Welcome to Book Riot’s January 2022 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations! New year, new you, and tons of excellent new books to check out. How to decide which book to read as you start a brand new year? Look to the stars, of course! Check out your horoscope below for a peek at the month ahead, along with a book recommendation perfect for your sign.
But first, a warning: Mercury will enter retrograde a total of four times in 2022, and the first occurrence is right around the corner. Mercury retrograde is a periodic optical illusion in which our vantage point from Earth makes it appear that the planet is moving backwards. Although Mercury is moving as normal, this phase can have some kooky astrological effects on us Earthlings. Mercury will be in retrograde from January 14 through February 3. This means you can expect your year to start with some unexpected challenges, particularly relating to things like communication, travel, and technology. Complications are most likely around the “shadow” period when Mercury enters and leaves retrograde, so be cautious and communicate clearly in the days around January 14 and February 3. As I always say, the best way to avoid Mercury retrograde chaos is by staying home with a good book!
January 2021 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Let’s Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Reshaped the World by Danielle Friedman (January 4, G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Don’t you love a fresh start, Aries? Nothing fills you with energy like a new challenge, and your New Year’s resolutions will make January a thrill for you. But as you set your goals for the year ahead, be careful of who is influencing your choices. Some of those around you don’t have your best interests at heart. It may be time to cleanse your social circle, or even move to a new place. Read Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman. From today’s workout-obsessed culture, you’d never know that a few generations ago, women were heavily discouraged from breaking a sweat. This book explores the history of women’s fitness and how it’s changed our perceptions of gender, from jogging to Jazzercise to yoga and beyond.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Joan is Okay by Weike Wang (January 18, Random House)
You’re not afraid of old-fashioned hard work, Taurus. A little elbow grease is what’s required of you in January. Professional success is ahead if you put in the effort. But your personal relationships may also benefit from putting in the work. Loved ones know that you’re a strong and reliable pillar for people you care about, but someone new may need to see it for themselves. Check out Joan is Okay by Weike Wang. Joan has always been completely comfortable being herself — a straightforward person with simple desires. But everyone else seems to want her to be someone else, like in her job as an ICU doctor, where everyone always wants more of her, and her Chinese family, who demand she fit their expectations. But when her father dies and her mother is determined to grow closer to her children, Joan is pushed from her comfort zone. And then there’s a global pandemic that will completely change every aspect of Joan’s life.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
I Came All This Way to Meet You by Jami Attenberg (January 11, Ecco Press)
Create something, Gemini. The new year finds you full of big ideas, and to bring them to fruition, you must start somewhere. Flex your creative muscles; start with reimagining the space around you. Human connection is crucial for you at this time. You set the tone for family interactions this month. A good attitude will put everyone on the right track — and it may help you meet someone important. I recommend I Came All This Way to Meet You by Jami Attenberg. As the daughter of a traveling salesman, Jami Attenberg was born to hit the road. In this memoir, she discusses how her wanderings have impacted her writing and vice versa. It’s a beautifully written, thought-provoking exploration of how one writer found her voice.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins (January 25, Carina Adores)
You’ve got growth potential, Cancer. This is the perfect time to assess what matters to you and what you can do to bring more of it into your life. Don’t be too hard on yourself during the process, or on the people you love. Take Mercury retrograde as an opportunity to be crystal clear in your intentions. Beware of financial trouble; money matters may not be as they seem. You should read D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins. Kris is striving to break through as an influencer. D’Vaughn is looking for a way to finally come out to her mom. Enter Instant I Do, a reality show where Kris and D’Vaughn can both get what they want — plus $100,000 — if they can plan an amazing wedding in just six weeks.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan (January 4, Simon Schuster)
Fight for the people you love, Leo. You’ve been called egocentric, but you’re also passionate about protecting and supporting your friends. January calls on you to put others first, even if it means missing out on a fun opportunity. Your professional life requires courage this month. Make a stand for what you believe — but watch your temper when you do. Anger could be your downfall. Check out The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan. Thanks to an unsatisfying career and a cheating husband, Frida is having a rough time. The only bright spot is her daughter Harriet, who sees Frida as perfect. But a government program on the lookout for bad mothers disagrees. One bad day could lead to Harriet being taken to a reform school while Frida is taken into custody until she proves she can be a good mother.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? By Lizzie Damilola Blackburn (January 18, Pamela Dorman Books)
Try something new, Virgo. You are very attached to your methods. But if you want different results, you have to try a different process. Look for a mentor in your career, someone who may approach a problem differently, and see what you can learn. This month is fortuitous for travel. Visiting a new place may offer a fresh perspective, but there may be more to glean from the journey. I recommend Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? By Lizzie Damilola Blackburn. Yinka has always believed that love would find her in its own time. But everyone else is tired of Yinka waiting around for love, like her Nigerian aunties who pray for her to find a partner, her coworkers who think her romantic choices are too traditional, and her friends who are pushing her to get over her ex. When her cousin gets engaged, the upcoming wedding pushes Yinka to take finding love into her own hands.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
Perpetual West by Mesha Maren (January 25, Algonquin Books)
Who is influencing you, Libra? You work hard to make the people around you feel good. But if you’re catering to the wrong people, you may find you’ve lost yourself. Start the year by thinking about who and what you prioritize. At work, a little creativity will go a long way. Your colleagues look to you for fresh ideas. Show them how you envision the future and your work may merit a big reward. Read Perpetual West by Mesha Maren. Newlyweds Alex and Elana move to El Paso, each looking for their own answers. Alex is looking to explore his Mexican roots after being adopted and raised by a white couple, and he’s finding a new interest in lucha libre. Elana has lost her passion for academia and is struggling to find her way forward. When Alex goes missing, Elana must find out if he’s been kidnapped or left of his own accord.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xóchitl González (January 4, Flatiron Books)
Make a plan, Scorpio. You know what you want from the year ahead, and figuring out how to get there is crucial. Mercury retrograde will require you to make contingency plans as well. You can tend toward the pessimistic, but a hopeful perspective can make all the difference. Your family will lean on you this month. If there are frustrations at home, look for solutions instead of who to blame. Check out Olga Dies Dreaming by Xóchitl González. From the outside, wedding planner Olga and her politician brother Prieto are doing well. But the truth is that their family is dysfunctional, and their absent, radical mother’s help is only making things worse. Olga is forced to reflect on her difficult childhood in Brooklyn.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor’s Fight for Fairness by Laura Coates (January 18, Simon Schuster)
Is your perspective shifting, Sagittarius? You rarely change your mind, but the planets are guiding you to admit where you may have been wrong in the past. The good news is that this may open a world of possibilities for you, and you love new experiences. Travel will play a role in your month. Go somewhere you’ve never visited before, and let the trip inspire your year ahead. Read Just Pursuit by former prosecutor in the Department of Justice Laura Coates. Coates began her legal career to fight for vulnerable populations. But in her years as a lawyer, she’s learned one thing: The pursuit of justice creates injustice. In this memoir, she explores the many flaws in our legal system and some of the many cases she’s witnessed where the law harmed those who most needed protection.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Wahala by Nikki May (January 18, Custom House)
It’s time for an important talk, Capricorn. You generally prefer to get down to work rather than arguing over what to do. But open communication is crucial for you in January. That means listening to what others have to say, but it also means speaking your truth. Mercury retrograde adds to communication troubles, so seek clarity and avoid responding solely with emotions. You should read Wahala by Nikki May. Three Anglo-Nigerian best friends in London are all unhappy in their own way, each wishing she had something from another’s life. Enter Isobel, a wealthy and charismatic woman who quickly wins the groups’ affection with gifts and the promise of adventure. But as Isobel gets further into their lives and cracks grow between the three friends, they wonder about Isobel’s motivations.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
Violeta by Isabel Allende (January 25, Ballantine Books)
Look for the light, Aquarius. You put a lot of energy into fighting the evils of the world. But in January, the planets demand you focus on the good things in life. Start with yourself by looking for what brings you peace. You will be rewarded by time spent with people who bring you joy. The universe has lessons to teach you, whether through traditional classes or more unexpected means. Check out Violeta by Isabel Allende. Violeta has witnessed a hundred years of history in Chile during the tumultuous 20th and 21st centuries, including two global pandemics. Now at the end of her life, she writes a letter to her grandson about what she’s learned — including the passion, surprises, loss, and joy along the way.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani (January 4, Berkley Books)
Follow your passion, Pisces. Your life often revolves around caring for others, but January is the time to focus on what fills your cup. Your artistic side is thriving. Channel it into a new business if you’re in need of extra income. You may also learn something by creating only for yourself. New love may be in store if you’re willing to make a sacrifice. Be certain they would do the same for you. I recommend 30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani. Nina didn’t realize just how much her life was falling apart until she ended up spending her 30th birthday in jail. But while there, reflecting on her breakup with her fiancé and moving back into her childhood home, she’s given the opportunity to turn things around. With the guidance of a random self-help book, Nina decides she’s going to spend a year finding 30 things she loves about herself.
Thanks for joining us for your January 2022 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!