Three Favorite Reads of 2023

Jan 22, 2024 at 11:26 am by RMGadmin

By Emily Evans 
Last January, I set a goal to read fifty books. As the calendar turned to 2024, I began my fifty-fourth book. I consider myself a “mood reader” and choose my next book based on my feelings rather than from a predetermined list or pile. Included in my goal for 2023 was an intention to read books outside of my comfort zone. I have found that being a member of multiple book clubs and being open to recommendations from other readers has allowed me to discover books and authors I may not have found otherwise. For example, I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, a book that I would not have selected had it not been for a friend suggesting it to our book club. 


The fifty-three books I read last year were a collection of historical fiction, autobiographies, non-fiction, thrillers, contemporary fiction, and romance, many of which are trending on #booktok. I read many fabulous books, but here are my three favorites from 2023.

Mad Honey by Jodi Piccoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan

Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life - living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize-nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with - of all things - her mind. True chemistry results. But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors - until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late. (Courtesy of Goodreads) 


My goal this year is to read fifty books. What makes this year different is that I am challenging myself to read more books from my own shelves. I hope you will read some great books this year! Follow me on Instagram @letsreadtherainbow and see what I’m reading!