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.


A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking – T. Kingfisher

This book is my favorite read of this year and a good contender for my all-time favorite. It is a really simple story about a witch who can only use magic while baking and ends up being the only one available to defend the city against a siege. It is funny, has heartfelt moments and some thrilling situations. I flew through this book.

American Gods and Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

This year I read my first Neil Gaiman book and then immediately my second. Both American Gods and Neverwhere were amazing and are interchangeable for second or third place.

Even though American Gods is a thick book, it didn’t feel like it. The world feels real, and the characters, although gods or other mythic creatures, feel real. The main character is very likable. He just goes with everything that is thrown at him and completely accepts the situations he finds himself in. This is a story about a big scam of a battle while there is also another mystery taking place.

Neverwhere is amazing, especially for people who love magical realism. It is very much Alice in Wonderlandesque and, contrary to the main character in American Gods, this main character questions everything.

A man suddenly finds himself invisible to ordinary people and is dragged on a journey through the sewer system known as London Below. It’s full of weird creatures with even weirder rules, but why shouldn’t it be? A classic Hero’s Journey in a not-so-classic setting.

Prisoners of Geography – Tim. Marshall

Although this book focuses really on one thing (geography, as the title suggests), it does give a great view of how the world works. I would recommend this as a base because in reality, there are a lot more factors that make the world spin. A very easy and interesting read, and I learned a lot.

The Goodbye Cat – Hiro Arikawa

Her first book, The Traveling Cat Chronicle, was my favorite last year. This year, her second book made the list, too. Once again a tearjerker, but this time separated into seven short stories about cats that play a big part in the lives of their owners. They take them on a journey or are there to teach them valuable lessons. If you’ve read her first book, you will recognize the characters in some of the short stories, but it is perfectly readable if you haven’t.


A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World – C.A. Fletcher

A post-apocalyptic dystopia about a dog getting stolen and its person crossing land and sea to get it back. Solid worldbuilding, a unique writing style, twists.

The Shards – Brett Easton Ellis

A pseudo-autobiographical Bildungsroman about a group of friends about to graduate high school while it seems a serial killer is circling and closing in on them. Sex and drugs galore.

A Gathering of Ravens – Scott Oden

A mytho-historical fantasy about a religious person forced into a pact with a knife-wielding Orcneas. Extremely well researched and impressively evokes the spirit and atmosphere of a time gone by by weaving together medieval tradition and Norse and Celtic lore.

Magpie Murders – Anthony Horowitz

An intelligent and unique double whodunnit mystery. A manuscript within a novel, paying homage to Agatha Christie.

Midnight Tides – Steven Erikson

“Of all the gifts Father Shadow has given his children, this one talent stands tallest.
Look away to see. Trust in it, and you will be led to Shadow. Where all truths hide.
Look away to see.
Now, look away.”

My colleague Juno and I are currently taking on and very much enjoying Steven Erikson’s 10-book masterpiece Malazan Book of the Fallen, and this fifth volume is one of my favorites so far. Up until now, we have often hit the ground running, without Erikson pausing to explain who’s who and what’s what. Even though hints are given, a flashback, or some exposition, I came to realize that I lacked the mental gymnastics to keep everything ordered in my head — and letting go of this was freeing. I have stopped expecting to grasp the world entire, no longer determined to get to the bottom of every potential connective thread and Easter egg. And still the series is chock-full of rich action and inspired moments that keep the pace hurtling forward. It has been a genre-warping journey through the high-water mark of modern fantasy.

This series is as dense as dark matter. Let it rocket to the top of your to-be-read list if you like having your mind blown by numerous storylines roping across multiple eras and continents, whole races and various individuals flush with power, climactic convergences rife with dazzling magics, ancient secrets and mysteries, cataclysmic battles, flashing daggers, dreadful beasts, brutal humanity, animal ferocity, humorous verbosity, abject tragedy, engaging philosophy, stoic wisdom, quiet observance and eloquent beauty.


Fourth Wing – Rebecca Yarros

I have been so addicted to this series and love it a lot. Sort of an Eragon meets The Hunger Games/enemies to lovers meets dragons! Just read it. It’s amazing.

Iron Flame – Rebecca Yarros

Yes, it is cheating to put both books here; no, I don’t care. They both deserve their own spot. As a sequel, Iron Flame did really well. I did read through it a little slower than Fourth Wing but enjoyed it all the same!

Dune Messiah – Frank Herbert

I finally managed to read the Dune sequel. And even though it’s not as good or well-written as Dune, it still managed to impress me. I had heard a lot of mixed signals about it, but I really enjoyed it.

Murtagh – Christopher Paolini

Finally, Christopher Paolini wrote another book in the Inheritance universe! I was so excited for this to come out, and it did not disappoint. Fans of the series will love it as I did! If you’re new to this series, then I do not recommend starting with this one, as it is the fifth installment of the Inheritance Cycle. Go and start with Eragon.

From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout

It’s a bit of a slow burn and a set-up for the sequels, but I still enjoyed this book and the series as a whole. I have not finished the series, but if they are all as good as this one, I can’t wait!