The Best Books of 2023: A Year in Review

The Best Books of 2023: A Year in Review

A comprehensive list of must-read books from various genres that captivated readers in 2023

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the literary gems that have graced the shelves in 2023. From thought-provoking nonfiction exploring the mysteries of space and the wonders of nature, to captivating fiction that transports readers to alternate realities and delves into the depths of human emotion, this year’s selection of books has been nothing short of extraordinary. In this article, we present a collection of the best books of 2023, covering a wide range of genres and offering something for every reader’s taste.


A City on Mars: Investigating the Dream of Space Settlements

by Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith

In “A City on Mars,” the Weinersmiths take readers on a journey to explore the potential future of space settlements. Delving into the complexities and ethical dilemmas surrounding human expansion into space, the authors provide a comprehensive guide that answers every question about space settlements. With humor and insightful research, they challenge the notion of a glorious future on Mars, leaving readers to ponder the consequences of such endeavors.

Eight Bears: Exploring the Stories of Earth’s Iconic Creatures

by Gloria Dickie

In “Eight Bears,” journalist Gloria Dickie embarks on a globe-trotting adventure to uncover the stories of these magnificent creatures. From the cloud forests of the Andes to the ice floes of the Arctic, Dickie’s captivating narrative takes readers on a journey through diverse ecosystems, shedding light on the challenges faced by these endangered species. This book is a testament to the importance of conservation and our responsibility to protect the natural world.

Perfectly Good Food: Embracing Sustainability in the Kitchen

by Irene and Margaret Li

Written by the chef-sisters behind Boston’s acclaimed Mei Mei Dumplings, “Perfectly Good Food” is a cookbook and field guide that offers practical tips for reducing food waste and making the most of ingredients. From creative recipes to innovative cooking techniques, this book is a valuable resource for environmentally mindful cooks. The Li sisters’ passion for sustainability shines through as they inspire readers to embrace a more conscious approach to food.

The Man from the Future: Unveiling the Mind of John von Neumann

by Ananyo Bhattacharya

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“The Man from the Future” is an electrifying biography of John von Neumann, one of the most brilliant scientists of the twentieth century. Bhattacharya delves into von Neumann’s groundbreaking contributions to fields such as game theory, evolutionary biology, and computer science. This book offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a genius and the lasting impact of his work on our modern world.

Period: Challenging the Myths and Taboos Surrounding Menstruation

by Kate Clancy

In “Period,” Kate Clancy counters the false theories and misconceptions that have long defined the study of menstruation. With a feminist perspective, Clancy explores the social and cultural implications of menstruation while debunking myths and shedding light on the biological realities of the menstrual cycle. This book is a powerful call for a more inclusive and informed understanding of menstruation.

Our Fragile Moment: Understanding Earth’s Climate Shifts

by Michael Mann

“Our Fragile Moment” offers a thought-provoking look at the five most extreme shifts in Earth’s climate over billions of years. Michael Mann explores the lessons we can learn from these past episodes and applies them to our current climate crisis. With a blend of scientific expertise and engaging storytelling, Mann highlights the urgent need for action to address climate change and protect our fragile planet.

The Patriarchs: Tracing the Roots of Patriarchy

by Angela Saini

“The Patriarchs” is a bold exploration of the origins and spread of patriarchy across cultures and throughout history. Angela Saini delves into the complex roots of this social system, challenging prevailing narratives and shedding light on its enduring impact on society. This book offers a powerful examination of how patriarchy is constructed and remade, providing valuable insights into the ongoing struggle for gender equality.

The Warped Side of Our Universe: Exploring the Mysteries of Space

by Kip Thorne and Lia Halloran

“The Warped Side of Our Universe” is a unique collaboration between Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne and award-winning artist Lia Halloran. Combining epic verse, pulsating paintings, and scientific insights, this book sheds light on the wonders of time travel, black holes, gravitational waves, and the birth of the universe. Thorne and Halloran’s collaboration creates a visual and intellectual feast that will captivate both science enthusiasts and art lovers.

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The Possibility of Life: Tracing Our Quest for Extraterrestrial Life

by Jaime Green

“The Possibility of Life” traces the history of humanity’s search for extraterrestrial life, from the days of Galileo to our contemporary quest for exoplanets. Jaime Green interweaves insights from science fiction writers with scientific discoveries, exploring our evolving conception of the cosmos and what it means to be human. This book invites readers to ponder the profound questions surrounding our place in the universe.

Grace in All Simplicity: Exploring the Secrets of the Universe

by Chris Quigg and Robert Cahn

“Grace in All Simplicity” narrates the fascinating saga of physicists’ quest to understand the fundamental constituents of matter and the forces that govern them. Chris Quigg and Robert Cahn provide a captivating description of the revolution in our understanding of the world’s smallest particles. This book offers a compelling journey through the history of physics, showcasing the joy of scientific discovery.


Girlfriend on Mars: A Satirical Exploration of Love and Fame

by Deborah Willis

“Girlfriend on Mars” is a satirical indictment of our obsession with fame and wealth amidst environmental crises. Deborah Willis weaves a tale of love, longing, and human connection against the backdrop of a dystopian future. This book is a poignant exploration of our deepest desires and the enduring power of love.

Harold: A Humorous Journey through the Mind of a Young Boy

by Steven Wright

“Harold” takes readers on a surreal and thought-provoking journey through the mind of a young boy during a single day in class. Steven Wright’s novel challenges our perception of reality and invites us to question the meaning of our daily existence. With humor and wit, this book offers a unique perspective on the human experience.

I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home: A Meditative Exploration of Identity

by Lorrie Moore

“I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home” is an inventive and poetic portrait of lovers and siblings as they navigate the complexities of their lives. Lorrie Moore’s novel delves into the intersection of truth and fiction, exploring the stories we tell ourselves and the impact they have on our sense of self. This book is a profound reflection on the nature of identity and the search for meaning.

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Other People’s Clothes: A Mystery Unraveled through Female Friendships

by Calla Henkel

“Other People’s Clothes” is a captivating mystery that delves into the intensity of female friendships and the lengths people will go to in order to escape emotional pain. Calla Henkel’s novel offers an unforgettable window into millennial life and the complexities of human relationships. This book is a compelling exploration of the blurred lines between truth and fiction.

Prophet: A Gripping Tale of Mystery and Otherworldly Encounters

by Sin Blaché and Helen Macdonald

“Prophet” follows the journey of two reluctant partners, Adam and Rao, as they investigate a mysterious death and uncover a world hidden within a volcano. Sin Blaché and Helen Macdonald’s novel is a thrilling blend of mystery, romance, and otherworldly encounters. This book will keep readers on the edge of their seats, questioning the boundaries of reality.

The Road to Roswell: A Whimsical Adventure through New Mexico

by Connie Willis

“The Road to Roswell” takes readers on a whimsical road trip through New Mexico, filled with Men in Black, Elvis impersonators, and encounters with extraterrestrial beings. Connie Willis’ novel is a delightful blend of humor, romance, and fantasy that explores the meaning of home and the power of human connection. This book is a joyful and heartwarming exploration of the unknown.


The best books of 2023 have offered readers a diverse range of stories and insights, from thought-provoking nonfiction to captivating fiction. These books have transported us to new worlds, challenged our perspectives, and deepened our understanding of the human experience. As we bid farewell to 2023, let us carry the lessons and inspiration from these books into the new year, ready to embark on new literary adventures. Happy reading!

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