Friday, December 29, 2023

Year in Review 2023

I read 650 books total in 2023. Will I aim for that next year? NO. Decidedly, strongly, emphatically NO. It was too much pressure to try to maintain. I didn't start out wanting to read 650 books. It all started when I accidentally reached 50 books per month a couple of times in a row, then the pressure was on to keep reading that many books per month. 

Of the 650 books, 161 (24.8%) were books I rated 5 stars. (Of the 650 books) I rated 164 books 4 stars (25.2%). Almost half of what I read I rated positively. 

57% of what I read was written and published for children. Only 27% of what I read was written for adults. 

91.5% of what I read this year was new to me. Only 8.5% were rereads.

I thought I would break down my favorites into genres/categories.

 Board Books

I am choosing to highlight two books which I absolutely loved.

BOARD BOOK: Oakley the Squirrel: Camping 1 2 3! A Nutty Numbers Book. Nancy Rose. 2023. [May] 30 pages. [Source: Library]

Board Book: This Little Piggy (Let's Count to 10) Jarvis. 2019. 22 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Picture Books

I am choosing six books to highlight.

The Umbrella. Beth Ferry. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. 2023. [March] 48 pages. [Source: Library]  

Simon and the Better Bone. Corey R. Tabor. 2023. 40 pages. [Source: Library] [Picture book; animal fantasy; dogs; humor]

NO is all I know! Chris Grabenstein. Illustrated by Leo Espinosa. 2023. [May] 40 pages. [Source: Library] [Picture book]

I Want 100 Dogs. Stacy McAnulty. Illustrated by Claire Keane. 2023. 40 pages. [Source: Library] [picture book]

How To Talk Like a Bear. Charlie Grandy. Illustrated by Alex G. Griffiths. 2023. 32 pages. [Source: Library] [picture book; animal fantasy; bears; humor]

Bear With Me. Kerascoët (Sebastien Cosset and Marie Pommepuy). 2023. [June] 40 pages. [Source: Library] [picture book] [near wordless picture book]

Early Reader/Early Chapter Books 

I am choosing five to highlight.

Kitty-Cam (Ready to Read, Pre-Level 1) Margie Palatini. Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. 2023. [June] 32 pages. [Source: Library]

Fox Has a Problem. Corey R. Tabor. 2023. 32 pages. [Source: Library] [early reader]

Frog Can Hop (Ready to Read, Ready to Go) Laura Gehl. Illustrated by Fred Blunt. 2023. [December] 32 pages. [Source: Library]  

Henry, Like Always (Henry #1) Jenn Bailey. Illustrated by Mika Song. 2023. [January] 48 pages. [Source: Library] 

Best Buddies: A Pie for Us (An Acorn Book) Vicky Fang. Illustrated by Luisa Leal. 2023. [October 17] 48 pages. [Source: Library] [Early reader; early graphic novel]

Graphic Novels

I am choosing to highlight two.

Tig & Lily #1 Tiger Trouble. Dan Thompson. 2023. 96 pages. [Source: Library] [early graphic novel] 

Gnome and Rat. Lauren Stohler. 2023. [June] 80 pages. [Source: Library] [Early chapter book, graphic novel] 

Historical fiction

I am choosing to highlight eleven. (I read a LOT)

The Secret School Avi. 2001. 157 pages. [Source: Library]

The Secret Sisters. Avi. 2023. [August] 256 pages. [Source: Review copy]

 The House Is On Fire. Rachel Beanland. 2023. 384 pages. [Source: Library]

A Sky Full of Song. Susan Lynn Meyer. 2023. [April] 272 pages. [Source: Library]

  The Sisters of Sea View (On Devonshire Shores #1) Julie Klassen. 2022. 448 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Beneath the Wide Silk Sky. Emily Inouye Huey. 2022. [October 18] 336 pages. [Source: Library] [MG Historical Fiction]

Bea and the New Deal Horse. L.M. Elliott. 2023. 384 pages. [Source: Library]

Proud Sorrows. (Billy Boyle #18) James R. Benn. 2023. [September] 365 pages. [Source: Review copy] [historical fiction; mystery; world war II; series book] 

  Ladies of the Lake. Cathy Gohlke. 2023. [July] 384 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

The Rose and the Thistle. Laura Frantz. 2023. 416 pages. [Source: Review copy]

  Fairest of Heart. Karen Witemeyer. 2023. [June] 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]


I am highlighting five.

Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers. Jesse Q. Sutanto. 2023. 352 pages. [Source: Library]

Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone. Benjamin Stevenson. 2022. 384 pages. [Source: Library]  

Going Dark. Melissa de la Cruz. 2023. [January] 336 pages. [Source: Library]

Lying in the Deep. Diana Urban. 2023. 384 pages. [Source: Library] 

The Mysterious Mr. Badman. W.F. Harvey. 1934. 204 pages. [Source: Library]  

Realistic Fiction

I am highlighting three.

Ways to Build Dreams. Renee Watson. Illustrated by Nina Mata. 2023. [October] 208 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

Hope In the Valley. Mitali Perkins. 2023. 304 pages. [Source: Library] [J Fiction; MG Fiction; everybody-fiction, "historical" fiction, realistic fiction]

Audrey L. and Audrey W. Best Friends-ish (Book 1) Carter Higgins. Illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann. 2021. 184 pages. [Source: Library]

Speculative Fiction

I am highlighting five books

Dogtown (A Dogtown Book #1) Katherine Applegate and Gennifer Choldenko. 2023. [September] 352 pages. [Source: Review copy] [Animal fantasy; J Fiction; MG Fiction] 

Lost in Time. A.G. Riddle. 2022. 455 pages. [Source: Library]

The Road to Roswell. Connie Willis. 2023 [June] 416 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Mercy Watson Is Missing (Tales from Deckawoo Drive #7) Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. 2023. [December] 176 pages. [Source: Library]

The Remarkable Rescue at Milkweed Meadow. Elaine Dimopoulous. Illustrated by Doug Salati. 2023. 181 pages. [Source: Library] [Animal Fantasy, Children's, Middle Grade] 


I am highlighting six. 

Dressing Barbie: A Celebration Of the Clothes That Made America's Favorite Doll and the Incredible Woman Behind Them. Carol Spencer. 2019. 160 pages. [Source: Library] [adult nonfiction; history; fashion design; toys; adult collectors] 

Rescuing Titanic: A True Story of Quiet Bravery in the North Atlantic. Flora Delargy. 2021. 80 pages. [Source: Library]

Gertie, The Darling Duck of WWII. Shari Swanson. Illustrated by Renee Graef. 2023. [March] 40 pages. [Source: Library] 

Stars of the Night: The Courageous Children of the Czech Kindertransport. Caren Stelson. Illustrated by Selina Alko. 2023. [February] 40 pages. [Source: Library] 

I Am Mister Rogers. Brad Meltzer. Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. 2023. [October 31] 40 pages. [Source: Library] 

  Counting the Cost: A Memoir. Jill Duggar, Derick Dillard, Craig Borlase. 2023. [September] 287 pages. [Source: Library] [biography, memoir, nonfiction]



I am choosing to highlight two which were absolutely fantastic in all the ways. The translation. The layout and format. The font.

Legacy Standard Bible, Giant Print Reference. 2023. [July] 1984 pages. [Source: Bought] [Bible]

King James Version, Personal Size Sovereign Collection. God. Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1696 pages. [Source: Bought]

Christian Nonfiction

 I am choosing eight books to highlight.

The Practice of the Presence of Jesus: Daily Meditations on the Nearness of Our Savior. Joni Eareckson Tada. 2023. [October] 255 pages. [Source: Review copy]

More Than a Healer: Not the Jesus You Want But the Jesus You Need. Costi W. Hinn. 2021. [September] 192 pages. [Source: Library]

Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age. Rosaria Butterfield. 2023. [September] 368 pages. [Source: Review copy] [Christian nonfiction, theology, Christian living] 

Old Made New: A Guide to the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Greg Lanier. 2022. 197 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

God Shines Forth: How the Nature of God Shapes and Drives the Mission of the Church. Daniel Hames. (Series introduction by Michael Reeves, general editor of the Union series). 2022. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

365 Talks with Jesus: Prayers to Share with Little Ones. Amy Parker. Illustrated by Sally Garland. 2024. [February 2024] 416 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

Memorizing Scripture: The Basics, Blessings, and Benefits of Meditating on God's Word. Glenna Marshall. 2023. 160 pages. [Source: Bought] 

  The Story of Abortion in America. Marvin Olasky and Leah Savas. 2023. [January] 512 pages. [Source: Review copy]


© 2023 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews