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With the year 2023 coming to an end it is time to look back. Today I am talking about one of my favorite things to do. Reading and books. With all things going on in 2023, the year being tough on me at times it also has been wonderful when it comes to books. Fleeing myself into other worlds, fighting epic battles, crying along side my book friends and being exciting for the next adventure. My books have been my escapism when things were hard. When I needed a hug. When I felt lost and when I needed comfort. My favorite books 2023 have been picked. Grab yourself some drink and some of the remaining Christmas cookies and start reading.
I started 2023 with a reading goal in mind. I wanted to read a total of 75 books or 20,000 pages. My reading goal in 2023 included a list of books I wanted to read. I managed to read nineteen books of that list. Which is nice but I could have read some more from my shelves. Instead I put more books on the shelves. Buying books has become a new hobby it seems.
In a comment from Stephany I replied: So ambitious to read a hundred books. One year I will attempt it but it’s not 2023.
Well, was that some sort of foreshadowing? Because 2023 is the year I read more than a hundred books for the first time in my life. And I did not try to do it. I guess that was the secret to it. But let’s be clear. Even if I only read 10 books this year I would still be proud that I managed to read. Reading should always be fun. Always without pressure. And all my stats and numbers are solely for myself. I do not want you to feel you read less or more or need to be in any sort of competition when it comes to reading.
All that said, let’s dive into my favorite books of 2023.
Best rated books this year: I have twelve books that received a 4.5 or 5 star rating. They are:
For the Wolf | Für den Wolf by Hannah Whitten ● The Name of the Wind | Der Name des Windes by Patrick Rothfuss ● Heart of the Sun Warrior | Das Herz des Sonnenkriegers by Sue Lynn Tan ● Fourth Wing | Fourth Wing Flammengeküsst by Rebecca Yarrow ● The Change by Kirsten Miller ● About People | Über Menschen by Juli Zeh ● Stolen | Das Leuchten der Rentiere by Ann-Helén Laestadius ● The Beauty of your Face by Sahara Mustafah ● Bibbi Bokkens magische Bibliothek by Jostein Gaarder ● Why we sleep | Das große Buch vom Schlaf by Matthew Walker ● Unwell Women | Die kranke Frau by Elinor Cleghorn ● The Art of Herbal Healing by Ava Reed
Best cover: This was a close one between “Forget me Not” and “The Heart of the Sun Warrior”. But I decided to go with this one as it is blue and has poppies. I didn’t hold this book in my hands as it was an audio book but this cover would have made me grab it in a library or the book store. → Read my review.
Longest book: My longest book this year ” The Name of the Wind” only had 662 pages. It took me eight days to read. But It feels like I read it in two days. Overall my longest book in 2023 is 250 pages shorter than last years book. → Read my review.
Disappointment of the year: This is a book I treated myself to and have regretted it ever since. Bite size infos on famous paintings. Could be wonderful to learn more and refresh knowledge. It is not. Very superficial. But what got me enraged is that on one page they managed to spell the artists name in 5 different way. Seriously? Also only western artists – but I could have checked that when buying. Second disappointment is unfortunately the book I gifted my godchild for Christmas. It started out promising but is dragging on. I am only 50% through. It could have been so good if there were images and pictures in to explain more about the life of girls in Syria. Not my greatest pick.
Struggle of the year: I am not yet done with this book but I will put it down here as I have ambitions to finish it this year. “Braiding Sweetgrass” is one of those books I wanted to have badly. Finally bought it because I was sure it will be a keeper. Unfortunately I am struggling through it. It has nuggets of valuable information and nice stories but overall I just can’t get into it. It is lacking something and I can’t pinpoint it. And I know some of you also struggled with this one.
Oldest Book (written): This book is a travelog of a woman following her husband into the Arctic and living one winter at Spitzbergen. It was written in 1938 and was very interesting. → Read my review.
Best Beach Read: Again I am nominating a book by Meike Werkmeister. She just writes the best feel good romance novels that are not too cheesy. Dreaming yourself away in a heartbeat is included – this time to Portugal. → Read my review.
Surprise of the year: “We are all so good at smiling” is one of those gems you find. I listened to it but I think this story might be even better read. So many layers, a bit of magical sprinkles while talking about mental illness and suicide. But in a way that is wonderfully hopeful. → Read my review.
The second one that caught me by surprise was “The Book Woman of Troublesome creek” as I had never heard of the program or the medical condition of the main character. I love when books broaden my horizon wrapped up in a wonderful story. → Read my review.
The worst book: Nominating one of the books I read for my Read Around the World project. This one from the Democratic republic of Congo was so so bad. I am sorry but I can not recommend. It was vulgar and sad and dirty. My dad said this is Africa – it is not the beautified version we want to believe. I am not sure this is true. Why would you write about your country in a way that no one wants to hear, learn or read anything ever again about Congo? Don’t get it.
Book related shenanigans
Favorite books are just one part of my book review for 2023. I love me some statistics and numbers. Here are a few fun facts when it comes to books that represent my year of reading.
- Best reading month: I had four months (August, September, October, December) in which I read 12 books. I don’t think that ever happened before. Looking at pages read though September is the winner with 3,702 pages.
- Slowest reading month: was July with two books. Which is not surprising as I had my river cruise and other work projects occupying my mind and my time.
- Pages read overall: As of today I am at 29,990 pages read according to Goodreads. I am hoping to add a few more when I finish one more book I am currently reading. My overall goal of reading was to read 20,000 pages. I checked that off.
- Average book length: 288 pages. Slight drop (last year was 295 pages)
- Average book rating: 3.6 stars is my rating. I am tough when it comes to rating so I am not surprised.
- Number of books read for my Read around the World project: Ten and another 150 to go.
- Audio book vs physical copy vs ebook: A third of my books have been audiobooks. 67 percent have been read. eBooks are my go to book of choice. It is just so convenient to have it available at all times and anywhere. But I do like to read a paperback too. Hardcover not so much.
- German books read: 45 German book which is 43.3 percent
- English books read: 59 English book which is 56.7 percent – I am surprised the langue almost equals out this year.
- Books I didn’t finish: I started ten books/audiobooks that I quit at some point because it was just not for me.
- Author split: I read and listened to 80 books by female authors. That is 76.9 percent of books. Maybe next year I need to pick up some male authors again. But then, if we are being honest I really don’t look at the author when picking a book. I don’t care if it is male or female as long as the story is great.
- Number of books bought: 28
- Number of books gifted to me in 2023: six
- Number of books borrowed: currently four books from my parents
- Books swapped: Two – both have been read
- Books from publishers: Three. Two have been read.
- Total of new books in 2023: 53 books – includes bought, freebies, gifted and swapped books
- Number of unread books on my shelves: 79 books – includes borrowed books
- Number of unread books on my kindle: 614 book – please don’t judge…
- Available book budget: 119.88€ + 9.05€ from sold books makes a total of 128.93€. As a book budget I take the monthly kindle unlimited fee of 9.99€ x 12 (which has now been raised so more budget next year!)
- Budget spent on books: 127.82 €. This includes the library fee, all the bought ebooks and paperbacks as well as postage for swapped books. I am proud to be leaving this year with money in the bank (1. 11€)
And this is the reading review – my favorite books 2023 and everything else I came up with. Did you have a favorite book this year? How was your reading year in general? Which of my favorite books will make it to your TBR?
If you are interested in my previous book round ups you can have a look here: favorite books of 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019, favorite books of 2018 part I and part II, favorite books of 2017 part I and part II and favorite books of 2016. Also let’s be friends on Goodreads.