2023 Reading Highlights

I read 37 books in 2023, four of which were re-reads and the rest of which were new to me. I didn’t read quite as many books in translation as I meant to (I read 7; I was aiming for 10) and I definitely did not succeed at reading books from outside the US, UK, and Europe (oops), but I did succeed at reading various book club picks (for the in-person nonfiction book club someone at work started, and for the online romance book club someone else at work started, and for an online out-of-copyright-books book club that used to be on Habitica and is now on Discord).

By category, my 2023 breakdown was:

Middle-grade and YA: 5 books, my favorites of which were The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass (which is a sweet cozy bookish mystery) and The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) by Ellen Raskin (which is a silly/bonkers mystery that I read as a kid and was delighted to re-read as a grown-up).

Non-fiction: 12 books. I especially loved The Illiterate by Ágota Kristóf (about how the author left Hungary and ended up in Switzerland, and the linguistic displacement that entailed). I also really loved two books about Italy—Two Cities by Cynthia Zarin and Watermark by Joseph Brodsky, the first of which I read before an Italy trip that included Venice and Rome (which are the two cities Zarin writes about) and the latter of which I read in Italy, mostly on a train between Venice and Florence. Travel-memoir is definitely one of my fave genres and these two short books are both full of gorgeous language and images.

Fiction for grown-ups: 20 books. I FINALLY read Austerlitz and definitely want to read more by W.G. Sebald. Austerlitz is beautiful and sad, haunted, haunting, and I’d been meaning to read it for literally decades and I don’t know what took me so long. I delighted in Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart, which is an excellent Covid-era novel and a great take on Chekov. I was thoroughly into the first two books in Charlie N. Holmberg’s Whimbrel House trilogy, and can’t wait for the third to come out: these are such sweet/cozy reads for me, with just the right blend of magic and romance. And I really liked Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel, which is a novel about a medium and her business partner and is quirky in a way I found very appealing.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *