Top Ten Books Read in 2023

2023 was a happy year for me as I ended it out with 90 books read–which is the most I’ve ever accomplished since college. (That one college year where I somehow managed to read 150+ books is probably going to keep the gold for a long time!) 

Most years I find myself reading an eclectic blend of fiction, while gravitating to a theme in many of the nonfiction books I read. This year with my nonfiction reads, I continued the journey I began last year of contemplating suffering. But I actually had a fiction theme too, as I worked my way through a number of dark academia novels as research for the novel I currently have out on submission. While only one of those made this list, there would be several others in the #11-20 spots. But without any further ado, here are my 10 favorite books I read for the first time this past year (book titles linked to my longer Goodreads reviews).

Curious Tides by Pascelle Lascelle

This was a very fun read–and the most vibey of any of my dark academia reads this year. An absolutely delightful romp with a splendid sense of atmosphere that also featured a protagonist who genuinely learned from her mistakes.

Top Ten Books Read in 2022

This year was a squeaker for me in my ability to reach my Goodreads goal by the years’ end. But I managed to squeeze by with one book to spare in hitting my goal of hitting 75 books. I’ll blame my September move from small town North Carolina to river town Pennsylvania for why things came down to the wire this year.

I find myself re-reading books more often as the years go on, so the list of new titles I read each year is slowly shrinking. But there were some deeply moving and resonant new works I read this year. So here are my 10 favorite books I read for the first time this past year (book titles linked to my longer Goodreads reviews).

10. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

This was a rather eye-opening look at the very physical ways that trauma can affect people—and what true healing really looks like. Both as a writer and as someone who wants to know how to best help others who may struggle with trauma in my own life, I found this book quite helpful.

Top Ten Books Read in 2020

Well, what a year this has been. I’ll spare you the obligatory comments about the craziness of 2020. Needless to say: despite everything else, I’ve managed to continue my standard reading pace I’ve kept up these past four years, including a lot more re-reading than I have for a while! Most of my re-reads were of classical works of literature, but there were a few non-classics as well.

Because I generally keep re-reads off this list (unless it dramatically changed my view of the book), those won’t be represented on this list. But without any further commentary, let’s dig into my favorite new reads I’ve done this past year. (As always, titles are linked to my longer reviews.)

10. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni

Khaled Hosseni was on my TBR list for a while before I finally got into him this year. I went back and forth on whether to include Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns in this slot, but ended up choosing Kite Runner since it was my first introduction to his beautiful prose and haunting themes.

Download Visions of Grandeur

Enter your email to get your free copy of Visions of Grandeur (and Other Stories). You'll also receive updates about my writing and my reflections on other stories I love.

Check your email to confirm your address and download the short story collection!

Follow My Publication Journey

Enter your email to get the inside scoop on my writing journey, and how I'm strategically pursuing publication.

Check your email to confirm your address and download the short story collection!

Pin It on Pinterest