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Best Books of Fall 2023
Best Books of Fall 2023

Best Books of Fall 2023

Best Books of Fall 2023

I set out the year, planning to consume 120 books in total (audiobooks, e-books, or books). While I have always loved reading, setting this goal let me focus more on reading this year instead watching movies or TV.

When relaxing at night, I now choose a book over a screen.

Connecting with family, friends and students over books has been a true highlight of my year. Below is a brief description of the best books for me in fall 2023.


  1. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
  2. Verity by Colleen Hoover
  3. This is a Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
  4. Banyan Moon by Thao Thai
  5. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
  6. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  7. Lamb by Christopher Moore
  8. Happy Place by Emily Henry
  9. Small World by Laura Zigman
  10. Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
  11. Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena


  1. Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
  2. The Pale-faced Lie by David Crow
  3. Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover
  4. Horse by Geraldine Brooks
  5. Twisted Love by Ana Huang
  6. House in the Pines by Ana Reyes
  7. Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
  8. November 9 by Colleen Hoover
  9. Maybe Now by Colleen Hoover
  10. Beach Read by Emily Henry
  11. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas


  1. A Court of Wings and Ruins by Sarah J Maas
  2. The Art Thief by Michael Finley
  3. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
  4. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
  6. Yellowface by R. F. Huang
  7. Better than the Movies by Lynn Painter
  8. All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers
  9. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
  10. Meet me at the Lake by Carley Fortune
  11. A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas
  12. Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

Table of Contents

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

The clear front runner for my favorite book this fall was Horse by Geraldine Brooks. The book revolves around the life of a race horse named Lexington. Lexington was born in Kentucky in the mid-1800s. The horse goes on to become one of the fastest horses of all time, but also sires more champions than any other horse.

If you’re not that interested in horses, like myself, the topic of this book might seem dull at first. However, the book is told from multiple perspectives jumping from the 1850s, to the early 1900s, to the 2000s. Although the central focus of the book revolves around Lexington (the race horse), he is only a tool used to talk about race and race relations in the United States.

Through each character’s interaction with the horse (whether it is with the actual horse, a painting of the horse, or the horse’s skeleton), we learn a lot about each character’s role in society and the implicit biases they carry.

If you are looking for a great book to start 2024, pick up Horse. It is almost impossible to set down.

Best Books of Fall 2023
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Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

A story about family and societal expectations, Hello Beautiful is a complicated, but beautiful story about the relationship of a mother and three sisters growing up in Chicago in the mid-1900s.

The Padavano sisters are extremely close, but have very different personalities. Despite their differences, they want what is best for each other, while also striving for what is best for themselves. Growing up in a religious, Italian family in the mid-1900s, there are many changes in expectations about a woman’s role in a family and in society.

The eldest sister, Julia, wants to fulfill her mother’s unfinished dreams of going to college and becoming a successful business woman. However, she also wants a typical family and therefore she is at odds in what she expects from her husband and herself.

The two younger sisters have different expectations and want to just follow their hearts one as an artists and another as a librarian.

Throughout the book, relationships are tense and then disputes are resolved as the sisters realize it is love that truly matters most.

If you are looking for a lovely book of hope, this is one to pick up in 2024.

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Verity by Colleen Hoover

Starting off with a gruesome bus accident, I wasn’t so sure about this book. However, I stuck with it and I am glad I did. Despite the typical sex driven plot of most of Colleen Hoover’s books, it is mysterious all the way to the very end.

Young, unknown author Lowen Ashleigh is hired to complete a popular series for Verity Crawford as she lies in a semiconscious state after a tragic car accident.

While living with the Crawford family and working in Verity’s office, Lowen comes across an autobiography of Verity and doesn’t know how to react when she learns how Verity’s twin daughters died in the previous year.

Residing at the Crawford estate, Lowen also begins to fall in love with Verity’s husband at the same time she is starting to loath and fear Verity herself. Is she actually in a semiconscious state or is she faking it?

If you are looking for a mysterious page turner, check out Verity.

Best Books of Fall 2023
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Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

Are you a Saturday Night Live fan? If so then you will love Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld.

The main character of the book, the average Sally Minz, a writer for The Night Owls (TNO a.k.a. SNL) is shy and in love with her off camera job. When the hot, special guest and musician Noah Brewster hosts TNO, three of Sally’s sketches get picked for the show and she has a really great week working with him.

At the end of the week, post-show after party, Sally makes an off the cuff remark about Noah only dating super models and they go their separate ways.

A few years later, Noah reaches out to Sally via email during the COVID pandemic. They become digital pen pals and develop a relationship with a deeper connection. After weeks of messaging back and forth, they finally connect in person and the rest is pretty predictable.

If you enjoy sketch comedy like SNL or you liked Bossypants by Tina Fey or Yes Please by Amy Poehler, then this will be a great book for you.

If you are looking for some laughs in 2024, check out Romantic Comedy.

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Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

As a resident of Michigan, the Mitten State, I loved the book Tom Lake by Ann Patchett. The beautiful story of a young girl acting at a theater (similar to Interlochen) in northern Michigan in the mid-1900s is just lovely.

The main character and mother, Lara Nelson recounts her summer fling with a famous actor, Peter Duke, to her three daughters as they harvest cherries during the 2019 COVID pandemic.

Lara tells the tail of working as an actress at Tom Lake and falling for her co-star Peter Duke. However, what she is really telling is how she found what she really wanted in life. It wasn’t to become rich and famous, but to fall in love and raise a family on the shores of Lake Michigan.

It is a beautiful story, but it also describes a beautiful place that I love to call home. If you have the opportunity to visit Lake Michigan in the summer time, I would highly recommend a trip.

However, if you only have a chance to imagine it, pick up Tom Lake.

Best Books of Fall 2023
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Best Books of 2023

As 2024 begins, I am reflecting back on 2023. I reached my goal of 120 books (25 read and 95 audio). It was a great year in books. As I am scrolling through my book lists, these are the books that really stick out for me this year:

  • Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult
  • Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
  • Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  • The Adventurer’s Son by Roman Dial
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  • Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
  • The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
  • How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
  • Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker
  • Horse by Geraldine Brooks

In addition to the best books of Fall 2023, check out my winter, spring, and summer recommendations.

What books are you looking forward to in 2024? I will take any recommendations. I am going to aim to read or listen to another 120 this year.

Follow KiteBikeVan on Instagram for monthly updates or subscribe to KiteBikeVan below for quarterly recaps.

Thanks for following and happy reading! ~ KiteBikeVan

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