TheBest Books of 2023

Browse dozens of lists curated by our booksellers containing the best books published in 2023 with categories ranging from the expected to the decidedly unexpected.

The Berry Pickers (B&N Discover Prize Winner)
by Amanda Peters
Family Lore
by Elizabeth Acevedo
Hello Beautiful (Oprah's Book Club)
by Ann Napolitano
The Iliad: Translated by Emily Wilson
by Homer
Roman Stories
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Letters to a Young Poet: The Norton Centenary Edition
by Rainer Maria Rilke

The Best Family Sagas

Immersive stories about the ties that bind us.

The Best Books to Get Lost in Translation

Expertly translated for the English-speaking audience.

Elon Musk
by Walter Isaacson
Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon
by Michael Lewis
Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy
by James B Stewart
You Stole My Name: The Curious Case of Animals with Shared Names (Picture Book)
by Dennis McGregor
by Kobi Yamada
Tokyo Night Parade
by J.P. Takahashi

The Best Tales of the 1%

Studies on the rich and famous and just how they became rich and famous.

The Most Showstopping Picture Books

Gorgeous picture books with illustrations guaranteed to stop you in your tracks.

Gin A Tasting Course: A Flavor-focused Approach to the World of Gin
by Anthony Gladman
Cocktails in Color: A Spirited Guide to the Art and Joy of Drinkmaking
by Sammi Katz
Strong, Sweet and Bitter: Your Guide to All Things Cocktails, Bartending and Booze from Behind the Bar
by Cara Devine
Throne of the Fallen (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Kerri Maniscalco
The Serpent and the Wings of Night
by Carissa Broadbent
The Hurricane Wars (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Thea Guanzon

The Best Guides to Making Spirits Bright

Nothing livens up a party like a good cocktail, and these three guides are packed with delectable options.

The Best Romantasy to Cure Your "Fourth Wing" Hangover

Stop waiting for more Fourth Wing and step into another tantalizing fantasy realm ripe with romance and magic.

Revolutionary Spring: Europe Aflame and the Fight for a New World, 1848-1849
by Christopher Clark
The World: A Family History of Humanity
by Simon Sebag Montefiore
King: A Life
by Jonathan Eig
Entangled Life: The Illustrated Edition: How Fungi Make Our Worlds
by Merlin Sheldrake
The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year
by Margaret Renkl
Flowers and Their Meanings: The Secret Language and History of Over 600 Blooms (A Flower Dictionary)
by Karen Azoulay

The Best Deep Reads

Dive into the best new nonfiction from highly lauded historians.

The Best of the Natural World

Lose yourself in the wonders of nature and the way this world speaks.

The Black Queen
by Jumata Emill
The Legacies
by Jessica Goodman
Their Vicious Games
by Joelle Wellington
The Last Devil to Die (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Thursday Murder Club Series #4)
by Richard Osman
The Puzzle Master: A Novel
by Danielle Trussoni
Murdle: Volume 1: 100 Elementary to Impossible Mysteries to Solve Using Logic, Skill, and the Power of Deduction
by G. T. Karber

The Best High School Whodunits

Who said high school had to be murder mystery free? These three whodunits, set in the halls of higher education, are packed with surprises.

The Best of Mystery, Mayhem & Murdle

Puzzles, murders and puzzling murders — there are mysteries that need solving.

North Woods
by Daniel Mason
Land of Milk and Honey
by C Pam Zhang
The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
by James McBride
Open Throat
by Henry Hoke
Ladies' Lunch: And Other Stories
by Lore Segal
The Three of Us
by Ore Agbaje-Williams

The Best Literary Fiction

These are novels you will not be able to put down. Explore universal themes of humanity through fully realized characters and indelible prose.

The Best Reads Under 200 Pages

You will want to start these one-sitting reads all over again as soon as you finish.

The Covenant of Water (Oprah's Book Club)
by Abraham Verghese
Wellness: A novel
by Nathan Hill
The Bee Sting
by Paul Murray
by Daniel Clowes
The Mysteries
by Bill Watterson
A Guest in the House
by Emily Carroll

The Best Novels Over 400 pages

Let yourself sink into these hefty narrative journeys that more than earn their stay.

The Most Mind-Bending Graphic Novels

Literary journeys through vibrant visual narratives that leave you questioning reality in the best way possible.

House of Roots and Ruin (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Erin A. Craig
Foxglove (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Adalyn Grace
Bring Me Your Midnight
by Rachel Griffin
The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels
by Beth Lincoln
The Little Kid with the Big Green Hand
by Matthew Gray Gubler
Zilot & Other Important Rhymes
by Bob Odenkirk

The Best Fantasies for Botany Enthusiasts

If you sit at the center of the Venn diagram of flora and fantasy fiction, these three books are for you.

The Best Quirky Books for Kooky Kids

Quippy and clever reads for young minds who value wit and wordplay.

Bookshops & Bonedust (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Travis Baldree
Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Emily Wilde Series #1)
by Heather Fawcett
In the Lives of Puppets (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by TJ Klune
More Is More: Get Loose in the Kitchen: A Cookbook
by Molly Baz
Let's Eat: 101 Recipes to Fill Your Heart & Home
by Dan Pelosi
Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings
by James Park

The Best Cozies to Warm Cold Nights

These novels cast a warm glow; fantasy has never felt so comforting.

The Best Cookbooks to Fill Your Kitchen

Turn up the spice in your kitchen with this trifecta of culinary goodness.

The Librarianist
by Patrick deWitt
The Bookbinder: A Novel
by Pip Williams
Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller
by Oliver Darkshire
So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men
by Claire Keegan
Roman Stories
by Jhumpa Lahiri
White Cat, Black Dog: Stories
by Kelly Link

The Best Bookish Books

The only thing better than books are books about books and the people who make books, books.

The Best Short Story Collections

Take them one at a time, or all at once — these three short story collections contain multitudes.

The History of Sketch Comedy: A Journey through the Art and Craft of Humor
by Keegan-Michael Key
Dumb Ideas: A Behind-the-Scenes Exposé on Making Pranks and Other Stupid Creative Endeavors (and How You Can Also Too!)
by Eric Andre
Comedy Bang! Bang! The Podcast: The Book
by Scott Aukerman
Living My Best Life, Hun: Following Your Dreams Is No Joke
by London Hughes
Tremendous: The Life of a Comedy Savage
by Joey Diaz
Leslie F*cking Jones (Signed Book)
by Leslie Jones

The Master Classes in Clowning

Whether you're looking for laughs, or looking to learn more about making others laugh, these three have you covered.

The Best Books to Make You Laugh

Get ready to cackle with three hilarious hosts coming to the page with personal stories that are as meaningful as they are humorful.

Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity
by Peter Attia MD
Financial Feminist: Overcome the Patriarchy's Bullsh*t to Master Your Money and Build a Life You Love
by Tori Dunlap
Young Forever: The Secrets to Living Your Longest, Healthiest Life
by Mark Hyman MD
My Name Is Barbra
by Barbra Streisand
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
by Sly Stone
My Effin' Life
by Geddy Lee

The Best Books to Live Long and Prosper

A long life and deep pockets — these books can't guarantee both, but they can certainly help.

The Best From Music Icons

Three larger-than-life musical personalities, three peeks behind the curtain.

Purple Rising: Celebrating 40 Years of the Magic, Power, and Artistry of The Color Purple
by Lise Funderburg
Archive (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Sofia Coppola
The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch
by Matt Zoller Seitz
Hunt on Dark Waters (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Katee Robert
Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea
by Rita Chang-Eppig
Vengeance of the Pirate Queen
by Tricia Levenseller

The Best in Behind the Scenes

These beautiful books reveal the secrets behind well-known films, writers, directors and their literary inspirations.

The Best Pirate Queens

Don't take to the high seas without a deadly pirate queen at your side. Here are three to choose from.

by Vashti Harrison
The Wilderness
by Steve McCarthy
There Was a Party for Langston (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Jason Reynolds
The Superteacher Project
by Gordon Korman
Worst Broommate Ever!
by Wanda Coven
School Trip: A Graphic Novel
by Jerry Craft

The Best Visual Storytelling

Inventive picture books bringing a depth of visual storytelling that spans from the text to the imagery and back to the text again.

The Best Middle School Mayhem

Middle schoolers eager to make a splash will find new favorites in this trifecta of mayhem.

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone
by Benjamin Stevenson
Murder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide
by Rupert Holmes
Mother-Daughter Murder Night (A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick)
by Nina Simon
The Christmas Guest: A Novella
by Peter Swanson
Hercule Poirot's Silent Night (Hercule Poirot Series)
by Sophie Hannah
The Christmas Appeal: A Novella
by Janice Hallett

The Best in Murderous Families

Death abounds in these three books that bring murder home for supper.

The Best of Holiday Surprises

Shake up your holiday with murder and mystery. These books have an abundance of both.

The Curse of Penryth Hall: A Mystery
by Jess Armstrong
Scorched Grace: A Sister Holiday Mystery
by Margot Douaihy
Sisters of the Lost Nation
by Nick Medina
The White Lady
by Jacqueline Winspear
Flags on the Bayou: A Novel
by James Lee Burke
Proud Sorrows
by James R. Benn

The Most Memorable Mystery Debuts

New names in a familiar setting, here are three dynamic new voices worth keeping an eye on.

The Best Mysteries of Past Eras

Don't go backtracking into the past without a mystery to solve. Start with these three historical whodunits.

The Little Frog's Guide to Self-Care: Affirmations, Self-Love and Life Lessons According to the Internet's Beloved Mushroom Frog
by Maybell Eequay
I Must Be Dreaming
by Roz Chast
When in Doubt, Play Dead: Life Advice from an Unexpected Source
by Ally Burguieres
The Deadline: Essays
by Jill Lepore
The World According to Joan Didion
by Evelyn McDonnell
Opinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People's Business
by Roxane Gay

The Best Books That Embrace Whimsy

Looking to shake things up? These three books deliver the delightfully unexpected.

The Best Observations

These three authors have unique perspectives on the world and are exceptionally skilled at letting you see it all through their eyes.

A Guest at the Feast: Essays
by Colm Tóibín
Adult Drama: And Other Essays
by Natalie Beach
Tabula Rasa: Volume 1
by John McPhee
Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America
by Michael Harriot
The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History
by Ned Blackhawk
Blood Memory: The Tragic Decline and Improbable Resurrection of the American Buffalo
by Dayton Duncan

The Best Dinner Party Conversation

Be the smartest person at the table by reading these three books. Everyone will be impressed.

The Best of Educational History

History textbooks only get you so far. Here are three books covering things you probably didn't learn in school.

The Story of Art Without Men
by Katy Hessel
The Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts
by Loren Grush
Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution
by Cat Bohannon
The Salt Grows Heavy
by Cassandra Khaw
Red Rabbit
by Alex Grecian
The Pale House Devil
by Richard Kadrey

The Most Tenacious Women

Despite representing over half of the population, women's stories have long been underreported. These three authors set out to tell tales that have for too long gone untold.

The Best Redrum Covers

Freaky, frightening and red, here are three eerie tales sure to leave you reeling.

The Beast You Are: Stories
by Paul Tremblay
by Cynthia Pelayo
Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror
by Jordan Peele
Fever House: A Novel
by Keith Rosson
The September House
by Carissa Orlando
The Spite House: A Novel
by Johnny Compton

The Best Bites of Horror

Packing all the scares and terrors into bite-sized pieces, these horror collections are short and shocking.

The Creepiest Houses

A house is not a home, and these three houses are especially not homes. Prepare to be haunted.

Icebreaker: A Novel
by Hannah Grace
The Long Game (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Elena Armas
The Graham Effect (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Elle Kennedy
Love, Theoretically (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Ali Hazelwood
With Love, From Cold World (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Alicia Thompson
Done and Dusted: A Rebel Blue Ranch Novel
by Lyla Sage

The Best Romances That Play the Field

It's hard to find a better pairing than sports and romance, and these three books are MVPs.

The Best "Happily Ever Afters"

Picture-perfect kisses and pairings worth swooning over, these romances will set your heart aflutter.

My Roommate Is a Vampire
by Jenna Levine
Wildfire (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Hannah Grace
Yours Truly
by Abby Jimenez
Wreck the Halls: A Novel
by Tessa Bailey
A Holly Jolly Ever After (Christmas Notch #2)
by Julie Murphy
The Christmas Fix
by Lucy Score

The Best Meet-Cutes

Next time you bump into an attractive stranger while browsing the bookstore, make sure you don't drop these three stunners.

The Best Holiday Romances

Nothing says the holiday season like holding hands and hooking up. Here are three romantic spins through holly-jolly town.

Hanukkah Upside Down
by Elissa Brent Weissman
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Sleigh! (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Mo Willems
How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney? (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Mac Barnett
Nick and Charlie
by Alice Oseman
This Winter
by Alice Oseman
Solitaire (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Alice Oseman

The Best New Holiday Favorites

Holiday season welcomes three new picture book classics into the fold.

The Best Books to Read While You Wait for Heartstopper 5

Revisit Oseman's iconic characters while you wait for Book Five.

Someone Somewhere Maybe: Poems
by Sophie Diener
Remember Love: Words for Tender Times
by Cleo Wade
Above Ground
by Clint Smith
Divine Rivals: A Novel
by Rebecca Ross
A Study in Drowning
by Ava Reid
The Scarlet Veil (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Shelby Mahurin

The Best Words to Mend Your Heart

Robert Frost opined, "Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words." These authors have done that expertly.

The Best Enemies-to-Lovers Romantasy

The trope we all love, in fantasy realms worth getting lost in.

The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean
by Susan Casey
A City on Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through?
by Kelly Weinersmith
To Infinity and Beyond: A Journey of Cosmic Discovery
by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Pax: War and Peace in Rome's Golden Age
by Tom Holland
Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World
by Mary Beard
Rome and Persia: The Seven Hundred Year Rivalry
by Adrian Goldsworthy

The Wildest Places to Go

Three locales you may never make it to, but thankfully, that's what books are for.

The Best Books to Think About the Roman Empire

Go ahead, think about the Roman Empire. Everyone else is doing it.

Rouge: A Novel
by Mona Awad
Death Valley
by Melissa Broder
Daughter: A Novel
by Claudia Dey
Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma
by Claire Dederer
Ordinary Notes
by Christina Sharpe
Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of "Latino"
by Héctor Tobar

The Best Books for Sad Girl Fall

Why sink into despair when you could read these three strange, wild and relatable novels instead?

The Best of Reinvention

Think more, and let these three books guide you as you do.

The Chalice of the Gods (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)
by Rick Riordan
Tales from a Not-So-Posh Paris Adventure (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Dork Diaries Series #15)
by Rachel Renée Russell
The Wild Robot Protects (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Wild Robot Series #3)
by Peter Brown
I Have Some Questions for You
by Rebecca Makkai
Happiness Falls (Barnes & Noble Book Club Edition)
by Angie Kim
Yellowface (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by R. F. Kuang

The Best Series Worth Waiting For

It doesn't matter how long you had to wait, because they're here now. These three books return to fan-favorite stories to get lost in all over again.

The Most Propulsive Page-Turners

Can't-put-downable novels to read in a weekend.

The Vaster Wilds: A Novel
by Lauren Groff
America Fantastica: A Novel
by Tim O'Brien
The Trackers: A Novel
by Charles Frazier
What You Are Looking For Is in the Library: A Novel
by Michiko Aoyama
Days at the Morisaki Bookshop: A Novel
by Satoshi Yagisawa
The Goodbye Cat
by Hiro Arikawa

The Most Incredible Journeys

Life's a journey, not a destination, and these three novels are too.

The Best Comfort Reading for Cozy Season

Low stakes, high comfort, these three books (and their cats) will make you feel right at home.

Age of Vice (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by Deepti Kapoor
Pineapple Street (GMA Book Club Pick)
by Jenny Jackson
The Prospectors (Barnes & Noble Book Club Edition)
by Ariel Djanikian
The Last Tree: A Seed of Hope
by Luke Adam Hawker
The Language of Trees: A Rewilding of Literature and Landscape
by Katie Holten
Big Tree
by Brian Selznick

The Best of Novel Rich People Problems

Rich people have problems too, and these three novels, very different in scope, shed a light on them.

The Best Books About Trees

Kahlil Gibran wrote, "Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky." These arboreal stories, both real and imagined, put them on the page.

Birnam Wood
by Eleanor Catton
The Last Animal: A Novel
by Ramona Ausubel
Open Throat
by Henry Hoke
Hang the Moon (Barnes & Noble Book Club Edition)
by Jeannette Walls
The Secret Book of Flora Lea (Barnes & Noble Book Club Edition)
by Patti Callahan Henry
The Mitford Affair: A Novel
by Marie Benedict

The Best Literary Novels About Climate Change

Art imitates life in these gripping novels. They do not preach or pander; they simply reflect the reality of our warming world.

Our Favorite Historical Fiction

Living in the past has never been so enjoyable. These three historical fictions bring bygone eras to life.

Crook Manifesto: A Novel
by Colson Whitehead
Yellowface (B&N Exclusive Edition)
by R. F. Kuang
Swamp Story
by Dave Barry
American Ramble: A Walk of Memory and Renewal
by Neil King Jr.
Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain
by Andrew McCarthy
America the Beautiful?: One Woman in a Borrowed Prius on the Road Most Traveled
by Blythe Roberson

The Best Books by Hook or by Crook

Trickery and deceit set the stage for page-turning plots in these clever and poignant novels.

The Most Meaningful Journeys

J.R.R. Tolkien famously wrote, "Not all those who wander are lost." These authors each set out on their own journeys, and all found more than they were looking for.

Flight Paths: How a Passionate and Quirky Group of Pioneering Scientists Solved the Mystery of Bird Migration
by Rebecca Heisman
Quantum Supremacy: How the Quantum Computer Revolution Will Change Everything (Signed Book)
by Michio Kaku
Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us
by Susan Magsamen
To Rescue the Constitution: George Washington and the Fragile American Experiment
by Bret Baier
Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune
by Anderson Cooper
Teddy and Booker T.: How Two American Icons Blazed a Path for Racial Equality
by Brian Kilmeade

The Best Books to Put the Pieces Together

Learn more about your world with these highly readable nonfiction hits.

The Best of Battling Broadcasters

History from the hands of talking heads, these three books go deep into the American vault to unearth new looks at familiar faces.

Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life
by Arnold Schwarzenegger
Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier
by Arthur C. Brooks
The Creative Act: A Way of Being
by Rick Rubin
The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man
by David Von Drehle
The Wisdom of Morrie: Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully
by Morrie Schwartz
The Swedish Art of Aging Exuberantly: Life Wisdom from Someone Who Will (Probably) Die Before You
by Margareta Magnusson

The Best Life Advice

When you don't have a wise sage in your corner, turn to these books for a little guidance.

The Best Elder Wisdom

Life advice from those that have lived it, these three are sure to make you feel wiser.

Shitty Craft Club: A Club for Gluing Beads to Trash, Talking about Our Feelings, and Making Silly Things
by Sam Reece
Hotel Kitsch: A Pretty Cool Tour of America's Fantasy Getaways
by Margaret Bienert
The Story of Art Without Men
by Katy Hessel
My Name Is Barbra
by Barbra Streisand
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
by Sly Stone
The Woman in Me
by Britney Spears

The Best of Being Creative

Celebrating and inspiring the creatives among us, here are three unique lenses into the effort behind the art.

The Best Music Memoirs to Listen To

Intimate stories from famous musicians, expertly narrated for the most immersive listening experience.

The Honeymoon Crashers: An Audio Original
by Christina Lauren
So Many Steves: Afternoons with Steve Martin
by Steve Martin
by Jeneva Rose
Stuntboy, In-Between Time
by Jason Reynolds
With a Kiss We Die: A Novel
by L. R. Dorn
White Cat, Black Dog: Stories
by Kelly Link

The Best Reads Only Available as Listens

If you love podcasts, audiobooks, or just hearing a good story, these audio exclusives are for you.

The Best of Cast-Narrated Audiobooks

Close your eyes and let a full cast of narrators help you paint a movie in your mind with these excellent audiobooks.