Best 10 Books of 2023

1:05 PM


2023 was a delightful year overall. Reading-wise, it was a bit of a disappointment. I don't think I have ever had as many books land on my didn't-finish shelf in one year as I did this. Some of this was due to the fact I am trying to clear out my Kindle and some of it was due to having authors I have loved for a while moving their stories from strictly Christian to more general market, making their stories lose some of what I loved about them. 

Let's take a look at my reading year, shall we?

(If you want to see more, you can see all my Goodreads states HERE)

First off, I think this has been one of the harder years to come up with 10 books to fill those slots, which is sad when I had 131 to pick from. Like I said it was a rough reading year. Some of the highlights for me reading-wise this year is continuing to read a classic each month with my friend Kelsey and working through the Grace Livingston Hill novels in chronological order with my Mom.

Bridge of Gold by Kimberley Woodhouse

After a string of disappointing books by authors I have loved for years, this book was refreshing. It had a mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat, but also a good faith element. I loved the historical couple especially. 

The Man of the Desert by Grace Livingston Hill
I found out that there are many of Grace Livingston Hill's (or GLH for short) early works that were rather dumb. While the romance in this one was a little dumb, the story itself was wonderful. I so enjoyed seeing these characters grow and change. Reading a GLH book is almost always a wonderful experience for me. And I loved the narrator!

# 8
Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels
As my husband and I looked into becoming homeowners, I noticed I became dissatisfied with the apartment we had. Since the housing market was wacky, and owning a home wasn't a sure thing, I knew I needed this book. Not only is there a lot about being content, but about helping you change things so you love the space you have more. I look forward to reading more by this author

Daughters of the King: Volume 1 by Natasha Metzler
I'm a huge Metzler fan. I was excited to get my hands on this absolutely beautiful book. This is a collection of allegorical stories with beautiful pictures to go with them. While perhaps targeted for tweens and teens, I think women of every age will find something to love in these pages.

Paige Alder Series by Erynn Mangum

Yes, I know this is three books. I almost had to use each of these books to make it to 10 (but that would be boring). I loved, loved, loved this series. I love how funny Mangum is, without sacrificing even an ounce of impact of the message (or using awkward humor). Yes, they are targeted for people in their early 20s, but I adored them. The centrality of the Christian message and of faith in the lives of the main characters was an aspect I adored. I plan to collect and read more Mangum books in the coming year.

The Cry of the Soul by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman
This book is an exploration of emotions through a biblical lens, with a special focus on the Psalms. As I'm doing a study on the Pslams, I was excited to read this book. I ended up loving it more than I thought I would. One author is a biblical scholar and the other is a psychologist. Together these men did a great job breaking down emotions and showing what healthy/biblical emotions look like by what they reap in our hearts. For example, healthy/godly anger vs. unhealthy/sinful anger. This is one I will be recommending others.

Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended by Lina Abujamra
I'm trying to read one or two books every year on singleness, even now that I'm married. Not only does it help me stay connected to my dear single sisters who hold my heart, but it also gives me so many good reminders about the sufficiency of Christ. This is one of the best books on singleness ever. I would say this book would be best for 25 and above. It's frank about some mature subjects, but in an very appropriate way. 
Amazon | Goodreads

With all the trouble I had to make this list, my top three were easy to pick and line up. 
Here they are!

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer
I read this while I was in high school and adored it. It helped me see the beauty in the ordinary as well as be eager to care for my home, including just my part of my parent's home! As I have set up my own home I found myself wanting to reread this gem. It's out of print, but you can still find copies fairly easily. I think this book was a good investment and one I will be rereading often.

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold
As I've said, this year of reading has been disappointing. Many of the releases I had been excited about were huge letdowns. This book had been getting so much hype and I was curious, but I didn't hold out much hope.
I was blown away.
This was a gentle story. It doesn't keep you on the edge of your seat, exactly. Yet, I was eagerly flipping pages, hungrily devoring the wisdom and history of Mrs. Kip. I soaked in how Mrs. Kip made an impact on Aidyn and I got to see the slow changes unfold. This is a book that made me think and feel deeply. I need my own copy so I can underline some lines.
Amazon | Goodreads

Purposefooled by Kelly Needham
Ever since I found out this book was coming, I was excited. But I didn't realize how much I would need it when it came. When I started reading, I was in the middle of burnout from trying to do things I'm not good at. This book is about abiding in Jesus and not falling for the world's idea of purpose. I read this book slowly, soaking it the truth. Most people could benefit from this book. I hope you do.

What about you? What were your top 10 books of the year?

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  1. Thanks for all the book recommendations, Sarah! I haven't read any of these, but I'm going to check several of them out.

  2. It's always a pleasure to read your favorites list! I need to make mine for 2023. I haven't read any of these, but several catch my interest. My mom gave me Edith Schaeffer's book on homemaking late last year, so I'm especially eager to read that one!