2023 book list Yasmine Hardcastle West Coast City Girl
Stuff + Things

2023 Reading Adventures: 11 Books I’m Reading That You Should Too

What will you read while enjoying a cup of something lovely this year? With a mix of fiction and inspiration and everything in between, I’m particularly enthusiastic about my 2023 book list.

My 2023 list of books is a mix of authors and topics, and I’m feeling especially excited about it. Perhaps because I actually have some capacity in my brain this year. The lack of capacity in 2022 meant I didn’t meet last year’s Goodreads goal of 30 books. I’m also notorious for starting books and getting distracted by others. 

That being said, one I did finish and was my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE (definitely top 5, ever) was Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. It’s delightful and I read it in three days when I was travelling to/from London for a work conference. It was that good.

My Goodreads challenge for 2023 is 35 books — ambitious but achievable. And I’m already a few books in, yay! I’ve shared my initial reading list below and on the podcast. Let’s turn some pages!

Books to add to your 2023 reading list

Atlas of the Heart (Brene Brown)

I feel like I’m the only person I know who hasn’t read a Brene Brown book. This is odd because any quote I see and every talk I’ve watched resonates deeply in my soul. So when the Brit asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I added Atlas of the Heart to the list of things for him to decide from. And bless him, he ordered it. Each section of the book is dedicated to elevating you in whatever you’re feeling. (Happy, anxious, etc.) It will be one to keep at hand, or perhaps a daily read as part of my morning routine.

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

The Bullet That Missed (Richard Osman)

The Bullet That Missed is a book I enjoyed on my trip to Vancouver. For all my Anglophile friends, if you haven’t heard of or read Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club mystery series, you are missing out. (The books are available in North America, so I’ve linked below.) The third installment continues on from the second, bringing you back into the delightful world of the Coopers Chase retirement community, and a crime-solving quartet of unlikely friends. Adorable Joyce is my soul sister and reminds me a bit of my mum.

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

The Rose Code (Kate Quinn)

Kate Quinn is one of my absolute favourite authors. Her books are historical fiction at its most absolute best. Another Christmas gem from the Brit, The Rose Code is my favourite of her books, and was actually one of my 2021 audiobook listens. But it’s so wonderful I vowed to have a physical copy. Set in WWII Britain, the story follows the trials and tribulations of Mab, Osla, and Beth, three friends working as code-breakers at Bletchley Park. At 656 pages, it’s a big read — perfect for when I travel for work or on a road trip.

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman

The late Alan Rickman has always been one of my favouite actors. He was just so good at embodying his characters. Yes, that’s what actors are meant to do, but he was just *chef’s kiss*. Madly, Deeply is a collection of entries from Rickman’s diaries. I look forward to settling into his insights on show business, life, and the everyday. 

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times (Michelle Obama)

I feel like the title is fairly self-explanatory, but to pull from Goodreads: In The Light We Carry, Michelle Obama shares “practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.” Very excited to have this on my nightstand as I feel it will be just as inspiring and entertaining as Becoming as a bedtime read.

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida (Shehan Karunatilaka)

Winner of the 2022 Booker Prize, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida follows Maali Almeida — “war photographer, gambler, and closet queen — [who] has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office,” — in Colombo, circa 1990. That sentence alone intrigued me, though I’m not sure I would have found this book without following the Instagram accounts for Waterstones and the Royal Family (Camilla is a big bookworm and I believe is the Royal Patron of the Booker Prize).

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

The House of Fortune (Jessie Burton)

This is the sequel to a fantastic book I finished in January, The Miniaturist — a rich, complex story based in 17th-century Amsterdam where 18-year-old Petronella navigates moving from the country to the city as a teenage bride. The House of Fortune fast-forwards 18 years to continue Nella’s story. I won’t spoil anything for you, because you need to read the first book.

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Time to Think (Nancy Kline)

This book is on my work reading list, as part of a course I’m helping to facilitate in the spring. It’s about how we listen and think, and how to actively listen better so the people around us can think better. Because even if we think we are good listeners… spoiler alert: we aren’t. It’s been a good refresher of my coaching training and I’ve noticed a shift in my personal and professional conversations.

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Atomic Habits (James Clear)

This is also on my work reading list and one I’ve been meaning to read since the fab Mika Ennis recommended it to me. I get James Clear’s weekly email newsletter, and the man is brilliant for sharing quotes and insights (his and others) that are always spot on for something in my life at the time.

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Accidental Duchess (Emma Manners, The Duchess of Rutland)

Last year I found a fantastic podcast called Duchess, hosted by the Duchess of Rutland. In every episode, she interviews women in a similar role to hers: the lady of the house who married into the nobility or inherited/bought an estate. Her story is quite unique as though she and the Duke are separated, she very much runs the house. The book is her autobiography, and I look forward to reading it.

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Spare (Prince Harry)

Prince Harry was waiting for me when I got home from Vancouver. As I type this paragraph, I am about a third of the way through. My initial take is that it’s refreshing to read his words, not the media’s. (I felt the same about the Netflix series.) So far, I’ve wanted to hug the little boy who lost his mum and who’s been thrown under the bus a bit, shake him for some of the silly shit he’s done, and have felt tremendously proud of him for finding his path with the Army. And whether you like Harry and Meghan or not (I do; I also like Will and Kate), you can’t fault them for seizing the opportunity to speak their truth after years of the media publishing articles based on information from — possibly Palace-approved — ‘sources’. 

Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Waterstones

And as always, there will be at least one each of Nora Roberts and JD Robb tomes read, and whatever else catches my eye.

Books from my 2022 list that I finished in January:

Books from my 2022 list that I still need to finish:

If you need some further reading inspiration for your 2023 book list, have a look at the always-growing City Girl Talks book list, with recommendations from all my lovely guests.

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