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20 Good Books to Read in 2023 That Are Most Anticipated

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Find some good books to read in 2023 that are my most anticipated new books to look forward to this year, as a full-time book blogger who reads 100+ books per year.

the word good highlighted in a book

I’ve actually never written a list like this list of good books to read in 2023, but because I have already penciled into my calendar the upcoming books for 2023 that are already of most interest to me, I thought I’d share my list and my thought process with you too so that you can plan ahead for yourself or your book club.

Most hail from authors whose work I already know and love!

As the year progresses, I plan to keep this list of good books to read in 2023 updated with personal thoughts after I read the books and to add new books to the list.

(Of note, it’s always very helpful to the authors to pre-order the new book releases for 2023 that you plan on reading. It helps them get marketing money, and it all factors into their first-week sales reporting.)

I can’t wait for these books in 2023! Below you will find my full list of good books to read in 2023 pulled straight from my own reading journal, including the release dates and why each book made the list.

Good Books to Read in 2023

What should I read in 2023?

Below are several good books to read in 2023.

The Audrey Hepburn Estate by Brenda Janowitz

Release date: April 18, 2023

Why it made the list: I was a huge fan of the author’s prior book, The Grace Kelly Dress, a light and heartwarming escape read, and I LOVE to read Audrey Hepburn-themed books.

In The Audrey Hepburn Estate, Emma returns for a final visit to the Long Island estate where her family lived — over the garage, like Audrey Hepburn’s character in the film Sabrina.

There, she’s reunited with Henry (her ex who lived in the estate) and Leo (the driver’s son and her best friend). She’s caught between these two men as the estate is about to be demolished and a family secret is revealed.


Before We Were Innocent by Ella Berman

Release date: April 4, 2023

Why it made the list: I was a fan of the author’s last book, Read with Jenna’s book club pick, The Comeback, a drama about a young starlet coping with trauma.

In Before We Were Innocent, Bess and Joni were cleared of involvement in their friend Evangeline’s death ten years prior, but they are forever changed by the media exposure.

While Joni capitalized on her fame by becoming a motivational speaker, Bess created a very small, controlled life. But now, Joni is entangled in a similar crime and seeks Bess’s support, as the past and present intertwine.


Community Board by Tara Conklin

Release date: March 28, 2023

Why it made the list: I was a fan of the author’s last book, Read with Jenna’s book club pick, The Last Romantics, an epic family saga.

In Community Board, Darcy’s world falls apart and she returns home, where she becomes involved in the community’s message board, both online and in real life.

It’s clear the times have changed, and she grapples with what she can ask of a community and what she owes it.


Evil Eye by Etaf Rum

Release date: September 5, 2023

Why it made the list: I was a fan of the author’s last book, Read with Jenna’s book club pick, A Woman is No Man, a shocking family drama.

In Evil Eye, Yara was raised in a conservative Palestinian Brooklyn household, but she thought she freed herself by obtaining an education, a good job, an entrepreneurial husband who took her to the suburbs, and two daughters. Still, it doesn’t feel like “enough.”

After she responds to a racist provocation, she’s placed on probation at work and must seek counseling. Her mother blames a family curse, and Yara can’t help but believe she’s repeating the same mistakes. She must reconcile with her past in order to create a better future for her daughters.


Exiles by Jane Harper

Release date: January 31, 2023

Why it made the list: Harper always delivers a good Australian thriller with her lead investigator, Aaron Falk, at the helm.

In Exiles, investigator Aaron Falk heads to the Southern Australian wine country for a baby’s christening, the same weekend during which Kim Gillespie disappeared one year earlier at a town festival.

Falk and his old buddy Raco can’t help but get involved in the investigation. He must determine what would make a mother like Kim abandon her child, and what happened to Kim.


The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand

Release date: June 13, 2023

Why it made the list: I always read Elin Hilderbrand’s books! She’s the queen of the beach reads.

In The Five-Star Weekend, Hollis is a food blogger whose husband is tragically killed. In the aftermath, she invited her best friend from each stage of her life for a weekend on Nantucket. Naturally, this weekend comes with its share of drama.

Brooke, Hollis’s adult friend, meets with the leaders of the group that ousted her. Childhood friend Tatum’s husband brings Hollis’s first love along, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, college friend Dru-ann, a Black female sports agent, is in the middle of a Twitter storm after something she said was misconstrued. And Gigi is a mystery to all — she’s Hollis’s internet friend.

As the weekend gets underway, Hollis’s student documentarian daughter films it ALL.


The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

Release date: May 2, 2023

Why it made the list: I adored Keane’s last novel, The Tonight Show Summer Reads pick, Ask Again, Yes, an epic saga about families and neighbors bound by love and tragedy.

In The Half Moon, Malcolm is a bartender who finally buys the bar where he works. Meanwhile, his wife is a successful attorney who realizes she may never become a mother.

In Malcolm’s first week of ownership, discovers shocking news about his wife, a patron goes missing, and a blizzard hits the town.

It’s a story of a marriage in crisis and the meaning of family.


Happy Place by Emily Henry

Release date: April 25, 2023

Why it made the list: Emily Henry books are some of the most popular modern romance books on the market right now. This one is bound to be a hit.

In Happy Place, Harriet and Wyn WERE the perfect couple. They have broken up but are pretending otherwise for their annual Maine vacation with friends.

They play their parts as the week progresses and they are forced to figure out how it really feels to pretend to love each other.


Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Release date: March 14, 2023

Why it made the list: I was a huge fan of the author’s last book, Read with Jenna’s book club pick, Dear Edward, a dramatic coming-of-age story about the sole survivor of a plane crash.

In Hello Beautiful, William’s upbringing was silenced by a tragedy that made it hard for his family to love him.

As a college freshman, however, he meets a woman named Julia who lifts his spirits along with her three unique sisters, who hail from a loving home of chaos.

When the past resurfaces, William’s future with Julia, and Julia’s relationship with her sisters, are at risk, changing their lives for generations.

It hearkens the sisterhood set forth in Little Women, and it shows what it really means to love someone based on his past.


I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

Release date: February 21, 2023

Why it made the list: Makkai’s prior novel, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, The Great Believers, a story of friendship, family, and the AIDS epidemic, was one of the best-written and most memorable of many, many years.

In I Have Some Questions For You, Bodie is a film professor and podcaster who seeks to forget her family tragedy and the 1995 murder of her classmate, Thalia, for which the school trainer was convicted.

But, when she speaks at her alma mater, she sees flaws in the old case and, as she digs even deeper, she must reckon with the past.


Just The Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica

Release date: January 10, 2023

Why it made the list: Kubica is a powerhouse author in the modern thriller genre.

In Just The Nicest Couple, Jack’s wife, Nina, thinks he’s coping with their fight at a friend’s house, but days pass and he remains missing.

Her friend, Lily, thinks she was the last to see him, and when she tells her husband, Christian, they agree that no one can find this out. It’s an edge-of-your-seat thriller about lies and betrayals.


A Likely Story by Leigh McMullan Abramson

Release date: March 14, 2023

Why it made the list: The plot totally intrigued me, as a I love a good book-within-a-book mystery.

In A Likely Story, the child of a famed American male writer struggling with the unexpected death of her mother and her own failing writing career, when she discovers a web of family secrets that change everything she thought she knew about her life.

It’s a book-within-a-book about a woman who wants the spotlight from a man who cheated his way to success, leaving questions about what’s true and who wrote it.


Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Release date: May 2, 2023

Why it made the list: Fortune’s debut book, Every Summer After, was the “it” book of last Summer, so this one’s sure to be popular as well.

In Meet Me at the Lake, Fern and Will have a one-day adventure in the city that leaves its mark on Fern. But, Will doesn’t show up to their meeting one year later.

Years later, Fern is back at home, running her mother’s run-down lakeside resort. Will appears to help, but he’s a completely different person, and Fern seeks to rescue him.


The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise by Colleen Oakley

Release date: March 28, 2023

Why it made the list: This is one of those books I’m already starting to see good early buzz about, so it caught my attention.

In The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise, Tanner is a 21-year-old video gamer who takes a job as a live-in caregiver for an elderly woman, named Louise, who doesn’t want one.

They try to ignore each other, but Tanner can’t help but notice on the news that the suspect of one of the biggest jewelry heists in American history looks a lot like Louise. When Louise then insists they leave town in the middle of the night, they must face their past mistakes in order to have future adventures.


The Only One Left by Riley Sager

Release date: June 20, 2023

Why it made the list: I read all of Riley Sager’s books and love the way he tells a good modern thriller.

The Only One Left is a chilling 1980s Gothic tale about a caregiver named Kit who must work for a woman named Lenora, accused of a gruesome massacre in 1929.

Lenora has been rendered mute by a stroke but wishes to tell her side of the story over a typewriter.


Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

Release date: February 7, 2023

Why it made the list: Moyes is another powerhouse author, and this release is bound to be a popular bestseller. It’s already showing up on a lot of early book lists for 2023.

In Someone Else’s Shoes, Nisha is a wealthy globetrotter — until her husband divorces her and cuts her off. Meanwhile, Sam, who’s struggling to care for her family, accidentally takes Nisha’s gym bag.

One step into Nisha’s designer shoes, Sam realizes she must change her life.


Spare by Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex

Release date: January 10, 2023

Why it made the list: We FINALLY get to hear Prince Harry’s story FROM Prince Harry himself (and in his voice, if you listen on audio). I pre-ordered it.

In Spare, Prince Harry reveals what he was really thinking and feeling in the iconic moments the world watched him from afar, from the internationally televised funeral of his mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales, to finding love after grief and having a royal wedding.

Post-reading thoughts: While at times drawn out and unbalanced (in leaving out childhood experiences and only offering one side of many stories), overall I felt that Spare lived up to the hype and was worth reading, particularly given that Prince Harry’s main point is that his family and the British media have always delivered the stories of his life, rather than he himself, and that this has ultimately caused the rift in the family that now exists. It’s also a powerful rumination on childhood trauma and grief.

Read more in my full book review of Spare and discussion questions for Spare.


The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

Release date: April 4, 2023

Why it made the list: Hepworth’s modern mysteries are so indulgent and quick. I wouldn’t miss her latest one.

In The Soulmate, Gabe’s and Pippa’s coastal cottage is set on cliffs that have become a popular spot for people to die by suicide.

Gabe finds himself literally talking them down, but he doesn’t always succeed. And one victim os someone he knew, leaving a trail of questions behind.


The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

Release date: January 3, 2023

Why it made the list: Hawkins’s prior novel, The Wife Upstairs, was a solid debut thriller. This one’s Italian setting caught my attention too!

In The Villa, Emily and Chess are thirtysomethings with a strained friendship, who reunite for a trip to Italy.

Back in 1974, their villa was rented by a famous rockstar, who invited a musician to stay there with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s stepsister. One ended up writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, one composed a platinum album, and one was brutally murdered.

As Emily dives into the villa’s storied past, she also finds herself at odds with Emily. When secrets and betrayals are revealed, the past threatens to repeat itself.

Interestingly, this book is inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle, where Frankenstein was born.


When in Rome by Liam Callanan

Release date: March 14, 2023

Why it made the list: The Italian setting of this one caught my attention. It’s one of my favorites!

In When in Rome, Claire is a 52-year-old looking for a fresh start when she heads to Rome. Having had a complicated relationship with religion, when she meets a group of colorful nuns, she contemplates whether she too should join the convent.

Meanwhile, the handsome actor who’s always loved her reappears, and she must determine her future once and for all in the Eternal City.


I hope you enjoy these good books to read in 2023.

Which of these good books to read in 2023 are you most anticipating?

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Nevaeh

Thursday 19th of January 2023

I am looking forward to reading all of these books!

Nevaeh

Jules Buono

Friday 27th of January 2023

ME TOO!

Stephanie Mercado

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

Great list

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