Best Books of 2023

Best Books of 2023


While my 2023 reading equaled 2022 based on my primary metric of success (number of 5 star books), it didn’t feel quite as stratospherically good as last year. My top books of this year were great reads for me, but didn’t, as a group, feel as singular (i.e. hard to find read-alikes for) as last year’s winners. I read lots of crime this year (slow burn suspense / slow burn crime, true crime, and fiction with commentary about the general public’s fascination with true crime). I also loved intense love stories that definitely AREN’T romances, and, as usual voice-y novels.

Highlights of my Best Books of 2023 (not including honorable mentions)

  • 83% Fiction / 17% Nonfiction (up slightly from last year’s 10% Nonfiction)
  • 3 debuts (25%)
  • 33% of these authors were podcast guests (I never really plan this or know in advance how the numbers will shake out, but 33% is down slightly from the past few years’ 50%)

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Best Books of 2023

My #1 Book of 2023

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim
Smartest Book of the Year
Best Sophomore Novel
Most Divisive
Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

The Rest of the Best Books of 2023

All That is Mine I Carry With Me by William Landay
Best Family Drama / Crime Mash-Up
Best Slow Burn Suspense
Buy from: Amazon | 

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll
Best Title
The Book I Re-Rated Two Separate Times
Best Novel Based on a True Story
Buy from: Amazon | (Audio)

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson
Best Mystery
Most Meta
Most Unique
Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

Good for a Girl by Lauren Fleshman 
Best Sports Book
Best Book About Gender Dynamics
Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
Runner-Up Best Book of 2023
Most Deserving of the Hype
Most Recommended Book of 2023
Best Family Drama
Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

I Could Live Here Forever by Hanna Halperin
Best Intense Love Story That’s Not a Romance (TIE)
Best New Non-Debut Author Discover

Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
Best Genre Crossover
Best Campus Novel
Best 1990’s Nostalgia

Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

Talking at Night by Claire Daverley
Best Debut
Best Intense Love Story That’s Not a Romance (TIE)
Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

The Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin
Best Nonfiction of 2023
Best Memoir
Most Raw
Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

The Rachel Incident by Caroline O’Donoghue
Best Voice
Best Friendship
Most Convoluted Relationship Web

Buy from: | (Audio)

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
Best Satire
Best Book Club Pick
Buy from: | (Audio)

Honorable Mentions

All the Sinners Bleedby S.A. Cosby
Best Author Redemption
Book I Didn’t Think I’d Love

Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

In Light of All Darkness by Kim Cross
Best True Crime
Best Book About Law Enforcement

Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent
Most Twisted
Most Memorable Protagonist
Most Emotionally Difficult to Read

Buy from: Amazon | | (Audio)

More Best Books of 2023…

Most Underrated Gems of 2023
Best Debuts of 2023

What were your favorite books of 2023?

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Best Books of 2023


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