Bluesky at Home » Holidays » Christmas » 10 Best Books I Read in 2023

10 Best Books I Read in 2023

Are you an avid book reader? Just read the best-sellers? Only read a book if someone tells you it’s really good? Whichever category you fall into, you’ll enjoy my list of the 10 best books I read in 2023.

Learning to read is the number one skill that we teach our children to survive and prosper in life. In their young years, they learn to read and as they grow older they read to learn.

Hopefully, at a young age, they begin to love to hear stories and then love to read them on their own.

As we get older, we love to read for the sheer pleasure of it. Reading grows our minds, our experiences. Books take us to places we would never visit on our own. To places, real and imagined, to people real and imagined, to times and events that expand our understanding of the world.

Books can make us laugh and cry. They inspire us. They educate, entertain, and empower us.

It’s fun when you and an acquaintance discover you have read the same book. I love to know what other people are reading – if I sit next to you on a plane, and you have a book, I’ll ask you what it is and if you like it.

For me, from a young age, reading has been a joy and a refuge. Next to sleeping, I bet I’ve spent more time reading than any other pastime. And I feel it’s not enough. I’ve read hundreds of books and there are hundreds more to read.

As we close out 2023, I like to look back and see what books I read. I thought it would be nice to share my favorite books of the year with you.

To keep track of all the books I read over the years, I created a spreadsheet years decades ago to track my book-reading journey. I organize them by author, title, type, date I read the book, and where I got the book.

best books of 2023 reading list

If you have ever started reading a book, and realized you’ve read it before (I have.), this list has kept me from unintentionally “double-reading”. I have intentionally reread many books: Huck Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, The Little Prince, and Little Women, to name a few.

This list also allows me to make suggestions when a friend asks me to recommend a particular type of book.

I was able to sort the list by year and discovered I have read nineteen books this year. That number is on the low side for me.

Then I realized that at least half the books were very long ones: like An Echo in the Bone, the seventh book in the Outlander series, Horse and The Code Breaker, both of which are on my top ten list.

Rather than sharing every book I read in 2023, I decided to narrow the list down to my ten favorite books of the year.

Here’s the breakdown of the type of books I read that made the top 10 list: three historical fiction (always high on my reading choices), three non-fiction books, and four fiction books. Overall, I read twelve fiction books, the majority of the total of nineteen.

Everyone has a favorite list. My list from 2022 would look very different. You may have read a book on my list, may see a book that you have heard about, or see a new book that interests you.

Welcome to Bluesky Browsing #118.

In case you are new to Bluesky at Home, what fabulous finds do I share at Bluesky Browsing?

  • ideas to help you in your home decor efforts
  • fun holiday decoration ideas
  • ideas for better organization and efficiency
  • a yummy recipe or cocktail
  • fun DIY projects
  • the latest trends in home decor
  • a quirky new find or two

Let me also share here what readers loved in 2023: Top 10 Readers’ Favorite Posts in 2023.

Books You Should Read: My Favorites of 2023

Every one of these books is a winner in my mind. I learned new information about gene editing, the history of the greatest racehorse in American history, the history of the diesel engine, and what life in 1950’s Dublin was like.

best books of 2023

This list is in alphabetical order by author last name. Enjoy them all.

best book of 2023

Horse by Geraldine Brooks (HF)

As a horse lover, this story of the greatest racehorse in American history that was not Secretariat was fascinating. Brooks, a Pultizer Prize-wining author weaved the real story with interesting fictional characters to tell the tale. The story covers from pre-Civil War to Reconstruction and blends in a revealing story from the 20th century.

best book of 2023

The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel by Douglas Brunt (NF)

I knew nothing about the diesel engine and its impact on the development of modern history. I certainly knew nothing about Rudolph Diesel, the French-born German who invented it. It’s a rag-to-riches story wrapped in a century-old mystery. A page-turner, for sure.

best book of 2023

Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini (HF)

I love history, especially if it involves remarkable and brave women. This is a true story of the 7,600 women first women sworn into the U.S. Army in 1917. Deployed throughout France during WWI, the telephone operators endured hardships and risked death or injury from gunfire and the Spanish Flu.
I loved how this book mixes the true story of the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps with the personal lives of a particular group of switchboard soldiers. This is a piece of WWI, which has never been the focus of a novel…until now. 

best book of 2023

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (F)

I actually read three Kristin Hannah books in 2023. Two made it to my best books list. The Great Alone tells the story of a young mother and her daughter who endure the abuse of a PTSD-husband who uproots them to move to the wilds of Alaska. Beginning in the 1960’s and covering a couple of decades, This riveting story grabs you and doesn’t let go.

best book of 2023

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (HF)

Remember The Grapes of Wrath? We’ve all either heard about or read about the plight of Americans during the Dush Bowl of the 1930’s. This story takes a deep dive into one family’s struggle to survive in drought-ridden Oklahoma. When the mother and her two children succumb to the lure of California, they don’t find the dream-land they had been promised. In fact, their experience is nothing but tragedy.
The story weaves the fictional family with real-life figures of the time. This story left me a little shaken. I had no idea that the “Oakies” had been treated so miserably when they arrived in California in the 1930’s. A definite read.

best book of 2023

The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson (NF)

This is a long book that covers the research on genes and human DNA from the 1950’s until the present time. Walter Isaacson is a prolific author of non-fiction and biographies and has a resume that covers a wide and deep career. Yes, this book covers a lot of scientific information (I just let the scientific jargon go over my head.), but what is most fascinating to me are the people all over the world who have been working on gene editing and how to improve human health for decades. Be glad that many of them are here in the United States.
A week ago, it was announced on the news that gene editing has been approved for curing sickle cell anemia. That is all the work of these scientists and researchers.

best book of 2023

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (NF)

A friend told me about this book. It’s the true story of Chicago professor William Dodd who is picked by Franklin Roosevelt to be the U.S. Ambassador to Germany in 1933. With his wife and son and daughter (in their early 20’s), he embarks on a cat-and-mouse game with the Hilter regime. Martha, the daughter is pulled into the charm and intrigue of German officers. Like so many, Martha denies the rumors of what the Nazis are doing to the Jews. Over time, the family comes to realize what is happening to the Jews and others who defy the Nazis. Deeply researched, the book reads both like history and fiction. I highly recommend this one for those who love history.

best book of 2023

The Irish Boarding House by Sandy Taylor (F)

A sweet tale of how an abandoned young woman inherits a fortune from the mother she thought abandoned her at birth and uses the money to turn an old house into a boarding house. The sweetness comes from how she brings together and enriches the lives of other wayward souls. This one will bring tears to your eyes.

best book of 2023

The Paris Deception by Bryn Turnbull (HF)

Paris under Nazi occupation. Two young women in the art world
become part of the underground effort to save Paris’s art treasures. Sophie and Fabienne may be fictional, but this story is based on the true story of how a dedicated group of art lovers saved priceless art for future generations. It’s a riveting story of an little known part of the fight against Hilter. You’ll love the heroines.

best book of 2023

The Death of Mrs. Westaway (F)

If you love physiological mysteries (Did you read Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10, Gone Girl or any book by Gillian Flynn?), then you’ll love this book. A young woman, Hal, who barely makes a living as a tarot card reader after the death of her mother is suddenly confronted with the possibility of being a member of a wealthy family. There are characters whose motives are questionable, a mysterious housekeeper, and a central character who you want to protect. Lots of twists and turns and you won’t know the outcome until the very end.

You might be able to get these favorite books of 2023 by Christmas. I included a few more of my favorite books in this shopping list.

book shopping list graphic

Happy Reading in 2024.

I’d love to know what subjects you are most curious about. Let me know in the comments and I’ll search browse for them. Be sure to PIN to keep these ideas handy.

pin for later graphic in blue
best books of 2023

I wish you and your family and friends the most wonderful Merry Christmas and safe travels.

blog signature with red stocking

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for your lovely book reviews. I am a voracious reader who loves murder mysteries often with a side of romance. English and American cozies, too. I lay down midday to read–and rest my lousy knees and low back; saves taking medication! I thrift most of my books as I usually read one in 1-3 days! One of my favorite gifts was a gift card at a local book/music store where their bargains are .50 each! The grands get some, too! Hope you have lovely holidays!