Reading 82 Books in 2023 — with some commentary

My Annual Reading Challenge Summed Up

Amanda Quint
ILLUMINATION
Published in
8 min readJan 1, 2024

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A few of the books I read this year

I’ve written before about how I enjoy Reading Challenges and the biggest one I do every year is my annual reading challenge, which I’ve tracked on Goodreads every year since 2012.

In 2023 my goal was 80 books, which was up from my 2022 goal of 70 (but below the 105 I actually read in 2022). I finished with 82 books 102.5% of my goal. I’ve listed these books below.

Disclaimer

Before we get started, I’ve been told that I rate books too harshly, but I try to follow Goodreads’ guidelines:

1 star: did not like it
2 stars: it was ok
3 stars: liked it
4 stars: really liked it
5 stars: it was amazing

I typically try for 3.0 average — I was a little low this year at a 2.8. I felt like I hit a slump of books that I felt pretty “meh” about, and my ratings reflected that.

Fiction

  1. Life Ceremony by Sayaka Murata — 2 stars
  2. All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie — 3 stars
  3. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie — 3 stars
  4. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones — 3 stars
  5. Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree — 3 stars — it wasn’t announced yet when I read it, but this ended up being a Nebula finalist.
  6. Galatea by Madeline Miller — 3 stars
  7. Between Two Worlds by Upton Sinclair — 3 stars
  8. Verity by Colleen Hoover — 2 stars
  9. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin — 2 stars
  10. Rabbit, Run by John Updike — 2 stars — later books in this series have won the Pulitzer, I hope they’re better
  11. Spear by Nicola Griffith — 3 stars — Nebula finalist
  12. What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher— 3 stars
  13. Misery by Stephen King — 4 stars
  14. Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher — 4 stars — Nebula finalist (and my personal pick to win this year)
  15. The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler — 4 stars — Nebula finalist (I also wouldn’t have been upset if this one had won)

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Amanda Quint
ILLUMINATION

Co-Founder | VP of Engineering | Full-Stack Developer | AWS Community Builder | https://amandaquint.dev | Buy me a Coffee: https://ko-fi.com/amandaquint