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.


Demon Copperhead – Barbara Kingsolver

Well-deserved Pulitzer Prize! With my new (sadly) go-to line: “…there’s no kind of sad in this world that will stop it turning.”

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

Where has Count Alexander Rostov been all my life? A witty, insightful and immensely entertaining (read: funny) look at love, politics and life in the first half of the 20th century.

Glory – NoViolet Bulawayo

An Animal Farm-ish look at Zimbabwe. Brilliant!

Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen – Martin Morales

Worth it for its method of dry-cooking octopus alone.!

Overboard – Sara Paretsky

Any time a new V.I. Warshawski arrives on the scene, I am thrilled to be reunited with an old friend. This is Paretsky’s 21st Warshawski thriller, with a new one due out in 2024. No one compares to the snarky, high-heeled, Cubs-cheering, whiskey-drinking, badass feminist Chicago PI.

ABC pen and zip-front hoodie
As a writer, I love a good pen, and ABC’s is as smooth as they come. And always on the search for a comfy and cozy zip-up hoody since mine was left at Manchester’s airport security (Terminal 2 if anyone is passing by!), I’ve found ABC’s to be pretty much unsurpassed.


In totally random order, here are  my 5 favorite books of 2023:

Anaximander – Carlo Rovelli

This now famous scientist-writer brings us back to the beginning of “science”: the few scraps of works we have left by the Greek philosopher Anaximander. Rovelli explains why the concepts Anaximander introduced are important and laid the foundation of what we now call “the scientific method.” And as a bonus, you learn quite a few interesting things about the ancient world as well.

De snuiters – Harald Stümpke (in Dutch)

Now finally translated into Dutch, this strange book describes, in a fascinating and very dry scientific manner—and with funny drawings!—the weird creatures that existed on a Pacific archipelago that conveniently disappeared just before the first edition came out. Totally bogus, of course, but I found that I wanted to read all of the facts carefully, although I knew none of it was true….

When We Cease to Understand the World – Benjamin Labatut

One of my dear colleagues has been “pestering” me for months to really read some of his favorite books. In this case, he wasn’t wrong. This is very good! Being a sort of “novelization” of some episodes of the history of science—although it often reads as non-fiction, but then better written— this book is hard to categorize. Except as “very good!” that is.

Twee novellen – Yasushi Inoue (in Dutch)

Not being an expert, or even especially interested, in Japanese literature, I just randomly picked this one up, and it appealed to me. (None of my colleagues who are more knowledgeable about Japanese literature knew about this guy, by the way….) The premise of these two novellas sounded interesting, and the stories and the writing did not disappoint. This is probably an example of the many forgotten pearls that once in a while get published by people who are in the book business for the right reasons. Good that they still exist.

One of the novellas included in this Dutch edition is Life of a Counterfeiter, which we might be able to order from our second-hand/antiquary supplier.

Waarachtige beschrijvingen uit de permafrost – Donald Niedekker (in Dutch)

A very poetic and dreamlike “novel” that combines Arctic exploration history, native lore, climate change and much more. A very surprising read; also surprising that I enjoyed it so much.

Bonus: any book with cartoons by Glen Baxter. Over the top absurd, incredibly funny, and mostly out of print!


It’s always difficult to decide on just five titles, so I’ve ended up choosing seven.

And five re-reads, because… why not? Any book worth a re-read is worth being on all the lists.

Happy Place – Emily Henry

Harriet and Wynn were always the perfect couple, until last year, when everything went to smithereens. They haven’t told their friends about their separation and must fake being together while on their annual vacation. But nothing is as simple or as clear as they think, and they have to deal with more than they expected.

Different from her other books, this one is also a bit sad, but with a happy ending. It made me laugh and cry, but also happy, because things are talked about and the solution to their problems is not what I first expected.

The Seven Year Slip – Ashley Poston

An overworked book publicist with a perfectly planned future hits a snag when she falls in love with her temporary roommate…only to discover he lives seven years in the past.

Clementine is heartbroken after the passing of her aunt and does not want to get involved with anyone. But after meeting Iwan in her aunt’s apartment – now hers – she first thinks he’s invading her space, then learns her aunt had invited him to stay – and slowly discovers they’re living in different time zones: him in the past.

They fall in love, but how do you sort out this situation, where you meet your love in his past but in the present, he’s quite different than he used to be?

I had a false start with this book but decided to give it a second try because I enjoyed The Dead Romantics. And boy, was I right!

Check & Mate – Ali Hazelwood

After chess destroyed her family, Mallory shunned the game for good and focused on her mom, sisters and a dead-end job. Until she agrees to take part in a charity tournament and beats Nolan, the current world champion. Mallory’s victory makes earning much-needed money possible, and Mallory goes back to playing. Nolan wishes to play against her again, but the feelings he awakens in her make her doubt everything. And while she plays and keeps it all a secret from her family, her love for the game grows again, making it all a lot more difficult than she could ever have imagined….

I enjoyed this title, even though I sometimes wanted to smack Mallory on the head.  She was so obtuse! But, on the other hand, I could understand her way of thinking. The fact she was indeed 18 made everything more acceptable.

Resonance Surge and Archangel’s Lineage – Nalini Singh

I just love everything Nalini Singh writes, so it’s no surprise these titles are here.

In Resonance Surge, we meet StoneWater bears Pavel and Yakov again in this new Psy/Changeling Trinity series installment, where they both need to fight for their lives and loves. The plot thickens and the story arc develops further, bringing more depth to this fantastical world where changelings, humans and Psy live together and need to relearn to share it.

As for Archangel’s Lineage, I’m incredibly lucky to be able to read advanced reader’s copies, and this title was one of them. I can’t say much about this book yet, but I can say: Nalini Singh does not disappoint! Part of the Guild Hunter series, it continues the saga about Elena and Raphael. And if you enjoyed her other series but haven’t read this one yet, you should. The series begins with Angels’ Blood.

Sweep of the Heart – Ilona Andrews

As Innkeepers, human earthling Dina and werewolf Sean are always busy. Until Sean’s mentor is kidnapped and, to find him, they must host an intergalactic spouse search for one of the most powerful rulers in the Galaxy.

The sixth installment of the Innkeeper Chronicles, this book does not disappoint. Ilona and Gordon Andrews manage to keep the high quality of their writing intact, the jokes funny and the adventure very upbeat. It’s a really good series, and it starts with Clean Sweep.

Murderbot series – Martha Wells

Murderbot is a SecUnit with a heart, who is always doing their best to save their humans. Always witty, the series is a breath of fresh air and, at the same time, also very comforting. The series begins with All Systems Red.

Favorite re-reads:

Linesman series – S.K. Dunstall (starts with Linesman)

Innkeeper Chronicles – Ilona Andrews (starts with Clean Sweep)

Psy-Changelling series – Nalini Singh (starts with Slave to Sensation)

Kate Daniels series – Ilona Andrews (starts with Magic Bites)

Guild-Hunter series – Nalini Singh (starts with Angels’ Blood)