13 books I want to read in 2023

Last year I set out to read at least 24 specific books by December. And although I did reach my book count, less than half way through I abandoned my to-read list and indulged in a lot of mostly enjoyable but sometimes crappy romances that I dubbed "fast reads" just so that I can meet my goal. This year however, even though I'm keeping my goal of 24 books, I'm only including 13 on my reading list so that I have leeway to read crappy romances guilt free. So here are the books I hope to read in 2023.

1. Aké: Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka.

There's a couple of reasons I want to read this particular book: The main one being that I think it's an absolute disgrace that I've never read a single body of work by this renowned Noble Prize winning giant in African Literature. I hang my head in shame just typing about it. The other reason I want to read this is because I actually have a physical copy of this book that I bought at the Aké Festival 2019 and I have not read a physical book outside academia in ages. And lastly, I read a lot of fiction and I'm trying to break from that mould by reading a few memoirs.

2. Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe.

So probably half of this list is just shaming myself for not reading authors I think I should have read by now. Of course, I have read Things Fall Apart by Achebe but then it was part of my college literature course so technically that doesn't count. This is the only other book I can mention from the top of my head that I've heard is by hi, so that's why I choose this particular one.

3. Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie.

Fortunately, I have actually read books by this author. I thoroughly enjoyed The Thing Around Your Neck and Notes on Grief. However, I have never read any of the longer prose she's more known for. So here we are. Also might as well read her work now just in case she completely JK Rowlings herself.

4. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

One of my favourite hobbies of all time is looking for books whose main characters are asexual and then never reading them unless they are a romance. From the synopsis of the book, Every Heart a Doorway seems to be a beloved fantasy novella with hints of gothic elements that features an ace MC. So in spirit of diversifying my reading content, I'm adding it to the list.

5. Content Warning: Everything by Akwaeke Emezi

I'm just on a personal mission to read all of their work because I'm simply disgusted by how brilliant their writing is. Huge plus that I at least have a poetry collection on my list this year.

6. All About Love by Bell Hooks.

Not only do I not read [enough] feminist writers, again I have never read anything by this particular author and I should simply bury myself in a hole at this point.

7. So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport.

This was actually a personal book recommendation from one of my very close friends who only reads nonfiction. It's a self help book and I haven't touched one of those in well over a decade.

8. Matrix by Lauren Groff

The way Angasa reviews this book on her YouTube channel is so compelling that I just have to read it. Of course, I'm worried that I might not appreciate it in fullness as every time Angasa wax poetic about a book that deserves 5 stars it ends up being something that's too intelligent for me in the present moment.

9. Home by Toni Morrison.

Sigh. Yet another black noble prize winning giant I should have read by now but haven't. I'm picking Home specifically because I'm pretty sure it's one of her shorter works and hence would be a great entry point.

10. For What are Butterflies Without Their Wings by Troy Onyango.

I've been following Troy's work with Lolwe (and in other literary spaces) for a year now and I'm just excited to read whatever he puts out. I also generally just enjoy short story collections because most of the time they are like cheat code to reading a long form book.

11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

The fact that this book is even on this list should just tell you enough, please.

12. Wonder by R. J Palacio

I didn't know this particular movie was based on book when I first watched it, but it was just lovely tearjerker and I'm some sort of masochist cause I want to put myself through that again.

13. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Despite reading works that have could arguably be better than this in other shapes and forms, I cannot deny this remains my favourite book ever. I just find it so beautiful. I love it so much that it's the first (and probably only) brand new book I've ever bought myself at full price. Even so, I've only read this book twice, the last time being in 2018 and I'm thinking it's high time I revisited this gem.

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  • ~B says:

    I have already read half the books on this list looks like am in great company here ^_^
    Then there's also books I have not know about will look them up and see if they are up my alley
    All the best on your reading journey

    • Tamanda Kanjaye says:

      I'm stocked someone approves at least half my reading list. Please do check the rest out too.
      Happy reading!