Here we go again with our 5(ish) favorite reads of 2023! We try very hard to keep it to five, but it’s not always possible. So, there may be five or six suggestions, an A and a B list, memorable reads or just plain marvelous books.
This year we’re presenting our lists in bite-size chunks to make them even more digestible. We have more than 150 titles for you to sink your teeth into.
We hope to inspire you to read – and play! – some more.


Poor Things – Alasdair Gray

As a Frankenstein fan, I was excited to come across this title. But oh boy, this book is sooooo much more than just a Victorian retelling! With multiple unreliable narrators and a “book-within-a-book” kind of simulacrum format, Alasdair tells us about the fictional (or would it be non-fictional?😏) story of Bella Baxter, a mutant/Frankenstein woman created by Dr. Godwin Baxter. The book follows Bella’s creation and her interaction with society and the men around her. She will question her position in the world, she will question religion, education, politics, economy, love… She will discover how powerful and dreadful it is being a woman.

Witty, sarcastic, feminist… this book is a refreshing post-modern classic in my opinion, and there is a movie adaptation coming, so go get your copy. You are welcome!

Just Kids – Patti Smith

This is one of my favorite books of all time. Not only because it tells us a lot about the 70’s art/music scene (which I love!), but because most precious is the love and sensibility with which she writes about her relationship with Mapplethorpe and her relationship with art itself.

With a very honest and pure recounting of her memories, Patti guides us throughout her ups and downs, her thoughts, her desire to find her voice using art.

I got very emotional and inspired by this book, especially being an artist myself and seeing how pursuing art can be hard, but still beautiful, still fluid, still necessary.

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories – Angela Carter

Miss Angela Carter is a witch… her writing will provoke your senses, spellbind your emotions, haunt your thoughts!

This is a collection of fairytales/folktales, some original, some retellings of famous tales such as Little Red Riding Hood. The whole book is very visual and sensorial, dark, gothic and, I would say, even sexy. I love how powerful and feminist her protagonists are and how she twists the symbolism in the fairytales. Do not expect to see happy endings in here, at least not the classical ones.

It – Stephen King

This year I wanted to try more horror and gothic books, so I thought it was time to read my first Stephen King. I have to say, I have always been afraid of this book, first because of the horror in the story, and second because of its size (more than 1,000 pages!). But it was a great surprise!

The book is so much more than just scary moments. I love the way King writes about the importance of friendship, and how human beings can be more or as terrifying as a paranormal villain. I also really enjoyed the descriptions of the city’s history, which is very interesting.

I loved the experience of reading this book, even the scary Pennywise parts.

Circe – Madeline Miller

I know, there are so many Greek retellings in the market right now, but this one… this one stands out to me. Greek mythology is usually full of great heroes, explorers, gods, mostly men, so I love that Madeline Miller chose to dive into a woman/goddess story. She gives Circe an epic tone to the narrative, which is very different from The Song of Achilles that reads much more intimate. I think this is a very original choice since most of the epic books are about men.

I love that we see a lot of beautiful descriptions of nature, since Circe is a witch and so very connected with the natural world. The book is captivating and I would say even cozy to read.

Honourable mention:

Pandora’s Jar – Natalie Haynes

And what about the women in Greek Mythology?

This collection brings some of the most famous goddesses and important women in Greek myths to life in a very light and approachable writing style. I would say that Natalie Haynes’ book is the equivalent of Mythos by Stephen Fry, but with a female perspective.

A must have for Greek mythology lovers.


When We Cease to Understand the World – Benjamin Labatut

Part actual history, part fiction, this is an amazing look into the lives of the scientists who have shaped our world. Colleague Bob tried to get everybody to read this title and for a damn good reason. It’s amazing.

Nothing but the Rain – Naomi Salman

A short but haunting read, a post-apocalyptic world where walking outside in the rain makes you forget things, and it never stops raining….

Natural Beauty – Huan Ling Ling

Taking the beauty and fashion world waaaaay over the top, this is creepy cult-influenced body horror.

Walking Practice – Dolki Min

Don’t judge a book by its cover, but do in this case. Just look at this cover. Favorite cover of the year. And inside is a great book filled with body horror, weird sexually tinted murder aliens and a deep dive in what it means to be human.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead – Olga Tokarczuk

I read this mostly due to the clever title, but it is also a strange witchy-inspired murder mystery/fairy tale.


The Wisting series – Jorn Lier Horst

What a great discovery, the books with Chief Inspector William Wisting: great atmosphere -well-paced – introspection – life lessons – these books have it all! The series starts with Dregs (part 1), and this year, Snow Fall (part 8) was published.

The Wallander series – Henning Mankell

This one has been a rediscovery. I tried one of the Inspector Kurt Wallander books some years ago, but this year, they got me hooked. The Swedish setting with the cold and hostile weather, combined with Wallander’s somber mood  and his interaction with his regular colleagues—these books pull you in and keep you reading. Faceless Killers is the first in the series, with  11 novels having already been translated into English.

Alchemy – S.J. Parris

Alchemy is part 7 in the Giordano Bruno series, which has been on my Top 5 list before  as I keep recommending these books! If you can, start with Heresy, which is the first installment. The historical setting, the intrigue, the slow travel and slow communication (handwritten letters delivered by horse, yes!) and the self-depreciative attitude of Giordano make this book a joy to read. Perfect for cold winter nights!

Lethal White – Robert Galbraith

Another chunky Cormoran Strike private eye novel. Cormoran is getting better known as a private eye due to the press, and he has to learn to deal with this. Getting recognized while working as a private eye is not a plus! As in all the CS novels, I love the intrigue, the interactions between Cormoron and Robin, the moodiness, the things going wrong, and above all, the fact that you get almost 800 pages of it! If you want to start at the beginning, The Cuckoo’s Calling is the first one in the series.

Tripwire – Lee Child

I have come to appreciate the Jack Reacher character like I do the Spenser character in Robert B. Parker’s novels. The lone guy who takes it upon himself to solve a situation for someone, always fully justified of course, and doesn’t hesitate to risk some bodily harm or using a gun. Great fast-paced stuff with a great alpha male in charge. Killing Floor is the first title in the Jack Reacher series.


Scurry – Mac Smith

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where all humans have vanished a colony of mice struggle to survive. Wix goes on a journey into the woods where he meets all kinds of creatures.

A Guest in the House – Emily Carroll

Abby just got married to a kind man with a young daughter, but as time goes on she discovers more about his former wife and things don’t add up. Hauntingly dark and beautiful at the same time.

Monica – Daniel Clowes

Daniel Clowes uses different narratives spread over time to tell the story of Monica, who struggles to find her place in the world. Often surreal, Clowes explores themes of mental illness as well as different genre narratives.

Darkly She Goes – Hubert & Vincent Mallié

A disgraced knight and a cursed princess hoping to set their lives straight and cut themselves loose from their past. Epic Medieval Fantasy, magical and a great read.

#DRCL Midnight Children Vol. 1 – Shin’ichi Sakamoto

A manga based on Dracula by Bram Stoker, it’s a fresh retelling in gorgeous gothic artwork.