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The Best Books of 2023: What to Read This Year


Welcome to the ultimate guide to the best books of 2023 so far. If you’re an avid reader or just looking for your next literary escape, this article is worth reading. We’ll take you through the top 10 books everyone should read in 2023, covering various genres and themes that are sure to captivate and inspire. Whether you’re an eBook enthusiast or a classic library person these books will surely capture your heart!

1. The Silent Patient: Alex Michaelides

Prepare to be enthralled by this page-turning psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end. When a famous painter brutally murders her husband and then goes silent, a devoted psychotherapist becomes determined to uncover the truth behind her inexplicable actions.

“The Silent Patient” is a psychological thriller novel written by Alex Michaelides. The story follows Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who becomes a silent and mysterious patient in a mental health facility after being convicted of murdering her husband. The narrative unfolds through the perspective of Theo Faber, a psychotherapist who becomes determined to unravel Alicia’s secrets and discover the truth behind the murder. “The Silent Patient” is known for its gripping plot twists and exploration of the complexities of the human mind.

2. Song of Achilles: Madeline Miller

Step into the world of ancient Greece with this enchanting retelling of the Trojan War. Through lyrical prose and compelling characters, Madeline Miller brings to life the epic love story between Achilles and Patroclus, offering a fresh perspective on one of history’s greatest legends.

“Song of Achilles” is a historical fiction novel written by Madeline Miller. Although it was published in 2011, it gained acceptance and popularity this year. The book tells the story of the Greek mythological hero Achilles, as seen through the eyes of his companion and lover, Patroclus. The novel explores their deep bond, their journey to Troy during the Trojan War, and the challenges they face along the way. “Song of Achilles” beautifully captures themes of love, friendship, honor, and destiny, offering a fresh perspective on a well-known mythological tale. The book received critical acclaim for its lyrical writing style and emotional depth.

3. It Ends With Us: Colleen Hoover

“It Ends With Us” is written by the novelist Colleen Hoover. It has gained popularity for its emotional and thought-provoking story. The book follows the life of Lily Bloom, a young woman who finds herself caught in a complicated love triangle between her first love, Atlas Corrigan, and a successful neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid. The novel explores themes of love, forgiveness, and domestic violence. It delves into the complexities of relationships and tackles important issues surrounding abuse and personal growth. “It Ends With Us” has been praised for its compelling narrative and powerful message.

4. The Fraud: Zadie Smith

In this thought-provoking novel, Zadie Smith explores themes of identity, race, and authenticity in our modern world. Through a complex web of interconnected characters, she delves into the consequences of deceit and the search for truth in an age of increasing skepticism.

The Fraud is a captivating historical novel that draws inspiration from the infamous Tichborne case. It explores themes of truth and fiction, the relationship between Jamaica and Britain and the contrast between fraudulence and authenticity.

5. Birnam Wood: Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton weaves a mesmerizing tale set in a remote New Zealand town where secrets and mysteries abound. With richly drawn characters and an atmospheric setting, this novel explores themes of identity, destiny, and the interplay between nature and humanity.

In Birnam Wood, Eleanor Catton draws inspiration from Macbeth, which greatly influences her exploration of ambition and the ensuing betrayals. Similar to Macbeth’s ruthless actions of betrayal and murder in his pursuit of power, each character in Birnam Wood also betrays either someone else or their own principles in their ambitious pursuit of personal power.

6. The Wager- A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder: David Grann

David Grann takes us on a thrilling adventure with his meticulously researched true story. Set against the backdrop of the high seas, this tale unravels the shocking events surrounding a shipwreck, mutiny, and a chilling murder that will leave readers on the edge of their seats.

It is a captivating nonfiction work that explores the Wager Mutiny, an event that took place after the 1741 shipwreck of HMS Wager. This book provides an in-depth look into the historical circumstances surrounding the mutiny, offering readers a compelling narrative that brings the story to life.

7. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: Ocean Vuong

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is the debut novel by Vietnamese-American poet Ocean Vuong. With poetic prose and heartfelt introspection, this novel takes us on a journey through the life of a young Vietnamese-American man as he navigates identity, family, and first love. Through his letters to his illiterate mother, he explores the complexities of human relationships and the search for self-acceptance.

The narrative is presented as a letter from a young Vietnamese-American man named Little Dog to his illiterate mother, discussing their shared history, struggles, and the complexities of their relationship. The book delves into topics such as intergenerational trauma, queerness, and the power of language. “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” has received widespread acclaim for its poetic prose and poignant exploration of personal and societal issues.

8. Men We Reaped- A Memoir: Jesmyn Ward

In this compelling memoir, the author shares a personal journey, delving into the lives and deaths of five young men from her hometown. With honesty and powerful storytelling, she reveals the underlying injustices and societal pressures that tragically caused their premature demise.

The book delves into themes of race, poverty, and systemic injustice, providing a powerful examination of the impact of these factors on the lives of young Black men in America.

9. A Little Life: Hanya Yanagihara

Prepare yourself for an emotionally charged journey through friendship, trauma, and redemption. This sweeping novel follows the lives of four college friends as they navigate the challenges of adulthood and confront the lasting impact of a dark secret from their past.

“A Little Life” is a praised novel by Hanya Yanagihara. It explores friendship, trauma, and human relationships in a heart-wrenching way. The story revolves around four college friends in New York City, with a strong focus on Jude, who has a troubled past. The book tackles themes of abuse, love, and the lasting effects of childhood trauma. It is renowned for its intense storytelling and relevant subject matter.

10. 12 Years A Slave- A Nonfiction Gem

This nonfiction masterpiece recounts the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 19th century. Through his vivid narrative, Northup exposes the horrors of slavery while highlighting the resilience of the human spirit.

12 Years a Slave, is an autobiographical account delves into his life as a free man who was deceitfully kidnapped and enslaved in the United States during the pre-Civil War era. The novel provides a raw and unflinching portrayal of Northup’s twelve-year struggle for survival and dignity amidst the brutality of slavery. The narrative not only serves as a poignant reminder of this dark chapter in American history but also pays tribute to the indomitable spirit of humanity.

Wrapping Up the Best Books of 2023

In the vast sea of literature, 2023 has given us an array of captivating stories that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. From the haunting narratives of “The Silent Patient” to the profound exploration of humanity in “12 Years A Slave” these new novels have taken readers on unforgettable journeys. “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” reckon with deep emotions, while “The Fraud” engross with their sagas of resilience and self-discovery. 

Whether it’s a book from an author who’s also a Pulitzer Prize winner or a page-turner that offers escape from the pandemic, each book on this list has found its way into readers’ hearts. From the first novel to the prolific works of established authors, these books unfurl with dazzling prose and suspenseful plots, making them utterly irresistible and reminding us why reading is a true happy place. So dive into these reads, let them grip your imagination, and savor every moment as these remarkable books transport you to worlds both familiar and unknown.