A bookshelf tour in 2023

By US Desk
Fri, 12, 23

Let’s dive into a list of some titles we have compiled that are sure to leave you both entertained and enlightened....


Bookworms, it’s time to look back at some of the best - or more precisely the most popular - book releases of 2023. Whether you love memoirs, or gripping narratives of real-world struggles, or fantastical journeys through magical worlds, 2023 offers a wide variety of stories waiting to be explored.

Let’s dive into a list of some titles we have compiled that are sure to leave you both entertained and enlightened.

The Country of the Blind 

by Andrew Leland

A bookshelf tour in 2023

Join Andrew Leland on an emotional rollercoaster as he recounts his journey from sight to blindness in this touching memoir. Hovering between the realms of blindness and sight, Andrew takes us on a ride through the history and culture of blindness, exploring twists involving medicine, technology, and the battle against ableism. Picture him donning shades at a residential school for the blind, where he discovers a world beyond vision, mastering the art of cooking meals, and crossing streets with a fresh perspective.

Fear Is Just a Word

by Azam Ahmed

A bookshelf tour in 2023

Step into the intense world of the Zeta drug cartel that seized control of San Fernando, Mexico, in 2010. Azam Ahmed, a correspondent for the Times, retraces the gripping story of Miriam Rodríguez, a mother on a quest for justice after her daughter’s abduction and tragic death. The narrative unfolds with brutal tactics, dissolving bodies in acid, and Miriam challenging the primacy of organized crime, paying the ultimate price for her courage.

The Rediscovery of America

by Ned Blackhawk

A bookshelf tour in 2023

Winner of the 2023 National Book Award in nonfiction, this monumental reappraisal by Ned Blackhawk spans five centuries of American history. This also makes a perfect book to read during these times when we need to learn more about how Western colonizers treat the indigenous people across the world. Situating Indigenous people at the center, Blackhawk highlights their endurance, complex diplomatic maneuvering, and adaptive capacity. The narrative delves into the challenges faced by Native Americans, from the encroachment of European settlers to the betrayals that defined the federal government’s approach in the aftermath of the Civil War.

The Fraud

by Zadie Smith

A bookshelf tour in 2023

Zadie Smith weaves a kaleidoscopic novel around a real-life trial in late-nineteenth-century London. Dive into a world of upper-class hypocrisy, doubt in institutions, and the corollaries of contemporary populism. With characteristic brilliance, Smith makes the many parts of this sprawling story coherent, offering a thought-provoking commentary on human error and the imperfect nature of institutions.

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder 

by David Grann

A bookshelf tour in 2023

David Grann takes nautical nonfiction beyond stereotypes in The Wager. Explore the dense history of 18th-century British warships, their crews, and the imperialist powers that sent them across the seas. Grann tells the story of a man-of-war wrecked on a deserted Patagonian island, unraveling a narrative of survival, escape, anarchy, betrayal, and murder. Brace yourself for a historical page-turner that challenges accepted truths.

Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity 

by Peter Attia and Bill Gifford

A bookshelf tour in 2023

Challenge conventional medical thinking on aging with this groundbreaking manifesto by Dr. Peter Attia and Bill Gifford. Outlive provides a strategic and tactical approach to extending lifespan while improving physical, cognitive, and emotional health. It’s not just “biohacking”; it’s science—a personalized, proactive strategy for longevity that encourages action now rather than waiting. Discover innovative nutritional interventions, exercise optimization, and tools for emotional well-being as you embark on a journey to redefine aging.

The Davenports 

by Krystal Marquis

A bookshelf tour in 2023

Step back to 1910 Chicago in Krystal Marquis’s debut novel, The Davenports. Based on the real-life daughters of C.R. Patterson, founder of the first Black-owned car company in the U.S., Marquis explores a world of grand estates, ball gowns, young love, and ambition. The novel perceptively delves into the impact of Black achievements and wealth during an underreported period in U.S. history, promising a sequel, The Davenports: More Than This, in May 2024.

Silver in the Bone 

by Alexandra Bracken

A bookshelf tour in 2023

This is one of the best fantasy thrillers from the author of The Darkest Minds series. Follow Tamsin’s quest to find a magical ring from the Arthurian legend that can break a curse on her brother. With sorceresses, dark magic, and a long-lost foster father, get ready for a captivating journey through a world of fantasy. Alexandra Bracken weaves a tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat, blending magic and adventure in the most beautiful way.

My Father, The Panda Killer 

by Jamie Jo Hoang

A bookshelf tour in 2023

Told in two alternating voices, Jamie Jo Hoang’s remarkable coming-of-age story, My Father, The Panda Killer, follows Jane and her father. Jane, a teenager in California, desperate to leave behind her father’s anger and Vietnamese culture, and her father, who makes the harrowing journey from Vietnam to the US as an eleven-year-old refugee. A vibrant story of intergenerational trauma, it reveals the horrors of war and the path toward acceptance. Hoang skillfully interweaves two perspectives, creating a narrative that is both poignant and powerful.

Threads That Bind

by Kika Hatzopoulou

A bookshelf tour in 2023

The first of two books, Threads That Bind, introduces us to the orphaned Ora sisters—descendants of the Fates with magical abilities. The youngest sister, Io, a private detective, uncovers a plot to murder women in Alante, leading to a mix of classical mythology, police procedural, and romance in this imaginative post-apocalyptic story. Kika Hatzopoulou combines elements of fantasy and mystery, offering readers a unique and compelling narrative.

Spice Road

by Maiya Ibrahim

A bookshelf tour in 2023

Seventeen-year-old Imani, a young warrior, uses the power of Spice to protect the city of Qalia. When she learns that her presumed-dead brother is spreading the secret of Spice, she embarks on a quest to find him in the Forbidden Wastes. Spice Road explores themes of classism, privilege, and the human responsibility to support those who are powerless. Maiya Ibrahim crafts a gripping story set in a richly imagined world, inviting readers to reflect on societal issues through a fantastical lens.

The Lights 

by Ben Lerner

A bookshelf tour in 2023

The Lights is a constellation of verse and prose, voice mails and vignettes, songs and felt silences, that brings the personal and the collective into startling relation. Sometimes the scale is intimate, quiet, and sometimes the poems are sweeping, Orphic experiments in the animation of our common world. Written over a span of fifteen years, The Lights registers the pleasures, risks, and absurdities of making art and family and meaning against a backdrop of interlocking, accelerating crises, but for all their insight and critique, Ben Lerner’s poems ultimately communicate—in their unpredictability, in their intensities—the promise of mysterious sources of lift and illumination.

The September House

by Carissa Orlando

A bookshelf tour in 2023

The September House, a debut novel from Carissa Orlando, is delightfully dark, entertaining and unique; it is perfect for fans of Rachel Harrison and T. Kingfisher.

You will explore the haunting world of Margaret’s house in the book. With ghosts, bleeding walls, and agitated spirits, Margaret coexists with the supernatural. However, every September brings a worsening haunting. When her husband disappears without a word, and her headstrong daughter insists on staying, Margaret’s carefully constructed coping mechanisms face a challenge, unraveling into a psychological examination of domestic violence. Orlando weaves a tale that combines elements of the supernatural with a deep exploration of personal struggles.

The World and All That It Holds

by Aleksandar Hemon

A bookshelf tour in 2023

For lovers of unflinching historical fiction, Aleksandar Hemon’s The World and All That It Holds presents a love story set in the brutal trenches of World War I. Follow Rafael Pinto and Osman as their relationship transcends religious and background differences, fighting for their lives and tracing their journey across time and continents. Hemon delivers a narrative that unapologetically explores the complexities of love and war, creating a powerful and immersive reading experience.

But if you are tired of reading fiction that glorifies war, you must not go for this book at all.


by Jessica George

A bookshelf tour in 2023

Follow Maddie’s journey into adulthood as she navigates family dynamics, race, discrimination, and the immigrant reality of feeling torn between cultures. George creates a vibrant protagonist in Maddie, and the novel explores themes that resonate with the challenges of identity and belonging. Maame promises a compelling narrative that captures the essence of growing up in a complex world.