This post contains affiliate links.  I more than doubled my work hours per week this year, so I wasn’t able to meet my original goal of reading 35 books in 2023.  But, I did end the year with 20 books read, which I’m happy with.  Here are the 5 best I read in 2023:

#1 My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih

My Real Name is Hanna Cover

I have read many Holocaust books, but My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih is unlike any other I have read, mainly because almost all of Hanna’s family survived the Holocaust by living in caves!

This book caused me to examine how far people would go to save their lives.  I understand why they had to do what they did, but how hard it must have been to live in a damp, dark cave for over a year!  The author does a magnificent job making the reader feel as if they were there in the cave with the family.

#2 Counting the Cost by Jill Duggar

Cover of Counting the Cost with Jill and Dereck Dillard

I used to like watching 19 Kids and Counting, but I stopped watching about the time Josh Duggar’s illicit behavior became public.  When I read Counting the Cost by Jill Duggar, I felt terrible that I had even watched the show.  She exposes so many things that happened behind the scenes that the public did not know about–until now.

I would have given this book five stars except for one major problem I had with Jill’s presentation of her life in this story.

#3 Curing the Fear of Homeschooling High School by Ann Karako

Many parents homeschool their children when they’re in elementary school, but then they send their children to middle school or high school because they’re worried they can’t homeschool upper grades.  However, Curing the Fear of Homeschooling High School by Ann Karako, succinctly lays out all a parent needs to know to homeschool their high school students.  In addition, this is a quick read at only 75 pages.

#4 Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper is an emotionally difficult read.  The story is about Amari, a 15 year old girl who is kidnapped and brought into slavery along with many others in her small town in Africa.  The author gives an unflinching portrayal of slavery that can be difficult to read at times.

This was an amazing book, but there were two sections where my belief was stretched too far, which is why I couldn’t give it a 5 star review, which I would have given it otherwise.

#5 Holly by Stephen King

Cover of Holly by Stephen King


Holly by Stephen King was an addictive read.  Set during COVID, Holly is originally hired to investigate the disappearance of a young woman.  However, she soon finds herself on the trail of a serial killer.

Unlike other detective novels, the reader knows from the beginning who the killer is.  The fun part is watching Holly work her way through the clues to find the suspect.  You’ll find yourself cheering Holly on as she gets closer to the truth.

Read More

If you enjoyed reading about the 5 best books I read in 2023, check out these lists from previous years:

8 Best Books I Read in 2022,

8 Best Books I Read in 2021,

10 Best Books I Read in 2020 and the

8 Best Books I Read This Year for a recap of the favorite books I read in 2019.


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