2023 reading recap


Of the 16 new (not a reread) 5-star ratings, my five favorite books were:

I read two 2-star books this year, Matrix by Lauren Groff and Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood. I read Matrix on recommendation from my mother-in-law only to find out later that she didn’t actually like the book.

My biggest disappointment books of the year were Trust (it won a Pulitzer and was recommended by Anne Helen Petersen, plus I thought it had a cool premise) and The Wall (cool dystopian premise, which I first read about in this article, plus I’m trying to read more translated fiction). Trust was overwrought and too stylish, plus the twist wasn’t really worth it. It has four sections, one of which was an unfinished manuscript that had a lot of notes (“flesh this out”) and sentence fragments. Another section was a diary with a ton of abbreviations (“prob.”). Both of these things were grating.

Two choice comments about Trust from Goodreads reviewers:

Other notable reads were The Semi-Attached Couple and The Semi-Detached House, both by Emily Eden. I’d been casually looking for a copy but couldn’t find one. I finally found an early edition in Bath Old Books in Bath, England. I also loved (and read in about two days) In Memoriam by Alice Winn, despite it being a war book.

In 2024 I’d like to finally tackle Lakota America, and would like to continue my slow walk through Gaskell’s books and read Mary Barton.