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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.

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My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Breaking Smith's Quarter Horse

Rod Miller Why did I love this book?

Set in the cold cattle country of British Columbia’s Chilcotin Plateau, the details of cowboy life in Breaking Smith’s Quarter Horse will be recognized by anybody who loves and lives the West, but with a unique north-of-our-border flavor that captures the quirks and customs of a time and place where the West was wild, the winters cold, and a sense of humor a necessary tool in coping—the sense of humor (or ‘humour’ as they spell it in Canada) perhaps most important of all.

As you smile through page after page, and occasionally laugh out loud at Smith and his cronies, you’ll wonder if Ol Antoine—Indian cowboy and horse whisperer of sorts—will ever find time in his not-so-busy schedule to see to the breaking of Smith’s quarter horse.

By Paul St Pierre,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breaking Smith's Quarter Horse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Smith--a man of moderate ambition, unknown first name, and dubious companions--has a quarter horse in which he has great faith. But the path from quarter horse of good stock to cutting horse of skill and finesse is strewn with obstacles, unforgettable characters and the kind of earthy humor Paul St. Pierre's writing is known for.

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Cold Snap

Rod Miller Why did I love this book?

Marc Cameron has a way of intertwining the specific details of law enforcement—gained from personal experience—with compelling, exciting, page-turning, nail-biting stories featuring Deputy US Marshal Arliss Cutter. Cutter’s assignment in Alaska finds him fighting crime in harsh and forbidding environments.

In Cold Snap, the hunt for a serial killer in Anchorage and a doomed prison transport from the far north prove connected as Cutter is stranded in a frozen wilderness with violent and murderous convicts, complicated by marauding wolves and bears. Besides all that, a storm rolls in that’s so cold and violent it can freeze your fingers to the pages.

By Marc Cameron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Alaska, nature can be cruel... but human nature is crueler.

After an early spring thaw on the Alaskan coast, Anchorage police discover a gruesome new piece of evidence in their search for a serial killer - a dismembered human foot.

In the remote northern town of Deadhorse, Deputy US Marshal Arliss Cutter escorts four very dangerous handcuffed prisoners onto a small bush plane. He's expecting a routine mission and a nonstop flight... But everything goes wrong.

When the plane goes down in the wilderness, all hell breaks loose. The prisoners murder the pilot and a guard and torch the…

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Passenger

Rod Miller Why did I love this book?

No other writer of our time can compare with Cormac McCarthy’s way with words. He has (had) a unique ability to use language to weave words into phrases and sentences and paragraphs that beg to be re-read and savored.

While The Passenger is not his finest work, it is still a cut above the run of today’s fiction. The story stumbles somewhat into its own holes, but the blend of mystery, mental illness, mathematics, physics, philosophy, bizarre hallucinations, sibling affection, shadowy stalkers, and living off the grid provides more than plenty to ponder, appreciate, and enjoy.

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Passenger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Road returns with the first of a two-volume masterpiece: The Passenger is the story of a salvage diver, haunted by loss, afraid of the watery deep, pursued for a conspiracy beyond his understanding, and longing for a death he cannot reconcile with God.


“McCarthy returns with a one-two punch...a welcome return from a legend." —Esquire

Look for Stella Maris, the second volume in The Passenger series.

1980, PASS CHRISTIAN, MISSISSIPPI: It is three in the morning when Bobby Western…

Plus, check out my book…

All My Sins Remembered

By Rod Miller,

Book cover of All My Sins Remembered

What is my book about?

The setting is a remote roadhouse on a lonely desert road, where accommodations are crude and coarse, the hospitality rough and raw, the proprietor boorish and vulgar, and visitors are few and far between. Travelers are forced by circumstance to stop for water—and for some travelers, the roadhouse is the end of the road.