The Reader's Couch Podcast

Halfway Top Thirteen Books of 2023 (So Far!)

From Victorian-era literary fiction to twisty thrillers, find out why each book made the list.

Last Updated on December 15, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

Top 13 Books of 2023

Halfway Top Thirteen Books of 2023 (So Far!)


Ready to expand your reading list?  Listen in as I share my top 13 personal favorite books of 2023 (so far!)  Ranging from Victorian-era literary fiction to twisty thrillers, I share a spoiler-free description of what you can expect and share why each book made the list and what makes them standout reads.


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The BiblioLifestyle 2023 Summer Reading Guide features 48 new books, organized across eight categories, plus a minimalist reads list that includes eight must-read books from the guide.  The guide also includes fun recipes, summer activities, reading and lifestyle tips, classic books, and a fun challenge.  So download your free copy today at thesummerreadingguide.com!

Halfway Top Thirteen Books of 2023

Exploring the Best of 2023 (So Far!): My Top 13 Favorite Books

In today’s episode, I’m super excited to share my personal halfway top thirteen books of 2023.  The books on this list are all fiction because, at my core, I’m a lover of all things fiction.  Plus, while we are counting from one to thirteen, these books are not ranked, but instead, I’m sharing them in order of publication date.  

All books I’m sharing with you today were published in 2023, and they are available now as I’ve only selected books that went on sale from January through to June 2023.


Best Books of 2023 (So Far!)

The New Life by Tom Crewe

A Victorian-era historical and literary fiction debut that challenges homophobia during a time when gay men were subjected to two years of prison if found out.

Books like The New Life by Tom Crewe:

  • Cleanness by Garth Greenwell
  • To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

The Writing Retreat Julia Bartz

An aspiring novelist attending an exclusive writing retreat with a book deal prize at stake now has to focus on survival when one of the participants disappears.

Books like The Writing Retreat Julia Bartz:

  • The Club by Ellery Lloyd
  • Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty

Set in medieval Oman, a mother who was one of the Indian Ocean’s most notorious pirates returns to the sea to secure her daughter’s future.

In Memoriam by Alice Winn

Tells the love story of two young men who are classmates and how they grapple with the realities of war when they both enlist during WWI.

Books like In Memoriam by Alice Winn:

  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan

Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major

A woman must relive the same day over and over again, keep her family and work life from imploding and attempt to spare her husband from an unfortunate fate.

Click here to catch my chat with author Cesca Major.

Books like Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major:

  • Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

Y/N by Esther Yi

A book about a writer who becomes obsessed with a K-pop idol and starts writing stories about meeting him.  Then she flies to Seoul to find him, but when there, she ends up finding even more.

I Could Live Here Forever by Hanna Halperin

A tender, heartbreaking novel that centers on a tumultuous and consuming relationship between a young woman and a recovering addict.

Books like I Could Live Here Forever by Hanna Halperin:

  • Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney

Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah

In Small Joys, we see how an unexpected friendship saves a young man’s life.  Though this novel starts in a dark place, it’s an incredibly hopeful novel that prioritizes kindness and compassion, and love.

Click here to catch my chat with author Elvin James Mensah.

Books like Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah:

  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor
  • Memorial by Bryan Washington

The Last Word by Taylor Adams

When a school teacher and avid reader gives a book a one-star review and refuses to take it down, it pushes the unhinged psychopath author off the edge.

Books like The Last Word by Taylor Adams:

  • Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Exes pretend they’re still together for their annual vacation with their friends, but soon they fall back into a familiar dynamic, and old flames reignite.

If you’ve read and loved Carley Fortune (Every Summer After, Meet Me at the Lake) you’ll enjoy Emily Henry.

Click here to catch my chat with author Carley Fortune.

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

A satire of the publishing industry that centers on a struggling writer who steals her successful dead college friend’s manuscript and publishes it as her own.

Books like Yellowface by R. F. Kuang:

  • Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen
  • Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou

Update: Yellowface is the July 2023 Reese’s Book Club pick!

The Guest by Emma Cline

A young woman schemes and pretends to be someone she isn’t and be “the guest” in the lives of different people she hopes can support her.

Books like The Guest by Emma Cline:

  • Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

A bestselling children’s author comes out of retirement to host a competition based on his books and invites three superfans to compete for the only manuscript of his new book.

Books like The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer:

  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

What do you think about my halfway top thirteen books of 2023 (so far!)?

What are the best books you’ve read?  Let’s talk about it in the comments.


Top 13 Books of 2023

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