A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to read more but knew that I wouldn’t unless I started listening to audiobooks. What I discovered is that a celebrity memoir is best told in their voice, until this year when Michelle Williams changed my mind. A new book made my top 5 of all time list this year. Without further adieu, here’s the top 10 books I read that helped me hit my Goodreads Goal for 2023!
10. Spare – As I finish watching the final season of The Crown I am amazed at how poorly they’re treating teenage Harry. Having listened (and read) this fascinating memoir it gives the inside scoop on a family that has been so secret for so long. I can’t imagine having a family that treats rules and tradition before love and family.
9. Malibu Rising – Malibu beach in the 80’s? A generational family saga about surfers? It’s a perfect vacation book! I’ve loved Taylor Jenkins Reids other books (Evelyn Hugo was a favorite last year!) and Malibu Rising lives in that same universe which I really enjoy.
8. Quietly Hostile – Samantha Irby is one of the funniest writers out there and I was so happy that we got a new book of essays from her this year! Her dog mom stories are too relatable and her ability to be influenced by any social media trend always has me laughing. Plus, should a woman of our age still be this obsessed with Dave Matthews?
7. Romantic Comedy – I have discovered over the past few years that a good romcom book is an enjoyable way to pass the time. My favorite one this year was far and away Romantic Comedy. I am not ready to read books that are set during the height of the pandemic, but this book used it as a tool not an excuse. The main character writes for fake SNL and connects with the host/musical guest and then that falls apart and they come back together during the pandemic. It’s sweet and funny and an industry I enjoy reading about.
6. A Heart That Works – Rob Delaney is an actor I have enjoyed for years now (promise me you’ve watched all of Catastrophe!) and when I heard he wrote a hilarious memoir about the death of his 3 year old son I wasn’t sure that this was the book for me. It’s a book for everyone, especially if you’ve been around someone who’s sick and you don’t know what to say. I remember walking Cliff one morning and laughing SO HARD at this sad and inspiring story.
5. Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? – I don’t know why I’ve found myself enjoying books set in old Hollywood, but here we are. This story was NOT at all what I expected and I continue to think about it. A celebrated actress dies single and leaves her inheritance to the three daughters who live next door. I had an idea of why, but the story that developed took turns I couldn’t have imagined. Don’t read much about this book, just go and enjoy it. It’s great if you read all of Taylor Jenkins Reid or loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
4. The Woman in Me – Like many people I devoured Britney Spears memoir in just a few days. Michelle Williams performance as the narrator of this book was phenomenal. She will win the Grammy for this performance. Britney’s life was sad from such a young age and it is crushing to hear how at every possible step of the way she could be let down and disappointed by the people who were supposed to love and protect her. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of her music or her, this story is about what the media does to celebrities, especially young women.
3. I Have Some Questions for You – Another genre I enjoy is boarding school murder mystery. I know, weird right? A true crime podcast host goes back to her boarding school and the murder of her roommate comes up as a topic for the class she’s teaching. I devoured this book on vacation and really liked getting to know these characters.
2. Lessons in Chemistry – I’m currently watching the Apple+ adaptation and was thrilled that 630 has a voice (And BJ Novak was a genius choice!) here, I got worried when he first arrived. This story was amazing. It’s Julia Child-esque (also Season 2 of Julia is great!) but with rowing, and a mysterious benefactor, and an incredible love story.
1. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – I hesitated on this book because I am not a video game person. That’s why this book is on my 2023 list, not my 2022 list. I loved this book. It’s now in my top 5 favorite books of all time. This story of a friendship that spans decades is sweet and sad and smart and fun and devastating. I loved it.
What were your favorite books this past year? What are you looking forward to in 2024?