This year at BridgingsBooks, we’ve read over 100 books altogether – which doesn’t seem that much but between just two people, with full-time jobs and trying to run a website, it is a lot. We’ve spent a lot of our free time glued to books, some amazing (most included in this list, we couldn’t include every single one) and some that were so bad that we had to rant about just to feel a little better about the world. We’ve read all sorts this year, ranging through pretty much every type of book. From Sci-fi to non-fiction, crime to romance and even some audio-only productions. Books from the past to even some yet to be.
So as we’ve alluded to above, the books below can be from any year, not just this year – and maybe not even yet published. You’ll have to keep reading to find out what is included.
Without any further delay, here are our favourite reads of this year.
Our Favourite Reads!
Released this year
All The Dangerous Things (2023)
By Stacy Willingham
94,215 words, 326 pages, 5hrs 45mins to read
Published by Minotaur Books
4.09 out of 5 on Goodreads
This book is easily one of the best books that I read that came out this year, I had no idea where this was going or who the guilty party was. This kept me on the edge of my seat throughout and was excellently told. If you are a fan of mysteries and haven’t yet read this one, then get yourself started on this soon!
One year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life changed forever. Her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With very little evidence, the case quickly went cold. And since then, Isabelle has had trouble sleeping beyond the occasional catnap or small blackouts where she loses all track of time. But she refuses to give up until she uncovers the truth of what happened. No matter where the truth may lead.
By Jamie Littler
85,795 words, 362 pages, 33 Chapters, 5hrs 45mins to read
2,599 average words per chapter, 10.9 average pages per chapter
Published by Puffin
4.46 out of 5 on Goodreads
A fun and easy read, full of great action, mystery and drawings by the author himself. I enjoyed this book so much that I read it all in just one sitting!
Arkspire is a city obsessed with magic. The five Arcanists – a group of all-powerful magicians – have protected the great city for as long as anyone can remember. Within the hustle and bustle of these cobbled streets lives Juniper Bell, a thief who’d do anything for her family – even her unbelievably annoying sister, Elodie.
Juniper is an up-and-coming relic hunter of The Betrayers – enemy of the Arcanists, and with her partner in crime, Thea, they stumble across one very important relic…
Read our full review here!
An Audio Extravaganza
Third Eye (2023)
By Felicia Day
6hrs and 56mins to read
Published by Audible Originals
4.24 out of 5 on Goodreads
Third Eye is an audio only and this has to be one of the best that I have ever read. It was hilarious and full of peril, adventure and magic. What more could you want? Well, let me just add right on to that. The production and effort put into this were amazing and with a stellar cast; starring Felicia Day herself and, Sean Astin, Lilypichu, Wil Wheaton, London Hughes and even Neil Gaiman! So if you haven’t already, get yourself listening to this, sit down and enjoy. Or even while you do the household chores, on long drives (this is what I did) or even while exercising!
Once upon a time, in the magical land of San Francisco, there lived a not-so-ordinary girl named Laurel Pettigrew. She was meant to be the One, the Chosen One. All she had to do was defeat Tybus, the big baddie, in an epic battle. The plan was simple, the plan was set. But, unfortunately, it all turned into a colossal flop.
Late to the Party Discoveries
Station Eleven (2014)
By Emily St. John Mandel
103,900 words, 333 pages, 55 chapters, 7 hrs to read
3,148 average words per chapter, 6 average pages per chapter
Published by Knopf
4.07 out of 5 on Goodreads
This book was an incredible read, full of twists and turns that keep you hooked to the end. Even if you’re not the biggest Sci-Fi fan you may just find yourself loving this book.
Set in Hollywood, an actor dies during a performance of King Lear and only hours later the world begins to dissolve. The narrative jumps forward and back in time, following the actor through the years.
This book is part of our small collection of the best books to get you into Sci-Fi, and you can check that out right here.
Green Bone Trilogy (2017, 2019, 2021)
By Fonda Lee
A fantasy book series that has stayed with us long after we finished reading them. And one that we will be thinking about for a long time coming.
The series is a fantasy story set in a vibrant and bustling city called Janloon, nicknamed Jade City, where powerful clans known as Green Bones vie for control. Green Bones possess magical abilities fueled by the jade they wear. The story follows the Kaul family, leaders of the No Peak clan, as they navigate political intrigue, rivalries, and violence in their quest to maintain their power and protect their territory.
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (2017)
By Taylor Jenkins Reid
109,500 words, 389 pages, 12 hrs and 10 mins to read.
Published by Atria Books
4.45 out of 5 on Goodreads
This book had me fact-checking throughout, if it wasn’t for the ease of Googling everything, I could easily have believed a lot of what happened in this as fact. I actually had to check that Evelyn Hugo was not in fact a real person. The way Taylor Jenkins Reid seamlessly blends fact with fiction is an incredible feat and is easily why this is one of our favourite books of the year. We sure were late to the party on this one.
Ageing and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready, to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Learn more about the best order for reading all of Taylor Jenkins Reids’ books here.
Hussite Trilogy (2002, 2004, 2006)
By Andrzej Sapkowski
491,290 words, 1,833 pages, 32hrs 45mins to read.
Published by superNOWA
Tower of Fools: 4.03 out of 5 on Goodreads
Warriors of God: 4.16 out of 5 on Goodreads
Light Perpetual: 4.10 out of 5 on Goodreads
This trilogy is also probably one of the tougher reads of this year, simply because of the language used, names and place names that could sometimes be hard to pronounce and read, also a lot of Latin was included that required you to translate for yourself most of the time. So why have I included this in the list? Because it was so well written, the magic and fantasy elements mixed with history made for an incredible read. Sapkowski has a way with storytelling for sure, and recently translated into English (2020-2022).
Set in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown during the Hussite Wars (1419-1434). Reinmar von Bielau, known as Reynevan, is a doctor, a magician and as the story progresses, becomes a spy for the Hussites. He finds himself in all kinds of trouble as he initially tries to avoid warfare, opting for love instead. But as his heart continuously gets him into trouble, he soon changes tack.
You can learn more about these books right here.
Our Favourite Re-Reads
Gone Girl (2012)
By Gillian Flynn
104,000 words, 432 pages, 19hrs and 57 min to read
First Published by Crown Publishing Group
First Published 24th May 2012
4.13 out of 5 on Goodreads
Gone Girl was one of those books that everyone had to read when it was first released. Captivating and the true definition of a page-turner, you had to read this book in hopes you wouldn’t be the one missing out. As a reread however this was still an exceptional read, and we even enjoyed reading through the book even knowing what the twist was going to be!
Gone Girl is a psychological thriller that follows Nick and Amy Dunne’s troubled marriage. On their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears, and Nick becomes the prime suspect. The story follows both Nick and Amy (through a series of diary entries) as their story unfolds.
Read the review here.
His Dark Materials (1995, 1997, 2000)
By Phillip Pullman
355,615 words, 1,234 pages, 23hrs and 45mins to read
First Published by Scholastic
Northern Lights: 4.02 out of 5 on Goodreads
The Subtle Knife: 4.15 out of 5 on Goodreads
The Amber Spyglass: 4.10 out of 5 on Goodreads
This trilogy should be included in everyone’s bucket list of books to read. A great set of fantasy books, travelling through parallel worlds, facing peril and strange creatures and a real look at good and evil. As the story unfolds, each book gets progressively better for an almighty ending that makes it all worth it.
“His Dark Materials” is a fantasy trilogy by Philip Pullman following the adventures of Lyra Belacqua in a parallel universe. With daemons as soul companions, Lyra explores different worlds, facing mysteries and addressing themes like free will and authority.
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings (1937, 1954, 1954, 1955)
By J. R. R. Tolkien
576,460 words, 1,630 pages, 38hrs and 30mins to read
First Published by George Allen & Unwin
The Hobbit: 4.28 out of 5 on Goodreads
The Fellowship of the Ring: 4.39 out of 5 on Goodreads
The Two Towers: 4.48 out of 5 on Goodreads
The Return of the King: 4.56 out of 5 on Goodreads
The ultimate classic fantasy read of all-time! One of my all time favourites, and it was how I started my year. Except this time I decided to have it read to me, by none other than Andy Serkis (Gollum) himself. How could I refuse such an offer? And he nailed each and every single one of the voices. There were times when I forgot that it was actually Serkis reading this to me. And the chapters with Gollum were just incredible to listen to.
Set in the fantastical world of Middle-Earth, The Hobbit, follows Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, as he embarks on an adventure to help a group of dwarves steal away the Arkenstone from the heart of the Lonely Mountain. On his way he stumbles across the One Ring, the all-powerful weapon crafted from Sauron.
Learn more about the best reading order for all the Middle-Earth books right here.
Our Non-Fiction Pick
Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night (2021)
By Julian Sancton
83,900 words, 307 pages, 5hrs 40mins to read
Published by Crown Publishing Group
4.27 out of 5 on Goodreads
Completely engrossing and harrowing as you read about the true story of an early polar expedition where things of the leadership as they aim to be the ones to discover the uncharted end of the earth.
In August 1897, thirty-one-year-old commandant Adrien de Gerlache set sail aboard the Belgica, with the hopes of claiming glory for his native Belgium. A three-year expedition is planned to reach the magnetic South Pole, but they would find themselves thwarted at each turn.
Next Years Pick
We’ve only had the privilege of reading a handful of the many books expected to be released next year but of those few, below is our favourite one of the bunch.
The Best Way to Bury Your Husband (2024)
By Alexia Casale
94,000 words, 384 pages, 65 Chapters, 8hrs 40mins to read
Published by Viking
4.01 out of 5 on Goodreads
Expected publication date: 14 Mar 2024.
This dark-comedy did make for an enjoyable read, it did have its flaws, which you can read all about in the review, but overall it made for quite an enjoyable read. While it’s not quite the laugh-out-comedy, the comedy aspects did help to lighten the mood during the darker moments.
Set during the Covid pandemic, the UK is in full lockdown when four women become friends all facing the same problem. They have all just recently killed their abusive husbands, and they need to find the best way to deal with the bodies.
Read the review here.
Here are all the books that are included in this post:
- All the Dangerous Things (2023)
- Arkspire (2023)
- The Best Way to Bury Your Husband (2024)
- Gone Girl (2012)
- Green Bone Trilogy (2017, 2019, 2021)
- His Dark Materials Trilogy (1995, 1997, 2000)
- The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (1937, 1954, 1955)
- Hussite Trilogy (2002, 2004, 2006)
- Madhouse at the End of the Earth (2021)
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (2017)
- Station Eleven (2014)
- Third Eye (2023)
This has been a great year of reading for us at BridgingsBooks! We hope you have enjoyed seeing what we have been up to this year. We certainly look forward to what the next year may bring us all, and what new books we may discover, and what old favourites we may rediscover.
Are there any you disagree with or think that should be added to this list?
Which one is your favourite or most looking forward to picking up next?
Let us know!