My Favorite Books of 2023

Let's now talk about the books that I read this year and what I thought about each of them! Both finished and on hold, of course.

This year I had a fairly realistic goal of reading 15 books in a year, and I utterly failed to fulfill it once again. Honestly I didn’t expect to read only like 6 books. Although taking into account the amount of manga I read, it does explain why I lacked the time to read proper textbooks.

I will list the books chronologically, I don’t know why but I feel wrong trying to pick one over the other when it comes to literature, all of them are quite good on their own way.

The Books I Finished

I’ll just share whatever I remember about each of them, it might not be much, but it will do for a blogpost right?

1984, by George Orwell

What can I say about this book? I started reading it last year and finished it as soon as 2023 got started. It was a pretty unique way to set the tone for the year, not going to lie. It’s a book that will stay with you for a while. The audiobook version I listened to while also reading, gave it a gravitas that made it resonate even more. I don’t hate my job or the internships I’ve done or anything like that, but being a part of society, feeling like just another cog in a giant machine made me chuckle a little bit.

Crusade, by Andy Clark.

I read this book because I got quite hyped on the Warhammer 40.000 universe and its lore. I didn’t mention it in my episode about my favorite podcasts of the year, but I listened to like 27 hours of lore I found in Sir Khan’s podcast. The book itself works as a bit of an entryway to the world of Warhammer 40K and it entertained me quite well. It is not that special though, and there were many things I didn’t really understand much, but it did its job well.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, by Harlan Ellison

This is a collection of short stories about different topics and things, Ellison doesn’t like to define a genre for his writings, so I will not either. Its mostly science fiction though. Every story comes with a preface by the author narrating some extra details in a short manner, that helped to get me into his headspace and read the stuff with a different view. Honestly that was a bit annoying and slightly spoiler-ish, but it didn’t take much away because reading actual content and the prose of every paragraph was a total joy. Each writing was unique in its own way and it brought a lot of unique ideas to the table. I liked it so much I refused to read the last story for a while for some reason, I didn’t want it to end. But there are more books out there!

Xenos, by Dan Abnett

I continued with my obsession with Warhammer 40K and decided to give the Eisenhorn series a try. This is the first one of the bunch, and it does a great job building up the WH universe further more. This series follows Eisenhorn, an inquisitor that is in charge of finding heretics, aliens and demons and get rid of them, for the sake of the Imperium. This entry follows a seemingly small conspiracy that branchs out into a series of events that puts the protagonist in the middle of quite a big plot against the Imperium. It feels like a detective story in space, with quite a lot of action and twists. It was a bit slow at the start but it got really good later on and I couldn’t stop reading until the end.

The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Nivel and Jerry Pournelle

Even though I had enjoyed and wanted to follow up with the series, life got in the way and I didn’t feel like going back for a while. Instead, I decided to go for something I hadn’t tried before, which is a proper modern classic of science fiction. This is known as one of the best and most unique First Contact stories of the bunch. Honestly, this was a joy to read, it really felt like watching some old Star Trek episode, the tone and the characters were quite charming and the uniqueness of the aliens, their social structure and their world were so interesting and immersing. This is the second longest book I’ve read, but I didn’t even feel the length at all.

Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir

Finally, we arrive at the end. This is the last book I completed this year as of December 13, 2023. I wrote my review of this book recently, so I won’t say much else about it. It was my first introduction into modern hard sci-fi, and it had numbers and weird terms that I kinda grasped with my engineering mind but still flew over my head many times. Despite this, the writing style and the characters kept me hooked on to the events that were unfolding one after the other. There are no breaks in this story and there’s always something going to challenge the protagonist or to reveal new details about the past and the present. Just a great book honestly.

What’s on Hold

There’s a few books I started and didn’t keep up with this year. Such as Neuromancer by William Gibson. I started it last year but I couldn’t get used to the writing style. I might give it another go since I was liking what I was understanding from it.

Another one I abandoned was First and Only by Dan Abnett, this is also from the Warhammer 40K Universe, this time focused on the actual regular human army that has to deal with demons, xenos and interdimensional horrors somehow. It was quite nice but Eisenhorn took over, I should get back to it.

I started The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and never got around to finishing it since 2022 so, yeah, one day.

What I’m Reading

My latest book is Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. I am really liking it, currently I’m 30% of the way and I might complete it before the year is over. So far, it’s up there already as a favorite of mine and I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner.

Another little one I can read through quite quickly is Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, a true classic. I will finish it soon enough. Honestly, it is so good I want to read it to my future children, so fun and carefree and whimsical. Loving it.

For now, this is day 88 of 100DaysToOffload. See you later!


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