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I love reading, and I can easily get lost in the pages of a good book. I love to be swept away to different worlds, to be zapped into the past, and to embark on adventures with the leading characters.

I find myself often up late at night in order to find out what is going to happen next… detrimental to my sleep but oh so good for my soul!

As we delve into the heart of 2023 I was going through my reading list and reflecting on some beautiful and inspiring tales that have passed by. The stories that have transported me to far-off lands 🌿

In this blog post, I’ll share my top 10 fiction books of 2023 so far (till date I’ve read 21 fiction books).

Before we embark on this literary odyssey, I must note that my passion for reading extends beyond the realms of fiction. To complement this list, you can also check out my top 10 personal development books of 2023. These non-fiction works have played a pivotal role in shaping my worldview, fostering personal growth, and igniting the flame of self-discovery. Together, these two lists provide a holistic snapshot of my reading journey in 2023, SO FAR.

So, if you’re ready to dive into a world of imagination, where characters come alive, emotions run deep, and extraordinary tales unfold, join me as we explore my handpicked selection of the top 10 fiction books that have left an indelible mark on my literary adventure this year.

Full disclosure, summarizing books doesn’t lie in my zone of genius, reading does, so I am grateful that I can refer to the book summaries I have found on Goodreads 😊 each and every book that made it to my top 10 has left a mark, either on my sleep or my soul, or both. I loved reading them either way.

Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen

An enchanting tale filled with magical realism and moments of pure love that won’t let you go.

Other birds book cover

Between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.

Right off the coast of South Carolina, on Mallow Island, The Dellawisp sits—a stunning old cobblestone building shaped like a horseshoe, and named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.

When Zoey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment at the Dellawisp she meets her quirky and secretive neighbors, including a young woman with a past, two estranged middle-aged sisters, a lonely chef, and three ghosts. The sudden death of one of Zoey’s new neighbors sets off a search that leads to the island’s famous author and to a long-estranged relative of the sisters.
Each of them has a story, and each story has an ending that hasn’t yet been written.

The Cloisters by Katy Hays

Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, hoping to spend her summer working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she is assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum, and garden renowned for its collection of medieval and Renaissance art.

There she is drawn into a small circle of charismatic but enigmatic researchers, each with their own secrets and desires, including the museum’s curator, Patrick Roland, who is convinced that the history of Tarot holds the key to unlocking contemporary fortune-telling.

Relieved to have left her troubled past behind and eager for the approval of her new colleagues, Ann is only too happy to indulge in some of Patrick’s more outlandish theories. But when Ann discovers a mysterious, once-thought-lost deck of 15th-century Italian tarot cards she suddenly finds herself at the center of a dangerous game of power, toxic friendship, and ambition.

And as the game being played within the Cloisters spirals out of control, Ann must decide whether she is truly able to defy the cards and shape her own future . . .

Bringing together the modern and the arcane, The Cloisters is a rich, thrillingly told tale of obsession and the ruthless pursuit of power.

Wild by Kristin Hannah

In the rugged Pacific Northwest lies the Olympic National Forest—nearly a million acres of impenetrable darkness and impossible beauty. From deep within this old-growth forest, a six-year-old girl appears. Speechless and alone, she offers no clue as to her identity, no hint of her past.

Having retreated to her western Washington hometown after a scandal left her career in ruins, child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates is determined to free the extraordinary little girl she calls Alice from a prison of unimaginable fear and isolation. To reach her, Julia must discover the truth about Alice’s past—although doing so requires help from Julia’s estranged sister, a local police officer. The shocking facts of Alice’s life test the limits of Julia’s faith and strength, even as she struggles to make a home for Alice—and for herself.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J.Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

Welcome to Charon’s Crossing.
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

One Good Thing by Alexandra Potter

One Good Thing is the heartwarming, hilarious alternative love story, from the author of Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up, Alexandra Potter

In life, nothing is certain. Just when you think you have it all figured out, something can happen to change the course of everything . . .

Liv Brooks is still in shock. Newly divorced and facing an uncertain future, she impulsively swaps her London Life for the sweeping hills of the Yorkshire Dales, determined to make a fresh start. But fresh starts are harder than they look and feeling lost and lonely she decides to adopt Harry, an old dog from the local shelter, to keep her company.

But Liv soon discovers she isn’t the only one in need of a new beginning. On their daily walks around the village, they meet Valentine, an old man who suffers from loneliness who sits by the window and Stanley, a little boy who is scared of everyone, hides behind the garden gate and Maya, a teenager who is angry at everyone and everything. But slowly things start to change…

Utterly relatable, hilarious, and heart-breakingly honest, this is a novel about friendship, finding happiness, and living the life unexpected. And how when everything falls apart, all you need is one good thing to turn your life around and make it worth living again.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley, Harry Whittaker

Spanning a lifetime of love and loss, crossing borders and oceans, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt, co-authored by her son Harry Whittaker, draws Lucinda Riley’s saga to its stunning, unforgettable conclusion.

1928, Paris. A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family. Gentle, precocious, talented, he flourishes in his new home, and the family show him a life he hadn’t dreamed possible. But he refuses to speak a word about who he really is.

As he grows into a young man, falling in love and taking classes at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris, he can almost forget the terrors of his past, or the promise he has vowed to keep. But across Europe an evil is rising, and no-one’s safety is certain. In his heart, he knows the time will come when he must flee once more.

2008, the Aegean. The seven sisters are gathered together for the first time, on board the Titan, to say a final goodbye to the enigmatic father they loved so dearly.

To the surprise of everyone, it is the missing sister who Pa Salt has chosen to entrust with the clue to their pasts. But for every truth revealed, another question emerges. The sisters must confront the idea that their adored father was someone they barely knew. And even more shockingly: that these long-buried secrets may still have consequences for them today.

In this epic conclusion to the Seven Sisters series, everything will be revealed.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up — she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover

Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil co-parenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.

But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life—and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.

This book I couldn’t leave out… this your 10 + 1!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Peggy

Peggy

Hi, I'm Peggy, Wayfinding Coach and a Backyard Hiker. Here to inspire you to find clarity so you can get unstuck and start enjoying life and build a business that thrives!