Libra season may be all about balance but don’t count out beauty, romance, fairness, or fantasy either. From around September 22 to the same date in October, its onset is always marked by the autumn equinox: a day that, if you weighed it, would measure out equal parts light and dark. With this in mind, we took the works of our Libra authors to the scales too, and chose a few books to summon the season.
As the social steam of summer dissipates and the nights grow colder, bell hooks will be the one to remind us all about connection. A September Libra, it could be said that her words are sacred… perhaps even Venus-breathed. More compassionate than romantic, more receptive than racy, All About Love is a book of perfect symmetry between the heart and the mind. So if you have been waiting to read this visionary classic then this is your sign.
A small but mighty potion, The Picture of Dorian Gray is the perfect distillation of Libra complexity. At once affected and affecting, breathless and insouciant, it tells the (very queer) story of the vainglorious Dorian and the obsessive painter who accidentally immortalizes him. It’s a tale of soul-selling, indulgence and gothic charm and there is no better season to read it in than this one.
No curriculum of Libra reading material would be complete without something exquisite, and only a sign that is meticulous in its pursuit of beauty, aesthetic in every aspect of life and wildly nuanced in its contradictions could possibly pen a debut novel like On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. In fact, Ocean Vuong is a poet first. His writing is both sharp and lyrical: his language a spade against the earth, harvesting the rugged jewels of family and first love.
Libras loath monotony and this Italian satirical genius is likely one of the few to ever escape it so successfully. Whether he was writing about two literal halves of a man vying for the attention of the same woman, or about a young boy living in the garden treetops, he valiantly protected his readers from boredom. In fact, any of Calvino’s books would serve this season – this one just has 55 fun and fictitious cities to tour from home.
Subtitled “an ambiguous utopia” and often categorized as an anarchist science fiction novel, Ursula K. Le Guin’s prison-less, anticapitalist moon-world, Anarres, even began with a vision. As if a gift from the stars, The Dispossessed remains one of Le Guin’s richest explorations of freedom and fantasy – as well as one of the most inspiring in the Libra canon.
Sarah J. Bofenkamp is a reader, writer, and librarian living in Palouse, Washington.
More Famous Libra Authors
F. Scott Fitzgerald - September 24, 1896
William Faulkner - September 25, 1897
Shel Silverstein - September 25, 1930
bell hooks - September 25, 1952
T.S. Eliot - September 26, 1888
Miguel de Cervantes - September 29, 1547
Elizabeth Gaskell - September 29, 1810
Rumi - September 30, 1207
Truman Capote - September 30, 1924
Ta-Nehisi Coates - September 30, 1975
Graham Greene - October 2, 1904
James Herriot - October 3, 1916
Gore Vidal - October 3, 1925
Anne Rice - October 4, 1941
LeRoi Jones - October 7, 1934
Sherman Alexie - October 7, 1966
Frank Herbert - October 8, 1920
R.L. Stine - October 8, 1943
Marie Kondo - October 9, 1984
Ann Petry - October 12, 1908
Arna Bontemps - October 13, 1902
Masaoka Shiki - October 14, 1867
Katherine Mansfield - October 14, 1888
E.E. Cummings - October 14, 1894
Hannah Arendt - October 14, 1906
Ocean Vuong - October 14, 1988
Virgil - October 15, 0070
Mikhail Lermontov - October 15, 1814
Mario Puzo - October 15, 1920
Italo Calvino - October 15, 1923
Roxane Gay - October 15, 1974
Oscar Wilde - October 16, 1854
Eugene O’Neill - October 16, 1888
Günter Grass - October 16, 1927
Nathanael West - October 17, 1903
Arthur Miller - October 17, 1915
Ntozake Shange - October 18, 1948
Arthur Rimbaud - October 20, 1854
Samuel Taylor Coleridge - October 21, 1772
Ursula K. Le Guin - October 21, 1929
Doris Lessing - October 22, 1919
Deepak Chopra - October 22, 1946