We break down all the books we read in January 2023 – from forthcoming reads and new releases to back-list favourites.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
If you want to spend time and fall deep for a book, this might be the one to curl up with in February. Covering five disparate storylines across time – from 1453 Constantinople to present day Idaho – and five explorers obsessed with the text ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land.’ It’s a meandering and lovely story about dreamers, human connection and more.
Attached by Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.
A scientific approach to our attachment styles, this is a quick and pithy insight into ourselves and our own motivations and approaches when it comes to relationships.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
A pithy and tight read, where no word is wasted, telling the story of Keiko as she grapples with her own identity and just how inextricable it is from her job at a convenience store. It is simultaneously heartwarming and saddening.
Notes on an Execution by Danya Kufafka
An eerie story centred around Ansel Packer – a murderer on death row. The story is flipped though, as his backstory and narrative is told through the women that have had impact on his life – from his mother to his wife and the detective that located him. It’s more than just a juicy thriller, its an interesting note on the wider impact of his actions on those around him.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
If you’ve seen any round up lists from 2022, this one will have featured heavily and for once, it stands up to the hype. It’s a delightful story set in the 1960s, telling the story of Elizabeth Zott as she makes a career fas a TV personality. It’s about feminism, motherhood and enduring love, it’s funny, tender and is a delight from start to finish.
The Christmas Wish by Lindsay Kelk
An easy and quirky Christmas romance, based on the idea of Groundhog Day.
Spare by Prince Harry
Not much more can ever be said about Prince Harry’s tell-all memoir but what I will say is that on the one hand it’s juicy and entertaining, but the middle part is almost mind-numbingly dull. The editor needed some more heavy handed editing to bring the book together, as it felt largely disjointed and clunky in points. As ever, there’s something lacking in his approach to make it compelling – his inability to be accountable in his own story that makes it feel dishonest and disingenuous. Read the newspaper articles about this – it’s quicker.