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My Favorite Books of 2023

I feel like I go in spurts with reading. Some months I want nothing to do with reading and will binge Netflix like there’s no tomorrow. And other months I’ll plow through 4-5 books a week. Lately, I’ve been in a binge reading (and listening) phase, as I love listening to books while I’m drawing or doing embroidery.

I had made a goal to read 36 books last year and ended up hitting that number around November. So I upped it to 52 books, figuring I had nothing to lose, and was pleasantly surprised when I ended up reading (and listening to) 44 books for the year.

My favorite genre is fiction, with Romance and Women’s Literature being my favorite subjects to read. I also found myself gravitating towards a few writers in particular and read several titles in their line-up. Most of the books I read through the Libby app (it’s free!) and found a good mix of eBooks and audio books. I also ended up getting an Audible subscription in November and have loved having access to so many fun titles that way.

Most of the books I read last year were enjoyable. Some were a little steamier than others. And some were more fun and mindless than anything else. All in all, it was a good year of reading and am thrilled to have leaned into it as much as I did. Yay for NOURISHING my mind (and soul).

This year, I set a goal to read (or listen to) 52 books and am excited to see what titles I gravitate towards. (Hint: so far it has everything to do with 🐺 and ❤️‍🔥)

As for last year’s books, here are 10 of my favorites. (All links are affiliate links and I make a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase something.)

  1. Killers Of A Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn: This book had me laughing throughout most of it. I loved the characters, the story line, and the way the book kept my interest the entire way through. Definitely recommend this one if you like light thrillers and mysteries. Actually, I recommend it even if you don’t.
  2. The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews: This one falls under the romance genre but happens to contain a good murder mystery mixed in between. It also happens to be a fun play on the HGTV brand of DIY/Fixer Upper shows, making for lots of laughs and enjoyment.
  3. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling: The very first line of the book hooked me and honestly it just kept getting better from there. To quote the New York Times, this book “casts a delightful spell with spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.” I highly recommend this book, as well as the second book in the series called The Kissing Curse.
  4. Hot Flashes and Hockey Slashes by Marika Ray and Sylvie Stewart: As someone who’s going through perimenopause right now, this book was such a fun and refreshing read. I love that the main character was in the thick of things with hot flashes, body changes, and other menopause related symptoms taking center stage WHILE ALSO still getting the man.
  5. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai: This is definitely a romance book for the modern age with two rival dating app creators coming together for fun in the bedroom AND the boardroom. It was such a fun read that I ended up reading the other books in the series and enjoyed them all. I also really loved how diverse the characters were and really appreciated how varied and interesting their stories were.
  6. Something Wilder by Christina Lauren: Christina Lauren was by far one of my favorite authors of the year, having read 6 of their books in 2023. Something Wilder was definitely a favorite of those 6 and focused on the story of Lily Wilder, daughter of a treasure hunter, who reconnects with the love of her life. Their story is filled with adventure, heartbreak, rekindled romance, and, of course, murder.
  7. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano: What a beautiful and, at times, heartbreaking story this was. The story chronicles the lives of 4 sisters (an homage to Little Women), and touches on themes of love, heartbreak, familial relationships, and loss. I seriously haven’t cried this much while reading a book in a long time and was really glad to have picked it up on a whim. Definitely a far cry from the light hearted romance books I had been reading.
  8. Flying Solo by Linda Holmes: I adored this book and the story of Aunt Dot, as told by her niece Laurie, who returns home to pack up her aunts house and belongings following her death. The story touches on love, grief, rekindled romances, and wooden ducks.
  9. Beach Read by Emily Henry: Emily Henry was another favorite author of 2023, with 5 books read by her this year. Beach Read was the one that hooked me initially and covered all the bases of a great beach read with some lighthearted competition, opposites attract romance, and a happily ever after kind of ending.
  10. Under The Whispering Door by Tj Klune: I’m not sure what I expected when I picked up this title, but man oh man was it fun. And unexpected. And absolutely lovely. This one falls into the Fantasy Category with its focus on the spirit world and what happens before we cross over. But don’t be fooled, it’s also a love story and one about living life (and death) to the fullest. I definitely want to check out more books by Tj Klune in 2024.

What about you? What were some of your favorite books that you read in 2023 (or beyond)? What should I add to my reading queue next??

X+O,
Emily

hi, i’m emily and i love making things with my hands. i always have a project (or ten) in the works and love to draw, paint, cook, sew, crochet, cross stitch, and make soap. this year, i’m focusing my creative efforts on trying new things and just plain having fun.

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