this year’s favorite reads [2023]

This is my 11th year making a book recommendation or ‘favorite reads’ list. But, this year was the hardest for me to create because I read 140 books this year (!!!) and it’s HARD to narrow down.

How did I read so many books? Audiobooks were a game changer for me (they made up 56% of my reading). I listen while I’m walking the dog, cooking dinner, folding laundry, driving, etc. The remaining 44% were read on my Kindle. I actually didn’t read a single physical paperback or hardcover book this year (because once you go Kindle, you never go back)!

I LOVE my Kindle Oasis because I can load multiple books, take it anywhere, and read it in the dark using its gentle backlight. If you want a more affordable kindle, the Paperwhite is amazing too (I used it for many years before upgrading to the Oasis).

How much did it cost to buy all these books? I check out ALL of my books, both audio and kindle, from the library (for free!) using the Libby app on my phone. Yes, totally free with my library card. Most books have long waitlists, but I load TONS of books onto my waitlist and there’s always something coming available when I’m ready!


Glucose Revolution. This is the only non-fiction pick on my list, my absolute favorite of the entire year, and I book I will forever recommend to EVERYONE I meet. The science behind the way our bodies process sugar changed everything about the way I understand nutrition. It has done so much to heal my relationship with food.

Go As A River. This is a moving story about a young girl in a troubled family. They live in a town in Colorado that’s going to be flooded to make a dam. It took me a bit to get into it (it’s a slow burn) but by the end I really loved it and wasn’t ready for it to be over.

The Wishing Game. This gave me House in the Cerulean Sea vibes (one of my all-time faves). It’s magical realism about a famous author who invites contestants to his private island to complete in a competition to win rights to his next book. I loved it!

Hidden Pictures. This was my favorite book I read during my summer break, but really it would be great for October if you like a spookier read in that season. A woman is hired for a nanny position and the young boy draws really sinister artwork during his daily quiet time. It’s suspenseful, surprising, and the artwork in the book really adds to the story (so don’t do this one on audio).

Remarkably Bright Creatures. I enjoyed this book so much. All I will say is that I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with an octopus! Highly recommend.

Ocean at the End of the Lane. I was mesmerized by this book, but it certainly won’t be for everyone. It’s basically one long, strange dream of a child. Magical realism (my fave) and beautifully written. The author narrates the audiobook and he’s so talented.

Looking for Jane. This is historical fiction covering different women’s stories through history related to the abortion movement. I really enjoyed learning more about the history, especially this year.

None of This Is True. This was a doozy. When I finished I actually said out loud ‘what the hell did I just read?’ Super creepy. I just couldn’t stop. The audiobook is really, really well done.

The Unmaking of June Farrow. Ooooooh this one was fun. A story of generations of women who ‘go mad’ and mysteriously disappear. A little magical realism, some time travel… all my faves. Flew through this in a weekend!

Happiness Falls. A dad goes missing and the only witness is his non-verbal son. I found the details about his different therapies super interesting. All the while unraveling the mystery- it was hard to put down!

Shark Heart. This one is a little weird because it’s a story about a husband slowly turning into a great white shark, but it’s a story about love and health challenges and somehow it all works. I really enjoyed it!

Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America. Obama’s speechwriter tells the story of 10 days in June 2015 when there were 3 really high stakes speeches to write. I loved this insight into the Presidency. I did the audiobook for this one (read by the author).

Looking for more recommendations?  Check out my lists from 202220212020201920182017201620152014 & 2013!

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