2023 Book List

It’s time to switch over and start a new yearly book list! As I finish each book, I share it and a mini review in real-time on my Instagram Stories and I also keep an updated list here.

If you’re interested in my previous lists, you can find them here: 2020 Book List, 2021 Book List and 2022 Book List. Feel free to bookmark this page, as I will keep it updated as I finish each book. I’ll also stick a link to this post over on the right sidebar for easy access.

Here are the books I’ve read so far in 2023:

Book #, Information & LinkMini Book Review
Book #1 of 2023:
The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry
Natalie’s last few days of her senior year is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing momentary glimpses of things looking wrong. But then her wold town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right. This is a time-traveling love story and I really wanted to like it. But it was confusing and clunky and the explanations were just so verbose and random. I really thought the book was leading up to an ending that would make everything work and make sense. But it just left me annoyed at how murky it all was.
Book #2 of 2023:
The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea
The night they go missing, high school seniors Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are at a beach party in their small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. Two weeks later, Megan escapes from a bunker. It’s a triumphant story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Holy crap this story was suspenseful. I literally felt out of breath racing through the end and yelled HOLY SHIT multiple times. If you love a suspenseful murder mystery, you’ll be glued to this one.
Book #3 of 2023:
When in Rome by Sarah Adams
Inspired by her favorite Audrey Hepburn film, Roman Holiday, a superstar pop singer is feeling burnt out and decides to escape to Rome. The closest Rome to her… Rome, Kentucky. This romantic comedy is one of the BEST I’ve read in quite awhile. I loved the relationship between Amelia and Noah and I loved his busybody sisters. If you’re looking for a romantic, feel-good story that will also make you giggle, this one is fantastic.
Book #4 of 2023:
Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane
A sharp, emotional novel about a women who calls off her engagement to “the perfect man” and moves in with a charming stranger who makes her question everything about her life, her past, and the secretes she’s kept for far too long. I absolutely love Mhairi McFarlane and this book is another fantastic read from her. There are some tough parts of bad relationships and emotional abuse, but oh my gosh does she persevere. There are amazing friendships, girl power support, a bad guy getting his comeuppance, and romance too. Loved it!
Book #5 of 2023:
Spells for Lost Things by Jenna Evans Welch
A travel-loveing teen of divorced parents, Willow is forced to spend the summer she expected to be filled with wanderlust instead stuck in Salem. She connects with another teen, Mason, who is dealing with his own heavy family issues and time in foster care. While a romance brews between the two, they also work to solve a long family curse of Willow’s. Every chapter switches between Willow and Mason, which for me made the book drag on a bit. It’s a YA novel, but it also deals with first love, foster care and addiction. I thought it was a sweet and touching story of redemption and finding a place where you fit.
Book #6 of 2023:
The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie by Rachel Linden
As Lolly Blanchard’s thirty-third birthday approaches, her quirky great-aunt gives her a mysterious gift — three lemon drops, each of which allows her to live a single day in a life that might have been hers. I love the premise of this book — who doesn’t think ‘what if’ when looking at different times in their life? I loved Lolly and couldn’t put this book down. In fact, I read it all in one day. It was sweet. And bittersweet. And I loved it.
Book #7 of 2023:
No Funny Business by Amanda Aksel
Olivia Vincent dreams of stand-up comedy stardom. Lawyer by day, comic at night… it’s only a matter of time before she drops the ball and loses her day job. Determined to pursue her dreams, she snags an audition in Los Angeles for a coveted spot on light-night TV. But the only way to get there is to seasoned stand-up comic Nick Leto on a cross-country road tour. I loved the buddy road trip vibe between Olivia and Nick. Lots of sarcastic banter and flirting. I was a bit put off that it apparently takes 2 weeks to fall in love, but that’s RomCom for you! A fun read with lots of Seinfeld and stand-up comic references.
Book #8 of 2023:
How to Manifest by Laura Chung
Manifestation is a wildly popular concept emphasizing the strength of personal power in bringing your deepest desires into the realm of the physical. Wellness educator Laura Chung charts a 40-day plan for manifesting dreams. When I’m at the library, I always like to grab a couple books outside my normal comfort zone. This was an interesting read. While I’m not 100% in, I did make a ‘manifesting vision board’ on my phone to help me focus on what I really want my life to loo like.
Book #9 of 2023:
Improbably Yours by Kerry Anne King
Blythe Harmon is on the fast track to a life she never wanted. On her thirtieth birthday, just as she’s about to lock herself into a high-powered job and accept a marriage proposal to match, an unusual bequest from her beloved late grandmother, Nomi, offers an escape and an invitation to adventure. I loved the book so much. The way she decides to take back her life and follow her grandmother’s treasure hunt just made me cheer for her. I did see the ‘big reveal’ coming from a mile away, but didn’t really care because the journey was so fun.
Book #10 of 2023:
If the Dress Fits by Liz Talley
A new book in the Deconstructed series! Cricket Crosby is back and ready to balance running her antiques store with proving her PI chops… if someone will take a chance on her. When a local PI catches a case involving the theft of luxury goods, he hires the former debutante to go undercover to trap a thief. This book was super fun and a mix of mystery and a little romance. Loved it and I hope they continue the series!
Book #11 of 2023:
Witcha Gonna Do? by Avery Flynn
An unlucky witch and her know-it-all nemesis must team up in the first of a new, spicy romantic comedy series. What can I say — I love witchy books. Add in a super hot romance and a heist and it’s a great and super fun start to this new series.
Book #12 of 2023:
Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker
From the secrets of visual storytelling and crafting thumb-stopping Instagram photographs, to archiving your day-to-day life and remaining authentic to your true self, this book is an interactive tool for finding your online voice, growing your tribe, and using these skills to change your life, and – just possibly – the world. NOPE. I know I was supposed to find this 100% inspirational. Instead it made me feel shitty about myself 90% and 10% I should try harder. The photos were pretty though.
Book 13 of 2023:
The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland
Melissa Levin, Priya Chowdhury, Tara Taylor and Suki Hammer were going places when they graduated high school in 1997. Their yearbook superlatives were Most Likely to Win the White House, Cure Cancer, Open a Michelin-Starred Restaurant, and Jon the Forbes 400, respectively. Fast forward twenty-five years and nothing has gone according to plan. I gave up after 66 pages because I just felt like the book was full of unlikable characters and it wasn’t doing it for me at all.
Book #14 of 2023:
This Time Next Door by Gretchen Galway
Rose Devlin may shop in the plus-size department, but she’s never had a problem attracting men – with disastrous consequences. When Rose asks the cute-but-geeky guy next door to help her land a job in high tech, she never expects that nerdy Mark is the kind of many she’s looking for. I liked that the lead was a plus sized lady who was confident in herself. I didn’t love the romance though. It just felt kind of ick in some places. And please for the love of god, PDA in front of family is NOT SEXY!
Book #15 of 2023:
The Chemistry of Love by Sariah Wilson
How can Anna Ellis, a geeky, brilliant and hopelessly smitten cosmetic chemist possibly win over Craig Kimball, the man of her dreams – who also happens to be her boss? The answer is Craig’s half brother, Marco because whatever Marco has, Craig wants. That can be Anna, if she’s game to play.; This was the BEST romance I read in white awhile. It’s hilarious and dorky and so romantic I gasped and held my heart. Also, as a bonus currently free on Kindle Unlimited. Add this one to your TBR list and you won’t be disappointed!
Book #16 of 2023:
My Hygge Home by Meik Wiking
By the founder of the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, this book about Hygge (pronounced Hyou-gah) is an almost scholarly look at what makes a home happy. I loved this book and will need to revisit different portions that really resonated with me. A quote I loved: “Hygge is not about having it all. It is about enjoying what you have and enjoying it with the people in your life.”
Book #17 of 2023:
The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas
Rosie Graham just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas. If you love a slow burn romance that roars into a full on SPICY fire, you will love this book.
Book #18 of 2023:
Make Thrift Mend by Katrina Rodabaugh
Whether you want to repair your go-to jeans, refresh a favorite garment, alter or dye clothing you already have — this book as all the know-how you’ll need. I found this book both beautiful and very inspiring. I especially loved the section on visible mending and plan to use her tips in my next mending project. This one is a keeper you’ll want for your bookcase or coffee table!
Book #19 of 2023:
Back in a Spell by Lana Harper
An awkward first date leads to a sparkling romance between one of the most powerful witches in town and a magical newbie in this rom-com. I’m normally a big fan of magical books, especially when the underdog is able to kick some butt. This one though, was a total miss for me. It just felt really clunky and like they were trying to be super politically correct. It was just blegh for me and I’m not interested in exploring the rest of the series.
Book #20 of 2023:
Marlowe Banks, Redesigned by Jacqueline Firkins
Desperate to hide from her failures, Marlowe Banks flees New York City to embrace invisibility in Los Angeles as a menial Production Assistant on a popular TV show. When a costume mix-up requires Marlowe to step into in a scene, the camera catches a heated look between her and Angus Gordon, the show’s arrogant bad boy, thrusting Marlowe into the spotlight. This book was so fantastic and romantic and I love it so much! There is a real-feeling romance and some amazing thoughts on the shiny varnish of social media and celebrity culture. Not only a romance, but a girl coming into her own story and one of the best I’ve read in awhile. 5 Stars! Add it to your reading list ASAP!!
Book #21 of 2023:
Spare by Prince Harry
Prince Harry’s memoir covered everything from losing his mother, growing up with his brother, struggling at school and serving in the British Army. Suffering from post-traumatic stress and panic attacks. Falling in love with his wife and children. And his split with the Royal Family. I don’t know what I was expecting going into this book but it was honest, captivating, silly, angering and so sad. An absolute page-turner and I have such an understanding of his life and struggles over the years. Frankly, I want to give him a big hug. But that would be weird. Highly recommend this book – its amazing. 
Book #22 of 2023:
Magnolias and Murder by Tegan Maher (Witches of Keyhole Lake 16)
The 16th in the Witches of Keyhole Lake Southern Mysteries series. At this point, I’m concerned about how many murders happen in their small town. Not the best in the series and had some noticeable typos too. Pretty much no “witchyness” and mostly just solving the murder. Meh.
Book #23 of 2023:
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But when she meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and they spend the entire night flirting, she discovers too late that he is none other than hotshot junior senator Max Powell. Oh boy, such a romance! I loved this book. I loved the characters and their real problems and their slow growing relationship. Love, love, love!
Book #24 of 2023:
I’ll Stop the World by Lauren Thoman
Justin Warren has had his life defined by the suspicious deaths of his grandparents and the ripple effects are still felt after thirty-eight years. In a cosmic twist of fate, Justin crashes into the path of Rose Yin — but she lives in 1985 and Justin is from 2023. Justin and Rose have just one week to get him unstuck in time and put each of them in control of their futures―by solving a murder that hasn’t even happened yet. This one was a March First Reads book on kindle, so it’s free for Prime members before it’s released on April 1st to everyone. It started a bit slow but once the mystery really got going I couldn’t put it down! The last third was very suspenseful and this book is absolutely worth reading! 
Book #25 of 2023:
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom
Mitch lost track of his college professor Morrie Schwartz, but rediscovered him in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live. “The truth is, Mitch,” he said, “once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” You guys. I know I was supposed to love this — especially considering it had over 25,000 reviews on Amazon and 5 stars. But, I didn’t. I enjoyed the beginning but by the middle I kept finding reasons to put the book aside. I swear, I’m not a monster. It just didn’t give me the warm fuzzies like it did everyone else.
Book #26 of 2023:
We Came. We Saw. We Left. by Charles Wheelan
Charlis Wheelan and his family took 9 months off and traveled the world for a gap-year. Two parents, three teenagers and siz continents and just one flesh-eating bacterial infection. I really enjoyed this book — especially the ‘how to’ planning part of what makes a trip like this possible and the day-to-day of traveling with family on a small budget. Favorite quotes: “When a child grows up our role as parents changes from managers to consultants.” and “Interesting travel does not sate the urge to explore; it feeds it.”
Book #27 of 2023:
The Rom-Com Agenda by Jayne Denker
I’m not giving you a synopsis of this one. In fact, don’t read the back when you get it. Because it is a rom-com lovers dream. It has all kind of flavors of When Harry Met Sally and Love, Actually and Hallmark movies and so much goodness. And a strong female lead and an awesome friend group and a swoony man. Absolutely loved it! 
Book #28 of 2023:
Immortality: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz
The sequel to Anatomy: A Love story and I loved it even more than the first book. This one moved so much quicker and had so much mystery and intrigue and flavors of Death Becomes Her. I highly recommend  both books. I could not put this one down and read the whole thing today. 
Book #29 of 2023:
Magical Midlife Alliance (Leveling Up book 7) by K.F. Breene
Book 7 in the Magical Midlife series and ooooh it’s a good one! In this book, they are looking to make an alliance for an upcoming battle. And it’s stressful and ridiculous and hilarious.  I’ve loved this entire series and this last story is no exception. There’s friendship and battles and laughs. Of course, there is more coming. Otherwise I’d just start at the beginning and read them all over again because the series is THAT good! 
Book #30 of 2023:
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (The Scholomance Book 1)
The first book in the Scholomance trilogy and it is a dark school of magic where students battle monsters and try to survive to graduation. It took me a while to get into this book and finally when I conflated the main character as a Wednesday-type of girl it clicked. By the end of the book I’m hooked and ready for the next book in the series. 
Book #31 of 2023:
The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern by Rita Zoey Chin
An enchanting novel about the transcendent powers of the imagination, the magic of the threshold between past and present, and the courage it takes to love. It’s about grief, finding yourself, a very odd road trip and not missing chances before they go by. This was a book I had to savor because it was so beautiful and sad and hopeful. 
Book #32 of 2023:
The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik (The Scholomance Book 2)
Sequel to A Deadly Education and the second in the Scholomance trilogy. Graduation day looms near and the climatic battle was absolutely thrilling. However, the book needed with a Cliff-hanger so thankfully I already have the 3rd book waiting on my kindle! Highly recommend this series!
Book #33 of 2023:
The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik (The Scholomance Book 3)
Last book in the Scholomance trilogy and a fantastic end to the series. So much growth in the main characters, while still giving lots of action and adventure. I loved the finale and highly recommend the series for someone who wants a more grown up version of Harry Potter of the Hunger Games! 
Book #34 of 2023:
The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson
A cute RomCom with a movie star and a dog groomer. I downloaded this in the airport because I wasn’t feeling any of my other selections and read the whole thing on my plane ride. It was a fun, low stakes and very sweet little romance. And included for free if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription! 
Book # 35 of 2023:
Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake
HGTV meets sassy romance. Astrid Parker is a little uptight, focused on a career she isn’t even sure she likes, and recently broke up with her fiancé. Jordan Everwood is the granddaughter and carpenter on their project of renovating a run-down Inn. Enemies to lovers. Haters to friends. This book has it all, along with some super hot chemistry! 
Book #36 of 2023:
Yearbook by Seth Rogen
A collection of funny personal essays from Seth Rogen, actor/writer/producer. I wouldn’t call myself a ‘fan’ of Seth, but I feel a generalized like towards him. He just seems like a cool guy and I think he’s funny. Well, this book did not disappoint and I literally cackled out loud throughout the book. He is so incredibly witty and sneaked in these hilarious lines that catch you off guard. Highly recommend! 
Book #37 of 2023:
How Not to Fall In Love by Jacqueline Firkins
Harper works in her mom’s wedding shop, altering dresses for petulant and picky brides who are more focused on hemlines than love. Her best friend Theo is her opposite. One date and he’s already dreaming of happily-ever-afters. In this sweet YA rom-com, Harper tries to teach Theo not to fall in love. Sure it’s predictable, but it’s also very sweet and I love the relationship between Harper and her mom. A fun read!
Book #38 of 2023:
I’m Glad My Mom Died: A Memoir by Jeannette McCurdy
A memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life. I had heard about this memoir for months before I finally pulled the trigger and added it to my library hold list. I was so moved by Jennette’s story of growing up, her struggle with anorexia and bulimia, and difficulty in being a child actor who is no longer a child. A really heartbreaking read, that makes me really hopeful for her future. 
Book #39 of 2023:
Really good, Actually by Monica Heisey
Here’s what they said this book was about: “A hilarious and painfully relatable debut novel about one woman’s messy search for joy and meaning in the wake of an unexpected breakup, from comedian, essayist, and award-winning screenwriter Monica Heisey” That’s a total lie. I HATED this book. It was sad and depressing. I mean, I wasn’t fully expecting a book about divorce to be funny, but it was a huge chore to get to the end. Terrible and I’m mad I read the whole thing. 
Book #40 of 2023:
Flea Market Style by Emily Chalmers
I grabbed a few design books for inspiration for our bedroom and all-around house updates. I thought I would love this one because eclectic and comfy is my jam. Most of the images in this book were way too cluttered for me though. Also, comparing London flea market finds to Maryland finds is hilarious. 
Book #41 of 2023:
Hygge & West Home: Design for Cozy Life by Christina Coop and Aimee Lagos
Such a beautiful coffee table book! I love me some hygge, so I enjoyed this design book a bit more. Love a Scandinavian style mixed with mid-century modern and general hygge cuddly stuff. Enjoyed this book — but wanted more images and less words. 
Book #42 of 2023:
Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill
Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In this tell-all memoir, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect. This book was WAY too into the weeds. Out of a 400 page book, the first 200 pages covered her as an infant until age 13. It was so much information that was unneeded and almost robotic in its delivery. She didn’t break free until literally the last few chapters. I honestly thought this story would be less boring. 
Book #43 of 2023:
You Grow Gurl by Christopher Griffin
If you have ever wanted to read a book about plants by a non-binary femme plant influencer named Plant Kween… this is your book. It is a fun and fabulous guide to keeping your green gurls growing and thriving. There are tips on everything from propagating to measuring humidity to repotting. And advice like: “Pair that kween with a planter, hunty” Super fun and really helpful as a guide for this plant newbie! 
Book #44 of 2023:
Best Served Hot by Amanda Elliot
Two restaurant critics learn their opposing tastes might make for a five-star relationship in the next foodie romantic comedy. It’s okay to try a book and not like it. I got 80 pages into this one, hated it and moved on. 
Book #45 of 2023:
The Little French Bistro by Nina George
Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage.  After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. An absolutely beautiful, poetic story of second chances. Some sentences were so gorgeous, I had to re-read and savor them. 

From the book: “And did the sea want you?”
“I would gladly have drowned in it, Marianne said quietly. “It would have buried every-thing. First it would have swept over my head and then it would have forgotten me. That’s how it was supposed to be: I was on a quest for death. “But then?” Pascale asked anxiously.
“Then life intervened.”
Book #46 of 2023:
You Should Smile More by Anastasia Ryan
When Vanessa Blair is fired because of her “resting bitch face,” her friends help her get revenge. This book was exactly what I needed and I actually laughed out loud multiple times — loved the friendships, the crazy mom, the Bridge Brigade, wild kittens and even a new love. Hilarious and a great ‘wronged women gets revenge’ story!
Book #47 of 2023:… Coming Soon…

Most of my books are borrowed using Kindle Unlimited (you can read my full review from 2015 here). If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited yet, it’s like an all-you-can-read for books and I’ve been using it for the last few years: Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans.

I also regularly use my local library for physical books and both Overdrive and Hoopla through my local library website for online books (you can download them straight to your Kindle or read them on your web browser). If you have a library card, be sure to check your library’s website to see if they work with an online partner. I mean, FREE BOOKS!

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