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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,679 authors and super readers for their 3 favorite reads of the year.

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My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Hammered

Allen Ballantine Why did I love this book?

Lindsay Buroker always has enjoyable characters and intriguing stories no matter the genre, and has inspired many of my own characters. This is a spin-off of an earlier series; she introduces new characters and mixes in old favorites with plenty of action, humor, and imagination.

The book is set in the Pacific Northwest; Matti, a half-dwarf remodeler, learns that her mother was heir to the throne and may not be dead, and the hammer she uses for demolition is much more than a tool. Armed with the hammer, Matti sets out to find the truth about her parents. Add in a snobby elf assassin who was once hired to kill her mother she’s not sure she can trust. 

Hammered is the first book of a riveting eight-book series that I finished quickly.

By Lindsay Buroker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hammered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seattle native Matti Puletasi has the strength of a bear, the stamina of an ox, and a magical hammer inherited from her dwarven mother.

She’s happy renovating homes and occasionally thumping bad guys until she learns of a mysterious artifact hidden under the house she’s working on. Everybody from humans to orcs to werewolves wants it, and they’re willing to kill to get it. Things go from bad to worse when someone frames her for murder.

The only person interested in helping her is a haughty elf assassin from another realm. He’s handsome, powerful, and deadly, but he’s got an…


My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Jane Bond

Allen Ballantine Why did I love this book?

The first book of V.R. Tapscott’s Jane Bond series of humorous science fiction is a good release when you just need a lighthearted laugh.

While on break from her school librarian job, Jane Bond (no relation to the famous spy) finds part of a spaceship containing the AI pilot and sets off on an adventure to find more missing parts, sending her into plenty of humorous and dangerous situations. A very fun and enjoyable series.

By V R Tapscott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jane Bond as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An alien pilot.A chocolate cake.A doomed relationship or two.Jane’s life as an elementary school librarian gets sidetracked when she digs up the AI pilot of a 140 million year-old spacecraft.Now, she’s running all over the world looking for spaceship parts, falling in and out of love and trying to keep her friends from thinking she’s going crazy.To make matters worse, the ship she’s recovering is starting to sound a bit more like the Death Star than the Millennium Falcon.When did life get so complicated?Join Jane for high-tech gadgets, action, adventure, and an alien intelligence for a sidekick, because it's just…


My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Astray

Allen Ballantine Why did I love this book?

I’ve always liked reading science fiction ever since reading Star Trek books when I was young. In this space opera, Nora Devi has a past that could get her killed, or worse, if it’s discovered.

Working alone as a tagger along the border, she figures she’s safe from discovery. But a young girl and a war hero assigned to the sector threaten to disrupt her safe, if lonely life. Working with a rogue AI from an ancient civilization, Jenny tries to help without getting noticed.

An intriguing look into how human civilizations can develop.

By Jenny Schwartz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Astray as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nora Devi is a xeno-archaeologist with a complicated past. She has buried more secrets than she’s dug up. Widowed in the recently ended twelve year war between Capitoline and Palantine, she now makes a living as an independent tagger in border space.

Captain Liam Kimani could be credited with ending the latest royal war. Instead, he’s blamed for it. Dirty commoners aren’t meant to lay their hands on royalty.

He has no regrets.

When Liam and his crew of the battlecruiser RC Genghis Khan are exiled to Capitoline’s border they discover that life in unexplored space can be more dangerous…


Plus, check out my book…

CFS Seeker: Shattered System, book one

By Allen Ballantine,

Book cover of CFS Seeker: Shattered System, book one

What is my book about?

The twin system of the stars Qos and Cloi had recently undergone two wars.

First, planets of the Cloi system broke away from the Qos Hegemony, then ten years later, another war between the two powers has left the twin system shattered. A third government around the gas giant Cinus had declared independence along with several corporate and criminal-controlled bases. The system can’t afford another conflict.

In a show of unity, the three governments have agreed to send a team to investigate a cult that’s growing throughout the system. Can these former enemies cooperate and get along? If they can’t, the system may be near a third war that would devastate the shattered system.