The Best Books I Read In 2023

If you only know one thing about me, it’s probably that I loove books. I’m hyperlexic. When I say “I’m a reader,” I mean “I read the way other people breathe.”

I read more than 50 books a quarter; to make it on my list of favorite books for the year is a big deal. There are many contenders.

I’ve divided my favorites into six categories that I hope you find helpful: Perspective Altering Non-Fiction, Compelling Memoirs/Biographies, Fiction That Tells A Good Story, Fiction That Tells A Story Well, Inexplicably Stayed With Me For Months, and Great Short Story Collections.

While I definitely read to escape, I mostly read to be impressed. These thirty-seven books entertained, informed, and probably created new folds in my brain.

Perspective Altering Non-Fiction

These books made me think: about systems, about America, about my health, and about my kids. But in order to make this list, they had to be well-written, too.

Compelling Memoirs/Biographies

These memoirs and biographies led to hyperfixations of the author/subject’s life. And I don’t regret one minute of fevered Wikipedia scrolling or video essay perusal.

Fiction That Tells A Good Story

I’ve always said that literary fiction comes in two types. This category is about a good story.

Of course, these books are well-written (otherwise they can’t make the list), but they’re in this category as the story was so gripping I couldn’t wait to see how it would end.

Fiction That Tells A Story Well

These books contain more “ordinary” stories: slow plots, daily vignettes, and no supernatural elements.

Yet, they were written so well as to transcend their everyday subjects.

Inexplicably Stayed With Me For Months

While all these books could have gone into either of the two previous categories, I felt that these deserved their own space.

Cuz these books certainly carved space in my brain. Even months later, I think of these tomes often.

Great Short Story Collections

In my opinion, short story collections are a dime a dozen. Even ones I enjoy at the time, I usually find forgettable.

That’s probably why this is the shortest category. But these two short story collections deserve a special mention.


If your New Year’s resolution is to read more books, you’ve got to start here! I hope you like these books (and their categorization).

You Tell Me!

What were some of your favorite books of 2023? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!


megan imhoff
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Megan writes everything on Ish Mom. She possesses a bachelor's degree in psychology, a flair for theatrics, and a whole lotta nerve. She lives in the Midwest (and loves it) with her wonderful husband and three young boys.

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