Author Luddite Philosopher Book designer & Illustrator Sci-fi writer Hermit
The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,644 authors and super readers for their 3 favorite reads of the year.

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My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Titanium Noir

Gareth Southwell Why did I love this book?

The best sci-fi has a lived-in feel – think of the polluted, grimy futurism of Blade Runner or Alien.

This is something that it has in common with noir fiction. Compare, say, the cyberpunk of  William Gibson with the gritty, hard-boiled detective fiction of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett – take out the sci-fi elements, and they could be writing about the same world.

In Titanium Noir, Nick Harkaway imagines just that. It is a razor-sharp pastiche, combining the best tropes of the gum-shoe genre – the femme fatale, the world-weary PI, corrupt cops, and menacing crime bosses – with an intriguing sci-fi premise: What if someone invented a drug that made youth eternal? What influence and power would such people wield? And what would happen if one of them mysteriously died?

By Nick Harkaway,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Titanium Noir as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A virtuosic mashup of Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler by way of Marvel—the story of a detective investigating the murder of a Titan, one of society’s most powerful, medically-enhanced elites. • “Cross-genre brilliance from the superbly talented Nick Harkaway.” —William Gibson, New York Times best-selling author of Agency

"An exemplar of its genre, Titanium Noir twists and turns between excellent fun and deep melancholy." —The New York Times Book Review

Cal Sounder is a detective working for the police on certain very sensitive cases. So when he’s called in to investigate a homicide at a local apartment, he’s surprised…

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Little Eyes

Gareth Southwell Why did I love this book?

In one sense, there is nothing futuristic about Samantha Schweblin’s book at all. Everything it describes is in fact happening right now.

Cool cyber gadgets are in our bags and our pockets, invading our homes and our workplaces, informing us, entertaining us – and of course, monitoring us. But what it does brilliantly – by turns funny, disturbing, and poignant – is show how this impacts our personal relationships.

Little Eyes presents this digital infiltration in the guise of a little fluffy robot, no more than a camera on wheels, controlled by an anonymous remote user but lacking in two-way communication. And as the many interweaving stories play out across multiple countries and cultures, with people of all ages, backgrounds, and motivations, we see just how vulnerable such technology has made us. 

By Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Little Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A visionary novel about our interconnected world, about the collision of horror and humanity, from the Man Booker-shortlisted master of the spine-tingling tale

A Guardian & Observer Best Fiction Book of 2020 * A Sunday Times Best Science Fiction Book of the Year * The Times Best Science Fiction Books of the Year * NPR Best Books of the Year

World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations of 2020 * Ebook Travel Guides Best 5 Books of 2020 * A New York Times Notable Book of 2020

They're not pets. Not ghosts or robots. These are kentukis, and they are in…

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires

Gareth Southwell Why did I love this book?

What do Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and other Silicon Valley billionaires all have in common? Apart from being mega-rich, and at the forefront of the technological innovations that are shaping our lives, they all seem to want to escape.

Zuckerberg envisions a virtual reality metaverse where we can live our lives without ever leaving the house, Musk wants to emigrate to Mars, while other tech bros are investing in apocalypse-proof secret compounds. But why? It’s almost as if they don’t feel too optimistic about the world they’re helping to create. 

And here, as Rushkoff points out, is the irony: to fund these dreams, there must be ever greater and faster economic growth – at whatever the cost to the environment, working conditions, livelihoods, democracy, or our children’s mental health.

By Douglas Rushkoff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Survival of the Richest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Five mysterious billionaires summoned Douglas Rushkoff to a desert resort for a private talk. The subject? How to survive the "Event": the societal collapse they know is coming. Rushkoff argues that these men were under the influence of The Mindset, a Silicon Valley-style certainty that they and their cohort can escape a disaster of their own making-as long as they have enough money and the right technology.

Rushkoff traces the origins of The Mindset in science and technology through its current expression in missions to Mars, island bunkers, AI futurism, and the metaverse. Through fascinating characters-master programmers who want to…

Plus, check out my book…

Book cover of MUNKi

What is my book about?

10 years after he died, Cari's grandfather is back. Or at least, his memories are. Stolen and repackaged into a corporate video by tech giant Merrywhile Industries to promote their latest project – digital immortality.

When no one believes her, Cari’s search for proof drives her into a lawless virtual underworld of hackers-for-hire where anything is for sale – and payment isn't always in cryptocurrency. But global megacorporations don’t take well to scrutiny. As Cari looks into Merrywhile, Merrywhile also looks into her. And as she realises there’s more to the grandfather she loved and thought she knew, his secrets make her a target for shadowy players in a game with stakes much higher than data theft.