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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,644 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 Two of Us: The Passionate Partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Rod Martinez Why did I love this book?

I was too young to really appreciate the Beatles when they stormed the world, but I learned to appreciate what they did to the culture of rock and pop.

The two mainstays, John and Paul, had such a volatile love/hate relationship and I never got into the story until I was gifted this book. As with most biographies, it opened a world of unknown truths about them, some truths that I really didn't want to know. But for the die-hard Beatles fan, you have to read this book.

By Geoffrey Giuliano,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The relationship between John Lennon and Paul McCartney was the dynamic centre of all that the Beatles did, of all they achieved as musicians and as cultural icons. Noted rock biographer Geoffrey Giuliano delves into the little-known details of John and Paul's friendship to reveal how what was happening in their lives influenced their songs. He analyzes the songs and the albums, addressing each musician's respective contributions in writing and recording. In addition, Giuliano provides a discography, a chronology, and information on songs written for other artists that were never released commercially.

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Coal Elf

Rod Martinez Why did I love this book?

It's an awesome take on the old adage of how bad kids get coal for Christmas. One would have never thought, "Well, where does Santa get the coal?" Devivo's storyline takes you to the mines where the coal elves get it and the whole story behind how you get chosen.

This is a masterpiece and should be picked up as a movie to watch every Christmas season (come on Netflix, jump on it). Authors have to think outside the box, and she did this in glowing colors. Once you read the 1st book, you’ll have to finish the series.

By Maria Devivo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ember Skye is a fed up teenage Coal Elf with a big ashy chip on her shoulder. Having been torn away from a carefree life and forced into a world of dirt and darkness has started to get the best of her. And being the only girl-elf working as a coal miner at the North Pole doesn't help much either! Then there's Sturd: a power-hungry, twisted elf with a checkered past and a serious grudge against Ember. Slowly but surely, his maniacal tendencies are revealed, leaving Ember with the sacred "Naughty List" literally in her lap. When a mysterious illness…

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader: Plunges into History

Rod Martinez Why did I love this book?

I came across the Uncle John series by accident while rummaging through books at a used bookstore and have become a lifelong fan.

This edition covered one of my favorite subjects, history. If you are aware of the series, you know it's full of fun stories, and the way they are provided is half the fun. This is a must-read for trivia and American miscellanea enthusiasts.

By Bathroom Readers' Institute,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Uncle John's Bathroom Reader as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The trivia gurus behind the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series plumb the depths of history in this compendium of easily digestible diversions.
Whether you’re a history buff, or you just like reading great stories, you’ll see the past in a whole new light after reading Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into History. Uncle John uncovers the truth behind some of history’s most persistent myths and flushes out information you were never taught in school.
Where else could you learn about the 10 most-forgotten people in history, mistakes that led to great discoveries, and how a certain fish had a hand…

Plus, check out my book…

Book cover of Grandma Luther King

What is my book about?

A grandson's inquiry on a city bus about an old building brings a tale from his grandmother’s civil rights historic past that he never expected to hear.