If you haven’t yet guessed, a lot of my inspiration for these reading experiments comes from Kayla from BooksandLala. And when I saw her read books based on her zodiac sign, I just thought it was really fun and added it to my list of posts I wanted to do. And I figured what better month to do a post where I read books based on my zodiac sign than my birthday month?
My birthday is May 31, which means I am a Gemini. But honestly, I haven’t always identified with a lot of Gemini characteristics. I am as far from extroverted as possible and I’m not really colorful or high-energy (especially around other people). Definitely not a social butterfly over here. I will admit I can sometimes be the classic two-faced Gemini (it is what it is). But I just never felt like most of the classic Gemini qualities quite fit who I am. So this is going to be a fun test to see just how much of a Gemini I am… based on books strangers have recommended for Geminis to read.
I have no idea how this is going to go. There are multiple books on this list I’ve been kind of sort of interested in, one that was already on my shelves, and one that I have been actively avoiding for years. Let’s find out if they’re all good Gemini recommendations. Or at least good recommendations for this very introverted Gemini.
I was kind of surprised how PINK this list turned out to be. Is that a Gemini thing? Because pink is literally my least favorite color. I am not a pink girl. Though I will admit this group is kind of aesthetically pleasing and I don’t hate it. The cover of The Birds is definitely more my vibe, though (not all that shocking since that was the only book I already owned before starting this).
As always, I blogged about them in the order I read them so I can share my thoughts as the experiment progresses. I also linked the posts these came from, so if you’re curious about the recommendations you’d get for your zodiac sign, just click on the titles. I really don’t think I’m ready for this, but here we go!
Half of me is very happy that I started with this book. Because I knew from page one I would love it, and I did. The other half of me has regrets. Because this book broke my brain. We all know I love weird books (is that a Gemini thing?). But this was maybe the weirdest thing I have ever read. It reminded me of the time I went to see Midsommar in theaters and the only thing I could say when we walked out was “I feel like I just did drugs with my eyes”. This was the same kind of experience. (Note: I have never done recreational drugs, but this book is how I imagine a weird and terrifying drug trip might be like.)
To be fair, I sort of knew what I was getting into. I didn’t really know much of what this was about, just that there were girls who called each other Bunny and it was super weird. Which is why it was already on my TBR to begin with.
But, oh Bunny, I was not prepared. Because, Bunny, this was the weirdest book I have every read. And yes Bunny, that is how the girls in this book talk. And it definitely feels like an uncanny valley, freakish horror situation. Actually, that kind of describes this book pretty well. I still don’t understand what happened and I don’t think I need or want to. But I still loved this book.
I really don’t know that this is supposed to say about Geminis. Are we just weird? Because that is pretty accurate. At least for me.
According to Cosmopolitan, this is the book that will change my life. Being familiar with The Birds and du Maurier, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to take that. I am also starting to worry that this is just a list of books that is going to fuck with my brain. They may look pink and harmless, but they are hiding something.
So… the verdict. Did this change my life? No. But I did really enjoy it. There are six stories in this book, and they were all pretty good, but I definitely have a favorite. And it wasn’t “The Birds” (though that is definitely in second place). I bet if you looked at the Goodreads reviews of this book, you can probably guess which story I loved. Because it is the one story everyone else hated. No idea if that is a Gemini thing or just a me liking weird stories thing.
I loved “Monté Veritas”. It was so weird and interesting, and I couldn’t stop reading it. Which was interesting, since that was the longest story in the book, and I had to take a few breaks with some of the shorter ones. I was ready to give this book five stars after “Monté Veritas”, which is the second story in thus book (after “The Birds”), but the rest didn’t really do it for me. Surprisingly, the story that gave me Rebecca vibes, “The Photographer”, was maybe my least favorite of the bunch. Overall, a four-star read. Definitely not life-changing, but still pretty good. And weird. I’m wondering if that might be a theme here.
This was recommended because “much like a good grifter, a Gemini is versatile and adaptable” (note: maybe I should figure out how to be a grifter because I need money). This is a memoir about the author’s friendship with Anna Delvey (real name Sorokin), the fake German heiress who conned her friends out of thousands of dollars. Which, if you know me, probably already guessed gave me tons of anxiety. I had to put this down multiple times. Not because I wasn’t enjoying it (I was), but because of the stress.
I had heard about Anna Sorokin before picking this up, so I knew where this was going. Which didn’t help much, because where it went was BAD. For reference, I went on a vacation to Prague last year. And because I was the only one who had gotten a travel credit card before we left (basically you get extra protection and no international fees), we put a lot of shared expenses on my card. But my anxiety made me get a little tense over not getting paid back (totally on me – we had agreed to figure it out later). It ended up being like five hundred dollars worth for the whole week, and I got paid back, so totally not a big deal. Still, you can understand why reading about the author of this book being charged THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS for a vacation she was told was a gift kind of made me want to vomit.
All that said, I do love true crime and drama, so it’s not at all surprising that I liked this book. I ended up giving it three stars. The writing took me a bit to get into, but we eventually connected and I flew through the second half of this book. This is a great pick if you’re curious about true crime that doesn’t involve murder or cults. And even though I don’t think this was the most creative Gemini pick, I do think it was pretty accurate. Even though I would never actually do it, being a con artist has always kind of sounded kind of fun to me. I feel like that might be a Gemini thing.
I loved the first half of this book. Like, a lot. It felt like the kind of thing I might write if I was actually cool. But by the second half, it started to feel kind of repetitive. I really enjoyed Irby’s style and humor, but just felt like this went on a little too long. I think if I wasn’t reading it for this post, I might have tried to pace myself with this book. It feels like the kind of thing that would be better taken in small chunks, reading an essay or two at a time before taking a break. I do want to read her other books, and I think I might go with that strategy when I do.
Overall, I did really connect to this book. Irby’s voice is something I strongly identified with, and that made for a mostly enjoyable read. It is absolutely my own fault that I wasn’t able to take my time with this (there are downsides to doing these posts, even though they’re really fun). It’s also entirely possible that I dreaded finishing this because I really, really, don’t want to read the next book on this list.
I do, however, think this is a pretty great Gemini recommendation. Obviously, the cover is very bright. But this also tapped into something I’m realizing might be a Gemini thing – being pretty good caretakers of others (by choice or necessity) and not so great at taking care of yourself. I am really great at making sure other people are happy at the expense of my own comfort. It’s something I’m trying to be better about, but I kind of feel like that is a Gemini thing. Maybe? (Any fellow Geminis, let me know in the comments.)
Honestly, I don’t know how much I buy into this whole zodiac thing. I obviously think it’s fun, but I’m definitely skeptical about how much your birth date says about you. And how much of that comes from other people’s perceptions or expectations. Do we just conform to the nature that is expected of us based on this arbitrary system? Or do the stars really influence our personalities? I don’t know. What I do know is that I am now just avoiding reading book five, so I’ll stop.
Before I get into this one, I have to say that I have disliked Dickens since high school. So I have been avoiding this book for almost two decades (am I really that old???). However, I have been considering giving him another shot because I have changed a lot since then, and it’s entirely possible I just had a bad teacher in that class. Or a terrible appreciation of classic literature (this was around the time I failed freshman English – true story.)
Still, I’m kind of scared. Because this is not only testing whether or not this is a good Gemini recommendation (or if I even enjoy Gemini recommendations), but also whether or not I still hate Dickens. No one is surprised I procrastinated reading this until the end of this post. But I still kind of hate myself for not getting this over with earlier.
Also, I have a theory that this might have been recommended based solely on the title. A lot of recommendations I came across had some variation of “Gemini” or “two” in the title (or were literally Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). Because, you know, twins. Not terribly creative, especially given that Geminis tend to be creative (allegedly). Do Cancers get book recommendations about crabs? (No, they don’t. I checked.)
And the verdict is…. drumroll please… I don’t hate Dickens. I actually kind of liked this. It’s not my favorite classic, and I didn’t totally love the story, but I really enjoyed the writing. I still think this was only recommended based on the title, so I really don’t know how this lends itself to the experiment. Either way, I finally tackled my fear of Dickens and I can go on with my life. I’m sure you can tell that this experiment has been a long one, and I’m very tired and glad for it to be over. I do regret putting off reading this for a month, though. It took all of my motivation to finish this on time.
I hope you enjoyed this reading experiment! It was actually really fun to do. I think my brain is still messed up from reading Bunny, but it was totally worth it! Also, I did read some good books I either probably wouldn’t have picked up anytime soon or have been avoiding for years. So that’s fun.
Out of all of these books, I definitely appreciated the recommendations of Bunny, Meaty, and The Birds and Other Stories the most. Not because I ended up enjoying them so much, but because I thought they were the most creative recommendations. A Tale of Two Cities was definitely recommended based on the title. Which seems to be a trap for Gemini recommendations. I mean, I liked it, but I think The Count of Monte Cristo would have been a better classic recommendation based on personality/story compatibility and not just the zodiac symbol. Just saying. And no, I still haven’t finished that one (it’s happening, I promise).
What I have ultimately learned is… I still have no idea how much of a Gemini I am or if these books are good Gemini recommendations. You can let me know. Would you have assumed I’m a Gemini? Do I fit your idea of a Gemini? Or do you think this whole zodiac thing has absolutely no bearing on our lives?
I have some fun experiments planned for the next few months, but I’m curious to see what you’d like to see me do next. So leave your ideas in the comments! (But don’t make them too difficult, please, because my August post might just kill me.)
Also, I recently opened a bookshop, where you can go and buy books and also shop my curated collections of my personal favorites AND all of the books I’ve read for my reading experiments, including this one! (Except for The Birds, because apparently that book doesn’t exist on Bookshop.)