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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,651 authors and super readers for their 3 favorite reads of the year.

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My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of On the Future: Prospects for Humanity

Julian Stockwin Why did I love this book?

I have a deep and profound love of history and the past and am privileged to be able to earn my living writing about such things. This book, by contrast, takes you to the possible future of humanity in a deeply memorable way.

I was particularly interested in Rees's thoughts in the preface to the paperback edition on the impact of COVID-19.  His clarion call is the hope that this pandemic will result in a shift of mindsets towards a greater awareness that "we are all in this together."

This is my number one book of all those I've read this year, and it has made a profound impact on me. I  heartily commend the book to all thinking readers.

By Martin Rees,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A provocative and inspiring look at the future of humanity and science from world-renowned scientist and bestselling author Martin Rees

Humanity has reached a critical moment. Our world is unsettled and rapidly changing, and we face existential risks over the next century. Various outcomes-good and bad-are possible. Yet our approach to the future is characterized by short-term thinking, polarizing debates, alarmist rhetoric, and pessimism. In this short, exhilarating book, renowned scientist and bestselling author Martin Rees argues that humanity's prospects depend on our taking a very different approach to planning for tomorrow.

The future of humanity is bound to the…


My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of How to Read Water

Julian Stockwin Why did I love this book?

The title drew me in immediately, and I wasn't disappointed. Although the whole book was interesting, I particularly related to the chapter on water at night, which brought back memories of lonely watch-keeping under the stars. A gem of a tome on good old H2O and its weird and wonderful configurations!

By Tristan Gooley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Read Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A wonderful read... It's one of those books that gives you a new pair of eyes to see the world in a different way. I've been transported by it... You'll love every minute, the writing is absolutely beautiful.' - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

From the bestselling author of THE WALKER'S GUIDE TO OUTDOOR CLUES AND SIGNS

A must-have book for walkers, sailors, swimmers, anglers and everyone interested in the natural world, in How To Read Water, Natural Navigator Tristan Gooley shares knowledge, skills, tips and useful observations to help you enjoy the landscape around you and learn about the magic of the…


My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Captain's Table: Life and Dining On the Great Ocean Liners

Julian Stockwin Why did I love this book?

In my previous life, I would have loved to have traveled with my wife in one of the great ocean liners in their heyday. The glorious food, fine wines, and the general ambiance are wonderfully evoked in this book, and a well-chosen selection of recipes, contemporary photographs, and original menu cards enhances the text.

Your decision will be just what recipe to try first.

By Sarah Edington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Captain's Table as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To sail first class on the great ocean liners was to experience the last word in luxury and service. The Captain's Table recalls not only the glamour and excitement of life on board, but also the rich creativity of the excellent cuisine. The author has expertly recreated an inspiring selection of classic recipes from the First, Second and Tourist Class dining rooms for the modern cook, adding to them with fascinating research on their origins, including period memorabilia in the form of dining cards and menus. Beautifully illustrated with a wealth of nostalgic imagery, this book exudes glamour and elegance,…


Plus, check out my book…

Sea of Treason

By Julian Stockwin,

Book cover of Sea of Treason

What is my book about?

The shadow of war falls across the Continent as Napoleon gathers his forces once more, his Grand Armee somehow back to full strength after his disastrous Russian campaign.

My hero, Thomas Kydd, will face some of his most significant challenges.