9 fun & mind-stretching books to read or gift

Posted on Dec 12, 2023

Are you looking for your next read or creative book gift ideas?

This year, I’ve read over 40 books. My faves are life-improving nonfiction, memoirs of marginalized voices, psychological thrillers (when I have the emotional capacity), and lighthearted fiction (which, apart from romance, seem rare.)

Here are some of the best books I read in 2023, ranging from new releases to classics.

5-star fiction books

Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel by Claire Kohda – Unique, enjoyable, and best used-book-shop-clearance-bin find of my life!

Landline: A Christmas Love Story by Rainbow Rowell – An easy breezy read with a career-obsessed wife protagonist (who I could maybe relate to…)

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden – Binge-worthy suspenseful thriller

Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story by Sarah Kuhn – Empowering fem energy, unicorn frappuccino illustrations, and my first graphic novel!

5-star nonfiction books

Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab – Oof. Most on-the-nose advice that I didn’t know I needed. Practical enough to take immediate action.

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker – Inspiring nonfiction that helped me throw my dream book launch party!

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman – A Pulitzer Prize winner, this tear-jerking graphic novel is about the author’s father, a Polish Jewish man, and his experience of the Holocaust. It taught me some horrific truths. It also warmed my heart with the reminder of how generously loving we humans are.

Pageboy by Elliot Page – A celebrity’s experience with being transgender, poetically written

And let’s not forget the most exciting release of the year…!!!

I Killed Mom and Other Lies: A Memoir of Early Loss by Mandy Kubicek – Technically I did read my own memoir another few times in 2023 in prep for publication in October. 🙂 I’m beyond biased, so check out the 4.8-star ratings on Goodreads.

🎁 By the way, if you’d like a signed and personally inscribed copy of I Killed Mom, shipped quickly to you or your gift recipient, you can order here. (If you need it within 2 days, or electronically, no shame in using Amazon Prime!)

Your reading habits

What reading habits do I want to keep or change in 2024?

Look back over the last 12 months of reading. From specific books to the frequency of your reading, what did you most enjoy? What sucked? What would you love to start, stop, and keep doing in 2024?