Favorite Reads of 2023

I've already shared my picks for the Best Books Published in 2023, but not every book on that list was a forever favorite. Sure, they were all memorable and enjoyable, but other titles captured my heart this year. Each of the books below made me FEEL something, leaving me in tears, laughing aloud, ready to rally, or some combination of all. Some of these books are on the Best of 2023 list, and others are backlist books I finally got around to reading. No matter when they were published, I recommend every single one of these books!

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The Unmaking of June Farrow

This book stole my whole heart and became my entire personality in the last few months of the year. It's spell-binding and beautiful for all the right reasons. Romance, family secrets, and womanhood are all the main focus of my favorite read of the year. Read my full review here!

Talking at Night

First love never hit so hard as in this masterful book. Moving and deeply intimate, this book explores what it means to love someone in every way possible. I cried so hard reading this book and can't recommend it enough! It's a wonderful listen btw. Read my full review here!

The Vaster Wilds

There are so many things I can say about this novel, but most importantly this book is about being human and every human should read it. From the first few pages, I was completely captivated and couldn't put it down. The last few pages literally took my breath away. Read my full review here!

The Flight Girls

Strong female friendships and love against the odds make Salazar's debut novel special. With a focus on female empowerment, this book took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions I didn't expect. I loved everything about this novel and will forever and always be a Noelle Salazar stan! Read my full review here!

The Celebrants

I didn't expect The Celerbrants to hit as hard as it did. With all of Rowley's trademark warmth and wit, this book delivers a gut-punch of grief/loss, friendships, and found family. I literally sobbed with a smile on my face. Read my full review here!

We Were the Lucky Ones

I'd heard readers rave about this backlist favorite for years so I knew it needed to be on my 2023 reading list. I'm here to report that they hype is well-deserved. I dare you not to feel something when reading this book!

To Die Beautiful

My favorite debut novel of 2023 (and I read several), this book is EVERYTHING I want in a WWII novel and more. Pulse-pounding, well-paced, and deeply moving, To Die Beautiful is a stunning novel I can't stop thinking about months later. Read my full review here!

Hello Beautiful

This book is on EVERYONE's best of 2023 list and for good reason. This sister story is profoundly moving and deeply human. It moved me to tears on several occasions, leaving me with so many thoughts on life, love, and family. Read my full review here!


Breathtakingly beautiful, painfully raw, and highly informative are the best descriptions of this incredible book. It's definitely the dark horse of this list, but it's oh-so-worth-it! I still think about this book months later. Enough said! Read my full review here!

River Sing Me Home

Though I'm not a mother, this story of motherhood and the undying love of a mother moved me to tears. It's profoundly beautiful and should be on everyone's reading list if you're looking to read more inclusively.

The Great Alone

Why, oh why, did I let this book sit on the shelf so long? Hannah is a master of moving historical stories, and this book is one of her crowning achievements. So much emotion is packed into the pages of this coming-of-age story. Don't sleep on this one!

How to Sell a Haunted House

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this would make my list of favorite reads of the year. Horror isn't my thing typically, but this book is SO much more than just a gory horror novel (which it is). Grief/loss and sibling dynamics give this book a dimension that makes it undeniably entertaining.

The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone

I walked into this book completely blind and boy am I glad I did! Very few books have charmed me as much this year as Myra Malone. Magical realism meets historical fiction is this wonderful tale that had me smiling throughout the whole book. Read my full review here!

The Secret Book for Flora Lea

Flora Lea is a masterful novel that blends historical fiction with a touch of magic, something Patti Callahan Henry does better than anyone else IMO. There's a moment in this book that gave me gooseflesh. This one isn't your typical WWII novel. In fact, it's SO much more! Read my full review here!

About Carlie

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