May 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 May 2023 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations! It’s officially beach reading season, and publishers are celebrating by releasing an ocean’s worth of great new titles in romance, mystery, fantasy, and more. With all those options, where to start? Ask the stars! Check out your horoscope for the month ahead, paired with a new book to tickle your reading fancy.

Even if all you want to do is kick back on the beach with a good book, the planets may have some other things in mind. A penumbral lunar eclipse in Scorpio on May 5 might bring up old grudges or find some folks seeking revenge for real or perceived wrongs. Mercury is in retrograde through May 15, causing general confusion and frustration for all signs, especially in communication, technology, and travel. And on May 16, Jupiter enters Taurus for the next year, shifting priorities around safety, financial security, and responsibility. If you feel a little out of sorts this month, you’re not alone! Those stressful factors make it even more important to find time for some comfort reading. If you want more than one book to add to your TBR, check out the book recommendation for your moon sign too.

May 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)

Cover of Once More with Feeling

Once More with Feeling by Elissa Sussman (May 30, Dell)

Did you forget something, Aries? May finds you feeling off kilter and looking for something to return your balance. A past project, hobby, or commitment will require your focus again. Even if it’s annoying at first, you’ll find it worth it in the end. Money may cause stress this month, especially in your home life. The key to moving forward is compromise. Your perfect read in May is Once More with Feeling by Elissa Sussman. After her career as an international pop sensation came to a screeching halt, Kathleen is ready to reinvent herself as a Broadway performer. And with her best friend workshopping a new musical with a starring role she wrote specifically for Kathleen, her dream is within reach. But when Kathleen’s childhood crush — and the man secretly at the center of the scandal that ruined her music career — is tapped as the musical’s director, can they keep their messy history in the past?

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Cover of Hula by Jasmin Iolani Hakes

Hula by Jasmin ‘Iolani Hakes (May 2, HarperVia)

Things are falling into place, Taurus. With Jupiter entering your sign for the next year, your intuition and confidence in your abilities are stronger than ever. You can see what really matters now and what needs to be left behind. You may face difficulties this month due to misunderstandings with family and co-workers. Make your motives and priorities clear. You should read Hula by Jasmin ‘Iolani Hakes. Hi’i comes from generations of legendary Hawaiians, and she dreams of carrying on the legacy by becoming the next Miss Aloha Hula. But she’s haunted by the disappearance of her mother Laka when Hi’i was just a child, and the harder she tries to hold her family and her community together, the closer they grow to falling apart. When secrets concerning Hi’i and her family come to light, her entire community is faced with an impossible decision about their future.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

cover image for The Nigerwife

The Nigerwife by Vanessa Walters (May 2, Atria)

Get to the finish line, Gemini. It’s easy for you to lose focus and move on to something new and exciting, but you’ll need to see your projects through to the end in May. People are waiting for you to prove yourself, especially at work, and your charm alone won’t be enough. If you can fulfill your promises, big celebrations are ahead. Travel is challenging this month, so have fun closer to home. Read The Nigerwife by Vanessa Walters. Nicole Oruwari reinvented herself when she married her wealthy Nigerian husband, leaving her dark family history behind in London and joining a group of glamorous, pampered society women. When Nicole goes missing during a boating trip and the police can’t find any clues, Nicole’s estranged aunt Claudine can’t let her niece’s disappearance stay unsolved. But the closer Claudine gets to finding out what happened to Nicole, the more Claudine’s own secrets are at risk of being discovered.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Cover of Atalanta by Jennifer Saint

Atalanta by Jennifer Saint (May 9, Flatiron Books)

The skies are clearing, Cancer. Your worries from earlier this year are resolving themselves, and all aspects of your life are ready to move in a positive direction. But it won’t happen without work. Take an active role in getting yourself on track to where you want to go. Focusing on your career will be rewarded and might lead to a new job opportunity, especially if you explicitly ask for what you want. Check out Atalanta by Jennifer Saint. Abandoned in the woods as an infant by parents hoping for a son, Atalanta was raised by a bear while being watched over by Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. She grew into a formidable warrior and became the only woman among the Argonauts in their search for the Golden Fleece. In this feminist reclamation of Atalanta’s mythology, we see her fighting for her place in a patriarchal world and proving herself capable beyond anyone’s dreams for her.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

Cover of The Daydreams by Laura Hankin

The Daydreams by Laura Hankin (May 2, Berkley)

Try something new, Leo. May finds you feeling stagnant in both your professional and personal life. It’s time to get out of your comfort zone. Travel can be very rewarding for you, especially in the latter half of the month. Romantic partnerships are disappointing at best and fraught with conflict at worst, but a refresh in your love life can turn things around. Your perfect May read is The Daydreams by Laura Hankin. In the early 2000s, four teens rocketed to fame in a popular musical TV drama. But by the beginning of season two, the pressures of celebrity life and messy personal relationships put a strain on the show, and the live series finale went off the rails. Fans still want answers and push the four former stars to film a reunion special. The actors have all moved on in different ways, but when they’re brought back together, can they rediscover the magic they once had while also keeping their explosive drama from resurfacing?

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Cover of Uncle of the Year

Uncle of the Year: And Other Debatable Triumphs by Andrew Rannells (May 16, Crown)

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, Virgo: you’re in for a tough month. You hate feeling like things are out of your control, and that’s the case for most areas of your life in May. A lot of changes are afoot, and your best chance at weathering them is patience and a positive attitude. Sticking to old plans in volatile circumstances will only make things worse. Let go of tactics that aren’t working for you. Read Uncle of the Year by Andrew Rannells. These essays by star of the stage and screen Andrew Rannells hilariously and endearingly explore what it means to be an adult when you don’t always feel like one. Or really, it asks, does anyone always feel like an adult? Rannells looks at the moments in his life that felt like both successes and failures, finds joy in being the fun uncle, and much more with a perfect blend of humor and heart.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Cover of Horse Barbie by Geena Rocero

Horse Barbie: A Memoir by Geena Rocero (May 30, Dial Press)

Everything is connected, Libra. May will remind you that you can’t segment parts of your life or yourself from others. Troubles in your career can bleed over into your personal life and vice versa. But that’s also true for the joys and successes this month. The planets want you to see the big picture of your life and bring your true self to each aspect, rather than separating your priorities. Check out Horse Barbie by Geena Rocero. Rocero was living her dreams as a model in New York City in the early 2000s. But her success came at the expense of living authentically. Rocero is a trans woman, and her teenage fame in trans pageants in the Philippines made every day as a model a risk of being publicly outed. In this memoir, Rocero recounts her journey from the Philippines to New York, from pageants to runways, and from hiding her true self to becoming a powerful trans advocate.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Homebodies Book Cover

Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst (May 2, Harper)

Take a deep breath, Scorpio. Stress and frustrations are getting to you. With Mercury in retrograde, none of your plans are going as expected. But the more you try to force things to go your way, the less likely they are to do so. May is the time to take a step back and adjust your perspective. What good can you find in things that seem bad? Avoid getting stuck on could-have-beens. Read Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst. Mickey’s life was finally going according to plan, and her flashy media job was bringing her dreams of being an influential writer within reach. But then she got fired. Furious enough to reveal the anti-Black racism she’d faced in her job, she posted a searing open letter online…which no one read. It isn’t until Mickey returns to her hometown and considers giving up her dream that drama in the industry brings her almost forgotten letter into the spotlight.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Yellowface cover

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang (May 16, William Morrow)

What have you learned, Sagittarius? May challenges you to show how you’ve grown in the past year. One aspect of your life will be put to the test, and even if it’s not fun, you’re ready to face it. A new acquaintance may have the guidance you need, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. In romance, perseverance is key. If you can prove yourself to your partner, a new step is ahead. This month, read Yellowface by R.F. Kuang. June Hayward and Athena Liu both embarked on promising literary careers at the same time, but Athena’s books became bestsellers while June’s grew dusty on the shelf. When Athena passes away unexpectedly, June steals her final manuscript and presents it to her editor as her own, telling herself the story deserves to be published. But when June rebrands herself as Juniper Song, the book becomes massively popular, and the truth threatens to come out, her newfound success spirals out of control.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Cover of Girls Like Girls

Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko (May 30, Wednesday Books)

Take a risk, Capricorn. Your usual tactics won’t get you anywhere in May. It’s time to try something new. Creativity at work or in educational pursuits will be highly rewarded. The planets are also pushing you to meet new people, whether as new friends, business contacts, or romantic interests. Your high energy and positive attitude this month will draw people into your circle. Check out Girls Like Girls, a YA romance by musician Hayley Kiyoko inspired by her hit song of the same name. Coley’s whole life has been shaped by losing people she loves, and after losing her mom and moving to rural Oregon, Coley’s terrified of opening her heart. But then she falls for Sonya, and even though it’s the first time she’s dated a girl, she just might find the courage she needs to truly give and receive love again.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

cover of Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby; orange with a photo of a skunk

Quietly Hostile: Essays by Samantha Irby (May 16, Vintage)

Do what feels good, Aquarius. The planets are pushing you to follow your pleasure instincts in May. This will make for some excitement in your love life. It’s also a great time to travel and find inspiration in new places. But family and colleagues might misunderstand your hedonistic focus this month and doubt your commitment. Make sure that your joy doesn’t come at the expense of others’ needs. Read Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby. Irby is one of the funniest essay writers today, and her new collection is sure to make fans and first-time readers laugh out loud. These essays run the gamut from relatable topics like her favorite chain restaurants and the misanthropic chihuahua she adopted during the pandemic to her experiences writing for the Sex and the City reboot and pitching her own TV show.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Cover of Chef's Choice by TJ Alexander

Chef’s Choice by TJ Alexander (May 30, Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

Be crystal clear, Pisces. With Mercury in retrograde, miscommunications abound, and you might feel like you’re not being accurately perceived. Speaking up for yourself and your needs can be uncomfortable for you, but it’s necessary right now. You’ll be surprised by how far it gets you in your career and in family conflict. Overcoming confusion in your love life will also lead to big progress. I recommend Chef’s Choice by TJ Alexander. Luna just happens to be hurting for cash at the exact moment Jean-Pierre is looking to pay someone to be his fake girlfriend. But their 15-minute agreement spins out into something bigger. Jean-Pierre’s grandfather, a famous chef, has challenged him to cook a nine-course formal French meal in order to earn his inheritance. Can these inexperienced cooks’ fake relationship stand the heat of the challenge?

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