Reading Recap of 2023

Every year, I track each and every book I read in a website/app called Goodreads. I set myself a challenge goal of 100 books, and have consistently met that for years! It’s been a couple of years since I did a reading wrap-up post, but I’m in the mood for that this year, so let’s get into it!

First of all, I’m technically not done with my challenge yet… I’ve currently read 99 books, but I’m at 70% in my last two, and both of those will be finished by tomorrow (on 12/28), so I know I’ll reach/exceed my goal, and hit 101 books total this year! According to my 2023 Year in Books on Goodreads, I read 34,827 pages (I included my last two as well), “The Hunger Games” was the most-shelved book (on over 10 million Goodreads shelves), and “Ghosts of You & Me” was the highest-rated book I read. The first completed book was “The Second Mrs. Astor” (for my book club), and the last book I’ll complete will be “Fool Me Twice At Christmas,” (a holiday rom-com).

The following books were some of my favorites of the year, and all received 5-star ratings from me (in no particular order):

  • A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny (Inspector Gamache series #18)
  • November 9 by Colleen Hoover
  • Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children series #8)
  • Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
  • Icebreaker by Hannah Grace
  • The Villa by Rachel Hawkins
  • The Hunger Games #1-3 by Suzanne Collins (re-read the entire series, for probably the 5th time)
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (#0, Hunger Games prequel)
  • Everywhere We’ve Never Been by Miranda Valentine
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (re-read books #0-3)
  • The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
  • Fourth Wing (#1 in series) by Rebecca Yarros / Iron Flame (#2 in series) by Rebecca Yarros
  • The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther
  • Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
  • Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Home Again by Kristin Hannah
  • Saga (the entire series, graphic novels 1-10) by Brian K. Vaughan
  • Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (excellent on audio, read by the author!)
  • The Secret Book of Flora Lee by Patti Callahan Henry
  • Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
  • Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (re-read of one of my all-time favorites)
  • Happy Place by Emily Henry
  • Ghost of You & Me by Miranda Valentine
  • The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
  • The Maid by Nita Prose

That’s 27 books I rated 5-stars in 2023! And I know it seems like 27 is a lot to have liked to so much I rated them 5 stars… but over the years, I’ve gotten better and better about selecting books that I know I’ll enjoy (rather than just reading something because it’s popular). And I’ve also gotten better about DNF-ing (did not finish) books that just aren’t right for me. I used to be a “finisher,” and would force myself to keep trucking through a book just to finish, but I’ve learned through the years that life’s too short to read bad books, and there are many more I could spend my time on instead! So now, I try to make it to 30%, and if I’m still not interested, then I’ll just quit.

And just because I feel like some really good 4-star books were left out of the list above (and obviously I love talking about books and sharing books and recommending books, so why not share some more!?), here are a few others that I really enjoyed this year, they just didn’t quite make the 5-star rating, but were still super good, that I rated 4 stars:

  • Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade (#3 in Spoiler Alert series)
  • I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (memoir)
  • Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan
  • The Serpent and the Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent
  • Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
  • Fairy Tale by Stephen King
  • Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up by Selma Blair
  • Upgrade by Blake Crouch
  • Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
  • Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
  • Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer
  • Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  • Zero Days by Ruth Ware
  • Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
  • Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard by Tom Felton

About half of the 101 books were read on Kindle (via the library) and the other half were read via audio book (also from the library). I only read a handful of physical books, just because I love the convenience of audio and Kindle. Also, if you didn’t know that you can borrow both Kindle & audio books for free from the library, you can! And it’s so easy and convenient, and I’m sure I’ve saved literally thousands of dollars with all the books I’ve read from the library. I also love to thrift used books as well, for just a few dollars here and there.

I read lots of different genres, from rom-com, to fantasy, to sci-fi, to YA, to memoir. So if you’re a reader too, there’s bound to be something on these lists to appeal to you too! If you want personalized recommendations, I love doing that too. One of my favorite things is when a friend texts me, asking for books recs, and I get to pour through my past reads, and curate a list specifically to their tastes and what I think they’ll like. I love talking about books!

I also love raising up these tiny readers as well, who are both following in their Mommy’s footsteps.

What are some favorites you’ve read this year? I’ve love to chat about it!

P.S. – this post is in place of my daily blog today, so this is the only one.

P.P.S. – here are a few past years I did these reading recaps: 2018, 2019, 2020.

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