My 2023 Reading List
I love to read (have I said that already?) but finding good books to read is not always easy. If I stick to the genres I like (historical fiction) then usually I nail it and I have several authors that have proven to be very reliable with every single book, but sometimes I like to be challenged to read something different and this year with the help of a very good friend of mine, we created a “Book Club” with 2 members: her and I! We choose one book to read every other month.
This year, I have read great books and by sharing my list with you, I hope that you enjoy one of them (at least) and in exchange, that you share one with me! I am always on the lookout for good books to read, so your input is greatly appreciated!
So, here it goes!
Novels (Historical Fiction / Historical Non-Fiction)
- The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi – this is the second book in the Jaipur Trilogy) – a great book that immerses you in Jaipur during the late ’60s and early ’70s with adventure.
- The Dressmakers of Auschwitz by Lucy Adlington – beyond words. This is simply a book that everyone must read.
- The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin – this is the second book by Madeline Martin that I have read and it didn’t disappoint. Set in WWII
- Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne – did you know that there is no Globe in this book? Well, neither did I! A classic is always a classic and this book is simply priceless.
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – ok, this was perhaps the biggest surprise in 2023. I was interested in the book but reluctant to pick it up until I mentioned it to my Book Club friend and she immediately jumped and insisted we should read it. An amazing book!
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl – I knew this book was going to be good (based on reviews and comments from friends), but I didn’t expect that it was going to be that transforming. A great read, especially as current world events unfold.
- The Apostles by Captivating History – this is a good reference book if you want to learn more about the early days of Catholicism and the role that each disciple played.
- Code Name Sapphire by Pam Jenoff – This book is ok. The plot was interesting and the characters were as well. The ending surprised me (which is a good thing).
- The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah – my favorite book in 2023! I learned a lot and cried as much! A beautiful book that navigates the work of the resistance in occupied France!
- A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi – this is a good book (a little slow for me) but it navigates the life and hardships of being a woman in Afghanistan.
- A Gentleman in Moscow – I wasn’t sure about this book (what can you expect when it all happens in the same hotel), but wow! It was impossible to put down. Beautifully written. The characters are simply unforgettable (read it before the mini-series comes in 2024!)
- The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles – I had no clue how this book appeared in my office until my daughter told me she had bought it at Shoppers thinking that it was very “mom-like”. It was indeed. Another WWII novel and the efforts of a few to protect books amidst massive destruction!
- Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah – Another fantastic book by Kristen Hannah. This one is set in between modern-day Alaska and Stalin’s Moscow during WWII.
- Daughters of Victory by Gabriella Saab – I had big expectations for this book. While I love all things Russian history during the Civil War in the middle of WWI, I thought the story could have been told in a more engaging way.
- La Sospecha de Sofia by Paloma Sanchez-Garnica – this is the second book by this Spanish author that I have read (the first was “Last Days in Berlin), and it was incredible. Great plot and amazing characters. Set during Franco’s Spain and East and West Berlin.
- The Marriage Season by Jane Dunn – This is a fun book if you enjoy a romantic novel set in the late 19th century.
- The Paris Deception by Bryn Turnbull – Another great book by this Canadian Author (I previously read The Last Grand Duchess). This book was certainly thoroughly researched and tells the story of regular people doing amazing things to safeguard valuable art pieces from the Nazis.
- Effortless: Make it Easier to Do What Matters Most by Greg McKeown – good book but if you have not read Essentialism (from the same author), I would encourage you to start there.
- The Chimp Paradox: How our Impulses and Emotions can Determine Success and Happiness and How we can Control Them by Dr. Steve Peters – oh! This book…this book is a game changer. Understanding your mind and how to control certain reactions is simply priceless!
- Food for Life: The New Science of Eating Well by Tim Spector – great book to read and to keep nearby if you want to understand all the nonsense that surrounds nutrition these days.
- Atomic Habits by James Clear – I am late to this party. The book is worth the hype (so much so that I bought one for my kids!)
- Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey – In my reading list, there will always be books about time management and productivity. Not one of them offers the best solution, but all of them give you something to work on which I appreciate. Good book!
- Workday Warrior – another great productivity and time management book written by a Canadian author.
- Metabolical by Robert H Lustig – The information in this book makes perfect sense (it’s all about how sugar is wreaking havoc on our health). However, I didn’t like that the author talks about scientific studies but those studies are not cited.
- Peak Mind by Amishi P Jha – a good book that navigates the power of mindfulness and focus and attention. Recommended if you want to learn a great (and short) technique to practice mindfulness and improve your focus.
- Organize Tomorrow Today by Jason Selk – Another great book on time management that focuses on sports but can be transferred to every person at every stage of their lives.
- Tiny Habits by B.J. Fogg – This book is amazing. While I found it to be similar to Atomic Habits, this book takes a very particular approach to creating habits and it provides the reader with the exercises to do and how to do them which I thought was amazing.
- The Party Crasher, by Sophia Kinsella – hilarious (like most of her books)/Mindless and entertaining if you are looking to really disconnect.
- Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday – so far, so good. It is such a great reminder of how ego can get in our way to success. I am a fan of Ryan Holiday’s style of using historical characters to bring a point to life!
- The Keeper of Hidden Books by Madeline Martin – It has taken me a little while to get to this book but I am starting to see how it will lead me to a week of non-stop reading. The start is a bit slow but still good.
To end 2023 and start 2024
- The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah – looking forward to reading this book!
- The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King – This book was recommended by a friend and former colleague who, with amazing patience and incredible stories told me about the struggles of members of First Nation communities in Canada (him being part of one). Months later, at an event, another speaker suggested the same book so I decided to read and learn more about this topic.
I hope you find good ideas in my list! Please do share whatever book you liked in 2023…reading is something we all need to do a little more!