Author Humorous Insightful Concise Sentimental
The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,686 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 The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

R. Scott Mackey Why did I love this book?

To me, good non-fiction is as page-turning as the most captivating fiction. Michael Lewis’s books do just that, and The Premonition is no exception.

Much like he did in The Big Short, Lewis offers an insight into how the unthinkable can happen and happen quite easily.

In this case, a global pandemic is seen coming by some very smart people, but people who are considered outsiders to the powers that be: big business, the CDC, the World Health Organization, state governments, and the US government, especially the Trump administration. Had these so-called outsiders - with their clear-cut proof, exceptional experience and intellect, and stellar reputations - been listened to and their advice acted upon, the greatest pandemic in US history could have been avoided.

Lewis’s tale is told at the personal level, revealing that no one is in charge when it comes to health care at the national and even statewide levels. 

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fortunately, we are still a nation of sceptics. Fortunately, there are those among us who study pandemics and are willing to look unflinchingly at worst-case scenarios. Michael Lewis's taut and brilliant nonfiction thriller pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The characters you will meet in these pages are as fascinating as they are unexpected. A thirteen-year-old girl's science project on transmission of an airborne pathogen develops into a very grown-up model of disease control. A local public-health officer uses her worm's-eye…


My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of All the Light We Cannot See

R. Scott Mackey Why did I love this book?

Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, Doerr’s novel about a blind French girl and a German soldier during World War II weaves together two compelling storylines that connect in ways that are at once uplifting and heartbreaking.

All the Light We Cannot See is one of those books that you can never get out of your mind. It’s a true masterwork by a literary stylist and skilled storyteller. 

By Anthony Doerr,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked All the Light We Cannot See as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR FICTION

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.'

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic…


My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2022

R. Scott Mackey Why did I love this book?

I love mysteries. They are my favorite genre to read (though I'm finding myself discovering science fiction after a thirty-year hiatus from that genre). 

As its title implies, this book presents the top short mystery fiction of 2022, some of it from bestselling writers (Michael Connelly, Jo Nesbo, Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead) along with lesser-known authors.

While I usually don't read a lot of short fiction (this was a birthday gift), I found myself picking this book up every day to read a new piece of exceptional short fiction.

It's a great book for somebody who enjoys well-written, short-form mysteries.

By Sara Paretsky (editor), Otto Penzler (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2022 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sara Paretsky selects the twenty best mystery short stories of the year, including tales by Michael Connelly, Jo Nesbo, Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead, and more!

Under the auspices of New York City's legendary mystery fiction specialty bookstore, The Mysterious Bookshop, and aided by Edgar Award-winning anthologist Otto Penzler, international bestseller and MWA Grandmaster Sara Paretsky has selected the twenty most puzzling, most thrilling, and most mysterious short stories from the past year, collected now in one entertaining volume.

Includes stories by:

Doug Allyn Colin Barrett Jerome Charyn Michael Connelly Susan Frith Tom Larsen Sean Marciniak Stefon Mears Kieth Lee…


Plus, check out my book…

Courage Matters

By R. Scott Mackey,

Book cover of Courage Matters

What is my book about?

A former college professor with a sharp wit is not your typical private investigator. But when clients want results, he's the first one they call.

When an ex-lover asks fledgling investigator Ray Courage to help her ultra-wealthy father, how can he refuse? Before he knows it, Ray is embroiled in a fraud scheme... and two murders. With the police targeting him for the crimes, Ray must work fast to prove his innocence and to find the real killer.

If you like Robert Parker's Spenser, Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar, and James Patterson's Alex Cross, you won't be able to put down the page-turning Ray Courage books.