Author Cyberpunk addict
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 Cyborg

Seth W. James Why did I love this book?

Cyborg was a book I’d known about since childhood but had never read. Published in 1972, it was one of the first depictions of cybernetics, as defined by Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline, in their proposed solution for space exploration, though proto-cyborgs existed in literature going back to the 19th Century.

Martin’s novel is remembered for inspiring the 70s TV show The Bionic Man, but it also influenced my favorite genre of science fiction, cyberpunk. 

The novel is highly technical, devoted primarily to the protagonist’s injury and subsequent cybernetic treatment; it’s not until the last quarter of the book that we see him in action. 

As reads go, it’s a bit slow and unevenly paced, but its historical importance is undeniable, and I enjoyed it on that level.

By Martin Caidin,

Why should I read it?

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

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Sword of Shannara

Seth W. James Why did I love this book?

I first read The Sword of Shannara in the 80s, but, looking back forty years later, I didn’t distinctly recall the novel and gave it another read. Sword is a fun read; you’re in for a fantastical adventure.

Sword owes a lot to Tolkien, and some critics have taken umbrage with the novel because of it; I’ve always loved when artists are inspired by other artists and doubt very much that the same critics would find fault with Shakespeare for taking inspiration from Horace. 

By Terry Brooks,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Sword of Shannara as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



Volume one in the classic bestselling series - from one of the all-time masters of fantasy

'Terry's place is at the head of the fantasy world' Philip Pullman

Long ago, the world of the Four Lands was torn apart by the wars of ancient Evil. But in the Vale, the half-human, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford now lives in peace - until the mysterious, forbidding figure of the druid Allanon appears, to reveal that the supposedly long dead Warlock Lord lives again.

Shea must…

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Art Deco Complete: The Definitive Guide to the Decorative Arts of the 1920s and 1930s

Seth W. James Why did I love this book?

I picked up this book for a very simple reason: I had just moved and was furnishing my new apartment from scratch and wanted a guide for inspiration. 

I’ve also loved Art Deco design since seeing a fading image of the era and its works appear in many of my favorite science fiction movies and books, from Metropolis to Bladerunner and The Caves of Steel to Fahrenheit 451

“Beauty in everyday objects” might briefly describe the movement. Still, there’s more to it than that and Duncan’s book meticulously describes the period through a variety of media, including architecture, sculpture, painting, décor, and objet d’art. 

The history around each medium is also fascinating and competes well with the beauty of the archetypes presented throughout the book.

By Alastair Duncan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Art Deco Complete as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Art Deco Complete is the last word in Art Deco, the most glamorous decorative arts style, and the one that shaped popular ideas of modern luxury. It covers furniture and interior decoration, sculpture, paintings, graphics, posters and bookbinding, glass, ceramics, lighting, textiles, metal work, and jewelry. It includes the work of all of the important Art Deco designers, from high-style French furniture makers to the creators of the popular "Streamline Moderne" style. And it is, in the spirit of Art Deco, a lavish and attractive book, as well as being authoritative and thorough. This 544-page volume includes more than 1,000…

Plus, check out my book…

Ethos of Cain

By Seth W. James,

Book cover of Ethos of Cain

What is my book about?

The perfection of cold fusion and CasiDrive propulsion had lifted humanity into the wider solar system—and widened the gulf between the nameless masses and the sovereign-class wealthy.  

Into the grey between corporate and criminal walked Cain, a soldat de fortune, who, for the last twenty years, had taken scores and completed contracts for the elites of any world, impenetrable, abstruse, and solitary.

All of that changed one year ago when, after a triste with a former client turned into a romance, Cain’s relationship with Francesca caused him to question how he could walk in her world and survive on his own.  The boundaries of their lives then came crashing to Earth when the man whose syndicate they had destroyed returned for revenge.