Reading is an unparalleled pleasure. There’s little else in life that can ground and inspire you at once. I find that no matter what I need, reading always seems to be the salve. Stressed? Cozy up with a book. A lack of motivation? Head straight to the self-help shelves. While it can be hard to prioritize reading when our attention is divided among so much, I consider it a key habit in my everyday wellness routine. And clearly, our team of bibliophiles does as well. That’s why I had to tap our editors for their thoughts on the best books of 2023.
Our Slack channels, email threads, and chats IRL often drift to the topic of reading. Whether it’s social strategy or content planning, everything can segue into the books we can’t put down. We read not only to learn, but to experience worlds outside of our own—coming back to our own lives with a greater empathy and understanding of others’ stories. Otherwise said: books offer us a gift and level of connection that little else can.
The Best Books of 2023, According to Our Editors
Whether or not you caught the book bug this year, there’s a beautiful truth about reading: it’s a habit you can always return to. So many of us think about reading the same way we do working out. There’s just not enough time! And sure, while a busy day might not allow for an hours-long reading marathon, pockets of time do present themselves. Whether it’s in the five minutes between meetings or in the parking lot for school pick-up, we just have to be more intentional with how we make space for what’s important. Swap your scroll for a few minutes spent reading. You’ll never go back.
So, if you’re wondering whether our Goodreads looked anything like yours or you simply want to update your TBR for the year ahead, keep reading for the best books of 2023 that our editors couldn’t put down. There’s something for everyone.
The way this book BROKE me and somehow put me back together again. I’m a girl who goes hard for the “no plot, just vibes” genre, and Coco Mellors perfected it beautifully in this debut novel. Expect stylistic writing, a devastating narrative, strangely lovable characters, and an ending that leaves you feeling empty but paradoxically understood. (Trust me, just read it.) — Isabelle, Managing Editor
My favorite kind of novel is one that feels so close to reality that you can imagine yourself in the plot line—which is what made Dear Edward so heartbreaking, and also so beautiful. This is the story of a boy who has to learn to live again after an unimaginable tragedy and answers the question that we all ask ourselves: how could you find strength to fully live life when you’ve lost everything? — Camille, Editor-in-Chief
Khalid, the young king of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise, until a girl named Shahrzad volunteers to marry him. But she does so with a plan to take revenge for the murder of her best friend and the many other brides before her. This was a surprisingly quick and enthralling read that is more enchanting than thriller-esque. The storytelling is beautiful, each of the characters is intriguing, and I finished this story wanting to talk to all my friends about it. — Suruchi, Food Editor
We’re currently in the thick of navigating life with a “threenager” with another little one on the way—emotions are high and patience is low. SOS. Life is full and this book continues to provide solace, practical tips, and creative ways to support our growing toddler. Although I’ve mostly steered from parenting books, this is a valuable, relatable resource I often turn to. If you need empowerment, empathy, or a reminder that your children are good inside, this is worth the shelf space. — Edie, Wellness Editor
I’ve always been a fan of Rick Rubin, so I was quick to get my hands on this book when it first came out in January. It turned out to be the perfect New Year’s read, full of creative inspiration and tangible advice on how to embrace your inner artist. — Michelle, Executive Producer
Think: Little Women but with a modern and all-too-realistic narrative. Hello Beautiful was such a thought-provoking book that touches on realities hard to address in print. It’s a slower read, but one that will imprint on the way you look at realistic fiction. — Casey, Editorial Intern
I’m fascinated by the topic of charisma—what gives certain people that secret sauce of magnetism and likability? In this fascinating book, Van Edwards breaks it down, and what I love about this book is that it’s full of surprises. If you want to unlock the secrets to captivating a room, being a leader, and conveying confidence, so much of it is in the body language and vocal inflections that most of us are unaware of. And it turns out, we can subtly tweak those cues to have more influence. — Camille, Editor-in-Chief
If you also devoured The Girls, then you’re well aware that Emma Cline is capable of weaving together a fast-paced narrative through the development of her characters alone. This relatively short read moves quickly, driven by the desperation of its protagonist to find a place for herself in an unforgiving world. — Isabelle, Managing Editor
I’m not usually one for rom-com type books, but this one hooked me right away with lovable characters and a classic enemies-to-lovers arc. The main characters’ banter and individual storylines come together in the best way. This was a fun read for anyone looking for a rom-com novel that celebrates culture, friendship, and strong characters you find yourself rooting for chapter after chapter. — Suruchi, Food Editor
I was late to the party on this one but am so glad I finally picked it up. I’ve never highlighted and annotated a book so much in my life! I found it to be an incredible source of wisdom on how to build wealth, cultivate happiness, and live a life led by your core values. — Michelle, Executive Producer