The Best Books I Read in January 2023

What a month January has been! It’s been a busy time, but also a great time for settling in with a good book in the evenings. I got a lot of reading done this month, with a total of seven books finished! Unlike last year, which got off to a slow start, I already have a couple of five star reads under my belt.

As always, this post wraps up my favorite reads of the month and also covers the honorable mentions, aka the other books I read that didn’t quite earn the “best books” title.

(Full disclosure: This post uses and Amazon affiliate links. Books marked with an asterisk were received as complimentary review copies in exchange for my honest review.)

The Man I Never Met* by Elle Cook

Format Read: Paperback (ARC)

This book started my year, and it was a great way to dig into 2023 reading. I received an ARC of this one, so many thanks to Random House for the opportunity to read and review The Man I Never Met. Definitely a lot more emotional heft with this one than I anticipated, but in a good way.

My full review went up earlier this month, and you can check it out here: Break Your Heart Wide Open with “The Man I’ve Never Met

Matrix by Lauren Groff

Format Read: Hardcover

This book about a medieval abbey isn’t quite my typical read, but I couldn’t help but be intrigued after I heard some of my favorite podcast hosts discuss it. I grabbed a copy ages ago and just now finally got around to reading it in my quest to tackle the TBR. Matrix is a quiet, interior sort of book, but I really enjoyed it.

My mini-review is available here, if you want to know more of my thoughts: Mini Review: Matrix by Lauren Groff

Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca

Format Read: Paperback

I am always stoked to see a new Jen DeLuca title, and Well Traveled was particularly great because it really satisfied my secret wish of runnin away to become a tarot reader at the Rennaissance Festival. This may be my second favorite of the series, after Well Met.

I managed to do a mini-review for this one as well, which you can check out here: Mini Review: Well Traveled

Happy People are Annoying by Josh Peck

Format Read: Audiobook

I love a good celebrity memoir, but you never quite know what you’re going to get with them. Josh Peck surprised me with the topics he tackled in this memoir, and it turns out the answer to the question “What has Josh Peck been up to?” is… a lot of things! I very much enjoyed this audiobook, narrated by Peck himself.

I’m 4/4 for reviews of my best books this month, which is unusual. Here’s my review for Happy People Are Annoying: Mini Review: “Happy People Are Annoying”

Honorable Mentions

  • What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon. I wanted to love this book more, but a lot of its contents were also discussed on Gordon’s podcast. So, while it was a great book, a lot of it felt familiar to me as someone who listens to every single episode of podcasts. It also wasn’t narrated by the author, which was a bummer when I know her voice well. Such a good book but not one of the best reads of the month for me due to these personal reasons.
  • American Detox: The Myth of Wellness and How We Can Truly Heal* by Kerri Kelly. This book wasn’t quite what I expected. Rather than focusing on specific issues in the wellness industry, this book takes a broad look at societal wellness. The writing comes across a bit like a lecture, and I struggled to get through it. There’s some valuable information here, but it wasn’t the reading experience I’d hoped for.
  • The Rom-Com Agenda* by Jayne Denker didn’t quite hit the spot like I hoped it would. My full review is available here.

In all, it’s been a great start to the 2023 reading year! I am keeping pace with my Goodreads challenge thus far, which isn’t something I can usually say at this point in the year.

What are the best books you read in January? I’m always looking to add to the ever-growing list of books I want to read!

Want to make sure you never miss a best books of the month recap? Get connected by following here, on Medium, Instagram, and/or Twitter.


The Best Books I Read in December 2022

Photo by Hatice Yardım on Unsplash

Happy New Year, book friends! Before we fully dig in to January, we’ve got a final 2022 recap for December! The final month in the year, full of winter holidays and plenty of gatherings with friends and family is also a time when I get to slow down a bit and enjoy more reading time than usual, since my (soon to be former) job gets less busy once the semester ends. 

I had a pretty solid go with my holiday TBR in December and even managed to squeeze in a few books post Christmas as well. Let’s dig in to the best of this month’s books in the final best books recap for 2022. 

(Full disclosure: This post uses affiliate links. Books with an asterisk were received as review copies).

Kiss Her Once for Me by Allison Cochrun

I really enjoyed this sapphic Christmas rom com. Kiss Her Once For Me was full of tropes (fake engagement, only one bed, mistletoe kiss, to name a few). There was some good representation of anxiety, as well. I didn’t get around to writing a full review, but it was definitely a fun way to start the holiday reading season. 

A Cat Cafe Christmas by Codi Gary 

Cats. Cafes. Christmas. A Cat Cafe Christmas delivered on all the promised elements and had a few surprises, as well. 

My mini review went up earlier this month, so I’ll let the ghost of Amandas past tell you more if you’re interested: Mini Review: A Cat Cafe Christmas

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer 

Another winner for the holiday reading season! The Matzah Ball has a chronically ill protagonist and I enjoyed this representation, as well as learning a bit more about Jewish culture. This was a ton of fun and also heartfelt, even if it was a dual POV romance. 

The Verifiers by Jane Pek

I rarely read mystery, but I wanted something different after all the holiday romances so I finally grabbed this one off my Book of the Month stack of shame. This mystery novel follows a woman who works for an agency that verifies people’s online dating profiles. She also happens to be a voracious reader with a love for detective novels, which is how she gets into the sluething business. 

The Verifiers kept me guessing until the very end, and I absolutely tore through it. 

Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting by Clare Pooley

This one has been on my list for ages, and I decided to round out the year by reading it on our winter getaway trip. Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting is a delightful story about several people who are connected only by their train commute… until a chance encounter gets them talking and they form a little group all their own. I loved seeing into each characters lives and watching them grow to care about and support one another. 

Honorable Mentions

December wound up being one of my best reading months for the year, both in terms of numbers and overal enjoyment. I’m so glad to be rounding out the year with a solid month as we head into January. 

I hope you had a great reading month in December as well, book friends! 

Want to make sure you never miss a best books of the month recap? Get connected by following here on Medium, Instagram, and/or Twitter. You can also support us by joining Medium using this referral link or using that handy-dandy tip button below.