We’re giving you a head start this year on our favorite reads of 2023, starting with fiction! We’ve found winners ranging from literary fiction, sci-fi, fantasy and romance, translated works, thrillers and short stories. The staff had a great reading year and overlapped favorites in several instances. Nancy, Brad and Caitlin all loved The Librarianist, by Patrick de Witt, and raved about it enough that I put it on my own TBR. The cozy historical fantasy Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries, by Heather Fawcett, was a hit with me, Lillian, Becca and Jes.
We have something a little bit different for you this week. As a start to our series of posts about our favorite books of the year, we want to talk about The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. This delightful book should work as a present for almost anyone on your list. Why do I feel I can say that? Because almost everyone on staff has read it, and we all loved it! From the fantasy and romance readers to the literary fiction and nonfiction readers, we've all found ourselves recommending The Thursday Murder Club time and time again.
Lil gave me her elevator pitch for the book earlier this week: "What happens when a former spy moves into your fancy retirement community? Murder, that's what. But who did it and why? More importantly, which community room is available to reserve so you and your friends can meet to solve the crime? If this doesn't sound like a great set up for a book, you should probably still give it a try. Based on the wide variety of readers here who loved it, you're probably going to love it too. There's humor, friendship, love, suspense, and a satisfying conclusion. There's not much more I look for in a cozy read." And cozy it is. This is the type of book you pick up when you want something warm and comforting and kind that has substance.
Or, some ideas for what to read when you have a book hangover from Iron Flame:
Curious Tides by Pascale Lacelle
When Emory is the sole survivor of a secret ritual in the caves below Aldryn College, her healer powers, given to those born during the new moon on a rising tide, begin to shift into something strange and uncontrollable. Will her estranged friend Baz, brother to one of the students who died, help Emory figure out her new powers and what really happened that night? This debut fantasy has it all — dark academia, an upper YA that crosses over beautifully into adult, a murder mystery, secret societies, forbidden magic, a pining romance and the most gorgeous book design I’ve seen in a while. The magic system is built around the moon phases and the tides. Curious Tides is book one of a planned duology.