I love all of the book lists that come out at this time of year. People, we are so fortunate to be literate and to have such an abundance of wealth when it comes to books! Can I get an “Amen?” :). As I reviewed my reading and chose my favorite books from 2023, I put them in four categories: fiction, nonfiction: history, memoir, and nonfiction: spiritual.
The Thursday Murder Club: A Novel by Richard Osman — Someone recommended this in the 2022 Summer Reading Challenge! I love the witty writing in this delightful mystery.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley — This was my first time reading this classic. Our book group had one of the best discussions in our 26+ years of monthly reading. Did that surprise you? It did us, but this was a highlight from 2023!
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave — A page turner told by a great story-teller!
Horse by Geraldine Brooks — When I checked this out at the library, the librarian said, “I just finished this and can’t stop thinking about it! Come and find me when you return it.” I can’t remember which librarian I talked to :) . . . but I concur, other than an abrupt ending, this is specular and you’ll want to discuss it with others!
The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams by Stacy Schiff —If you’re foggy on the history leading up to the American Revolution (roughly 1764 to 1776), this is the book for you. Engaging writing!
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann — Mind-blowing history of the Osage murders came to life in this book. I could go on and on, this book is why we need to read and know history.
Ways and Means: Lincoln and His Cabinet and the Financing of the Civil War by Roger Lowenstein — What a surprise read! I have read many books about the Civil War and picked this up on a whim. I learned so much . . . about the economy of the South and the North and how the North figured out how to finance the war and shape America’s economy and financial systems to this day. I love history!!
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson — Also picked up on a whim. This book combines my loves: history, the weaving together of what appears to be unrelated, and great writing.
Spare by Prince Harry — I listened to this and loved hearing Prince Harry read it himself. I was struck by what a sad family with a lack of true, healthy connections and the added complexity of his mother’s death.
All My Knotted-Up Life: A Memoir by Beth Moore — I also listened to this one and loved hearing Beth read it. Her life has been hard and chaotic in ways that would have broken many, but pushed Beth to focus on Jesus. May it be true of me too.
God of All Things: Rediscovering the Sacred in an Everyday World by Andrew Wilson — I love this book. From my notebook, “He sees the world the way I do, but is a better writer than I am :).”
Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-with-Us Then, Here, and Now by Scott Erickson — read in January of 2023 after Advent. Highly recommend you read it whenever :). The images and his writing is so thought provoking.
As we come to the end of another year of reading, I raise my glass, smile at you and say, “Here’s to good books for all of us in 2024.” Clink!