The Reader's Couch Podcast

Top Thirteen Books of 2023

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

Last Updated on January 4, 2024 by BiblioLifestyle

The Reader's Couch Podcast - Top Thirteen Books of 2023

Top Thirteen Books of 2023


Ready to expand your reading list?  Listen in as I share my top 13 personal favorite books of 2023!  I think each book on this list is a winner, and I share a spoiler-free description of what you can expect, why each book made the list, and what makes them stand out.  You can expect stories brimming with intrigue and emotion, stories that provide vivid explorations of the human condition, plus capturing the essence of connection, the sting of betrayal, and the search for hope.

Top Thirteen Books of 2023

From Page to Podcast: My Top 13 Literary Picks of the Year

In today’s episode, I’m super excited to share my 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.  

Come on this literary journey with me as these top 13 books of 2023 are a collection of narratives that delve into themes of love, struggle and the human spirit and range from historical fiction to thrilling suspense.


My Top Books of 2023

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.

Maame by Jessica George

A coming-of-age novel about a mid-20s British Ghanaian woman who, after tragedy strikes, is forced to reassess her life.

Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein

Set in 1940s Trinidad, an immersive story of two families colliding and the chilling mystery at the center of how interconnected their lives are.

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.

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.

Y/N by Esther Yi

When a writer becomes obsessed with a K-pop idol, she begins writing stories about meeting him and then flies to Seoul to find him, but she finds even more.

I Could Live Here Forever by Hanna Halperin

A tender, heartbreaking novel that’s a gripping portrait of a tumultuous, consuming relationship between a young woman and a recovering addict. Leah finds herself getting deeper into an isolated relationship, one of manipulation and denial, as she navigates the blurred boundaries of love and pain.

Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah

n Small Joys we see how an unexpected friendship saves a young man’s life. Harley, a young queer black man in nineties Britain, finds solace and hope when he meets Muddy, an ebullient bird-watcher. Together, they navigate through the challenges of life, creating small joys that help them overcome their struggles.

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.

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.

The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams

Over the course of one day, the long-standing tensions between a husband, his wife, and her best friend finally come to a breaking point.

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

Lucy Hart, a teacher’s aide with a difficult past, dreams of adopting orphaned Christopher but lacks the means. When she gets the chance to win a prized book in a contest on Clock Island, she faces challenges from competitors and an intriguing illustrator, all while the author himself plans a life-altering twist.

BiblioLifestyle Best Books of 2023

What do you think about my halfway top thirteen books of 2023?

What are the best books you’ve read in 2023?  Let’s talk all about your top books of the year in the comments below.

The Reader's Couch Podcast - Top Thirteen Books of 2023

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