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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 Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone

M. A. Maddock Why did I love this book?

I absolutely love a book series. The bigger, the better! I invested in the Outlander book series some years ago, and with it nearing its conclusion (this is the penultimate of the series), I cannot wait for the final installment.

Initially set in Scotland (my inspiration!), it’s a wonderful story, with an element of fantasy, about two people from different timelines choosing to stay together throughout some of the most turbulent times in history.

The writing is exceptional, and the story of Claire and Jamie and their ongoing struggles will keep you hooked. These books have hugely inspired me and my writing. Will I read them again? Absolutely! 

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*The author of the Sunday Times bestselling Outlander series returns with the newest novel in the epic tale.*

'Gabaldon's vast and sweeping account of the war is so intricately plotted and peopled that one is amazed she could conceive and write it in only seven years' Independent

'Go Tell the Bees is packed with everything readers love about the Outlander series' Guardian

'Gabaldon is a gifted world-builder, and her attention to the unglamorous details of life in the past, like digging privies, plus authentic portraits of marriage and relationships lift her series' Daily Telegraph

Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall…

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Rebecca

M. A. Maddock Why did I love this book?

I adore the classics, and Rebecca is an exceptional example.

It is a haunting tale of a young woman who, when working as the companion of a wealthy, elderly lady, falls in love with the mysterious Max De Winter while holidaying in Monte Carlo.

After a brief affair, he proposes marriage and whisks his new bride off to his home, the ominous Manderley. The new Mrs. De Winter gets more than she bargains for when she meets Mrs. Davers, the late Mrs. De Winter’s loyal housekeeper, who is determined to make life difficult for her new mistress.

Dark and atmospheric, this will keep you guessing. 

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of A Game of Thrones

M. A. Maddock Why did I love this book?

“Winter is coming.” This must be one of the most famous quotes from a book series. After years of promising myself, I eventually started reading Game of Thrones this year. So glad I did, too.

It is a gripping series set in a brutal fantasy world where different Realms/Houses are in constant battle to gain or win back the infamous Iron Throne, with a lot of blood-shed and betrayal thrown into the mix.

It is a complex story (7 books to date. I’m currently on book 3) that calls for the reader’s full attention. But once you’ve established names and places, you’re hooked! A master class for all writers of fantasy. 

By George R. R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked A Game of Thrones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…

Plus, check out my book…

The Moon Chasers: Book 2 of The Sixth Amulet Series

By M. A. Maddock,

Book cover of The Moon Chasers: Book 2 of The Sixth Amulet Series

What is my book about?

When reluctant Warlock Oran Shaw discovers his newborn son, Gill, is destined to be the greatest of all Warlocks, ominous forces from his turbulent past resurface to claim the precious amulet sealing his son’s fate – The Shenn.

Time also becomes a precious commodity for the Warlock when he realizes the true extent of the evil facing him; it threatens his family, along with every man, woman, and child.

But when this sinister threat emerges in the form of a woman from his past, Oran’s world is thrown into chaos when he is forced to make a decision – one that could alter everything!