#179: My Best Books of 2023

As we wrap up 2023, please consider donating $25 to this podcast. With more than 175 episodes and almost five years of content, I’m sure you’ve received at least one nugget of information or tactic that has helped your business. If so, please consider donating at Buy Me a Coffee. It really helps offset the costs of producing this show.

In today’s episode, I’m counting down my top 10 books of the year — 8 were published in 2023. I’ll start with a few of my reading statistics, share my top 10 and a few superlatives, and give you a heads-up about a few books coming out in 2024. Please enjoy, my fellow bookworms! 

And join us in the Deliberate Freelancer Facebook group, where we’ll be talking about our best and worst books of 2023! 

I don’t want to spoil where my top 10 books fell in the list, so the following books are ones I recommended during this episode, plus superlatives and upcoming releases.

Books mentioned in this episode:


  • What the Dead Know: Learning About Life as a New York City Death Investigator by Barbara Butcher
  • The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet by Jeff Goodell


  • The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton
  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  • All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby
  • Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver 
  • Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll
  • Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent
  • Wandering Souls by Cecile Pin
  • Go as a River by Shelley Read
  • Beyond That, the Sea by Laura Spence-Ash
  • The Night Shift by Alex Finlay 
  • Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay
  • Falling by T.J. Newman
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  • Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  • The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James


Most deserving of the hype: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Least deserving of the hype: Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

Hyped books that didn’t work for me and that I DNFed: Wellness by Nathan Hill; Shark Heart by Emily Habeck; Upgrade by Blake Crouch; The Quiet Tenant by Clemence Michallon; and In Memoriam by Alice Winn

Most disappointing books: Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano and What Have We Done by Alex Finlay

WORST book: Silver Alert by Lee Smith

Most unputdownable and tense book: Drowning by T.J. Newman

Romances that made me like romances: Nora Goes Off Script by Annabelle Monaghan; The Last Love Note by Emma Grey; Three Holidays and a Wedding by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley

A 2023 book I still want to read: The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters

My anticipated 2024 books:

  • The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan, publishes January 2
  • No One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall, publishes January 23 (mystery/thriller)
  • Radiant Heat by Sarah-Jane Collins, publishes January 23 (for Jane Harper fans)
  • The Women by Kristin Hannah, publishes February 6 (about Vietnam war)
  • A Step Past Darkness by Vera Kurian, publishes February 20 (mystery/thriller)
  • Murder Road by Simone St. James, publishes March 5 (mystery/ghost story)
  • Still See You Everywhere by Lisa Gardner, publishes March 12 (Book 3 in Frankie Elkin mystery series)
  • The Husbands by Holly Gramazio, publishes April 2 (rom-com with magical realism )
  • Safe and Sound by Laura McHugh, publishes April 23 (mystery/thriller)
  • If Something Happens to Me by Alex Finlay, publishes May 28 (mystery/thriller)


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is listen-on-apple-podcasts-badge-300x77.jpg

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is android.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Stitcher_Listen_Badge_Big.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Spotify_Logo_RGB_Green.png

Leave a Reply

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