Best Books of 2023

This year was a wonderful year for book lovers, whether you prefer to read them or listen to them! We’re getting ready to say goodbye to 2023 and welcome 2024, but before we do, let’s look at a few of our favorite “Best of 2023” book lists. These lists can help you pick out your next book or assist you in any annual gift-giving activities.

Let’s start off by looking at The 10 Best Books of 2023 chosen by The New York Times Book Review staff. If you’re a follower of the NYT Book Reviews, you’ll want to review this list and it may just be that you’ve already read some of these books. If not, be sure to pick one up at your local library or request the book online. We also have a great selection of movies available on DVD or to stream on Hoopla and Kanopy. If you need a recommendation, the New York Times also has a list of the Best Movies of 2023.

Tip: Hitting a paywall when you try to access some of these lists? You can get free access to many newspapers and magazines online with your library card! Learn more on our Magazines & Newspapers page.)

The Smithsonian Magazine also released lists for their picks of The Best Books of 2023. The lists include the top 10 photography books, the recommendations of the favorite books of 2023, and best books about food. Time magazine also has a list of their selections of The Best Books of 2023 So Far. A couple of the books listed include Lone Women by Victor LaValle and Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez.

The New Yorker’s Best Books of 2023 list is out and if you’ve already checked out the lists mentioned above, you’ll notice a lot of similar books highlighted in this list. One book worth highlighting that you may have heard of is Y/N by Esther Yi. You can also check out Vogue’s Best Books of 2023 list for some other great titles such as Holding Pattern by Jenny Xie.

If you’re a fan of Oprah’s Book Club selections, take a look at Oprah Daily’s list of The Best Books of 2023. According to the digital magazine, the authors on the final list include a debut novelist as well as a Pulitzer Prize finalist. And, in case you’re wondering, none of the selections are Oprah’s Book Club selections, so you'll see some variety in the choices.

Are you looking for some instant gratification? These “Best Books of...” lists can often overlook short stories but Vanity Fair hopes to change that with their list for The Best Short Books to Read in 2023. These reads are perfect for anyone looking for shorter books that can easily be transported on a plane or to a doctor’s appointment!

Books We Love: Thoughtfully curated by NPR

If you read often, then the NPR: Books We Love list is the one for you. With over 3,600 titles, and mix and match filter, you’re bound to find your next read. You can also read over the Washington Post’s 10 Best Books list. You’ll notice titles like Loot by Tania James, The MANIAC by Benjamín Labatut, and Judgment at Tokyo: World War II on Trial and the Making of Modern Asia by Gary J. Bass.

Do you prefer to listen to your books? If so, AudioFile Magazine has released their selections for the Best Audiobooks of 2023. On the list is Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, read by Meryl Streep, and Holly by Stephen King, read by Justine Lupe. For anyone who hasn't tried audiobooks lately, we recommend that you give them another chance. These days audiobooks feel like full-on productions that are likely to pull you in within the first few minutes of listening.

And if you’re looking for even more lists, check out Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Books of 2023, the Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 Books, Apple’s Top Books of 2023, and Literary Hub’s The 38 Best Books We Read in 2023.

Happy Reading!

Written by Daniela Leyva