My Favorite Books of the Year

It’s that time of the year again, my friends! It’s time to talk about BOOKS!

This is my fourth year publishing a roundup of my favorite reads from the past year, and I look forward to writing this post every single time.

Why? It’s just a little different from the regularly scheduled programming here on Fooduzzi (vegan recipes).

And reading is what I spend a lot of time doing, so it’s great to reflect on the truly great reads at the end of each year.

If you’re interested, here are the past “favorites” posts:

This year was an interesting reading year for me. Not only did I only read two five-star books (one being a re-read), I kind of fell out of love with romance books.

For the past few years, romance has been a top genre for me because they’re quick, fun, and make you feel good. But lately I’ve just been bored of them, so I actually ended up reading a lot more “contemporary” and straight fiction novels this year.

Regardless, I’m excited to share the deets on my favorite reads from the past year with you today! As of the day I’m writing this (December 23), I’ve read 52 books, which is pretty average for me. I like to try to read a book a week, and that’s what I did!

As always, if you’re interested in checking any of the books I mention, I have a few links for you below:

  • The first one, the link to buy a physical copy, is for, a website that allows you to support independent bookstores with your purchase.
  • The second, the ebook version, is an Amazon affiliate link.
  • The third is a link to add the book on Goodreads.

I also highly encourage you to check out your local library –– most of the books I mention here I got from my library. I download my ebooks through the Libby app by adding my library card. It’s free and super convenient!

Ready to get into the books? Let’s do it.

The Best Books I Read in 2023

The Lager Queen of Minnesota

I adored this book. It was a fascinating coming-of-age story following the lives of two sisters and the decisions they make following an inheritance bestowed onto only one of them.

The characters’ stories weaved together in such a lovely way, and it really got me interested in the how behind the way beer is brewed! Even if you’re not a beer lover, I think you’d still enjoy this book. But if you’re a beer fan like me, this is a must-read.

The House in the Cerulean Sea

This was a re-read for my book club, but I loved it just as much as I did when I read it a few years ago. It’s a perfect “found family” novel, which is one of my very favorite tropes.

It’s just a big ol’ hug in the form of a book, and it will definitely leave you feeling heart-warmed and cozy!

This book has stuck with me for months. It’s all about a super secret, underground game with life-changing winnings that eventually turns into a race to save the entire planet. For most of the book, it was completely non-put-downable

It definitely gave me Ready Player One vibes (another of my favorite books!), but I think it was a bit too long and the ending was a bit rushed.

That said, this “there’s a secret game where clues are hidden in plain sight if you know where to look” idea is just one of my very favorite things in books. If anyone has any other recommendations for books like this, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Things I Wish I Told My Mother

This was one of those novels where the story was fine, but the book as a whole made me feel completely and totally homesick (in a good way). It’s all about the story of a trip a mom and her daughter take, and it’s full of arguments, touching moments, and a big ol’ twist at the end that left me teary-eyed and ready to call my parents.

I love books that just make you feel, and this one did just that!

The Summer of Broken Rules

To be honest, I think I liked this book as much as I did because we played Assassin (the game they play in the book) as a class my senior year of high school. It brought back a ton of goofy memories, and I just really liked being a part of a group game like that again!

Apparently the novel itself was also inspired by Taylor Swift lyrics? I don’t listen to her all that much, so I didn’t get any of the references, but I still really enjoyed this cozy, summertime read!

The writing duo of Christina Lauren are back at it again, and I think this is my favorite of all of their novels! And that’s because of the main lead, Fizzy.

She is such a fun character who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and who knows what she wants and goes for it. I loved reading a romance with such a strong female lead like this!

I don’t watch reality dating shows like the one depicted in this book, but I still really loved this book as a whole.

Another “found family” story! I really really love it when someone who’s an outcast (whether it be within their own family, their school, their “friend” group, etc.) finds people they really, truly click with.

The only frustrating part for me was how childish the adults were throughout the story. That said, this book made me smile, and I loved the connection that Mary Jane had with the Cone family!

2023 Reading Stats

These stats are pulled from The StoryGraph! I use Goodreads to track my reading throughout the year (because it automatically syncs with my Kindle), and then I import my Goodreads data into The StoryGraph to get these fun graphics.

graph of reading moods read in 2023 from storygraph

I was really surprised (and glad) to see I hit so many reading “moods” this year! Top were Emotional, Funny, and Mysterious. Kinda mind-bending to see that I read 17.7k pages too!

graph of genres of books read in 2023 from storygraph

Unsurprising to see Contemporary as my top genre this year! Like I mentioned before, even though I read a lot of romance novels this year (21 in total!), I definitely cooled it during the second part of the year and leaned into more general fiction stuff.

graph of books and pages read by month in 2023 from storygraph

April, July, and August were my biggest reading months this year, but I love seeing the pages read distribution throughout the months too. I was on vacation in July, which allowed me to read some longer books like The True Love Experiment (mentioned above!) and Cassandra in Reverse.

graph of star ratings of books read in 2023 from storygraph

So I’m a bit… particular about how I rank books. I never give a book a 1 star rating because I actually wouldn’t finish any book that I would give a 1 star. I also didn’t finish quite a few books this year because I didn’t like them, so I didn’t rate those either. I also read some memoirs this year, but I never rate those. Last, I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for book club this year, and I didn’t rate that either since it is a kid’s book. All of that being said, an average of 3.23 stars sounds about right for this year of reading!

I just love talking about books, so I’d love to hear if you had any favorites this year in the comments. 😊

Thanks for tuning in for another recap of reading, and I’ll see ya in the new year!

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