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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.

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

My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

Laci Barry Post Why did I love this book?

I love books, both fictional and non-fictional, that help me relive history. Stephen E. Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage did just that.

I got to know the men behind the famous names of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark! I crossed the mountains and rode on the keelboat with them to explore new lands. I saw the buffalo and bears with them. I encountered the Native Americans with them.

I did not know before reading this book how many different Native American groups there were in America! It was so interesting to learn about their different beliefs and ways of living.

I also got to know more about Thomas Jefferson and Sacagawea. Thomas Jefferson had a great scientific mind that provided our country with a wealth of knowledge. Sacagawea was a courageous Shoshone woman who was just a teenager and young mom when she helped Lewis and Clark make their way to the Pacific Ocean.   

After reading this book, you will have a new and educated appreciation for the Lewis and Clark Expedition and want to follow their footsteps to the American West!   

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Undaunted Courage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A chronicle of the two-and-a-half year journey of Lewis and Clark covers their incredible hardships and the contributions of Sacajawea.

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Eat to Beat Your Diet: Burn Fat, Heal Your Metabolism, and Live Longer

Laci Barry Post Why did I love this book?

Besides being a writer, I am a group fitness instructor who likes to take care of her health. I know a lot about physical fitness but not as much about nutrition. This book taught me the value of the food we eat and the great benefits of eating nutritional foods.

The author breaks down a plethora of different foods, which have healing properties for our bodies for long, healthy lives. I learned so much from the book and am incorporating it into my daily life without dieting. It is literally a life-transforming book. 

By William W Li,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eat to Beat Your Diet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The pioneering physician scientist behind the New York Times bestseller Eat to Beat Disease reveals the science of eating your way to healthy weight loss.

In his first groundbreaking book, Dr. William Li explored the world of food as medicine. By eating foods that you already enjoy, like tomatoes, blueberries, sourdough bread, and dark chocolate your body activates its five health defense systems to fight cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative autoimmune diseases, and other debilitating conditions.

Now in Eat to Beat Your Diet, Dr. Li introduces the surprising new science of weight loss, revealing healthy body fat can help you lose…

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Pillars of the Earth

Laci Barry Post Why did I love this book?

This book took me to another place and time, one that I do not typically study or read about. While I love English history, I know little about this period.

The characters are complex, relatable, and infuriating. I spent the whole book cheering for Lady Aliena, admiring Prior Phillip, and hating William Hamleigh. I don’t know that I hated a book character more outside of Harry Potter’s Professor Umbridge!

This historical fiction masterpiece amid medieval cathedrals will make you feel intensely. 

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Pillars of the Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Oprah's Book Club Selection

The "extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece" (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett's already phenomenal career-and begins where its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, ended.

"Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner," extolled Publishers Weekly on the release of The Pillars of the Earth. A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett's unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal.


Plus, check out my book…


By Laci Barry Post,

Book cover of Songbird

What is my book about?

"I'm waiting for my life to begin. Waiting for the train to come in," Ava Stilwell, a young woman eager for life, sings a popular song with the big band that reflects her heart. In the midst of a world at war, Ava finds love, a passion for her music, and new opportunities, but the war still looms over her, threatening to take it all away.

It's 1943, and World War II has gripped the nation, including the Stilwell family in Jacksonville, Alabama. Rationing, bomb drills, patriotism, and a changing South barrage their way of life.

Neighboring Fort McClellan has brought the world to their doorstep in the form of young soldiers from all rationing countries and German POWs from halfway around the globe.

My book recommendation list