From Thrillers, to Horror Stories, memoirs and Non-Fiction. This year, which approaches its end, saw a very creative rise in literature. If you want to read some of the most exciting and most discussed books of 2023, we are here to give you some suggestions. These are some of the Best Books of 2023.
1. America Fantastica, by Tim O’Brien
This is Tim O’Brien’s first novel in some 20 years. What we can say, is that it worth the wait. Boyd Halverson, a disgraced journalist, makes a living by overtaking the internet with “fresh untrue truth content”, after a “lying Infection” has taken hold of the nation. Pushed to the brink of despair, he robs a bank, kidnaps the teller, and drives out across America’s highways with his hostage, bound for Mexico. America Fantastica aims straight at the dark side of the American soul, and O’Brien attacks the lies that power the country and sustain it.
2. The Boy from Kyiv, by Marina Harss
This biography follows the career of Alexei Ratmansky. He is arguably the preeminent ballet choreographer of our time, currently in residence at New York City Ballet. Alexis is born in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad). He is raised in Kyiv, and trained at the Bolshoi, Ratmansky danced with the National Ballet of Ukraine during perestroika. After the Soviet Union’s dissolution, he ventured abroad to join companies in the West before eventually returning to the Bolshoi as its director. Moreover, his work includes abstract and satirical pieces like “The Sleeping Beauty”. This biography highlights how Ratmansky’s art reflects the frictions and the liberations of a changing world.
3. This Country, by Navied Mahdavian
This moving graphic memoir about buying a (tiny) house and making a home in rural Idaho as an Iranian American beautifully depicts a quest for belonging and the revelation that it rarely comes in the shape or form that one expects.
4. Hangman, by Maya Binyam
Maya Binyam’s novel uptrends the expectations of classical immigrant novels. Her protagonist travels from his adopted country, back to the abandoned one. Binyam’s tale foregrounds absence, and invites us to fill in the gaps that recur throughout the novel. In doing so, she is inviting us to question our expectations about these kinds of stories, and to contemplate the possibility that the varied lives of immigrants the world over cannot be rendered effectively in narrative cliches. This story is definitely one of the best books of 2023.
5. The Guest, by Emma Cline
Alex, a 22-year-old grifter who makes ends meet by ingratiating herself with wealthy older men. When Alex miscalculates and runs afoul of her latest beau. She’s sent packing just one week before his annual Labor Day party, leaving her homeless. Rather than face the truth, Alex determines that if she can just make it through the week, she’ll be welcomed back at the party. Drifting through a languid summer week in the Hamptons, Alex folds into rarefied enclaves where she pretends to belong, and with each passing day, her perspective becomes even more dangerously warped. With her third novel, Cline confirms her reputation as the literary prophet of women on the brink.
6. Blood in the Machine, by Brian Merchant
In the early eighteen-hundreds, British textile workers waged a rebellion against the automation of their industry, breaking into factories and smashing the machines. In response, the government unleashed regiments of soldiers in what became a kind of slow-burning civil war of factory owners, supported by the state, against a group of workers who called themselves Luddites. The book is a historical reconsideration of the movement and a gripping narrative of political resistance.