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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,679 authors and super readers for their 3 favorite reads of the year.

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My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of No. 91/92: notes on a Parisian commute

Yara Zgheib Why did I love this book?

On a routine bus ride through Paris, Lauren takes us in and out of the lives of the strangers she sits across from. She takes us into her thoughts and into her own life. She talks about politics and poetry and shows us the immense beauty of little things, little moments, these little nothings of our lives.

It was such a simple, such a rich read, and every line is sparse and true. I finished it and started again immediately.

By Lauren Elkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No. 91/92 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A love letter to Paris written in iPhone notes and in the troubling intimacy of public transport post-Charlie Hebdo attacks, Lauren Elkin's diary of a year on a Parisian bus pays homage to Georges Perec and Annie Ernaux. In this chronicle of the ordinary makings of a city and its people, the author's own body is a threatened vessel; that of the author as a woman as an author as a pregnant woman on the bus.

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Listening Room

Yara Zgheib Why did I love this book?

This tiny gem of a book is not easy to find, but so so worth it. It’s art; it’s poetry; it’s the story of René Magritte told through his paintings, his dog Loulou, and his wife Georgette.

I’ve always loved Rooney’s work, but this novel is my favorite. The story is gorgeous, and the writing is simply masterful.

By Kathleen Rooney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fiction. The house is haunted but nobody's home. Only us chickens, standing still as sculpture while Loulou, the immortal Pomeranian, and Georgette, Magritte's guardian angel, take us on a tour of the asylum. The rooms in Kathleen Rooney's THE LISTENING ROOM are always listening, always watching. The walls have ears. The tears have eyes. Sometimes the screams are silent. Sometimes the silence is deafening. Stark and hard-edged as the paintings themselves, this novel in poems and flashes inhabits a world much like our own -- suspended in a glazed animation of doomed hope and hopeful doom, where the virtual is…

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance

Yara Zgheib Why did I love this book?

De Waal has the art of transporting you to another era, painting treasures and palaces with his words.

It’s the story of the Ephrussi family, their loves and lives and travels, and most importantly, their art collections across a century and continent from Odessa to Vienna to Paris.

You’ll read it and travel and dream. And it may even make you actually jump on a plane to Paris.

By Edmund de Waal,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Hare with Amber Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them bigger than a matchbox: Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in his great uncle Iggie's Tokyo apartment. When he later inherited the 'netsuke', they unlocked a story far larger and more dramatic than he could ever have imagined.

From a burgeoning empire in Odessa to fin de siecle Paris, from occupied Vienna to Tokyo, Edmund de Waal traces the netsuke's journey through generations of his remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century.


Plus, check out my book…

No Land to Light On

By Yara Zgheib,

Book cover of No Land to Light On

What is my book about?

Sama and Hadi are a young Syrian couple in love, dreaming of their future in the country that brought them together. Sama came to Boston years before on a prestigious Harvard scholarship; Hadi landed there as a sponsored refugee from a bloody civil war.

Now, they are giddily awaiting the birth of their son, a boy whose native language will be freedom and belonging.

When Sama is five months pregnant, Hadi’s father dies suddenly, and Hadi decides to fly back to Jordan for the funeral. He leaves America, promising his wife he’ll be gone only for a few days. On the date of his return, Sama waits for him at the arrivals gate, but he doesn’t appear.

My book recommendation list