Books I Might Actually Read in 2023

As usual, my 2022 book list got derailed. I mean, I even predicted it in my title (“My Totally Unrealistic 2022 Book List”), but a year ago, even I didn’t know that I would be taking a class that would require me to read more than one novel per week. I just thought I would have a hard time keeping up because a) I knew I wouldn’t have much time to read for pleasure because of grad school, and b) I had five Diana Gabaldon titles on the list, and it takes me weeks (if not months) to get through one of her books. So it comes as no surprise that I only read three of the Gabaldons. I have to space them out with other books just so I can feel like I accomplished something. And then there came the magical night sometime in the fall when I walked into a Barnes & Noble and was drawn to a new release that I didn’t even realize existed: Robert Galbraith’s The Ink Black Heart. Since I was in the middle of my multicultural lit course at the time, my husband read it first, and as soon as he finished it, he was adamant that I make it my top priority. Having just finished grad school, that’s what I decided to do. And because Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) is my favorite author, and murder mystery is my oldest fictional genre love, as soon as I finished The Ink Black Heart, I decided to return to Galbraith’s first book and re-read the series. If you love a good murder mystery/thriller, I highly recommend these books (and you will see all the titles below in my 2022 and 2023 lists).

Thanks to my lit course, I read more books in 2022 than originally planned. And thanks to finishing grad school and getting my life back, I now have a craving to read whatever I want whenever I want simply because that’s now an option. So yes, this year’s list is very ambitious, but also more do-able than my annual lists since 2019.

Before I present the lists, however, I want to take a second to talk about the aforementioned multicultural lit course. It was a class that was a requirement to graduate, but I am so glad that it was. A couple of the books were assigned (Gratz’s Grenade and Khorram’s Darius the Great Is Not Okay), but others were left up to the students to find on our own. I am grateful to work in an elementary school with a well-stocked media center, and our media specialist loaded me down with more books than I needed (but that I read anyway), and the winner that left me sobbing on the couch after everyone else went to bed was Kereen Getten’s If You Read This. Despite being overwhelmed by having to read more than a novel per week, I was introduced to books I would not have otherwise read, and it also immersed me in the literature that many of my students are reading. When I visited our school’s fall book fair, I did so with a different outlook than usual, and my 2023 list includes a middle grade title that I purchased there (Carry Me Home). By adding titles like this to my personal library, not only am I reading great books that I genuinely enjoy, but I am also in touch with what my students are reading.

My 2022 list included one title (“Randomize” by Andy Weir) that I did not realize is a short story. It’s available electronically only, and I just don’t have it in me to purchase an electronic short story. So I’m removing that from my list and hoping that he releases another actual novel soon. Of the remaining 19 titles from that list, I read 10 and added quite a few more (not even counting non-fiction—you can see those five titles on my Goodreads page). Here they are in the order I read them (* indicates the ones not from my original list):

  • 1. The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) by Diana Gabaldon
  • 2. Yaqui Myths and Legends by Ruth Warner Giddings*
  • 3. Artemis by Andy Weir
  • 4. The Rim of the Prairie by Bess Streeter Aldrich*
  • 5. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye*
  • 6. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • 7. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
  • 8. I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier*
  • 9. The Swarm (The Second Formic War #1) by Orson Scott Card
  • 10. The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye*
  • 11. The Hive (The Second Formic War #2) by Orson Scott Card
  • 12. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon
  • 13. The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling
  • 14. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (Fractalverse #1) by Christopher Paolini
  • 15. Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate*
  • 16. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon*
  • 17. Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell*
  • 18. The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods*
  • 19. The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cueves*
  • 20. Grenade by Alan Gratz*
  • 21. If You Read This by Kereen Getten*
  • 22. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram*
  • 23. The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin*
  • 24. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt*
  • 25. An Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7) by Diana Gabaldon
  • 26. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes*
  • 27. Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes*
  • 28. The Sweetest Sound by Sherri Winston*
  • 29. The Ink Black Heart (Cormoran Strike #6) by Robert Galbraith*
  • 30. Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram*
  • 31. The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith*
  • 32. Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo*

For the first time in I can’t remember how long, I did not receive a single book for Christmas—and I didn’t need to. I still have last year’s book from my husband to read (Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone), as well as all the other books from my 2022 list, not to mention the other books I added to my collection last year. So here is that very ambitious list (alpha by author):

  • 1. Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker #1) by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • 2. The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker #2) by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • 3. Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  • 4. Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo
  • 5. Red Rising (Red Rising Saga #1) by Pierce Brown
  • 6. Golden Son (Red Rising Saga #2) by Pierce Brown
  • 7. Morning Star (Red Rising Saga #3) by Pierce Brown
  • 8. Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga #4) by Pierce Brown
  • 9. Dark Age (Red Rising Saga #5) by Pierce Brown
  • 10. Light Bringer (Red Rising Saga #6) by Pierce Brown
  • 11. Carry Me Home by Janet Fox
  • 12. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon
  • 13. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander #9) by Diana Gabaldon
  • 14. The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Galbraith
  • 15. Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) by Robert Galbraith
  • 16. Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith
  • 17. Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike #5) by Robert Galbraith
  • 18. The Ink Black Heart (Cormoran Strike #6) by Robert Galbraith
  • 19. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness
  • 20. Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness
  • 21. The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness
  • 22. Sisterhood of Dune (Schools of Dune #1) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  • 23. Mentats of Dune (Schools of Dune #2) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  • 24. Navigators of Dune (Schools of Dune #3) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  • 25. Horns by Joe Hill
  • 26. Fractal Noise (Fractalverse #2) by Christopher Paolini
  • 27. The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles #1) by Rick Riordan
  • 28. The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles #2) by Rick Riordan
  • 29. The Serpent’s Shadow (The Kane Chronicles #3) by Rick Riordan
  • 30. Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

That’s it! Just a little reading list. Subject (definitely going) to change. Happy reading in 2023!

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