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  • Writer's pictureNJ Holden

Books of The Year 2023

Um. Can someone tell me where did the first five months of the year go? Seriously. It felt like just yesterday I wrote the summary of my last year’s reading list, telling myself I’ll post it tomorrow.


Well. I’m posting it now.


The first look at my 2023 reading list is grim: I read only 25 books compared to 47 in 2022. But another look reveals that I read 227 more pages than last year. Huh.

In 2022 I read a lot of standalone short stories. 2023 was marked by two long series of epic fantasy and space opera. The average book length is almost twice as long as in 2022, and so is the longest book. The shortest book is actually three times longer than in 2022.

Anyway, this year there were a lot of easy reads. Better for page-read, not so much for reflection. Still, there were a few favorites:



Owlfeather by Christiana Matthews – continuation of Flowerface, which was on my favorite list of 2022. A beautifully written retelling of Welsh myth, with compelling characters and vivid worldbuilding.


Cassilda’s Song (anthology) – a collection of stories inspired by The King in Yellow, written exclusively by women. Diverse, as all anthologies, but most stories I found compelling.


Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle – yes, this Chuck Tingle. And no, there’s no tingling in this book. It’s just a very good horror with a queer autistic protagonist, that deals with the harm the misuse of religion does to people. At the same time, it is multifaceted and doesn't portray all religions as inherently evil. I was going to write a post about it, but it's stuck in developmental hell.


Ammonite by Nicola Griffith – a classic sci-fi that takes place on a planet where all men were killed by the mysterious virus. Spoiler: it’s exactly like our planet. Just man-less. A classic hero’s journey with diverse and compelling characters, and great worldbuilding.


What was the best book that you read in 2023?

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