In 2023, I read 39 books. My 2024 reading goal is 40 – and I’ve already got a great queue waiting for me!
In 2023 I read 14,394 pages and my longest book was Demon Copperhead (560 pages!). The most popular book I read (per Goodreads) was The Silent Patient and the least popular (but one of my very favorites!) was My Magnolia Summer.
I also FINALLY bit the bullet and got a Kindle Paperwhite — I will always love the feel of holding a paper book BUT I’m excited to have the Kindle for convenience and for when I’m traveling. You can use the Libby App to check out books from the library and have them delivered to your Kindle. And the selling point for me is that it reads like paper — even though it’s a screen, there is no blue light or glare. So this year will be a combination of digital books and paper books!
My favorite genre is mostly fiction — but I expanded a bit in 2023 from beach reads to some that were more thrilling; historical; etc. I know my taste isn’t for everyone – but if you enjoy fiction and an escape from reality – then these are some great options for you!
Here are 20 of my favorite books that I read in 2023:
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
A gripping psychological thriller about a woman’s shocking act of violence and her subsequent silence, weaving a web of mystery and intrigue that kept me guessing until the very end.
- My Magnolia Summer by Victoria Benton Frank
A heartwarming tale set in Charleston (a city I love!), following a woman’s journey of self-discovery amidst family secrets, love, and the beauty of a transformative summer.
- Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll
An extraordinary novel inspired by the real-life sorority targeted by America’s first celebrity serial killer (Ted Bundy) in his final murderous spree.
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
A captivating historical novel centered around a determined scientist in the 1960s, navigating a male-dominated field while pursuing her passion for chemistry and breaking societal barriers.
- Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I play tennis so I really enjoyed this – but even if you don’t play tennis, I think you will love it! Carrie Soto is Back is an epic adventure about a female tennis player – perhaps past her prime – brought back to the tennis court for one last grand slam…
- Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
A poignant love story about two individuals brought together by unexpected circumstances, navigating heartache, healing, and the transformative power of love.
- Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
An evocative novel weaving together threads of environmentalism, family dynamics, and the complexity of human connections in the modern world.
- Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
A charming romance novel exploring the intricacies of love, loss, and second chances, with heartfelt moments and endearing characters. I loved this one!
- Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
A favorite of mine in 2023: A nostalgic and bittersweet tale chronicling the lives of childhood friends as they navigate the challenges of adulthood and confront past secrets during their summer reunions.
- The Measure by Nikki Erlick
Everyone in the world awakes to a string on their doorstep (different lengths) and don’t know the meaning of the length at first. It’s a thought-provoking novel that examines the complexities of morality, relationships, and the search for meaning in a world where perceptions of right and wrong are constantly evolving.
- We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride & Jo Piazza
This one is a powerful exploration of friendship, race, and societal expectations through the lens of two women whose bond is tested after a racially charged incident.
- Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan
Mad Honey dives into the intricacies of identity, family, and societal perceptions through a compelling narrative about love and acceptance.
- Happy Place by Emily Henry
Another 2023 favorite: Happy Place is a delightful and heartwarming story about finding joy, healing, and unexpected connections in a small town in Maine – weaving themes of community and self-discovery.
- 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
I love all of Elin Hilderbrands books and this is no exception: It covers twenty-eight years of love, friendship, and secrets, set against the backdrop of Nantucket’s enchanting summers.
- Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan
A charming and witty novel following the annual summer meetings of two people, exploring the complexities of relationships and the passage of time.
- The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
A hilarious and romantic story about an unexpected honeymoon trip that turns into a comedy of errors, filled with humor, banter, and unexpected romance. Fun fact — did you know that Christina Lauren is actually TWO women? Named Christina AND Lauren.
- Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica
A gripping thriller unraveling the mysterious disappearance of two women, exploring the dark secrets hidden within a seemingly idyllic neighborhood. This one did not end how I expected and I couldn’t put it down!
- None of this is True by Lisa Jewell
A suspenseful and twist-filled narrative about a missing person’s case, delving into the complexities of memory, truth, and the unreliability of perception.
- Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
An absolute favorite. Lilac Girls is a historical novel that weaves together the lives of three women during World War II, highlighting their courage, resilience, and interconnected fates.
- The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
A riveting historical fiction novel centered around female codebreakers at Bletchley Park during World War II, blending intrigue, friendship, and wartime challenges.