I’m Thoraiya Dyer Author Of Asymmetry
Thoraiya Dyer
Author Scientist Fantastist Arbalist Wildlife warrior
The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,199 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…

Shubeik Lubeik

By Deena Mohamed,

Book cover of Shubeik Lubeik

Thoraiya Dyer Why did I love this book?

Gorgeous to behold, this graphic novel opens from the seeming-ending, because it was originally written in Arabic, which is read from right to left.

Despite mainly being in black and white, it draws the reader in, more easily than blue Will Smith, to ask deeply philosophical questions – what do people want, and why? – which turns personal – what do I want, and why? – in the back of the mind, while the brain engages with sympathetic characters Aziza, Nour, and Shokry, who fight against corruption, depression, dragons, and the patriarchy, one wish at a time.

By Deena Mohamed,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A brilliantly original debut graphic novel that imagines a fantastical alternate Cairo where wishes really do come true. Shubeik Lubeik—a fairy tale rhyme that means “your wish is my command” in Arabic—is the story of three people who are navigating a world where wishes are literally for sale.

“The mythic qualities of Mohamed’s world bring our own world into sharper focus . . . Mohamed’s humor often feels like a protest, as do the thick and assertive lines of her drawings . . . The effect is gritty, brazen, and full of spunk.”—The New Yorker

Three wishes that are sold…

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…


By Rich Larson,

Book cover of Ymir

Thoraiya Dyer Why did I love this book?

I’m a sucker for science fiction novels set on ice worlds, and that’s even before you add some of my other favourite tropes: robots, biotech, giant ice monsters, AI, and families gone horribly wrong.

Happily, for a story supposed to be a tribute to something much older, I found it fresh, original, masterfully written, and extremely satisfying. Who do we owe our loyalty to, our blood relations or our moral convictions, anyway?

By Rich Larson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Yorick never wanted to see his homeworld again. He left Ymir two decades ago, with half his face blown off and no love lost for the place. But when his employer's mines are threatened by a vicious alien machine, Yorick is shipped back home to hunt it.

All he wants is to do his job and get out. Instead, Yorick is pulled into a revolution brewing beneath Ymir's frozen surface, led by the very last person he wanted to see again-the brother who sent him off in pieces twenty years ago.

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Gorgons Deserve Nice Things

By Tansy Rayner Roberts,

Book cover of Gorgons Deserve Nice Things

Thoraiya Dyer Why did I love this book?

For decades now, Tansy Rayner Roberts rewriting Greek and Roman mythology has reliably provided a wonderful reading experience: The wryly clever language, the casual, conversational voice, and the mythic figures made real and relatable, flaws intact but often still so beautiful, determined and heroic. 

These stories can be hopeful or tragic, but in a way that reminds of the consistency of human screw-ups across millennia. Mistakes will be made, but don’t despair! We can overcome.

By Tansy Rayner Roberts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gorgons Deserve Nice Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"We lived in a world that did not allow women to breathe; how could we be anything but monsters?"

Tansy Rayner Roberts retells the stories of seven women from Greek mythology, giving voice to the scorned, the sidelined, and the monstrous.

A young gorgon finds acceptance at the Medusa Club. Atalanta spills the truth behind the myth of the Argonauts. Scylla suffers through a series of terrible college roommates. Handmaids in Sparta get more than they bargained for when they interfere in their queen's correspondence with a Trojan prince. A comparative mythology graduate finds herself at a speed-dating night packed…

Plus, check out my book…


By Thoraiya Dyer,

Book cover of Asymmetry

What is my book about?

An Australian Air Force base patrolled by werewolves. A planet where wages are paid in luck. A future where copies are made of criminals to interpret their dark dreams. A medieval cavalry of mothers who are only permitted to take as many lives as they have created.

In every world, an imbalance of power. Something terribly askew between women and men, humans and wolves, citizens and constructs, light and dark.

In every world, asymmetry.

I read 43 books this year.

My book recommendation list