Can y’all believe it? It’s the end of the year already! Seems like it just started. And since it’s the end of the year, that means it’s time to share my favorite books of 2023! I’ve read a lot of books this year, so it was hard to narrow down the list. These are ones that, for one reason or another, really resonated with me. Links are to my full reviews, where available.
Dead by Proxy, Manning Wolfe – What a slam-bang of a legal thriller this is! And the focus isn’t entirely on the law, but also on the circumstances in which the main character finds himself and the extent to which he’ll go to resolve them. Very compelling, and I’m anxious to read the next in the series.
The Gatherer, Kit Trzebunia – My full review isn’t up yet, as I just shared it on my Book Beginnings on Friday last week. I’ve finished it, though, and it has raced to the top of the pile for the year! I’ll just say that it’s beautiful, and moving, and fabulous in all the best ways. Keep an eye out for my review, with all the things I adored about it.
Bulletproof Barista, Cleo Coyle – One of my favorite cozy mystery series, and this, book 20 in the series, was fantastic! We got a good look at show business, time with characters we love, a killer I couldn’t pinpoint until the reveal, and as always, recipes!
At the Coffee Shop of Curiosities, Heather Webber – Such a good read about the importance of knowing when to take a leap of faith and knowing when to let things go. I love the small-town Southern setting, and Maggie’s affinity for the titular “curiosities” was fascinating. I’d love to be able to do that!
The Long March Home, Marcus Brotherton and Tosca Lee – A compelling fictional account of three young men’s experiences during World War II. They are serving in the Philippines when Japan occupies the country, and they are caught up in the Bataan Death March. There are harsh aspects to the story, but it highlights the importance of holding fast to hope even when it seems there is no reason to. Based on actual events.
The Rune Song Trilogy, G. N. Gudgion – I can’t pick one of the three. The whole saga is, at its heart, a story about a woman who finds herself thrust into a position she never asked for, who must lead her people into battle against those who would obliterate them and their ways. Based on Norse mythology and the tradition of the Knights Templar, the trilogy is truly an epic fantasy worthy of the time it takes to read.
Thornhedge, T. Kingfisher – I do love a fairy tale retelling, and this one takes a well-known story and turns it completely on its head. It’s not action-packed, it’s not a thrill ride. It’s both wistful and thought-provoking and absolutely marvelous.
The Comfort and Joy series, Kimberly Fish – These books are just so much fun! Kimberly Fish gives me a protagonist I can absolutely relate to in Gloria Bachman. I love that she’s about my age and life has handed her some lemons. But she finds the gumption to try new things, to let herself fall into new love. Fish has placed herself squarely on my list of favorite authors this year.
A River of Crows, Shanessa Gluhm – This was a twisty, turny, nail-biting mystery and family drama, and it had me absolutely on the edge of my seat. I learned some things about crows, too.
Don’t let the fact that these books didn’t make my “best of the best” cut fool you. These are all fantastic books that I would recommend without hesitation! Well-researched historical fiction, a good enemies to lovers romance, dystopian fiction that makes you think, vividly imagined fantasy that captures your heart, all of it excellent.
The Takedown, Carlie Walker
The Perfumist of Paris, Alka Joshi
Muskets & Masquerades, Lindsey S. Fera
Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being, CG Fewston
Facing the Enemy, DiAnn Mills
Heart of Night and Fire, Nisha J. Tuli
Pacific State, Grant Price
The Oxygen Farmer, Colin Holmes
Do we have any favorites in common for the year? Are you adding any of these to your 2024 TBR? Leave me a comment, and happy reading in the new year!