2023 in Books

In 2023 I have read 34 books and listened to 30 audiobooks - as well as reading many play scripts and listening to countless podcast episodes!

I give all books a mark out of ten. This is purely an enjoyment mark! Although the quality of the writing does have a big effect on how much I enjoy it, I never try to mark a book on how “good” it is. Who am I to say?!

This is a list of all the books I gave a full 10/10 to in 2023…

  • Mrs England - Stacey Halls
  • A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara
  • I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth - Chris Hadfield [audiobook]
  • I Have Some Questions For You - Rebecca Makkai [audiobook]
  • Demon Copperhead - Barbara Kingsolver
  • Notes on an Execution - Danya Kukafka
  • The Other Side of Mrs Wood - Lucy Barker
  • The Marriage Portrait - Maggie O’Farrell
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow - Gabrielle Zevin

10 books - nine novels and a sort of memoir (which would be my surprise pick of the year!) I couldn’t pick a favourite, but I think it would be between I Capture the Castle, Demon Copperhead, The Marriage Portrait and Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. I’m not sure there’s much touching Barbara Kingsolver and Maggie O’Farrell for sheer brilliance. (I have also already gifted The Other Side of Mrs Wood to a couple of people because it was so much fun to read.)

Special mention to all my 9/10 books: Ladder of Years - Anne Tyler, Giving Up the Ghost - Hilary Mantel, Leonard and Hungry Paul - Ronan Hession, A Damsel in Distress - P G Wodehouse, A Terrible Kindness - Jo Browning Wroe, Dancer’s in Mourning - Margery Allingham, Bad Summer People - Emma Rosenblum, Lord Emsworth Does His Best - P G Wodehouse, The Marriage Act - John Mars, Yellowface - R F Kuang, The Fraud - Zadie Smith, A Town Called Solace - Mary Lawson, Free Love - Tessa Hadley.

Which means 23 of my 64 books this year are five-star reads for me. Pretty good going!