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Tuesday, January 02, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2023


Happy New Year! I hope everyone has had a safe, enjoyable start to 2024. I'm in the middle of getting all my Christmas decorations down as well as organizing my desk, my calendar, and my life for the new year. Phew. It's definitely time to take a little break for TTT. Today's prompt is, not surprisingly, Top Ten Favorite Books of 2023. Of the 223 books I read last year, I marked 32 of them as favorites. In order to winnow my list down to just 10, I'm going to skip the re-reads and most of the sequels I enjoyed and focus on my most favorite favorites. 

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Head on over to her blog to give her some love. While you're there, join in the TTT fun. I'd love to know which ten books you read in 2023 were the most enjoyable for you.

My Top Ten Favorite Books of 2023
- in no particular order - 


1. The Rockton/Haven's Rock series by Kelley Armstrong—This is a bit of a cheat, but I read six books in this series in 2023 and they were all favorites. These crime novels are on the grittier side (at least for me), but I just can't get enough of them. Armstrong knows exactly how to pull me into her stories and keep me coming back for more!


2. The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede—Although this nonfiction account deals with a horrific event in U.S. history, it's a hopeful, uplifting book about how people can come together in perilous times to make a difference in each others' lives. Very inspiring.


3. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman—When books get too much buzz, I tend to shy away from them, shunning what everyone is reading out of principle. That's what I did with this one, until A Man Called Otto came out. Everyone was raving about the movie and I can't resist Tom Hanks, so I broke one of my cardinal rules and watched a film based on a book without first reading the book. Scandalous! After loving the movie, my book club decided to read the novel, and guess what? I adored it too. I guess sometimes when everyone loves something, it really is something worth loving!


4. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White—It's possible that I read this children's classic as a kid, but I don't remember doing so. Bummer because it's such a sweet, wholesome read. I liked it more than Charlotte's Web, which I've read several times. 


5. Calamity Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows—This delightful YA romp is the third installment in the Lady Janies series, a collection of alternate history novels starring famous women. Calamity Jane is the only one I've read so far, but oh my goodness, what fun it is! I listened to the book on audio and enjoyed every minute of the experience. It's funny, engrossing, voice-y, and just all kinds of entertaining.


6. The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown—One of my favorite middle-grade reads of the year, this novel is about a girl who was raised far off-the-grid and has never experienced life in "civilization." When her brother gets sick, her family is forced into the "real" world so that he can get prolonged medical treatment. As Juniper tries to make sense of her new normal, she questions which life is the right one for her and her family.


7. Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.—I can't stop thinking about this nonfiction book which concerns the vast fortune of American industrialist W.A. Clark. It talks about how Clark made his money, how he spent it, and what happened to it when it passed on to his last heir, Huguette. It's an absolutely fascinating story that asks big questions about wealth—how it should/should not be spent, how much is enough, the responsibility of the mega rich toward society, etc. I suggested Empty Mansions as a book club read because I want to discuss it so badly with other people who have read it.


8. Exiles by Jane Harper—I've read all of Harper's novels and Exiles is my favorite. The third book in the Aaron Falk series, the story is about Falk—a federal investigator—returning to his small hometown in Southern Australia to attend the christening of a friend's child. The town's annual fair is taking place, prompting Falk to look into the disappearance of a young mother during the same event one year earlier. 


9. The Labors of Hercules Beal by Gary D. Schmidt—Another middle-grade novel I love, this one is about an unassuming, recently orphaned boy who's tasked with recreating the labors of his namesake for a quirky school assignment. As he tackles his grief while also trying to figure out how to be heroic, he learns that he's more like the famous Hercules than he ever could have imagined. 


10. A Girl Called Samson by Amy Harmon—Based on a true story, this historical novel recounts the life of Deborah Samson, a young woman who longs for freedom and adventure. Disguising herself as a boy named Samson, she enlists in the Revolutionary War in order to do her bit. Is she up to the task? Can she hide her real identity long enough to make a difference? What will happen if she's found out?

There you go, my ten favorite reads of the year. Have you read any of these? What did you think? What were the best books you read in 2023? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. I also reply to comments left here.

Happy TTT!

117 comments:

  1. I love The Trumpet of the Swan. It’s been years since I’ve read it but definitely my favourite E.B. White book!

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    1. It's such a sweet book! I think it's my favorite E.B. White too, although it's been a long time since I've his others.

      Thanks for popping in, Lynne!

      Delete
  2. Yay!!! I LOVE when I see A Man Called Ove on a list. It's still one of my all-time favorite books. It's just so good. I'm glad you read it and enjoyed it! :)

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    1. Right? It's so great. One of my all-time favorites as well.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

      Delete
  3. I love A Man Called Ove (and everything else I've ever read by Backman) as well. Also Jane Harper is just so good.

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    1. Same! I need to read more of Backman's because they just make me happy :) I also love Harper. I'm caught up with hers. For now, anyway!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Bree!

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  4. I have yet to read any of the The Rockton/Haven's Rock series, but I do want to. I loved A Man Called Ove and am so glad you did too! I am really curious about A Girl Called Samson and hope to read that one someday. I hope you have a wonderful reading year this year too, Susan!

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    1. I've really enjoyed the Rockton/Haven's Rock series. I listen to the books on audio because I like the narrator and they're good ones to enjoy in that format - fast-paced, entertaining, easy to follow, etc. I hope you enjoy the series when you get to it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

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  5. A Girl Called Samson was almost in my list, Amy Harmon is one of my auto-buy author, her stories are always beautiful and emotional

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    1. So far, I've read three books by Harmon. I loved two of them and thought the other was only so-so. I need to read more of her backlist. She's a lovely writer.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Vero!

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  6. Yay for Murder at Haven's Rock! Love that she's continuing the series in a reboot sort of spinoff. Exiles was so good too! I was happy for Aaron Falk. I've read and enjoyed Amy Harmon so I should look into Samson. Wonderful TTT, Susan! :)

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    1. Right? EXILES is my favorite of the Falk books because it's so much more intimate and personal than the others. I'm definitely interested to see what will happen next in Falk's personal life!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Rachel!

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  7. The Day the World Came to Town is soooo inspirational! The streaming Broadway musical, Come From Away, is great as well! Of course, I adore Ove! I appreciated Harper’s return to Falk and loved the satisfying ending! ~Carol @ ReadingLadies

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    1. I'll have to look for the musical. It would be interesting to see how the book was adapted for that format.

      Yes, I loved the satisfying ending to EXILES. I can't wait to see what happens next in the series!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carol!

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  8. Very fun list with a good variety of books! I enjoyed the books in the Lady Jane series that I read, you're right, they are fun.

    How funny that you read Empty Mansions since it's about Santa Barbara. In fact, in the summer I got to go on a private tour of the estate and hear all the stories about Huguette and the family.

    And I have Jane Harper's book on my TBR shelf so I am glad to hear how much you enjoyed it.

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    1. Have you read EMPTY MANSIONS? It's really fascinating. I would love to tour Huguette's home, now that I know so much about it! It's always so interesting to hear/see how the other half live :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

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  9. You and I are on the same wave length about books, Susan. That's part of why I enjoy visiting your blog. Empty Mansions is a book that has been on my list forever. Sounds fascinating. Loved The Trumpet of the Swan. Bought A Man Called Ove and hope to read it this year.

    Here's to a year of good books for both of us!

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    1. EMPTY MANSIONS is super interesting. I enjoyed reading about all of the U.S. history as well as the Clark family history. Huguette is fascinating in her own right, especially because of how she chose to live because of/in spite of her wealth.

      I hope you love A MAN CALLED OVE. I found it funny and heartwarming.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cheryl!

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  10. This looks like a great list! I've only read Ove. Hoping for many great reads in 2024 too! Thanks for dropping by my post (@OneReadingNurse)!

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    1. Ove is a great book! I'm so glad I finally read it in 2023. It will probably go on my list of all-time favorite books. That's how much I loved it :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Athena!

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  11. I read Empty Mansions a few years ago, and it was fascinating! That was the year I was going to listen to more nonfiction on audio. I think I did ok with that goal. Happy New Year!

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    1. Narrative nonfiction usually works well for me on audio. If a NF book has too much detail or the ideas it presents are more complex, then I need to read it in print form instead.

      I'm glad you did well with your nonfiction listening. Which ones were your favorites? I'm always looking for good listens.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Diana!

      Delete
  12. I've read and enjoyed two of these and I have Gary Schmidt's book in view for this year - love his books. Okay for Now being my favourite - so far. The Day the World Came to Town is another I want to read.

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    1. I know I've read OKAY FOR NOW, but it's been a few years so I don't really remember it. I loved THE LABORS OF HERCULES BEALE, though, and will definitely look for more of Schmidt's work.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kathryn!

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  13. I have read Empty Mansions -- I agree, it would be great to discuss! I wrote about it on my old blog here: https://emeraldcitybookreview.com/2014/11/21/empty-mansions-nonfiction-november/

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    1. Right? It's chock-full of interesting insights and questions. I really have not stopped thinking about it since I read it. It should make for a great book club read/discussion. Can't wait!

      Thanks for the link to your review, which is excellent. You hit all the nails on the head. I'm glad the book made as big an impression on you as it did on me.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lory!

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  14. I also loved A Man Called Ove! I think I read it last year, or I'm pretty sure it would be on my list as well. I love the variety of books you've included (and I presume this represents a wide range of reading over the last year) - there really is something in this list for everyone! Happy new year - and more importantly, happy reading for 2024!

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    1. I feel like my reading isn't very varied, actually, but maybe it is more so than I think! Thanks for pointing that out :) I do try to change things up occasionally :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, M!

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  15. I thought Exiles was excellent too. Happy New Year to you.

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    1. EXILES made me happy for lots of reasons :)

      Thanks for popping in, Joy!

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  16. The Rockton series was one of my lockdown binge reads, they're pretty addictive.

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    1. VERY addictive. I'm especially enjoying listening to them on audio. They're the perfect listens to make my housework go faster!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Ellie!

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  17. I don't think I've read any of these, but love the idea of reading childhood favourites! Happy TTT x

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    1. Same! They're such nostalgic comfort reads :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Caroline!

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  18. OOh nice picks! Some new to me ones here except for Kelley Armstrong's which I did manage to read towards the end of the year! Still behind on everything else of hers though! Lol.


    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

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    1. Right? Armstrong writes so fast it's hard to keep up with her. I feel like I'll never complete her backlist mystery books, but that's not such a bad problem to have. LOL

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jessica!

      Delete
  19. I almost never read non-fiction, but The Day the World Came to Town really sounds great. And Ove... that's an all-time favorite of mine! I just read Jennifer Ryan's The Kitchen Front, and really enjoyed it. I'd like to read more of her books. Happy 2024 Reading Year.

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    1. I don't read a ton of nonfiction, but I'm a fan of narrative nonfiction, which tells a true story in an engaging way. THE DAY THE WORLD CAME TO TOWN is a compelling one that just leaves you feeling good about humanity. OVE is definitely a new favorite of mine. I loved it SO much. THE KITCHEN FRONT is a great read. I'd say it's my second favorite of Ryan's books after THE SPIES OF SHILLING LANE. She's fabulous. I hope you do read more of her and enjoy her other books.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Davida!

      Delete
  20. I really need to read the Lady Jane series, it sounds good!

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    1. I've only read the one book, but it was so much fun that I want to read the rest of the series! I hope we both love it.

      Thanks for popping in, M.T.!

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  21. I loved Trumpet of the Swan when I was a kid. I agree, it's even better than Charlotte's Web, and I loved that book too. Hope you have a happy new year and thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    1. I don't remember reading TRUMPET OF THE SWAN when I was a kid, but I was such a voracious reader, I can't imagine how I would have missed it. I'm so glad I read it (or re-read it) this year because it was such a fun read for me. I need to go back to other children's classics for some great, nostalgic reads.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Denise!

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  22. Ooh, I'm a big fan of Jane Harper but I haven't read her last two books including Exiles. It sounds so good though so I'm adding it to my TBR immediately 😍 A Man Called Ove is one that has been on my TBR for years now and I'm not sure why I never end up reading it, lol. I'm glad you enjoyed it though. I hope you have a wonderful year of reading in 2024!

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    1. You should definitely read OVE. I should have read it when it first came out! Jane Harper is great. I've enjoyed all of her books, with EXILES being my favorite. I hope you enjoy her last two!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Dini!

      Delete
  23. Stephen @ Reading Freely03 January, 2024 05:25

    I don't know that I'd heard of the book before, but like you I'll watch anything Tom Hanks is in, and the trailer made it irresistable. Planning to try more Backman.

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    1. Oh, really? I felt like I was the last person on Earth to read A MAN CALLED OVE! It's a great book and the film with Tom Hanks is excellent too. I hope you enjoy them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Stephen!

      Delete
  24. I think I need to read that 9/11 book. It sounds very motivating.

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT 😀

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    1. It's a great feel-good, restore-your-faith-in-humanity kind of read. Although it's about a horrific event, it really is very inspiring and heartwarming. I hope you enjoy it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Megan!

      Delete
  25. I love this list!
    The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland & Empty Mansions are two I want to get on audiobook for hubby & I to listen to together.
    A Girl Called Samson is one I want for myself to devour. 😁

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    1. I listened to EMPTY MANSIONS on audio, although I do have a paper copy of it which is nice since it includes photographs. After I read it, I talked about the book so much that my husband read it. We've enjoyed discussing it together. THE DAY THE WORLD CAME TO TOWN is also a good one to listen to together. I hope you both enjoy them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Rebecca!

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  26. I have been wary of the hype surrounding A Man Called Ove too, but maybe I will finally reading it based on your thoughts. Great post!

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    1. It really is a great read. I'm glad I finally read it. Seriously, it's one of my all-time favorite reads. I hope you love it too when you read it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Hannah!

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  27. I haven't read Calamity Jane yet, but I really enjoyed My Lady Jane.

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    1. CALAMITY JANE kept me royally entertained! It's funny and engaging and clever and just so enjoyable. I hope you love it if you read it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Louise!

      Delete
  28. These look great. I haven't read any of these myself.. but I've been hearing some great things about some of these. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman definitely sound one I would enjoy.

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    1. Everyone seems to love A MAN CALLED OVE and I can definitely see why. It's a great read. I hope you love it when you get to it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Maureen!

      Delete
  29. I'm looking forward to reading A Girl Called Samson this coming year, and hope to read more by Kelley Armstong as well. So many great books on your list!!

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    1. I really enjoyed A GIRL CALLED SAMSON. It's interesting, engaging, compelling - all the good stuff! I hope you like it when you read it. And more Armstrong is always a good idea :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lisa!

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  30. It's crazy that I have never read The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland! I'm moving it to the top of my list.

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    1. It's a quick read and a good one. I think you'll enjoy it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deb!

      Delete
  31. I can't believe I haven't read Backman's or Harmon's books yet! You having them on this list is extra motivation! Happy 2024!

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    1. You definitely need to! I've read two books by Backman (OVE and ANXIOUS PEOPLE) and loved them both. For Harmon, I've read three. I loved WHERE THE LOST WANDER and A GIRL CALLED SAMSON, but THE UNKNOWN BELOVED was pretty meh for me. I hope you enjoy both authors if you get to them this year.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

      Delete
  32. I love your site and all your recommendations! I hope you have a great reading year in 2024!
    My Favorite Books of 2023

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    1. Thank you so much, Hannah! I appreciate the kind comments. I hope your 2024 is wonderful in every way.

      Thanks for popping in!

      Delete
  33. Empty Mansions has been on my shelf for years. I don't read NF much.

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    1. Neither do I and when I do, it's almost always narrative NF. If I'm going to read NF, I want it to read like fiction! LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, sdn319!

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  34. Susan, the only one of these that I've read is the Kelley Armstrong book. I love the Rockton series and am also loving the new one set in Haven's Rock. Yes, a little gritty, but just very well written. I own the Jane Harper book, but haven't read it yet. Am thinking of rereading the first two in the series. I have no doubt that you will have a great reading year!!

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    1. As you know, I love a good mystery/thriller, but I can't handle anything TOO disturbing. I've found the Rockton books to be a little on the grittier side (as far as language and violence), BUT I feel like they're hopeful and upbeat overall. Also, I love the characters and just find the whole setup utterly addicting.

      I'm a big Jane Harper fan too. I'm always tempted to re-read the earlier books in a series before I go on to the next one if there's been more than a year between them because my aging brain just doesn't remember ANYTHING anymore! LOL

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kay!

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  35. Good luck with all of your cleaning and organizing!

    The Day the World Came to Town was such a wonderful story. Those folks made a traumatic day so much easier for everyone on that plane.

    Thanks for stopping by my post earlier.

    Lydia Schoch

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    1. I agree. The book really shows how good humans can be, especially in the face of tragedy.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

      Delete
  36. I adore Amy Harmon but have not yet read A Girl Called Samson. I know I'm in for an incredible story.

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    1. For sure! It's a great one. Have I ever asked you which Harmon book is your favorite? I've read three so far, two of which I loved (WHERE THE LOST WANDER and A GIRL CALLED SAMSON) and one which was just okay for me (THE UNKNOWN BELOVED). I'm curious which is your favorite and which I should read next...

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Tanya!

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    2. I think I've read three by Harmon, as well. :) Making Faces, Where the Lost Wander, and From Sand and Ash. Making Faces seems to be most reader's favorite (and it was wonderful), but I truly loved From Sand and Ash. Such a powerful, beautiful story. I think you would enjoy that one.

      Delete
  37. Empty Mansions sounds excellent. Those are definitely questions that feel relevant in this moment in time.

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    1. I mean, most of us will never have to struggle with the question of what to do with our massive fortunes, but I still think the book raises really interesting questions about money. I think it's good for everyone to ask themselves things like: How much money is enough money? How much do I need to be content/happy? How much of my income do I want/need to contribute to charitable causes? And on and on. These are really interesting questions for me.

      Thanks for popping in, Joy!

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  38. I like how unique your list is. All kinds of excellent stories. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Happy New Year!

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    1. I tried to pick a variety from among my favorites of 2023. Apparently, I read more adventurously than I thought I did! LOL

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

      Delete
  39. I read a few books in the Jane series and laughed my way through them. I should look for the Calamity Jane one. THanks.

    Happy New Year.

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    1. That's how CALAMITY JANE was for me. Totally entertaining! I really need to read the rest of the series.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Anne!

      Delete
  40. I've been meaning to try Kelley Armstrong's books! I'm not always a big fan of modern crime, but sometimes something just grabs me anyway, you know? Cool to know that you really enjoyed them!

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    1. I get that. The Rockton series is modern crime, but it has a unique setting and I find the books totally engrossing. I also really like her Rip Through Time mystery series. It's less gritty and is set in 19th Century Scotland. I hope you like her books if you give them a try.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicky!

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  41. I read My Lady Jane and loved it! I should read the other Jane books too. I'm also really interested in A Girl Called Samson!

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    1. I really need to read the other Janies books, too! It sounds like they're just as entertaining as CALAMITY JANE and sometimes (often) I just want a really fun read, you know?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Haze!

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  42. I loved Murder at Haven’s Rock too! What an excellent choice!

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    1. I've enjoyed the whole series. I binge-read/listened to most of it in 2023. Now, I just have to wait for the audio version of THE BOY WHO CRIED BEAR to come out so I can listen to the next book. I'm loving the series in audio.

      Thanks for popping by, Tessa!

      Delete
  43. I have Empty Mansions on my TBR so I'm really glad to see how much you enjoyed it. I definitely need to move it up the list. I'm determined to read something by Kelley Armstrong this year and I've heard such wonderful things about her books. Great list!

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    1. EMPTY MANSIONS is a great read. It's stayed with me over the months since I read it. Kelley Armstrong is awesome. I'm not interested in her urban fantasy books, but I love her mysteries. The Rip in Time series is especially fun.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

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  44. Always fun to see what books top your favorites list each year. The first two books on your list are both favorites of mine, too. :D

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    1. Great minds think alike! THE DAY THE WORLD CAME TO TOWN is such an uplifting one and MURDER AT HAVEN'S ROCK is just entertaining. I hope we both find lots of new books to love in 2024!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

      Delete
  45. I've had EMPTY MANSIONS on my "thinking-about" list for a while. THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN is such fun—I remember reading it as a kid after I'd already known CHARLOTTE'S WEB and STUART LITTLE for some time, so it was like finding a "new" book by an author I enjoyed!

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    1. You should definitely read EMPTY MANSIONS! It's not a quick read exactly, but it's engaging and interesting. I really enjoyed it. THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN was such a fun little read for me. I just loved it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Elisabeth!

      Delete
  46. They look interesting. I bet you had a tough time narrowing down! We still have our decorations up. We will probably take them down this weekend...

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

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    1. It's always tough to narrow down my favorites of the year!

      I finally got all my decorations down on Wednesday. I basically spent the entire day just plowing through and then made everyone help put all the boxes back in the garage that evening. Phew! My house looks naked now, but it's nice to have things clean and fresh for the new year.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Emily!

      Delete
  47. I have read 2 and 3, though not this year. I have heard many good things about A Girl Called Samson!

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    1. It's a great, underrated book. More people should read it! I hope you enjoy it if you do.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Dara!

      Delete
  48. Happy New Year, Susan and here's to another year of wonderful reading! 🎆
    Blessings, Jessica 💌

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    1. Thank you, Jessica! To you as well and thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting.

      Delete
  49. Looks like a great list! I haven't read any of these, but there are a few that catch my interest. I hope this year brings you as many great books (or more) as the last!

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    1. Oh, good! I'm glad you found a few to pique your interest. I hope you enjoy them if you read them.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kristi!

      Delete
  50. Happy New Year, and holy nostalgia! I vaguely remember having The Trumpet of the Swan as a kid and loving that book! I also tried reading A Man Called Ove, but just couldn't get into it. Here's to an awesome new year of reading.

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    1. Oh really? You might be the first person I've encountered who didn't love OVE instantly. It is a little different and it does have some slow parts, so I can see why it might not have grabbed you. Different strokes for different folks and all that!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

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  51. A Man Called Ove is so good! I haven't seen the movie yet. Happy 2024!

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    1. I love the Tom Hanks version of OVE. It's sweet and funny and heartwarming and all the good things! I started watching the Swedish film version and it just wasn't quite the same. My husband finished it and enjoyed it, though.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, AJ!

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  52. You read some great books this year. A Man Called Ove is one of my all time favorites.

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    1. Same! It's SUCH a great read for so many different reasons. I'm glad I finally read it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

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  53. I've read the 9/11 book and Empty Mansions. Have you read The Phantom of Fifth Avenue by Meryl Gordon? It's also about Huguette Clark and excellent, also.

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    1. No! I've never even heard of the Gordon book. I'm going to go look it up right now. Huguette is so interesting. I'd definitely read another book about her. Thanks for the rec!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sarah!

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  54. A Man Called Ove has been on my TBR for ages. Have to get to it soon.

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    1. Yes! You definitely do. I hope you love it when you read it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, nishitak!

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  55. It looks like you had a fantastic year of reading. I hope 2024 is just as good! :D

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    1. Same! It's going pretty well so far, although I'm reading "have to" books at the moment instead of "want to" ones. I'm just about done with reading commitments for the time being - then I'll move on to just-for-fun reading. I hope you have a fantastic reading year in 2024 as well.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Ashley!

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  56. I've heard that Amy's books are fabulous (note to self: add one to your shelf) and I am so curious about the Lady Jane series. I own some too, and yet here I am, still haven't read them! Maybe this year. :) Thank you so much for visiting my list this past week, too!

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    1. CALAMITY JANE was just such a FUN read. Totally entertaining. If the other books in the series are the same way, I'm SO in. Harmon's books are more serious, but she writes beautifully, and I've found the stories engaging for the most part.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Rissi!

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  57. Looks like you had a great reading year! I stil want to read A Man Called Ove too, so glad to hear you loved it!

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  58. Yours was the list I was most excited to see this week (along w/ Jana's), because I can always trust your recs. Our tastes aren't identical, but I know if one catches my eye and you've recced it, there's a 99% chance I will too. So I will definitely have to look into the Armstrong series next time I need a mystery/thriller.

    + Funnily enough, I...also can't remember if I read The Trumpet of the Swan, so maybe I'll have to check that out.

    + I've been struggling to pick good audiobooks lately, so that's the push I need to try the Jane books.

    + The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry sounds great.

    + I did really enjoy Empty Mansions! I read it 3 years ago and still think about it regularly. Admittedly half my thoughts are just "god, imagine if I had an unlimited bank account and entire houses to fill with things" while I am merrily filling a pretend cart on Etsy and browsing luxury real estate websites, but I also think a lot about the desperate sadness of her getting so isolated that she nearly died from a treatable cancer, and a private hospital room became a more satisfying home.

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  59. I've actually read a couple of your books (Empty Mansions and A Man Called Ove)! It seems like I usually haven't even heard of the books on everyone's top ten lists because I stay almost exclusively in the backlists. A few others are already on my TBR but I see some others I need to add.

    I can't remember if I've ever read The Trumpet of the Swan either. My third grade teacher's assistant read us a lot of EB White so surely I have, but there's a huge blank when I look at it. I hope 2024 is an even better reading year for you!

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  60. The Day the World Came to Town was soooo good! And I enjoyed Calamity Jane, too. Happy reading in 2024!

    ReplyDelete

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