The Year in Books – 2023


I’m a tad late in compiling this round up for you guys, but I was reading allll the way up until the last day of 2023.

This year was very different than last, from a literary perspective. I chalk that up to taking on more + bigger projects than ever before, shifting my boys to homeschool, and – you know – birthing a child. I read just about half of the amount of books in 2023 than I did in ’22. I don’t feel sad or ashamed of that; it’s just how this past year shook out. Without further ado, here’s what I read in 2023 (I used to do little blurbs for each, but am going to keep things simple and short this time around):

  1. Whose Body? by Dorothy SayersDetective novels are my go-to pleasure reads (ah, the comfort of a dead body), and I’m so glad I’m now well acquainted with Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey. Get ready to see a lot of these.
  2. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers
  3. Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers
  4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank BaumListened to this with the boys, after which Coen developed an Oz Books addiction. Funny what stories will grab them!
  5. The Odyssey by Homer
  6. Laurus by Eugene VodolaskinThe most emotionally expensive book I read this year. Very good, but not light reading. It felt like a Russian male counterpart to Kristin Lavransdatter.
  7. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du MaurierWell? Did she or didn’t she?? I still haven’t decided.
  8. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  9. The Tech-Wise Family by Andy CrouchRead it if you haven’t.
  10. Five Children and It by Edith NesbitJust the best read aloud with the boys. Nesbit forever.
  11. The Whole and Healthy Family by Jodi Mockabee
  12. The Mirror and the Light by Hilary MantelThe last book in the best historical fiction trilogy there ever was. The end.
  13. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert GalbraithMy literary life can be viewed as “Before Cormoran Strike novels” and “After”. They’re dark, but so smart, so engaging, and I love the characters.
  14. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  15. Othello by William Shakespeare
  16. The Medieval Mind of C.S. Lewis by Jason BaxterSuch a great primer on medieval cosmology; I learned so much.
  17. Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen TaylorBeautifully illustrated, and a great way to introduce kids to this important story (I counted it here because it is LONG; took us a couple of months to read through).
  18. Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
  19. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  20. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  21. Manderley Forever by Tatiana de RosnayI love Daphne du Maurier, but did not love this biography of her. Sometimes biographers attempt to impose modern sensibilities on their historical subjects, and I take issue with that. Don’t use someone else’s life to work out your activism, you know?
  22. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. WodehouseMy first Wodehouse! I laughed so much.
  23. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
  24. Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
  25. On Getting Out of Bed by Alan NobleSimple and short, this book is a profound exploration of mental and emotional suffering.
  26. Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenBecause I’d never.
  27. The Phoenix and the Carpet by Edith NesbitFavorite read aloud of 2023.
  28. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
  29. Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith
  30. The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
  31. The Sentence is Death by Anthony HorowitzThis is the time of the year when Conrad had arrived and I just wanted easy detective novels to enjoy on my kindle while I nursed him around the clock.
  32. The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
  33. Just So Stories by Rudyard KiplingThis was a re-read aloud for us, and it was funny to note how many little phrases we’ve adopted and incorporated into our family language that have come from this book.
  34. Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers
  35. A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz
  36. Emma by Jane Austen
  37. When Christmas Comes by Andrew Klavan
  38. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
  39. The Wager by David Grann…am I the only person who didn’t love this book? That’s okay.
  40. A Strange Habit of Mind by Andrew Klavan
  41. Dorothy L. Sayers by Colin DuriezLOVED this. A great example of a biography done well.

Not my most varied year of reading (about 40% were detective novels, lol), nor my most voracious. But I’m creeping out of the newborn fog and excited about what stories 2024 will have for me.

What about you? Any favorites (or total flops) from this year? I’d love to hear!



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