The Best Books You Read in 2023

The best recommendations come from readers, so we asked YOU to tell us the stand-out books by women you read in 2023. The response was overwhelming, with readers recommending the books that made them laugh, cry, gasp and tingle.

The thing about a good recommendation is that it needs to be shared! So we’ve pulled together all the amazing fiction by women you’ve been raving about on our social channels and created a list of books with your seal of approval. Check out the list below and add some new titles to your reading list.

New Books in 2023

In Memoriam by Alice Winn

‘What an emotional and moving read’ – reader review

Wandering Souls by Cecile Pin

‘An emotional narrative that broke my heart, everyone should read this book’ – reader review

We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman

‘My most outstanding read of the year and one of my new all-time favourites’ – reader review

The Theory of (Not Quite) Everything by Kara Gnodde

‘Beautifully written, thought provoking and keeps you guessing right until the end’ – reader review

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn

‘Wonderful debut novel, still bereft I’ve finished it’ – reader review

Mischief Acts by Zoe Gilbert

‘She writes with such confidence and virtuosity, I’m reading it now for the second time’ – reader review

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

‘Resisted it for months as I am most definitely not a gamer, but it was stunning (and not about gaming)!’ – reader review

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

‘Still thinking about Demon Copperhead, it gutted me and I loved it’ – reader review

Good Material by Dolly Alderton

‘Dolly has done it again. Another beautifully told masterpiece of a story about a break up, heartache, life and how human we all are’ – reader review

Orbital by Samantha Harvey

‘Small but mighty! A stunning meditation on our wondrous planet earth’ – reader review

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

‘I devoured it in under 48 hours’ – reader review

The Wren, The Wren by Anne Enright

‘Contemporary, beautifully told multigenerational novel about love and trauma in an Irish family’ – reader review

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

‘This is satire at its best!’ – reader review

Soldier Sailor by Claire Kilroy

‘I’ve never read a novel about motherhood that is as open and honest as this one’ – reader review

The Fraud by Zadie Smith

‘This book offers so much to admire and enjoy’ – reader review

Wifedom by Anna Funder

‘the history of an invisible woman, and the counter-fiction that seeks to give her back her voice’ – reader review

Books from previous years

Foster by Claire Keegan (2022)

‘Little book but so powerful’ – reader review

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak (2022)

‘Couldn’t help turning the pages as quickly as possible, despite wanting to make them last as long as possible’ – reader review

The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose (2019)

‘Made my heart sing’ – reader review

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (2017)

‘It is so beautifully written and even though I read it seven months ago, I still think about it’ – reader review


That is some list and it’s lovely to see some of the 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction novels in there. How many have you read? Why not listen to our podcast Bookshelfie for even more fantastic recommendations!

The Women's Prize Podcast

Tune into host Vick Hope and a line-up of incredible guests on our weekly podcast full of unmissable book recommendations.