2023 Holiday Book List

I’ve written 50 book reviews here over the years, and I like to think they help bring some unsung heroes to your attention. Since that’s only a small fraction of the 50-plus books I devoured in 2023, this year’s holiday list starts with several other books I especially enjoyed—even if they’re not coastal fiction.

I like to imagine you all browsing for one or two of my favorites in an independent bookstore, but even if that’s not possible you can still support one by shopping on bookshop.org (they send a portion of each purchase to the store of your choice). They also provide excellent descriptions and often a review by a bookseller, so click on a title to learn more.

If you want to know why I particularly enjoyed each one, drop me an email or add a comment to this post.

Happy reading, and please let me know what you enjoyed (or didn’t)!

Books I loved in 2023


Charm City Rocks: A Love Story (Matthew Norman)

Lessons in Chemistry (Bonnie Garmus)

Float Plan (Trish Doller)

Tony Partly Cloudy (Nick Rollins)

Lucy by the Sea (Elizabeth Strout)

The Post-Birthday World (Lionel Shriver)

Yellowface (R.F. Kuang)

Terra Nova (Henriette Lazaridis)

Carrie Soto is Back (Taylor Jenkins Reed)

Daughters of Nantucket (Julie Gerstenblatt)


The Rooster House: My Ukrainian Family Story (Victoria Belim)

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death (Maggie O’Farrell)

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank (Thad Carhart)

Dead in the Water: A True Story of Hijacking, Murder, and a Global Maritime Conspiracy (Matthew Campbell & Kit Chellel)

Hatched: How Nine Little Eggs Cracked My Shell (Sharon Wallen)

Got a favorite book to share from 2023? (Can you really pick just one?) Share it in the comments below, or send me an email. I read every one, with gratitude.

Books I reviewed in 2023

The Falmouth Frigate (James L. Nelson)

Beyond That, the Sea (Laura Spencer-Ash)

The Starfish Sisters (Barbara O’Neal)

The Half of It (Juliette Fay)