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A selection of recent (and recent-ish) fiction swapped between the MW team.

Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason

Meg Mason’s debut novel in which we follow Martha come to terms with the breakdown of her marriage alongside a battle with an unnamed mental illness. Alongside the sorrow the title describes, there are intense highs of love and wit that will have the reader falling in love with this honest, chaotic and endearing protagonist.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2001, Kavalier and Clay is a great American epic about the glory years of the US comic industry (1939-1954). It is a true testament to Chabon’s writing that he manages to span multiple eras, travel multiple contents and cover everything from superheroes to war, without ever losing the reader’s grip. This novel is a must-read.

Your Silence will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde

With accompanying material by Reni Eddo-Lodge and Sara Ahmed, this posthumous collection of Lorde’s poetry (and some essays) explores the notion of silence as violence, making this relevant reading in order to avoid complacency and maintain the momentum of major movements like BLM and MeToo.

A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin

This unique piece contains 43 short stories inspired by Berlin’s highly diverse life. Berlin chronicles through the vast number of jobs she has had during her life and explores some of the roles often taken for granted. She has astute powers of observation that make this collection a deeply-layered and dynamic reading experience.

Art as Therapy, Alain de Botton and John Armstrong

This book introduces the reader to a new way of interpreting art, thereby increasing their understanding of self, the society they live in, and the overall human condition. An excellent read for anyone looking to delve into the world of art and psychology.

MIRROR WATER: Can you tell us more about the Venus retrograde that’s just ended? 

Alice Bell: Venus has been retrograde since July 22nd. It happens for 40 days, and it only occurs every year and a half, so it's more major when it happens. While Mercury is all about communication, Venus is all about relationships, personal style, creativity, and finances, so those areas of your life are up for inspection during a Venus retrograde. This is why you may have heard of huge celebrity breakups happening. It meant people going through relationship changes, but it doesn't necessarily have to be bad.

Lately, researching your full chart – rather than just sun – has become more popular.
Is it possible to relate more to your moon or rising signs? 

Alice Bell: The qualities associated with rising and moon signs tend to come a little bit more easily to you – moon signs embody early childhood habits, which is how you emotionally react to things without thinking, whereas the sun is the identity you're growing into over the course of your lifetime. That can sometimes feel uncomfortable because it's challenging to learn and grow and improve and work towards developing those sun sign traits more, which is why when you're younger, you might not feel as much like your sun sign. 

MIRROR WATER: What advice would you give to someone who’s learning about astrology for the first time? Is Co-Star okay to look into? Or what about magazine-style horoscopes? 

Alice Bell: I'm not a fan of Co-Star, but the app Chani is great for seeing your circular chart pulled up – like what planets are in what houses. I also love and – those are my favourites for entering in your birth information. Then also my book, because the first section of it is like, “This is what your birth chart is, these are the signs, these are the planets.”

MIRROR WATER: What do you think are any misconceptions about astrology or horoscopes? 

Alice Bell: I would say a big one is people saying: “Oh, my horoscope doesn't make sense, so astrology is not accurate.” Everyone that has the same sign is not gonna have the same week, it’s more complex than that. First off, you should be reading horoscopes for your rising sign, not your sun sign, because the way they're written is, “I'm bringing the sign I'm talking about to the first house,” so it's the rising of the chart. Then I'm seeing where the planets are in the sky this week, and if you look at the rising, that's the same as if you were to go to an astrologer. I would tell you: “These are the transits happening, and this is what to watch out for moving forward.”

Follow Alice Bell here, and shop her book Trust Your Timing here.
Meanwhile, find out what’s going on astrologically this week here.