Best Books for Adults 2023 (2024)

  • Above Ground

    By Clint Smith


    Smith delves into the profound shifts in our world today with these poems, fearlessly exploring fatherhood and generational heritage as a person of color. His odes to weathering the journey of parenthood and almost lullabies to his child are telling of a world in progress.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (1)

  • The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

    By Shannon Chakraborty

    Book E-Book

    The greatest pirate story you have not read… yet. Chakraborty forges a nautical masterpiece ideal for fans of Sinbad the Sailor, the Jack Aubrey series, and fantasy set in the historic Muslim world.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (2)

  • Against the Currant

    By Olivia Matthews

    Book E-Book

    Spice Isle Bakery in Brooklyn's Little Caribbean brings the delicious treats... and murder.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (3)

  • Age of Vice

    By Deepti Kapoor

    Book E-Book

    After a speeding car kills five people late at night in New Delhi, the driver, a shell-shocked servant, is unable to explain the series of strange events that led to the crime.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (4)

  • All the Beauty in the World

    By Patrick Bringley

    Book E-Book

    More than just a portrait of an iconic NYC locale and its treasures by a former New Yorker staffer who spent a decade as a museum guard, this book is also a memoir about grief, healing, art, and reinvention.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (5)

  • Bad Kids

    By Zijin Chen

    Book E-Book

    Translated by Michelle Deeter | Evil comes in all ages in this dark thriller that captivated China.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (6)

  • The Bee Sting

    By Paul Murray

    Book E-Book

    Where did it all go wrong? A patch of ice on the tarmac, a casual favor to a charming stranger, a bee caught beneath a bridal veil—can a single moment of bad luck change the direction of life?

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (7)

  • Biting the Hand: Growing Up Asian in Black and White America

    By Julia Lee

    Book E-Book

    Julia Lee shares her journey of self-discovery as an Asian, reckoning with the racial hierarchies and challenging the divisions of a society informed by white supremacism in this blunt and passionate memoir.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (8)

  • Black Observatory: Poems

    By Christopher Brean Murray


    These sometimes absurd and even slightly surreal vignettes form a weird, witty, and engaging collection that often reads like well-crafted short stories. Murray has crafted an introspective work that remains clever while never taking itself too seriously.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (9)

  • Blackouts

    By Justin Torres

    Book E-Book

    Out in the desert in a place called the Palace, a young man tends to a dying soul, someone he once knew briefly but who has haunted the edges of his life.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (10)

  • Chain-Gang All-Stars

    By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

    Book E-Book

    A novel in which two top women gladiators fight for their freedom within a depraved private prison system not so far-removed from America's own.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (11)

  • The Deep Sky: A Novel

    By Yume Kitasei

    Book E-Book

    The Earth is dying, and humanity places its hope on a single ship on a journey to a new home. The crew, tasked with birthing a new generation, soon finds themselves off course when a bomb is detonated, and Asuka is the prime suspect. Packed with suspense and an intricately woven plot, The Deep Sky is science fiction writing at its best.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (12)

  • Do a Powerbomb

    By Daniel Warren Johnson


    When a necromancer makes aspiring wrestler Lona an offer she can't refuse, she must team up with her late mother's rival and enter a supernatural wrestling tournament. This heartwrenching story will appeal to both wrestling fans and the uninitiated.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (13)

  • Eight Billion Genies Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1

    By Charles Soule


    Art by Ryan Browne | If you could wish for anything in the world, what would it be? When the entire world is randomly gifted magical wish-granting genies, everything turns to chaos. This genre-defying story follows a motley crew just trying to survive in aftermath of "G-Day."

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (14)

  • Eve

    By Cat Bohannon

    Book E-Book

    An ambitious, eye-opening, myth-busting, and groundbreaking history of the evolution of the female body. With boundless curiosity and sharp wit, Bohannon covers the past 200 million years to explain the specific science behind the development of the female sex.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (15)

  • Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone

    By Benjamin Stevenson

    Book E-Book

    In this homage to classic detective fiction, what happens when a family of killers gets snowed in at a ski resort? Murder, of course.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (16)

  • Everything Is Fine, Vol. 1

    By Mike Birchall


    Follow a perfectly normal couple living on a perfectly normal street with perfectly normal neighbors, and perfectly normal stories within a perfectly normal police state. So it's all perfectly and completely normal.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (17)

  • Book E-Book

    In the early 20th century, a charismatic conman named D.C. Stephenson became the impetus and architect of plans to bring the Ku Klux Klan out of the shadows and into the heartland of the U.S. This is the gripping story of the vulnerable woman who brought him down.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (18)

  • The Glutton

    By A.K. Blakemore

    Book E-Book

    A historical novel set during the French Revolution is inspired by a young peasant boy turned showman, said to have been tormented and driven to murder by an all-consuming appetite.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (19)

  • The Great Displacement

    By Jake Bittle

    Book E-Book

    The untold story of climate migration—the personal stories of those experiencing displacement, the portraits of communities being torn apart by disaster, and the implications for all of us as we confront a changing future.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (20)

  • A Guest in the House

    By Emily Carroll


    Abby is uneasy in her new role as a stepmother, and as she learns more about her husband's first wife, a strange obsession overtakes her. This visually brilliant and engaging mystery seamlessly blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (21)

  • The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

    By James McBride

    Book E-Book

    When a skeleton is unearthed in a small, close-knit Pennsylvania community in 1972, an unforgettable cast of characters living on the margins of white, Christian America closely guard a secret. What happened? And what role did the town's white establishment play?

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (22)

  • The Hive and the Honey: Stories

    By Paul Yoon

    Book E-Book

    This collection of seven stories confronts themes of identity, belonging, and the collision of cultures across countries and centuries.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (23)

  • An Island Princess Starts a Scandal

    By Adriana Herrera

    Book E-Book

    In 1889 Paris, heiress Manuela offers ambitious businesswoman Cora her Venezuelan property in exchange for one last thrilling summer before her impending marriage of convenience.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (24)

  • The Kingdom of Surfaces

    By Sally Wen Mao

    Book E-Book

    Mao writes to escape being "trapped in someone else's imagination," literally shaping poems that challenge empire, cultural plunder, and the ongoing violence Asian people experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, both in the U.S. and her birthplace of Wuhan.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (25)

  • Knockout

    By Sarah MacLean


    In Victorian London, Tommy, a Scotland Yard detective, and Imogen, a vigilante, have been circling one another since they met. But Imogen is unsure whom she can trust as they could be tied to a string of crimes she and her friends are investigating.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (26)

  • Land of Milk and Honey

    By C Pam Zhang

    Book E-Book

    High atop an unnamed Alp with the planet’s only breathable air, an aimless chef is hired to cook lavish meals for a mysterious cabal of plutocrats who've got a taste for weird meats—what could go wrong?

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (27)

  • Last on His Feet: Jack Johnson and the Battle of the Century

    By Adrian Matejka

    Book E-Book

    Art by Youssef Daoudi | Bringing to life the story of eminent boxer Jack Johnson, this book follows his epic battles against famed prizefighters and Jim Crow era inequalities. The poetic dialogue and majestically raw illustrations capture the core of Johnson's experiences, both in and out of the ring.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (28)

  • The Last One

    By Will Dean


    Welcome to the RMS Atlantica, a ship unlike any other. We wish you fair winds and calm seas.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (29)

  • Listen, Beautiful Márcia

    By Marcello Quintanilha


    Translated by Andrea Rosenberg | Márcia is a nurse living in a favela with her loyal boyfriend Alusio and her rebellious daughter Jacqueline, who creates trouble for them by getting involved with the local gang. This story is a gritty and human exploration of Márcia’s struggle to keep her family together.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (30)

  • The Man in the McIntosh Suit

    By Rina Ayuyang

    Book E-Book

    Part film noir and part dizzying romance, this tale follows Bobot, Filipino American farmhand-turned-rogue investigator. With its shifting monochromatic watercolors and an expertly researched Depression-era setting, readers won't be able to put down this immigrant story.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (31)

  • The MANIAC

    By Benjamín Labatut

    Book E-Book

    Centered on Hungarian polymath John von Neumann, a prodigy whose gifts terrified those around him, this book shows the evolution of a mind unmatched and of a body of work that has unmoored the world in its wake, confronting us with profound questions we face as a species.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (32)

  • Marry Me by Midnight

    By Felicia Grossman

    Book E-Book

    In Victorian London, Jewish heiress Isabelle could lose everything unless she marries the right man. She secretly enlists synagogue custodian, Aaron, to research her potential matches but she quickly finds his understated charm irresistible.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (33)

  • The Mis-Arrangement of Sana Saeed

    By Noreen Mughees

    Book E-Book

    Sana embraces the prospect of an arranged marriage to secure guardianship of her brother. But when an old love unexpectedly returns, she has to make a choice between her head and her heart.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (34)

  • Mrs. Nash's Ashes

    By Sarah Adler

    Book E-Book

    With a storm grounding planes, a former child star, a writer, and an old friend's ashes find themselves on an adventurous road trip to the Florida Keys to reunite former lovers. Along the way, they discover a heartfelt wartime love story.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (35)

  • My Murder: A Novel

    By Katie Williams

    Book E-Book

    What if you had the chance to solve your own murder?

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (36)

  • Nestlings

    By Nat Cassidy

    Book E-Book

    The horrifically complicated birth of their first child has left Ana paralyzed, bitter, and struggling with mobility, her relationship with Reid, and resentment for her baby. That's about to change with the words any New Yorker would love to hear—affordable housing lottery.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (37)

  • The New Guy

    By Sarina Bowen


    New to Brooklyn, Hudson and Gavin hit it off in a bar. They have no idea that they’re neighbors and colleagues on the same professional hockey team. Both have their own reasons to stay away, but their attraction to each other is unstoppable.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (38)

  • The Nigerwife: A Novel

    By Vanessa Walters

    Book E-Book

    Nicole has a picture perfect life in Lagos, until she goes missing and nobody cares. It's up to her estranged aunt to look under the glamorous surface in this glitzy domestic thriller.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (39)

  • No Sweet Without Brine

    By Cynthia Manick

    Book E-Book

    Manick embraces Black womanhood in poems that reference personal experience, social circ*mstance, and sources that range from familial diaries to Jet magazine. The resulting collection is a work that makes the personal a universal read.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (40)

  • Our Share of Night: A Novel

    By Mariana Enriquez

    Book E-Book

    Disquieting slow burn of a horror novel set in 1980s Argentina. It starts with the story of a father and his son who is a medium and unfolds into a world of secrets and the occult.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (41)

  • Promises of Gold

    By José Olivarez

    Book E-Book

    Olivarez reps both his Mexican American heritage and Chicago homeland in this bilingual collection that addresses immigration, capitalism, community, and belonging, writing poems that pay homage to love in all its many forms.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (42)

  • Prophet

    By Sin Blaché & Helen Macdonald

    Book E-Book

    If Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Doctor Who had a baby from The Twilight Zone, you might come close to this madcap, noir sci-fi featuring one of the genre’s more memorable romances. Weaponized nostalgia makes for an unconventional foil for our protagonists.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (43)

  • The Quiet Tenant

    By Clémence Michallon


    “He seemed like such a nice guy.” Don’t they all?

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (44)

  • Quiet: Poems

    By Victoria Adukwei Bulley


    Quiet boldly explores Black interiority, intimacy, and selfhood, navigating the tension between guarding one's inner life and the realization that silence is not protection. The tone of these poems reflects perfectly the often-fraught negotiation between one's internal self and the surrounding world.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (45)

  • Red Queen

    By Juan Gómez-Jurado

    Book E-Book

    Forensic genius Antonia Scott and disgraced detective Jon Gutierrez must come together to catch a killer in this compelling thriller that took Spain by storm.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (46)

  • The Reformatory: A Novel

    By Tananarive Due

    Book E-Book

    Like a haunted Nickel Boys, this fictionalized version of true events took the author 10 years to bring to fruition. You’ll be moved by this story of a boy who sees "haints."

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (47)

  • Safe and Sound: A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair

    By Mercury Stardust

    Book E-Book

    Internet sensation and Handy Ma'am Mercury Stardust has created a comprehensive beginner's guide to basic home repair, including vocabulary, equipment, and processes to tackle over 50 projects (with video links for each).

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (48)

  • The Seven Year Slip

    By Ashley Poston

    Book E-Book

    Clementine opens the door to her late aunt’s Manhattan condo… and finds herself seven years in the past. Navigating her life between past and present, she tries to reconcile the differences between the sweet guy she meets there and the man he becomes.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (49)

  • Short Film Starring My Beloved's Red Bronco

    By K. Iver


    Combining elegy and fantasy, this collection memorializes a youthful relationship and a former lover's eventual suicide. These wistful, ethereal, and sorrowful poems are both a love letter to the Beloved and also an elegy for an imagined youth free of abuse, hom*ophobia, and fear.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (50)

  • Shubeik Lubeik

    By Deena Mohamed

    Book E-Book

    In a parallel, modern-day Egypt, djinns and wishes are a reality. But who gets the privilege of using a wish? Can wishes really fix everything? This story shows unique and varied magical experiences in a heartfelt, bittersweet, and humorous epic tale.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (51)

  • Side Notes from the Archivist: Poems

    By Anastacia-Reneé


    Anastacia-Reneé fearlessly explores the complexities of Black femme lives across time, space, and reality with an unapologetically feminist voice through these poems. This is an eclectic, well-curated archive of Black femme culture-making.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (52)

  • Start Here: Instructions for Becoming a Better Cook

    By Sohla El-Waylly

    Book E-Book

    So much more than a collection of mouthwatering recipes, Start Here is an at-home culinary master class, sharing fundamental techniques, culinary science, and tips for all cooks, from the beginner to the seasoned home chef, to level-up in the kitchen.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (53)

  • Starter Villain

    By John Scalzi

    Book E-Book

    If you always suspected cats ruled the world, well, you weren’t wrong, as Charlie learns when he inherits his estranged uncle’s supervillain business that includes unionized dolphins, space lasers, and a formidable bodyguard.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (54)

  • The Talk

    By Darrin Bell

    Book E-Book

    You may already know Bell for his Pulitzer Prize–winning comics, but you will soon become familiar with his incredibly moving memoir. Through his art, Bell uses his witty yet intimate voice to expose the everyday and institutionalized racism he has experienced.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (55)

  • Thank You for Sharing

    By Rachel Runya Katz

    Book E-Book

    It all started at Jewish summer camp, and Liyah can’t let it go. However, after running into her former teenage fling turned enemy, Daniel, they agree to a truce as they work together to promote the Chicago Field museum.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (56)

  • Thin Skin: Essays

    By Jenn Shapland

    Book E-Book

    Shapland's essays examine vulnerability and how our choices impact people, places, and species far away. Weaving together historical research, interviews, and her everyday life in New Mexico, she probes the lines between self and work, human and animal, need and desire.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (57)

  • This Is Salvaged: Stories

    By Vauhini Vara

    Book E-Book

    Explores the nature of being a child, parent, friend, sibling, neighbor, or lover and the relationships between self and others. Everyone is unmoored and searching for meaning through one another.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (58)

  • To Be Named Something Else

    By Shaina Phenix


    Phenix's poetry struts across the page in a collection that celebrates a matriarchal lineage rooted in Harlem, with a nod to bodega etiquette and summertime fire hydrants. This exaltation of the quotidian raises common city experiences to poetic heights.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (59)

  • Translation State

    By Ann Leckie

    Book E-Book

    It's suitably weird and she writes intergalactic diplomacy very well. Works best if you've read the Imperial Radch trilogy first.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (60)

  • The Trap

    By Catherine Ryan Howard


    Don't get in a car with a stranger. Yet, she walks the same solitary path every night, waiting to catch a ride with a killer.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (61)

  • Unshuttered: Poems

    By Patricia Smith


    Smith reanimates the static images of 19th-century photographs of Black men, women, and children in these ekphrastic poems that imagine lives of dignity and totality. The collection creates an intimacy with the past that resonates long after its pages are shut.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (62)

  • Vengeance Is Mine

    By Marie NDiaye


    Translated by Jordan Stump | Hired by a man she vaguely remembers to defend his wife, who’s been accused of a horrific crime, quiet middle-aged lawyer Maître Susane finds unsettling memories coming to the surface while becoming increasingly concerned about her housekeeper’s furtive behavior.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (63)

  • Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

    By Jesse Q. Sutanto

    Book E-Book

    Solving a mystery isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (64)

  • We Could Be So Good

    By Cat Sebastian

    Book E-Book

    In 1950s New York City, two reporters—an Italian American Brooklynite and the Upper East Side-raised son of the newspaper's owner—go from colleagues to roommates, finding friendship and more as they navigate the social norms of the era.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (65)

  • When Crack Was King: A People's History of a Misunderstood Era

    By Donovan X. Ramsey

    Book E-Book

    Beginning with Reagan's war on drugs, Ramsey examines the crack epidemic. He exposes links between the triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement and the consequences we live with today—a racist criminal justice system, mass incarceration, gentrification, and police brutality.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (66)

  • White Cat, Black Dog: Stories

    By Kelly Link

    Book E-Book

    Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, 17th-century French lore, and Scottish ballads, this clever collection of reinvented fairy tales expertly blends realism and the speculative as characters hunt for love, connection, revenge, or their sense of purpose.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (67)

  • Wild Girls

    By Tiya Miles

    Book E-Book

    This beautiful, meditative work of history puts women of all races—and the landscapes they loved—at center stage and reveals the impact of the outdoors (both nature and sports) on women's independence, resourcefulness, resistance, and vision.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (68)

  • With Love, from Cold World

    By Alicia Thompson

    Book E-Book

    Asa and Lauren are antagonistic colleagues at a failing winter-themed amusem*nt park in Florida. Things heat up as they are forced to work together over the holidays to brainstorm ways to increase attendance.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (69)

  • Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons

    By Kelly Sue Deconnick


    Art by Phil Jimenez, Gene Ha & Nicola Scott | Steeped in Greek mythology, this book tells the formation of the Amazons through rebellious goddesses banding against the patriarchal order of Olympus. This story will entrance readers with its glorious depictions of raw feminine power.

    Best Books for Adults 2023 (70)

  • Best Books for Adults 2023 (2024)
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