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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,559 authors and super readers for their 3 favorite reads of the year.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism

Jennifer L. Castle Why did I love this book?

I, like I’m sure many others, have a growing unease when reading the newspapers where we are seeing catastrophic political and economic events play out around the world.

Martin Wolf gives me a sense of relief that there are intelligent, calm voices out there. But even he seems to be shaken in this book. It is a prescription for restoring order to democratic capitalism and a beacon of hope when that sense of unease sets in.  

By Martin Wolf,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the chief economics commentator of the Financial Times, a magnificent reckoning with how and why the marriage between democracy and capitalism is coming undone, and what can be done to reverse this terrifying dynamic

Martin Wolf has long been one of the wisest voices on global economic issues. He has rarely been called an optimist, yet he has never been as worried as he is today. Liberal democracy is in recession, and authoritarianism is on the rise. The ties that ought to bind open markets to free and fair elections are threatened, even in democracy’s heartlands, the United States…


My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of How to Make the World Add Up: Ten Rules for Thinking Differently About Numbers

Jennifer L. Castle Why did I love this book?

I’m an avid fan of `More or Less,’ so this book was at the top of my list of must-reads, and I was not disappointed.

Common sense thinking seeps in by way of fascinating stories and interesting titbits. Fast-paced, light-hearted, and thought-provoking, Tim Harford does not disappoint with this book. 

By Tim Harford,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How to Make the World Add Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times Bestseller

'Tim Harford is one of my favourite writers in the world. His storytelling is gripping but never overdone, his intellectual honesty is rare and inspiring, and his ability to make complex things simple - but not simplistic - is exceptional. How to Make the World Add Up is another one of his gems. If you're looking for an addictive pageturner that will make you smarter, this is your book' Rutger Bregman, author of Humankind

'Tim Harford could well be Britain's Malcolm Gladwell'
Alex Bellos, author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland

'If you aren't in love with…


My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Capital

Jennifer L. Castle Why did I love this book?

As relevant now as it was 10 years ago, this is a wonderful fictional tale of a street in London.

You can get lost in the characters of Pepys Road but underlying it is a morality tale of money and greed in London.

I found I couldn’t put it down the first time or the second; it is a Dickens of our time novel. 

By John Lanchester,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

** From the author of The Wall **

Adapted into an Emmy Award-winning BBC One drama

'Effortlessly brilliant . . . hugely moving and outrageously funny.' Observer

The residents of Pepys Road, London - a banker and his shopaholic wife, an elderly woman dying of a brain tumour, the Pakistani family who run the local shop, the young football star from Senegal and his minder - all receive anonymous postcards with a simple message: We Want What You Have. Who is behind it? What do they want?

As the mystery of the postcards deepens, the world around Pepys Road is…


Plus, check out my book…

Modelling our Changing World

By Jennifer L. Castle, David F. Hendry,

Book cover of Modelling our Changing World

What is my book about?

My book is aimed at general academic readers interested in a wide range of disciplines within the sciences and social sciences. It emphasizes the need for general models to account for the ever-changing complexities of the modern world, given the magnitudes of changes that have occurred historically.

The combination of evolutionary and abrupt changes poses a major challenge for empirical modeling and forecasting of time series, hence the need for the methods discussed. A set of primers explains key concepts, tools and methods, minimizing technicalities, and computer software for tackling complicated empirical modeling is described.

All disciplines using time series data should find the book of value: the examples discussed cover climate, volcanoes, and economics.