and exciting collection that will take you on an emotional journey.
Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams (May 25, Doubleday)
I’ll be honest: You’re going to start some shit this month, Sagittarius. Perhaps you’ve been accused of rubbing people the wrong way before. You chalk it up to always being true to yourself. In May, that may get you into some fights with family, friends, and colleagues. Despite tensions, you know what’s right for you. And it’s not like you’re going to change because I warned you, so…Good luck! Read While Justice Sleeps, a political thriller by Stacey Abrams. When Supreme Court Justice Howard Wynn slips into a coma, his brilliant law clerk Avery learns he left instructions for her to be his legal guardian and power of attorney. She’s thrown into the chaos of trying to keep the judge alive, political attempts to replace him, and a controversial court case with links to a dangerous conspiracy.
Capricorn (December 22–January 19)
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee (May 4, Quill Tree Books)
Capricorns have childlike joy in May. Your curiosity and enthusiasm have you ready for a big adventure, preferably with a romantic interest. In fact, you can’t stop thinking about love, so much so that it may lead to distractions at work and with family. Enjoy the romance while you can, as the lunar eclipse on the 26th while reprioritize things and put your feet back on the ground. You should read Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee. In an effort to bring joy to trans teens like himself, Noah Ramirez started a blog where he shares imagined trans love stories. But when a troll leaks the fact that Noah’s stories are fake, the only way to win back his readers is by showing them a real partner. That’s where Drew comes in, who agrees to fake date Noah to save the blog. But as Noah falls increasingly harder for Drew, he learns that real relationships don’t look much like the ones he fabricated.
Aquarius (January 20–February 18)
The Guncle by Steven Rowley (May 25, G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
May is full of mischief for Aquarius. You’ve got a bit of a practical joker inside you, and it’s itching to come out this month. Your playful attitude can mean lots of fun for you, but it may irritate some of your loved ones. No one can stay mad at you for long, especially if you use your charm to smooth things over. Avoid risky investments this month, as karma may pay you back for all your pranks. Read The Guncle by Steven Rowley. A former gay sitcom star loves his role as Gay Uncle Patrick to his niece and nephew. But when a tragedy makes Patrick the temporary guardian of the six and nine year olds, he realizes that being the fun uncle is quite different from being a full-time caregiver. This hilarious and heartfelt story will make you laugh, cry, and want to be a better person.
Pisces (February 19–March 20)
The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live by Danielle Dreilinger (May 4, W. W. Norton)
You’ve got an action-packed month ahead, Pisces. Your work and volunteer positions will keep you on the move, and celebrations with family fill your downtime. You may face a test in May that requires extra focus. Between all of this, you’ll hardly have a minute to yourself. Without proper rest, you may be in for some health troubles, so be protective of your time for self-care. Check out The Secret History of Home Economics by Danielle Dreilinger. This feminist and fascinating exploration of the home economics movements shows how scientific improvements at home created a boom in new opportunities for women’s careers.