New York Times Best Books

The Best of 2023



The Bee Sting

The Bee Sting 

by Paul Murray

A drama set in a small town in Ireland about a family struggling after an economic recession.

The Best Minds

The Best Minds

by Jonathan Rosen

An acclaimed author investigates the forces that led his closest childhood friend, a paranoid schizophrenic with brilliant promise who defied the odds and graduated from Yale Law School, to kill the woman he loved.
Chain Gang All Stars

Chain-Gang All-Stars

by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

The star of a popular, but controversial for-profit program in the private prison industry that basically turns prisoners into gladiators contemplates freedom, in the new novel from the New York Times best-selling author of Friday Black.
Bottoms Up

Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs 

by Kerry Howley

The true story of intelligence specialist Reality Winner, a lone young woman who stuffs a state secret under her skirt and trusts the wrong people to help. Following Winner’s unlikely journey from rural Texas to a federal courtroom, Howley maps a hidden world....


by Maylis de Kerangal

In this gripping tale, a Russian conscript and a French woman cross paths on the Trans-Siberian railroad, each fleeing to the east for their own reasons.
Fire Weather

Fire Weather

by John Vaillant

A suspenseful account of one of North America's most devastating forest fires--and a stark exploration of our dawning era of climate catastrophes.

The Fraud 

by Zadie Smith

A kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England, about who gets to tell their story—and who gets to be believed.
Master Slave Husband Wife

Master Slave Husband Wife

by Ilyon Woo

The remarkable true story of Ellen and William Craft, who escaped slavery through daring, determination, and disguise, with Ellen passing as a wealthy, disabled White man and William posing as "his" slave.
North Woods

North Woods 

by Daniel Mason

Exploring the many ways we're connected to our environment and to one another across time, language and space, this sweeping collection of stories about a single house in the woods of New England is told through the lives of an extraordinary succession of inhabitants.
Some People Need Killing

Some People Need Killing

by Patricia Evangelista

In this thoroughly reported and deeply human chronicle of the Philippines' drug war and Rodrigo Duterte's assault on the country's struggling democracy, a trauma journalist immerses herself in the world of killers and survivors, capturing the atmosphere of fear created when an elected president decides some lives are worth less than others.

The Best of 2022



The Candy House 

by Jennifer Eagan

Told through lives of multiple characters, this electrifying, deeply moving novel, spanning 10 years, follows “Own Your Unconscious,” a new technology that allows access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others.

An Immense World 

by Ed Yong

The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times best-selling author of I Contain Multitudes examines how the world of animal senses can help us understand and transform the way we perceive our world. 


by Claire-Louise Bennett

In a working-class town in a county west of London, a schoolgirl scribbles stories in the back pages of her exercise book, intoxicated by the first sparks of her imagination.

Stay True by Hua Hsu

A New Yorker staff writer, in this gripping memoir on friendship, grief, the search for self and the solace that can be found through art, recounts his close friendship with Ken, with whom he endured the successes and humiliations of everyday college life until Ken was violently, senselessly taken away from him. 

Demon Copperhead 

by Barbara Kingsolver

The son of an Appalachian teenager uses his good looks, wit and instincts to survive foster care, child labor, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses.

Strangers to Ourselves 

by Rachel Aviv

Raising fundamental questions about how we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress, the author draws on deep, original reporting as well as unpublished journals and memoirs to write about people who have come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are. 

The Furrows 

by Namwali Serpell

Haunted by the accidental death of her little brother Wayne years ago, Cassandra Williams begins seeing her brother everywhere and meets a man both mysterious and familiar who is also searching for someone and for his own place in the world--and his name is Wayne. 

Under the Skin 

by Linda Villarosa

From an award-winning writer at the New York Times Magazine and a contributor to the 1619 Project comes a landmark book that tells the full story of racial health disparities in America, revealing the toll racism takes on individuals and the health of our nation. 


by Hernan Diaz

Told from the perspective of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction, this unrivaled novel about money, power, intimacy and perception is centered around the mystery of how the Rask family acquired their immense fortune in 1920s-1930's New York City. 

We Don't Know Ourselves 

by Fintan O'Toole

The Irish government opened the country to foreign investment and popular culture in 1958. O'Toole weaves his own experiences into Irish social, cultural, and economic change, showing how Ireland, in just one lifetime, has gone from a reactionary "backwater" to an almost totally open society-perhaps the most astonishing national transformation in modern history.

The Best of 2021



Cover image for How beautiful we were :

How Beautiful We Were 

by Imbolo Mbue

As an American oil company destroys the environment of Kosawa, the residents of the fictional African village fight back against a dictatorship that only cares about itself.
Cover image for The Copenhagen trilogy :

The Copenhagen Trilogy

by Tove Ditlevesen

Danish poet Ditlevesen combines three books into one in a biographical exploration of her life, family, and womanhood.
Cover image for Intimacies


by Katie Kitamura

The life of an interpreter working at The Hague’s International Court is destabilized by personal and political drama.

Cover image for How the word is passed :

How the Word is Passed

by Clint Smith

Smith examines the legacy of slavery and the United States’ collective history through monuments and landmarks.
Cover image for The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois 

by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Ailey Pearl Garfield, a Black girl growing up in Georgia, works to find belonging and explores the stories and legacies of her ancestors. 
Cover image for Invisible child :

Invisible Child

by Andrea Elliott

Elliot narrates the childhood of Dasani Coates as she grows up in shelters across Brooklyn with her siblings.

Cover image for No one is talking about this

No One is talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

A woman who is social media famous travels to meet her fans and faces the existentialism of “the portal,” when her family is struck suddenly by tragedy.
Cover image for On Juneteenth

On Juneteenth 

by Annette Gordon-Reed

Gordon-Reed combines history with memoir as she delves into the importance and history of Juneteenth and the legacy of slavery. 
Cover image for When we cease to understand the world

When We Cease to Understand the World 

by Benjamín Labatut

During the 20th century, scientists make groundbreaking discoveries and wrestle with their ethical implications. 
Cover image for Red Comet

Red Comet

by Heather Clark

Clark writes a unique new biography of Sylvia Plath, focusing on her relationships and literary achievements rather than her eventual suicide.

Want to read more Top Ten books of the year? All can be found here