Another Kind Of March Horoscope

It's almost spring, it's still freezing, and everything's horrible. Well, not really — but maybe more than ever this year, March's planets are calling for some rest and relaxation before we kick into high gear for spring. What better way is there to heed their call than by curling up with a good book?

Here's the cover-to-cover solution for what to read as you thaw — both hot new titles and old favorites, from sharp essays, to brainy social satires, to nostalgia-inducing classics, all guaranteed to cure whatever's astrologically ailing you. 
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Pisces
You're the sign other signs are loving to hate lately. Your forecast is RIDICULOUSLY good, you lucky thing. With Jupiter and Uranus collaborating on your behalf on the 3rd, you'll find that people are eager to bend to your will more than ever, and the month's big solar eclipse in your sign is leaving you feeling settled, renewed, accomplished, and creative. Big opportunities are coming your way, and that solar eclipse on the 20th will have you in the spotlight for career, accomplishment, and fame.

Your mission is to take advantage of it all. It's kind of like you're living in your own movie, so cue up an appropriately cinematic soundtrack and check out Amor Towles' lush and atmospheric Rules of Civility. Set among a group of friends in 1930s New York City, it's nearly as dazzling as your stars this month. Sometimes your dreamy sign needs a little kick to get moving, so take a cue from Towles...as fleeting as fortune may be, it favors the fearless.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Aries
BOOM. That's the sound of Mars (your ruling planet) colliding with Venus and Uranus in Aries. And, lucky you: these powerful planets are bringing good news for not only your social life, but your personal advancement. You're feeling as powerful as you are intuitive — your creativity is off the charts, and like a typical fire sign, it's totally contagious. But, make sure not to blaze out of control: you're likely to be thrown a couple of curveballs by love this month, and you don't want to be taken off guard.

The key with a Mars/Venus/Uranus union is to strike the right balance, and you'll relate to Natasha when you read Dimitry Elias Léger's God Loves Haiti, set in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. This is unlike any novel about the tragedy that you've read before, though, and it's told with a definite wink: think Junot Díaz meets Gabriel García Márquez. Expat author Leger focuses on Natasha, the artist wife of the Haitian president, whose main concern before the tragedy is living the high life in Italy...and the brainy, bohemian lover she's just locked in the closet at the presidential palace. Take your cues from her unpredictable love triangle, and use March to get your ducks in a row so you're sitting pretty by summer.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Taurus
What winds of change? The hurricane of hustle and bustle that March will be for many other signs is seemingly passing you by. It's no wonder you're often seen as the zodiac's most stable sign, but still waters run deep. Model yourself after another strong, brilliant, totally memorable woman and take the character of Aaliya from the National Book Award-nominated An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine as your inspiration. "I provided the labor, I provided the love," she says, reflecting on the small Beirut bookstore where she worked for decades. That’s your goal this month, too. Like Aaliya's sassy, straightforward bibliophile, you've been taking stock and thinking critically about your past. But now, move your sights ahead: you have a lot to look forward to in 2015. While the planets gear up for an active year (April is bringing big news in terms of your career), use the calm of this month to plan big ways to put your passions to work...with your usual steady, clear-eyed determination of course. And, though your friends might question your homebody ways this March, rest assured you're gearing up for your biggest achievement yet.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Gemini
The lesson for you this month isn't so much to lean in as to lean ON...your friends and family, that is. March brings the kind of crazy-busy schedule that your double-trouble sign is, admittedly, pretty great at handling. For you, Mars' shacking up in Aries is great in terms of teamwork and technology, so start scheming of ways to use that cosmic motion to your advantage: hang out with your friends at a group exercise class you've been wanting to check out, or take an after-work coding seminar instead of piling yet another extra drinks date on to your calendar. As long as you keep your friends on call, you'll be golden.

Home takes center stage with the full moon on the 5h, so it's the perfect time to cozy up with Funny Girl by Nick Hornby — just in time for the solar eclipse on the 20th. It'll take place in your tenth house of social status, prestige, and fame, so the delightfully-drawn story of a young woman (and her colleagues) trying to make it big behind the scenes of a 1960s TV show will hit home. With its portrayal of the conflicts between populist art and high culture at the BBC, it's also a reminder that there's nothing wrong with being accessible this month. (Plus, you'll glean major points with the higher-ups when you name drop it to your boss at an office breakfast meeting.)
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Cancer
March is a big month for you. You've got your money on your mind, tons of responsibilities to juggle, and travel may even be on the horizon. Mars and Jupiter are joining forces on the 10th to throw work negotiations into high gear, and while none of this is bad (don't worry, you come out on top!), it's a lot to handle. There's no reason you can't get shit done and make bank with your trademark warmth and nurturing. In fact, you'll want to find strength in your relationships this month, especially with other women.

So go for it, but take the witchy ladies of Practical Magic as your inspiration. Yeah, yeah, you've seen the movie, but Alice Hoffman's 1995 novel is even more delightful, with the bonus of showing off the writing chops on display in her more serious recent bestsellers like The Dovekeepers. As Sally Owens does in the novel, learn to view your sensitivity this month as a blessing, not a curse, and you'll be sure to end the month on a magical note.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Leo
Leos are stereotyped as the zodiac's perennial It Girls, even if it's just in their own minds. But March's planets are conspiring to make the Leo urge to shine a reality. Get good advice from creative people around you — now is the time to invest in your inner circle, and you'll have no lack of advisors. Money and work concerns are at the front of your mind, and you might even combine the two by paying some attention to the career partnerships that could make you a star. But, you've got a shadowy side this month, too: The sun is moving into your powerful eighth house of sex, death, and transformation. Times are changing, and that isn't a bad thing. For this month to be the best it can be, you'll need to embrace these dark forces. Need clues? Kelly Link's brilliant Get In Trouble should shed some light. These short stories are sharp, dangerous and haunting, and say just as much about our modern desire for fantasies as they do about the desires that make us human. Plus, they're written with a confidence even you can learn from.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Virgo
February's new moon was a chance for you to hit the reset button in terms of the body/mind/spirit trifecta — you might have been reevaluating your relationships, starting a new health regimen, or even finally hit zero on your inbox. This month, with the full moon appearing in Virgo, you're feeling more woo-woo than your practical sign normally does. Now is a perfect time to put dreams into action...and yes, we do mean DREAMS, even though your sign is known for its perfectionist practicality.

So pick up The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness, in which a mild-mannered printer meets a mysterious woman who's surreal, whimsical magic turns his quiet world on its head. Your imagination should be taking the front seat this month, so dive into Ness' quirky melancholy and splash around for a while. There's a lot to be gained from a little wishful thinking. But, don't worry...it's a quick read, so you'll be back to your to-do list in no time.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Libra
Okay, this is fun: guess who's the most *balanced* sign of the zodiac in March? (Are you tired of that joke yet, Librans?) Anyway, you'll welcome zen back into your life mid-month after a winter that might have left you feeling less cool, calm, and collected than you'd have preferred. You're doing pretty fabulously in the arenas of both love and money, so we feel safe recommending Kevin Kwan's biting comedy of manners, Crazy Rich Asians. When Chinese-American everygirl Rachel finally meets her boyfriend Nicholas' family, she's thrown into a super-wealthy social set peopled with mean girls who would put Regina George and the Plastics to shame. Kwan embraces the camp and the pathos of his characters in equal measure, and his writing is impressively deft in dealing with the nuances of class and culture: think Plum Sykes' 2004 hit Bergdorf Blondes with a Singaporean twist. So treat yourself well in March — you're level-headed enough to indulge in the opulence on display without being tempted to max out your credit card on jewel-encrusted everything in imitation.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Scorpio
Here's the thing with Scorpio: everyone thinks you're all sex and mystery all the time, and while you pull the femme fatale thing off better than anyone else in the zodiac, it gets tiring sometimes. This March's eclipse in Pisces is bringing all your overwhelming feels to the forefront. There are wonderful, romantic, mushy wonders in store for you in terms of love, but when you think about work and your friendships, you might want to curl up in a ball and hibernate.

It's totally fine to embrace that urge...this month, at least. And, who cares if Valentine's Day has come and gone? Sometimes it's okay to focus on relationships unabashedly. Open yourself up to support from a partner or crush (the stars aren't picky), and you'll be just fine. Your lit prescription for the month is an untraditional romantic read with a little kink and a LOT of good-cry material. Faking It by Elisa Lorello should be right up your alley. The main character is a professor who learns that there's more to life than theory and jargon, like an unsentimental Me Before You as told by an academic Nicholas Sparks. This March, it's exactly what you need.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Sagittarius
You might find yourself unable to hold back your passive-aggressive inner demon this month, Sags, which doesn't sit well with emotionally-open community builders like you. Tricky Saturn goes retrograde in your sign on the 14th, and it could lead to some problems with authority figures. But, honestly? You've stored up so much good karma over the last year that it's kind of okay to embrace that bitchy side. Brutal honesty can lead to wisdom, and the planets are predicting a great month for home and family, as well as commitment of a more romantic tenor. Speaking your mind can be thrilling, as Meghan Daum's essay collection The Unspeakable proves. (Just ask her big-name fans Cheryl Strayed, Roxane Gay, and Leslie Jamison.)

Case in point? Daum's very first piece, "Matricide," includes some horrifying and all-too-human revelations from her time caring for her mother on her deathbed, but that brutal honesty is what makes the essay so relatable, heartbreaking, and funny. Take Daum's unflinching portraits of herself and others (from much-loved dogs, to Joni Mitchell, to her unborn daughter) as your touchstone. This March, feel secure in letting it all out.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Capricorn
The beginning of this year was all about the #struggle. You were getting rid of baggage, both physically (cleaning out your closets) and emotionally (journaling like mad). As crazy as it seems for your perfectionistic sign, a chilled-out spring should bring a welcome sigh of relief. You're focused less on achievement than settling in to what you've accomplished, and goddamn, does it feel good. But, the end of the month will be ripe for innovation, when an end-of-the-month eclipse in Pisces will cause major ideas to flow.

Prep now with Annie Proulx's Bird Cloud: A Memoir Of Place. In the mid-'90s, the Brokeback Mountain scribe bought 640 acres of wild Wyoming land and made herself a gorgeous home. It took a lot of compromise and letting go, but you'll be inspired by her telling of the peace that comes when you strip away the old and construct a life you're thrilled to be living — plus, you can luxuriate in her evocations of nature and nesting, all in the most gorgeous, rambling prose.
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Illustrated by Gabriela Atford.
Aquarius
There’s no beating Miranda July's The First Bad Man for Aquarians this month. Both challenging and very funny, it's filmmaker July's trademark offbeat take on a woman named Cheryl's relationship with an aggressively inappropriate twentysomething houseguest named Clee. Their eventual collision (think: an erotically aggressive fight club) breaks all the taboos you can imagine, but as passive Cheryl's dearly-held delusions crumble, we're left with an oddly sweet portrait of the relationships that keep us afloat.

Here's why you need it now: this March, the planets are calling for you to embrace the weird and wonderful in your relationships. Partnership and collaboration are your bywords (especially around March 3), and the more voices you have chiming in as you make your decisions this month, the better. The idea isn't to outsource your emotional life, but to widen your circle of your advisors so you have the best and brightest working on your behalf. You'll be shocked at who's willing to step up to support you.
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