Tuesday, January 30, 2024

2023 Reading Recap


Before 2024 is too far along, I wanted to do a little recap of my 2023 reading. I read 139 books in 2023, about 30 more than usual. You can find the list of all the books I read last year here. Below are some thoughts on my year of reading. 


Picking favorite books is like being asked to pick a favorite grandchild! With that in mind, I have five grandkids, so here are five favorites from last year:

I mostly read fiction, but I thought I read more nonfiction in 2023 than I actually did. I have nonfiction books stacked on my floor because I have no room for them on my shelves. So I better make an effort to read more of them!
  • 113 fiction
  • 24 nonfiction
  • two poetry
  • 74 audiobooks
  • 65 book books

There's crossover here:
  • 68 literary fiction 
  • 47 classics
  • 46 mysteries
  • 22 historical fiction
  • seven food books
  • seven memoir
  • three campus novels
  • 15 (major) prize winners
  • nine rereads
  • five translations
  • 73 by men
  • 68 by women
  • one from pre-1800s
  • nine from the 1800s
  • 26 from 1900-1950
  • 33 from 1950-2000
  • 64 since 2000 (before 2023)
  • six new in 2023

I love reading challenges but only did three last year. 

I really got into buddy reads on bookstagram for the first time. 

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. I highly disliked Fates and Furies so almost skipped, especially when I saw a sea monster. Glad I didn’t!


Laurie Colwin. I loved Home Cooking and More Home Cooking and now want to read her fiction.


Ms. Demeanor by Elinor Lipman. This was a delightful rom com with a lawyer theme.


I have dozens of mystery series I want to read so made an effort in 2023 to finish series I've already started. I need to make room in my brain before I start any others. 
  • John Banville/Benjamin Black’s Quirke: I read the last two.
  • Colin Bateman’s Mystery Man: I finished the last one.
  • E.F. Benson’s Mapp & Lucia: Not a mystery series. I read the final three.
  • Anthony Horowitz's Hawthorne: I read the fourth one and am caught up until/unless he writes another.
  • Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole: I didn't finish reading all of them, but they got increasingly more gruesome and scary. I read The Snowman last year and it was past the scary limit for me, so I am done with this series.
  • Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club: I read all four.
  • Louise Penny’s Three Pines: I read eight and caught up until she writes a new one.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey: I finished the novels a couple of years back and finally read all the short stories.
  • Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlow: I read The Long Good-Bye last year and have read several others. I love them but want to wrap up the series.
  • Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot: I only read one last year, The Big Four, and have a long way to go. 
  • Elizabeth George's Lynley/Havers: These are chunksters! I read six in 2023 and have nine to go before I'm caught up. 
  • Susan Howatch's Starbridge: A series about the Church of England in the first half (or so) of the 20th Century. I read the fifth of six, Mystical Paths.
  • Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther: Even though I don't read many WWII stories, I read the third one and plan to continue now that the stories are past the war and into the Cold War.
  • Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti: I am not reading these in order, which is highly unusual for me. I read Aqua Alta last year, my ninth, and there are 23 others in the series so I don't plan to read them all. 
  • Ian Rankin's John Rebus: This is a favorite, but I am ready to move on. I read seven last year and have three to go. 
That's a wrap! On to 2024! 

What bookish thing are you most looking forward to?

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