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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,681 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 Markmaker

Karina Fabian Why did I love this book?

I had the honor of reading this in a critique group before it came out and again when the editors were done with it.

Mariikel Serix is an alien tattoo artist trying to pay back for a wrong he'd done and finds himself embroiled in a shipwide political struggle against the clans. It's a great SF story with deeply woven themes of personal honor and doing the right thing when society pushes you to conform.

The world-building is amazing, especially the tribal society of a generation ship that's part of a nomadic fleet. It's a beautiful book and a great adventure.

By Mary Jessica Woods,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He swore to paint the truth. Now he is living a lie.

For the Noxxiin people, tattoos define identity: they commemorate birth, ancestry, accomplishments—even crimes. As a tattoo artist living on an ancient generation ship, Mariikel Serix has sworn to record the truth. So when he becomes an unwilling accomplice in the banishment of an innocent man, he is horrified that he has broken his oath—and his eyes are opened to the misery of the Underbelly, the realm of the outcasts.

Despite the risk to himself, the young markmaker begins secretly helping the ship’s exiles. But more trouble is brewing.…


My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Karina Fabian Why did I love this book?

I’m always on the prowl for better ways to organize my many projects and to get things done. This book gives a very practical approach to task management.

It goes beyond time management; instead, it teaches you how to break things down and create actionable lists (as opposed to the huge To-Do list) to make the most of every moment. It also helps you to “empty your brain” of the should-do tasks in a way that reassures you that they will get done, freeing your mind to concentrate on the task at hand.

I’ve implemented the program and feel more relaxed about my day.

By David Allen,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Getting Things Done as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The book Lifehack calls "The Bible of business and personal productivity."

"A completely revised and updated edition of the blockbuster bestseller from 'the personal productivity guru'"-Fast Company

Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen's Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. "GTD" is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text…


My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Thing From HR: A Cthulhu, Amalgamated Novel

Karina Fabian Why did I love this book?

Anybody who’s worked in an office or is a fan of Dilbert will love this book.

I loved the humor, but this goes beyond humor. Griff’s combination of bureaucracy, academic-ish prose, and the machinations of Hell are fantastic. He’s a craftsman of worldbuilding. The story is a lot of fun, especially as it’s told from a shoggoth being crammed into human form and sharing a mind with a surfer.

Just read it. You’ll not be disappointed.

By Roy M. Griffis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Thing From HR as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Plus, check out my book…

Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1

By Karina Fabian,

Book cover of Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1

What is my book about?

If you love Star Trek and parodies... 

If the Orville and Galaxy Quest give you as much joy as Wrath of Khan... 

If you believe that humans will rule the galaxy because we are the only species crazy enough to tie two warp cores together, reverse the polarity, and toss them into a star to see what will happen, then this is the book for you. These are the voyages of the HMB Impulsive. You know the mission.