My favourite books of 2023

Albeit a little late, I thought I’d share my favourite books of 2023. This was probably the year that I enjoyed reading the most. I read 10 books in total – which is, surprisingly, my new record. Although I should be embarrassed of the incredibly low number, it’s about time I accepted that I will forever be a painfully slow reader. And hey, that’s okay. There are worse things to be. I will be sharing with you my top 5 of the year – the first two being fiction and the rest non-fiction.

Ghosts – Dolly Alderton

This book came to me through a friend’s recommendation. After reading it, I made a point to read almost every book Dolly has written and listen to her old podcast episodes too. I guess that says how much I enjoyed it. It’s a contemporary romance novel that tells the story of Nina – a food writer in her thirties who meets a mysterious man named Max. Let’s just say, if you want a relatable and funny read on the modern online dating scene, this is it. After experiencing a pretty disappointing situationship over the spring and summer of last year, this book came at a perfect time. And don’t worry if you hate Max – I hated him too.

Bunny – Mona Awad

This is the first book that I’ve read by Mona Awad, but she has such an incredible way of writing. Her descriptions are so vivid and fun – it’s so enjoyable to read. Although this book is not a genre I would usually opt for (it combines fairytale and horror), I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved it. The story throughout is captivating, with little twists and turns, but the ending is the best part (although heart-breaking). You grow to love the main character, Samantha, and laugh at the clique that call each other ‘bunny’. Even though it’s set at University, it reminds me very much of high school girls and their drama.

Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton

After demolishing Ghosts, I had to read more Dolly. That book turned out to be one of my all time favourites, so let’s just say I had high expectations for this one. Everything I Know About Love wasn’t what I expected, but by the end, I fell in love with it. This book is a memoir of Dolly’s life throughout her twenties. It has an interesting format – there are chapters of interesting experiences: ‘the bad party chronicles’ and ‘the bad date diaries’, her favourite recipes, her most transformative or heartbreaking stories, lessons learnt, and ‘everything I know about love at [her ages over the years]’. While I expected more romantic love, she talks about different kinds of love – mostly the love she shared with her very close friends. It was a beautiful read.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck – Mark Manson

I almost didn’t read this book. It’s one of those ones that you hear about everywhere – I was so determined to ‘be different’ and not give in to reading it. But, after my brother recommended it to me, I had to. And I’m glad I did, because it is arguably my favourite book ever. Mark Manson is my kind of funny – he’s sarcastic and sassy and I love that. It’s also just a really easy book to read, but one that has some really important points about life. The main premise is that you cannot escape pain or suffering – you just need to intentionally choose the things in life that are worth suffering for. You can’t give a f*ck about everything.

The Defining Decade – Meg Jay

According to my blog posts (specifically this one and this one), this is definitely one of my favourite books of 2023. It’s an easy top 5. Because I’ve talked about it a lot previously, I won’t go into too much detail. But, if you’re currently someone who’s in their twenties, add this to your reading list. The thing I love most about this book is that it’s so insightful and practical. People tell you so many things as a twenty-something – slow down, enjoy it, don’t rush. And while this is true (and I’m not saying you can’t have fun), it’s also a time for introducing focus and making choices. You don’t have to figure it all out, but it helps to have someone guide you through one of the hardest decades of your life – to help you take one step at a time in the right direction.

Yours,

Kait x

Cover photo by K├╝bra Arslaner