At the start of 2023, I challenged myself to finish reading 40 books, which was more than the amount I had read the year before. I’m happy to report I’ve already hit my goal! I’ve found I wanted to rest my eyes from all the tv and computer screen work I do and was happy to discovered a few new favorites. Please enjoy my list of favorite books read in 2023 (in no particular order)!
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- The Only One Left by Riley Sager – I read this book in under 48 hours. Kit is a home health aide tasked with taking care of a woman who was accused and acquitted of murdering her family when she was young. Every time I thought I figured it where the book was going, a new twist was revealed. Of the three books I read by this author this year, this was my favorite. Home Before Dark and Lock Every Door was also good, but I didn’t care for the spiritual element that he added to The House Across the Lake, despite that being in many reading lists.
- Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister – A mother witnesses her son kill someone in front of their home. She wakes up the next day and it’s the day before the murder. The whole book follows her going back in time to solve what’s going on and see if the outcome will change. This thriller was 5 stars for me and is part of Reese Witherspoon’s book club!
- All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers – Margot returns to her hometown and is trying to figure out 2 mysteries at the same time. The recent disappearance of a 5 year old leads her to remember the circumstances behind the murder of her friend from when she was young.
- The Housemaid by Frieda McFadden – An ex-con applies for a job as a housemaid for a wealthy family. You begin to learn that things are not always how they appear. The point of view changes through 2 characters in this book, bringing lots of questions on what’s real and what’s an act. I really enjoyed Frieda’s writing style as the end of each chapter made me want to start the next one. I read this book in less than 2 days and have already picked up the sequel!
- Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea – Odd that I read this one during the week of 9/11 when the plot does have a connection to that whole tragedy but with a twist. Avery is a news reporter setting out to solve a crime from, you guessed it, 20 years ago. Follow what she discovers with the help of a cop involved in the original investigation.
- None of This is True by Lisa Jewell – Two women meet on their birthday (you know I love birthday twins!) and they end up being a friendship/business connection as one is a podcaster telling the lives of women. We slowly learn about the backstory of the one women but there are lots of twists in her story, which obviously has a lot of untruths in it.
- Silent Patient by Alex Michaelideas – A woman is accused of shooting and killing her husband then stops talking while in therapy. It’s written from the perspective of the therapist and his attempt to get the truth out of the accused’s mouth. This one had a good twist I didn’t see coming!
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – This is not a new book as it came in 2015, but it was just this year that I discovered the movie of a similar name. I watched and loved “A Man Called Otto” on Neflix (BTW Tom Hanks can do no wrong) and was then told it’s a book! The plot of the movie follows the book pretty well so I loved both! It’s a sweet tale of friendship of an old grumpy man and his neighbors. Trigger warning: there are discussions and thoughts of suicide in both the movie and book, all stemming from a broken heart.
- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – This book plays with the age old idea of questioning how much better or worse your life would be different if you had done one small thing differently back in your history. It had an almost philosophical feel and would make for a great group discussion if you choose as part of your book club read.
- The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin – This book makes you think on how short life is and the friendships you make along the way.
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – The lead character Elizabeth has a scientist’s brain in all things she does and you see how she approaches life in a unique way overcoming challenges of being a woman in a typically male lead industry. The quirkiness of this character reminded me of The Maid by Nina Prose that I read earlier this year.
- Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel – Reminds me of “Where the Crawdads Sing” with a survivalist girl as the lead, but set in 1941 Poland forest with all that was going on with Germany and the Jewish people during that time.
- Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie – Spans several decades and locations but begins in the 1940s and follows the life of Nori, a young Japanese girl and her experience in a submissive culture.
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – I’m not sure if this is technically historic but because it’s set in older times, I’ll count it. I had loved the Netflix series based on the book and am happy to report the book was great too! I even think this first book in this series would be a nice read for my daughters at their age 8 and 10.
- Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros – This one felt like a mix of The Hunger Games with a competition amongst kids, Game of Thrones with dragons as a character and A Court of Thorns and Roses (which I also read this year) all in one. There’s also a sequel that I’m on hold for, so I’ll have to update you in 2024 if the series continues to be good!