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2023 - My Year in Books

Hi there, How are you all? Just like my 2022 post, I am coming at you in real time! I am sat in my usual spot, fairy lights twinkling with some candles lit and the last of the Heroes chocolates by my side. The weather is a bit dull, hence the warm lights, and it is New Year's Eve.

How was your Christmas? Whatever Christmas looks like for you, I hope it was peaceful and full of warmth and that you had a great time. Our Christmas was lovely. We had a few days with family before the big day, and returned home on Christmas Eve. Our Christmas day was very chilled, we slept in, Hattie enjoyed a doggie turkey dinner and we did our Christmas Day food throughout the day.

Book wise, I received 2 lovely Jolobokaflod picks from my husband and my sister which I cannot wait to read. And I am pleased to announce that I was lucky enough to receive lots of booky goodness! I am very, very blessed.

And so, today will be my last post of the year, and will be my books of the year, read and reviewed on the blog in 2023. In case you have missed any of the previous years, I've popped them below....

Let's start off with some stats, kindly provided by the folks at Goodreads

The Stats

  • Books Read - 63
  • Pages Read - 18,608
  • Shortest Book - A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
  • Longest Book - The Golden Doves by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Average Book Length - 295

Favourite Rediscovery of the Year

Indemnity Only by Sara Paretsky - The first in the VI Warshawski series and a brilliant introduction to a brilliant female lead.

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell - Clearly living my 1990's self again. Loved re-reading this and I had forgotten how chilling it was.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Still my favourite Harry Potter book.

Favourite Fiction Novel

An Italian Island Summer by Sue Moorcroft - A new author to me and a case of right book, right time. I needed all the sunshine in the book.

Thirty Days in Paris by Veronica Henry - A brilliant recommendation from my friend Jackie. Made me want to go back to Paris.

The Book Lovers' Retreat by Heidi Swain - Adored this book about a group of fiction fans spending time at a cottage which inspired the film of a beloved book.

Favourite Crime Novel

The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson - This man can do no wrong. Loved this dark, crime book perfect for Christmas

The Heron's Cry by Ann Cleeves - Involving and intelligent crime read.Can't wait to read more by Ann in 2024.

The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman - Funny, poignant and deeply moving. The Thursday Murder Club series is currently paused but paused with another brilliant mystery for the fab 4.

Favourite Comfort Read

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot - set just down the road from where I live, this is a wonderful collection of stories by James Herriot about being a vet in a Yorkshire dales community.

Pumpkin Spice Cafe by Laurie Gilmore - this got me in the mood for Autumn faster than a day spent pumpkin picking. Great start to a new series (next one due in 2024!), perfect for fans of Gilmore Girls

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber - Debbie had me giggling with her letter from the get go. This is a great reminder that work isn't everything.

Book that Scared me Witless

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. Is it possible to read with both eyes clamped tightly shut? I was a brave little toaster and read this at Halloween.

Honourable Mention

This goes to the first and last books of the year.

And so....drumroll top 3 books of the year are:

1st - Indemnity Only by Sara Paretsky

2nd - A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

3rd - Thirty Days in Paris by Veronica Henry

So what was your book of the year?

May I wish you the happiest of New Year's and all the best for 2024. I will be back in the New Year.