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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,552 authors and super readers for their 3 favorite reads of the year.

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My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Howards End

Margot Livesey Why did I love this book?

Howard’s End made me miss my train stop – it’s so brilliantly plotted – but what makes me love it is how Forster forgives his characters’ many mistakes. Even stuffy Mr. Wilcox gets forgiven. 

As I inhabited each of the characters in turn, I felt able to forgive my younger self. And I was so happy that the sisters did finally inherit Howard’s End, the magical house of the title.  

By E.M. Forster,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Howards End as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

"Howards End" is E. M. Forster's classic story of the varying struggles of members of different strata of the English middle class. The story centers around three families; the Wilcoxes, who made their fortune in the American colonies; the Schlegels, three siblings who represent the intellectual bourgeoisie; and the Basts, a young struggling lower middle-class couple. "Howards End", one of Forster's greatest works, is a classic dramatization of the differences in life amongst the English middle class.

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Sorrows of Others

Margot Livesey Why did I love this book?

In this debut collection, Zhang writes so well about the peculiar loneliness of living far from home. 

I grew up in Scotland, and I never get to go back there as often as I would like, or to stay as long, so I have huge sympathy for her characters, many of whom are immigrants who can’t stop thinking about the places and the people they’ve left behind.

I love that in these stories, making jello salad or getting a perm can be a major event.

By Ada Zhang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Set in China and America, in the generations after the Cultural Revolution, The Sorrows of Others is a dazzling collection about people confronted with being outsiders―as immigrants, as revolutionaries, and even, often, within their own families.

"Writers with virtually perfect debuts are certainly rare; Zhang joins that short list with a magnificent ten-story collection filled with lost souls aching for connection on both sides of the world." ―Booklist starred review

In New York City, an art student finds an unexpected subject when she moves in with a grandmother from Xi’an, and boundaries are…

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of What Napoleon Could Not Do

Margot Livesey Why did I love this book?

Reading is often the best kind of travel – all the adventure, none of the aggravation – and I love how Nurro’s fluent, intelligent writing takes me from Ghana to America and back again. 

His characters, especially the siblings Belinda and Jacob, are like people in real life, complex and infuriating. 

He has one of the most memorable children in recent fiction. In the best way, I never knew what was going to happen next, and I always wanted to find out.  

By DK Nnuro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Napoleon Could Not Do as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the Books Barack Obama Is Reading This Summer
One of Vulture’s Best Books of 2023
One of Goodreads’ Buzziest Debut Novels of 2023
One of Essence’s 31 Books You Must Read
One of the most anticipated books by Town & Country and Elle

America is seen through the eyes and ambitions of three characters with ties to Africa in this gripping novel

When siblings Jacob and Belinda Nti were growing up in Ghana, their goal was simple: to move to America. For them, the United States was both an opportunity and a struggle, a goal and an obstacle.…

Plus, check out my book…

The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

Book cover of The Road from Belhaven

What is my book about?

Growing up on Belhaven farm in 1880s Scotland, Lizzie Craig discovers she can sometimes see the future, but she can never change it.

Nor can she change her feelings for a young man named Louis, who visits Belhaven to help with the harvest. 

When she follows him to Glasgow, Lizzie faces an impossible choice.