My Top 20 Reads Of 2023

My 20 Top Reads Of 2023

As I reflect on the past year, I’m thrilled to share the literary gems that captivated my heart and mind. I read a total of 54 books. The 20 I have included in this post are those books I rated 4 and 5 stars. So, join me as I review my 20 top reads of 2023. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. Historical Fiction 1. She’s Up To No Good – Sara Goodman Synopsis: Jenna gets blindsided when, four years into her marriage, her husband asks for a divorce. Suddenly she finds herself with plenty of time on her hands and an unpredictable future ahead. With the desire for change, she decides to accompany her eccentric grandmother Evelyn on a road trip to the seaside of Massachusetts. A town where much of their family history was shaped.  As they hit the road, Evelyn tells Jenna about the star-crossed teenage romance that captured her heart more than seventy years ago and how it changed the course of her life. Even though she can’t stop talking about Tony, her unforgettable and forbidden first love, Evelyn insists that the return to her hometown isn’t about him at all.  When they arrive, Jenna meets Joe, Tony’s attentive great-nephew. They soon form a friendship which gives her the confidence and distance she desperately needs to help her put the pain of her broken marriage behind her.  As Evelyn’s past unfolds, full of secrets and truths, Jenna discovers a new side of her grandmother and of herself. One she never knew existed, and with it, she learns that the possibilities for healing can come when one least expects it. My Review: This story gave me all the feels. It was so refreshing to read a romance book without pages upon pages of smut. Just a good old romance novel, full of charm, wit and characters with the capacity to pull at your heartstrings.  Evelyn’s past and her relationship with Tony was without a doubt my favourite part of the book. It reminded me of those times when my father would talk about when he was young, and how much the world has changed since.  I honestly think that we don’t pay enough attention to our elders and the stories they carry with them. Especially, those stories that are so different from the way of life we lead today. She’s Up To No Good is a book about new beginnings, forgiveness and embracing the good along with the bad, with a dash of romance thrown into the mix. I gave it a 4-star rating on Goodreads, and I will definitely be reading more books by this author.  2. All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr Synopsis: Marie-Laure, blind since age six, memorizes her Paris neighbourhood through a miniature model crafted by her father. As the Nazis invade, father and daughter escape with a perilous secret. Meanwhile, Werner, a German orphan with a talent for engineering, faces a brutal military academy. In a distant walled city, an old man discovers new worlds amid impending danger. Doerr’s blend of imagination and keen observation unfolds a captivating and devastating elegy for innocence as lives collide unpredictably in the engulfing war-torn landscape of Europe. My Review: Another book that had been sitting on my TBR list for years. However, this one did not disappoint. I can’t believe I almost passed on reading it and only did so after being encouraged by my friend, Nikki. ‘This book is spectacular, you have to read it!’ Well, okay then. I am so glad I did. All the Light We Cannot See is a carefully constructed book, masterfully executed to make the time jumps and changes of POV seem effortless Set in WWII, Doerr has crafted the stories of two characters that will linger in my heart for a long time to come. The more I read, the more I felt profound sympathy for both characters—the blind French girl and the talented orphaned boy. Both stories brought tears to my eyes, and I immediately fell in love with their courage and perseverance. The writing in this book is unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s fast-paced with no frills; instead, it is raw and authentic. The narrative is unsettling, provoking deep emotions and leaving a lasting impact on me. It made me pause and reflect on how challenging and unjust life was back then. My father was a young boy of five during the Second World War. He, along with my grandmother, aunts, and uncle, was evacuated to London. I remember him telling me horror stories of his experience. This story, although entirely different, felt as though it brought me closer to the memory of my own dad and the incredible journey that was his life. Without a doubt, a 5-star rating for this masterpiece. And if you’ve seen the TV show, please note that I only managed to watch two episodes before giving up on it. It cannot compare. Give this book a chance; you will not regret it! Romance 3. Love On The Brain- Ali Hazelwood Synopsis: Bee finds herself in an impossible situation. She has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime. A chance to work on a neuro-engineering project, a dream come true. Downside? She has to work along with her nemesis Levi, a NASA engineer with whom she doesn’t exactly share a good history. Not wanting to give up on her dream job, Bee accepts the offer. But when her equipment starts to go missing, the staff ignore her and her emails are never answered, she swears she can feel Levi softening into an ally.  It doesn’t take long for their relationship to evolve into more than just work colleagues. Bee will question everything she has

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