2023 Reading List

This is my fourth year of creating a reading list for myself for the year. It is my second year of writing my own list without any reference to a reading challenge. I have so many things I want to read (thank you Reddit!) that it feels disingenuous for me to force them into someone else's categories. 

I'm also finding that I read so much faster and effortlessly when it is a book I really want to read rather than a book I want to have read. So this year I'm focusing on books I find easy to read, which include memoirs, true-crime or true-adventure, science fiction, 19th-century literature, and short classics. 

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To that end, I've selected 45 books for my list. Some are books I haven't read yet by authors I love, a few are prereads for homeschooling, a couple are ones particularly mentioned by Charlotte Mason in Ourselves, others are ones that have been on my radar to read or reread for a while, and the rest are ones I have heard about as worthwhile from places like Washington Post, Laura Grade Weldon, Sabbath Mood Homeschool, or the subReddits /booksuggestions or /suggestmeabook. 

Every last one of them will be read for free. I own a print copy of the titles in my picture above and all of the rest are either free in the public domain or are available via my various library cards using the Libby app, except for one that I will need to check out physically from my local library. Thanks to library extension for making it possible for me to find all of these titles easily.


The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
The Sickness Unto Death by Soren Kirkegaard
Phaedo by Plato

Memoir / Biography
Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? By Seamus O'Reilly 
Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri 

History / True crime / True Adventure
Black Hands, White Sails: African American Whalers by Fredrick McKissack and Patricia McKissack 
Debt the First 5000 Years by David Graeber 
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote 
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer 
Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado 
History of Art for Young People by Anthony F. Janson, H. W. Janson 

Modern Fiction / Science Fiction
Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica 
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky 
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver 
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Trinity by Leon Uris 
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson 
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson 
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke 
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler 

Classic Fiction
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier 
Scenes of Clerical Life by George Elliot 
Bird in the Tree by Elizabeth Goudge 
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset translated by Tiina Nunnally (reread of different translation)
The American Senator by Anthony Trollope 
Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S. Forester 
Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann 
The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson 
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray 
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy 
The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Story of Siegfried by James Baldwin 
The Aeneid by Virgil
Oedipus Cycle by Sophocles (reread)

This is my longest list to date and I think it is very possible I won't complete all of it. No matter! I'm going to be reading some great books this year.

What about you? Any books you are particularly excited to read? I am perpetually adding to my TBR list so please send your recommendations.

Happy reading!


  1. I love your list, and one of these years I'm going to make one like it, but for now I'm reading with my kids and not getting a whole lot more done than that. I am turning to Audible quite a bit lately, and I'm liking it. I used to not like listening to books, but I'm finding a real delight in feeding my mind while I do the dishes or fold the laundry. I've been in a teacher in-service kind of mode--needing encouragement and inspiration, so I've reviewed Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie and listened for the first time to Call of the Wild + Free by Ainsley Arment. I find it funny that I, a homeschool veteran of over 20 years, can listen to far less experienced homeschoolers and find myself inspired and my heart fed. Makes me wonder if I might have something to say to encourage others . . . but I'm not feeling it right now. :)

    1. I am on a super long waiting list at my library for Teaching from Rest. Is it better just to buy? It's been several months' wait! I read Wild and Free last year and really enjoyed it. I am at the opposite place from you - my little one is 3 so not yet formally schooling him. I think everyone has something to say to encourage others, especially if you've been doing this 20+ years!

    2. I've heard of some people who like to reread Teaching from Rest every year. That being said, it is fairly short. You may be able to ask around other local homeschoolers and borrow a copy.

  2. I have a longer list to publish on my blog at some point, but I just started Kristin Lavransdatter (Undset), after I finished The Lincoln Highway (Towles). I have several books on my list about parenting boys, and several others listed that I found by looking through my shelves. I bought a lot of used books last year at thrift stores looking to grow my home library. Good luck on your progress!

    1. Thank you for sharing. Kristin Lavrandatter is one of my absolute favorites ever.