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The Best Books We Read in 2023

January 4, 2024

By:

Team LIY

If there’s one thing the LIY Team did a lot of in 2023 [besides hit checkout on Amazon a few too many times 😉 ] it was read! And with the help of our LIY Reads Virtual Book Club – join 32K members here! – there was no shortage of great recommendations to get through this year. Today we’re sharing our favorite reads of 2023! Snuggle in, here are the best books of the year – according the the LIY Team.

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Our 2023 Top Picks

Romance + Chick-Lit

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects

I read this book while we were in the midst of our infertility struggles and while it was a little bittersweet to read, it also had a great message that I could resonate with [reminding me to not stop living during the journey]. While it had some tougher topics, I enjoyed the different perspectives and lessons that it provided!

Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake by Mazey Eddings

Lizze Blake’s Best Mistake

I had to pick this book up after my girlfriend told me it made her laugh out loud [I love a good comedic relief now and again]! Lizzie is a spunky, funny, unpredictable character who finds herself in a position she didn’t envision with a man she also didn’t envision! I enjoyed following their journey and the laughs it provided along the way! This is an easy, lighthearted read!

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Happy Place

This was one of our books in our LIY Reads Book Club [let’s be real – I could have put every single book we read this year in our Book Club in this lineup of favorites, I’ve loved them all!] and I loved it! I’m a sucker for a good romance and this one was no exception!

The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey

The Summer of Songbirds

Another great LIY Reads Book Club choice – this follows the storyline of 3 best girlfriends who have grown up together since going to summer camp. Now in their upper 30’s they are each facing different life challenges and opportunities – I loved the friendship that they had developed and held on to for all of these years, helping each other do the hard things and laughing along the way! A book that will make you want to grab your girlfriends and take a weekend getaway together asap!

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read

Give me a book called “Beach Read” and I’m sold. The perfect book to accompany your next beach vacay. A romance about two neighbors who are both authors but faced with writer’s block. They help each other get through their block while *maybe* falling in love at the same time 😉 A fun lighthearted book to read!

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers

Book Lovers was the best light read I’ve read in a long time! It wasn’t hard to figure out what was going to happen, and yet I loved every page of watching this love story unfold! A perfect light read for vacation!

Confess by Colleen Hoover

Confess

I am a huge Colleen Hoover fan, but after reading MANY of her books the previous year, I was letting them take a back seat in 2023. I came across Confess when looking for a new audio book and it was the best surprise! It was a bit different than the pace of CoHo’s more recent books (which I still love) and offered such a fresh style of hers to read. I also really loved the poetic way the main character finds inspiration for his art and I wish someone local would open a gallery like this for me to wander!

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Meet Me at the Lake

If you were a fan of Every Summer After, you’re going to love Carley Fortune’s latest! The lakeside resort setting + the nostalgic romance storyline = the perfect summer read!

Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan

Same Time Next Summer

One of my favorite romances of the year – so far! I love the oceanside setting and the bittersweet, nostalgic storyline about first loves. Sam and Wyatt grew up spending summer’s at the beach together, and eventually [not so surprisingly 😉 ] fell for each other, but break up before college. Fast-forward 14 years and Sam is engaged to Jack. The two visit the family beach house, only to find Wyatt staying next door, bringing back allllll the feels for Sam. A fiancé + a first love + a week at the beach, what could go wrong?! Fans of Every Summer After by Carley Fortune will devour this one!

Float Plan by Trish Doller

Float Plan

This book isn’t new by any means, but why oh-why was I dragging my feet to read it for so long?! It was SO good. It has everything I want in summer beach read from the Caribbean setting to the incredibly lovable characters. Five stars!

Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn

Georgie, All Along

I ADORED Georgie, All Along. It has everything I love in a romance; force-proximity trope, anyone?] I loved the banter between Georgie and Levi and found myself laughing out loud often. This is one of my favorite romances of the year!

The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros

The Last Letter

TW: childhood cancer, death of a child. You’ll want waterproof mascara & tissues handy for this one. Even though I cried my eyes out, I loved this story! Just beware, you’re signing yourself up for heartbreak. Keep the Kleenex handy!

Mystery + Thriller

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

The Golden Couple

The Golden Couple kept me engaged through every chapter figuring out the twists and turns, and trying to read through the lines to decipher the true intention of each character.

The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid

I borrowed The Maid from a friend and read it in a day or two on vacation! I just loved the main character Molly, and I can’t wait for the second one!

Non-Fiction + Memoir

Birdie & Harlow by Taylor Wolfe

Birdie & Harlow

It certainly doesn’t hurt that I absolutely love following and working with the author, Taylor Wolfe – but all of that aside, Birdie & Harlow had me laughing out loud and crying, which is no easy feat! It’s a beautiful story and one I recommend to all moms and dog loves alike! If you don’t yet, give Taylor a follow – you won’t regret it!

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears

The Woman in Me

Whether or not you’re a fan of Britney, her story is one worth reading. She has been through so much at such a young age and faced her situation with an unbelievable amount of resilience. A powerful read!

Fantasy

ACOTAR Series by Sarah J. Maas

ACOTAR Series

2023 was the year of Fantasy for me! I haven’t ready this genre since high school in my Twilight era [Claire here!], and fell back in love with it thanks to this series! It has romance, humor, girl power, and a woman who doesn’t need a man to save her, but vice versa. Full Disclosure: the first book has a lot of world building and is a bit slow at times. Stick with it, and book #2 will have you hooked on the series!

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass Series

After reading the ACOTAR series, I was fully invested in Fantasy [thank you Sarah J. Maas!] Similar to the series above, the first book has a lot of world building, but gets better if you can commit! You can expect a badass female main character, humor, romance, action [and of course magic, dragons, witches… the usual ;)] !

Fourth Wing + Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

Fourth Wing + Iron Flame

One of my favorite reads of the year! Harry Potter meets Hunger Games with a resilient female lead, romance, action, and dragons – obviously. 😉 Note: this series is not complete yet, so be prepared for a major cliff hanger. Here’s to hoping for book #3 in 2024!

Historical Fiction

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale

Over the Summer I attended a dinner party and got to chatting with a fellow book lover. We decided to trade titles of the “best book we’ve ever read” and each read the other person’s recommendation. The Nightingale was the one I was tasked with reading. Warning – it is VERY long, but I listened to the audio book and it was worth every minute of my time! I loved following the story of these two sisters, and Kristin Hannah has a way with words that paints a touching picture of what it was like living during WWII.

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds

After reading The Nightingale I was in love with Kristin Hannah’s writing and wanted to experience some of her other books. I listened to The Four Winds on my local library’s app and loved it! In this story about the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, Hannah again has such a beautiful way of relating to the characters while also giving an overall view of what life was like at the time.

General Fiction

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures

I saw a lot about Remarkably Bright Creatures online, and to be totally honest – I was skeptical that it would live up to the hype. I really loved this book! I really enjoyed hearing the perspective of each of the characters, and seeing how the stories intertwined.

Our Top Picks of 2023:

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