A Year in Books: My 2023 Reads

Some people dream of winning the lottery. Others dream of driving a fancy sports car. While both of those would be cool with me, I tend to dream of getting paid to read books whenever I want. 

Until the genie shows up at my door, I’ll keep doing that in my free time. This year, that time translated to 74 books crossed off my list—a little less than last year’s final count, but close! While the to-be-read pile continues to grow, I wanted to give you a list of my 2023 reads and ratings. After all, Goodreads still doesn’t allow for half stars, and that just doesn’t fly with a book nerd like myself.

I’ve done my best to bucket the titles into genres, but keep in mind that lots of them could fit into other sections as well. So don’t judge a book by its cover Haley’s rating, ok?

Colorfully yours,



  • A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mizra—5/5
  • A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum—5/5
  • This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel—4.5/5
  • The Rise and Fall of Ava Arcana by Jennifer Banash—4/5
  • Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley—3/5
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova—5/5
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera—3/5
  • The Group by Mary McCarthy—3.5/5
  • Fake Plastic Love by Kimberley Tait—4/5
  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin—4/5
  • La Vie, According to Rose by Lauren Parvizi—3.5/5
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid—5/5
  • Don’t Forget to Write by Sara Goodman Confino—3.5/5

Historical Fiction

  • The After Party by Anton DiSclafani—3/5 
  • A Castle in Brooklyn by Shirley Russak Wachtel—3.5/5
  • The Keeper of Happy Endings by Barbara Davis—4/5
  • The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe—4/5 
  • The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray—4/5 
  • The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken—4/5
  • The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki—4/5
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead—4/5
  • The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis—3.5/5
  • Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid—5/5
  • The Second Life of Mirielle West by Amanda Skenandore—3.5/5


  • The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain—3.5/5
  • American Royals by Katharine McGee—3.5/5
  • Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall—3/5 
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes—3.5/5
  • After You by Jojo Moyes—3/5
  • Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan—4.5/5
  • An Unorthodox Match by Naomi Ragen—3/5
  • The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther—4/5
  • Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan—3/5 
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry—4/5
  • Happy Place by Emily Henry—3.5/5
  • It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover—3/5
  • There’s No Coming Back From This by Ann Garvin—2.5/5
  • Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid—4/5
  • Five Winters by Kitty Johnson—2.5/5

True Crime

  • Doctor Ice Pick by Claire Prentice—2.5/5
  • If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood by Gregg Olsen—3/5 
  • Broadway Butterfly by Sara DiVello—3.5/5
  • The Amish Wife by Gregg Olsen—2.5/5

Mystery & Thriller

  • The Wife Upstairs by Freida McFadden—3.5/5
  • The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose—4/5 
  • Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough—3/5
  • Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering—4.5/5
  • Moorewood Family Rules by Helenkay Dimon—3/5
  • Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn—3.5/5
  • The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley—3/5

Fantasy & Science Fiction

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline—4/5 
  • The Program by Suzanne Young—3/5 
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas—4/5 
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas—4/5
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins—4/5

Non-Fiction & Memoir

  • Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Mundy—4/5 
  • You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine by Yeva Skaliestska—3.5/5
  • Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe—3.5/5
  • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons From the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty—3.5/5
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet G. Woititz—4/5 
  • The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger—5/5
  • Open Book by Jessica Simpson—4/5
  • Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton—3/5
  • Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler—4/5
  • A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan—3/5 
  • Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery by Catherine Gildiner—4.5/5
  • The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein—3/5 

Self Improvement

  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown—2.5/5
  • Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross—3/5 
  • Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D.—3/5 
  • Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo—2.5/5
  • How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self by Dr. Nicole LePera—3.5/5
  • Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins—3/5
  • Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D—4/5

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