1 January 2024 Susannah

My 2023 Favourites

My 2023 Favourites

It’s always fun to look back through my ‘Book Notebook’ which brings back memories of all the books I have enjoyed, but it’s also always a challenge to try and select my Top Ten reads for the year. 2023 was a year of fiction, murder mysteries, biographies, literary criticism and history – these are the ones that really stood out (in alphabetical order, according to author’s surname):

When it comes to crime fiction, I have continued to make my way through series by Julia Chapman, C.S. Harris, M.L. Longworth, Angela Marsons, Martin Walker, and Peter Robinson (I was very sad to have to say goodbye to Inspector Banks) and I’m reading for the second time Elly Griffiths’ fabulous Dr Ruth Galloway novels, this time in audio version, with great pleasure. I’ve loved the four novels in D.E. Stevenson’s Miss Buncle series, and of course am always delighted to turn to Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer for stimulation and comfort and gorgeous reading experiences.

Did you have a favourite book last year? I’d love to hear what you most enjoyed. Tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment.

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Featured image- Flowers on an open book photo by Amnah Mohammad: https://www.pexels.com/photo/flowers-on-an-open-book-and-a-cup-of-coffee-7935223/
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Comments (7)

  1. Karen

    I had a really great reading year. The standout book for me was Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence and then to go to the museum of the same name in Istanbul was incredible.
    Then there is always Dorothy Whipple. Fortunately, her books have been re-published by Persephone and they do not disappoint. High Wages by Dorothy was my favourite this year.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I have never read any Dorothy Whipple, so thanks for the recommendation.
      Isn’t Istanbul fabulous. I loved Pamuk’s book about his home city.

  2. Megan Pierson

    Thank you for this list Susannah. I think I will add “a recommendation from SF” to my annual reading challenge this year. I read “The House by the Lake” by Thomas Harding and it was my top NF for 2022.

    Last year my top fiction was A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and k favourite NF was The Salt Path by Raynor Winn-both of which I am sure you have heard of.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Wasn’t The House by the Lake fabulous. I have loved all of Thomas Harding’s books. So many people have recommended The Salt Path to me, so I will seek that out as soon as I am back in Sydney. I loved Gentleman in Moscow, until the ending – I felt it ended very flatly.
      So many good books to read and never enough reading time! I hope 2024 is filled with good books for you.

  3. Patrick Alley

    For no particular reason I got into the Greeks. Stephen Fry’s “Mythos” and “ Heroes” were good but the star and my best book of 2023 was Emily Wilson’s translation of Homer’s “Odyssey” there is a wonderful preface giving a likely provenance of the work and is followed by her brilliant translation which is fresh, contemporary and highly readable. A must read I think. Other than that Ben MacIntyre produced some good work “Colditz” “Agent Sonya” both good but not outstanding. For a very first novel I rated Nathan Harris’s “The Sweetness of Water”. In preparation for our first European trip since COVID I’m presently reading James Belich’s “The World the Plague Made” it’s hard reading- more of a text book – but you can dip in and out. It sets the scene of how the plague revolutionised Europe’s economy and social fabric.

  4. Maria

    Happy New Year and thank you for the recommendations, Susannah. It’s not always easy to identify which new books might be good to read. You are a wonderful advance scout.

  5. Yvonne

    Thanks for your interesting list of 2023. I actually wrote down all the books I read and listened to for the first time last year and enjoyed the process.
    Difficult to name a favourite but I will say All the Broken Places by John Boyne really struck a cord with me. I heard him speak about this book at the Brisbane library and that made reading the book extra special.

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