a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
2023 Spring Book Recommendations
2023 Spring Book Recommendations

2023 Spring Book Recommendations

2023 Spring Book Recommendations

As I mentioned in my 2023 Winter Book Recommendation post, my goal is to read and/or listen to 120 books in 2023. In 2022, I was close to my goal with 119 books. Over the last few months, I have been consistently reading or listening to 10-11 books and I am on target to exceed my goal. I have read a lot of great books this spring. I continued a few series such as the “Chief Inspector Armand Ganache” Series by Louise Penny and the “American Royals” Series by Katharine McGee. While I love these series, they didn’t make it to my personal Top Five 2023 Spring Book Recommendations.

April Books

  1. One Italian Summer – Rebecca Serle
  2. The Family Remains – Lisa Jewell
  3. The Birchbark House – Louise Erdrich
  4. The Wattle Island Book Club – Sandy Docker
  5. Here Goes Nothing – Eamon McGrath
  6. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
  7. American Royals – Katharine McGee
  8. Violeta – Isabel Allende
  9. Our Missing Hearts – Celest Ng
  10. Majesty – Katharine McGee

May Books

  1. Rivals – Katharine McGee
  2. The Unnamed – Joshua Ferris
  3. My Name is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
  4. How to Save a Life – Sara Zara
  5. Remarkably Bright Creatures – Selby Van Pelt
  6. A World of Curiosities – Louise Penny
  7. The Winners – Fredrik Backman
  8. Falling Together – Marisa de los Santos
  9. Playing the Game – Barbara Taylor Bradford
  10. The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
  11. Depression Hates a Moving Target – Nita Sweeney

June Books

  1. A Few of the Girls – Maeve Binchy
  2. The Storyteller – Dave Grohl
  3. The Whalebone Theater – Joanna Quinn
  4. Every City is Every Other City – John McFetridge
  5. The Push – Ashley Audrain
  6. Lucy by the Sea – Elizabeth Strout
  7. Happy Hour – Marlowe Granados
  8. The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
  9. The Henna Artist – Alia Joshi
  10. Grit – Angela Duckworth

Table of Contents

Top Five 2023 Spring Book Recommendations

#1: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

My favorite book this spring was “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Selby Van Pelt. Although I had to wait for many months to receive this book through Libby (the library App), I was glad I had put it on hold. The two main characters of this book are an elderly woman and a young man who are both lonely and find friendship with a bright orange octopus at the aquarium, where both characters eventually become the custodians. Each of the characters are trying to find a purpose in life and a family. As the story unfolds, the author uses the special intelligence and abilities of an octopus to link the lives of these two people together. It is really just a lovely and sweet story. It is worth the read! I won’t spoil it.

2023 Spring Book Recommendations #1
  • Save

#2: The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

As I have mentioned in previous book recommendation posts, I prefer to read books where I have the opportunity to learn about a culture or an experience completely different from my own. “The Henna Artist” takes place in Jaipur, India in 1955. In addition to being a beautiful story, I loved learning about Indian culture and traditions, especially after their independence from Britain in 1947. The art of healing through natural remedies in combination with modern medicine is fascinating to me. In this book, a henna artist named Lakshmi uses herbs, foods, spices and other means to assist her clients in many ways. Despite her hard work and loyalty, the Indian tradition of the caste system prevents her from rising in societal status. She has to learn on her own and teach her younger sister how to navigate a path towards personal independence and financial stability. I really recommend it.

2023 Spring Book Recommendations #2
  • Save

#3: Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

This futuristic, dystopian book has a boy named “Bird” as the main character. He is of Asian decent and doesn’t understand what happened to his mother when he was younger. He is always looking for signs as to where she went and observes protestors continuing to mark public areas with large hearts around the country. The hearts are all etched with the phrase “Our Missing Hearts.” Bird’s curiosity gets the best of him when he sees two such protests in his neighborhood that the police erase in a matter of hours as if it never happened. Through this curiosity Bird sets out on a mission to find his mother and figure out what she has been up to for the last 4 years and her connection with the protests.

2023 Spring Book Recommendations #3
  • Save

#4: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Are you a gritty person? Until I listened to this book, I thought I was pretty gritty. Now, I think maybe I am just mildly gritty. It is inspiring to learn however that grit can be taught and learned. Everyone has the ability to be gritty and accomplish more than anyone ever expected. Prior to listening to “Grit,” I didn’t strongly believe in so called “natural” talent, but this research confirms that grit and persistence are definitely a better marker of success in any field than supposed “talent.”

The main take away that I got from this book is that it takes time to find a passion. It is not a light bulb moment. It is something that you will need to spend time with, get bored with and still come back to. Jumping from interest to interest is a normal place to start, but giving up before you really get started means that you might miss something truly great. A passion is having an ultimate goal and then working everyday on steps to reach that goal, even when you are bored with the process. Gritty people don’t love getting up and working hard everyday, but they do love the success that the hard work eventually leads to.

  • Save

#5: The Rosie Effect Graeme Simsion

“The Rosie Effect” is the second book in a three part series: “The Rosie Project,” “The Rosie Effect,” and “The Rosie Result.” In this series, Don Tillman, an autistic, genetics professor from Australia looks for a wife, gets married, and then starts a family. I haven’t read “The Rosie Result” yet, but hope to get it on my waiting list soon. This is just a very sweet book told from Don’s perspective as he navigates relationships with co-workers, friends, family, and partners. I personally loved listening to this book specifically because Dan O’Grady, an Australian voice actor does a great job with his voice and matter of fact way of reading. Don’s approach to life is sweet and refreshing. Similar to “Remarkably Bright Creatures” mentioned above, it is just a lovely book to read.

  • Save

What Are You Reading?

These are my Top Five 2023 Spring Book Recommendations. I hope to read and listen to many more books this summer. As July gets underway, I am reading “The Celebrants” by Steve Rowley and listening to “Mrs. Queen takes the Train” by William Kuhn. Both are a lovely start to the month. On my waiting list I have “Pineapple Street,” “The Good Life,” “Demon Copperhead,” “Crying in H Mart,” “A Court of Thorns and Roses,” “The Body Keeps the Score,” “Hello Beautiful,” and “Happy Place.” If you have any other recommendations for the summer please share them! How many books do you read or listen to?

Thanks for reading and enjoy your next great book! ~ KiteBikeVan

P.S. For more recommendations check out my 2024 winter, spring, summer and fall recaps!

  • Save


  1. Great reading list! I am definitely adding The Henna Artist and Remarkably Bright Creatures to my ever-growing to-read list. They sound like they cover two of my biggest draws to books. First, a book that can teach me about another culture through a story. And second, a book that portrays characters searching for meaning/purpose in their lives.

  2. Hi Jade, I’m interested in checking out “Remarkably Bright Creatures” and “The Henna Artist.” Both sound like beautiful and heartwarming stories that I would enjoy reading. I’m also intrigued by “Our Missing Hearts,” which sounds like a thought-provoking and suspenseful read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap