Looking for a few books to add to your reading list in 2023? As I did last year, here are ten titles for your consideration. I’ve broken them down into three categories once again – General Recommendations, Personal Development, and Business. There’s also a few bonus reads at the end if my top 10 aren’t enough to fill your reading list.
My reading tends to lean towards science fiction, technology, self-management, and fitness & nutrition. Bear this in mind as you review the list.
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
On the surface, it’s a simple premise. A woman is accused of murdering her husband. The catch? She refuses to speak and is convicted of the crime. She is subsequently committed to a psychiatric hospital. Forensic psychiatrist Theo Faber takes an interest in the case and positions himself to get assigned as her therapist with the goal of getting her to speak. His attempts at getting her to speak leads him to his own investigation of the murder. The book is part mystery, part thriller. It’s a page-turner that will keep you engaged from beginning to end.
- Upgrade by Blake Crouch
My favorite author waded into the realm of genetic editing for his latest book. Upgrade is a typical Crouch novel with plenty of action and technology woven into a fast-paced, thriller. Upgrade may not be my favorite Crouch novel, but it was still one of my favorite books of 2022. If you;re a fan of Crouch, definitely read this book in 2023. If you haven’t experienced the genius of Crouch’s writing, I might suggest starting with Wayward Pines, Dark Matter, or the short story Summer Frost before reading Upgrade.
- Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Scientist Ryland Grace ends up on a mission into the outer reaches of space in an attempt to save the human race from extinction. Unfortunately, the other two members of his crew don’t survive the trip to their destination, and Grace is left on his own to complete the mission. If it sounds similar to Weir’s book The Martian, it is. However, Project Hail Mary can easily stand on its own. If you’ve read The Martian, and especially if you enjoyed it as much as I did, you should definitely make sure Project Hail Mary is on your reading list for next year.
- The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to read The Naturalist. It was a new author from a genre I don’t read much of. Needless to say, Mayne’s work impressed me. The protagonist, professor Theo Cray, is accused of the murder of one of his former students. To clear his name, he decides to hunt down the suspect. What makes the story captivating, in my opinion, are the detailed forensic analysis techniques Mayne describes as part of the plot. I can’t speak to how valid the science and technical details are, but they certainly seem accurate. Either way, it makes the story more realistic and immersive.
- The Cancer Code by Dr. Jason Fung
In The Cancer Code, Dr. Jason Fung takes you on a trip describing the histories of cancer treatments, how cancer cells operate, and why there is hope that cancer can be treated using immunotherapy techniques. I’m not a doctor or medical researcher, so I can’t comment on the accuracy of Fung’s statements. They definitely seem logical, and given what I’ve heard from friends who are active in the field, Fung’s findings match what they are saying. The Cancer Code won’t tell you how to prevent cancer, but it will give you hope that the medical community is making progress to treat this deadly disease.
- The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton
The Biology of Belief breaks down the operation of cells in the human body. Through his research, Lipton shows how our thoughts and experiences affect the development of our cells. It a new area of study know as epigenetics which believes that our environment has a larger influence over our development than our genetics. Lipton even goes a step further explaining how our cells respond to energy at the quantum level. Let’s just say I had my mind blown through his findings.
- Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
Matthew Walker is a neuroscientist who runs a sleep laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. In Why We Sleep, he goes into detail on the importance of sleep and why we need 8 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy and operate at our peak performance levels. It’s made me more aware of my sleep habits and encouraged me to pay more attention to my sleep hygiene. There is one disclaimer I’d offer for this book – if you have anxiety about falling or staying asleep, you may want to avoid this book. It’s possible it could increase your anxiety levels and exacerbate any sleep problems you may be experiencing.
- Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg
BJ Fogg is a behavioral scientist and researcher at Stanford University. He has worked with numerous companies to help them figure out how to develop products that tap into human behaviors and turn them into habits. Fogg takes what he has learned and shows how you can use this information in your personal life to achieve big goals. How? By breaking goals down into small pieces, or tiny habits, that when stacked together lead to life changing habits. It’s an inspirational manual that can help you transform how you think about goal setting and breaking bad habits.
- Maxwell Daily Reader by John C. Maxwell
John C. Maxwell takes concepts from various books he has written and breaks them down into a passage for each day of the year. The concepts are applicable for managing one’s self on both a professional and personal level. While it is directed more towards those in a business environment, it is applicable to anyone. I enjoyed it and used it as a prompt for my daily journaling activity.
- The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche: A Book for Disruptors by Brad Feld and Dave Jilk
If you are an entrepreneur, involved in a startup, or considering your own business, The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche is a great handbook. Feld and Jilk provide a passage for each week of the year that summarizes insights they’ve learned during their careers running businesses and mentoring others. I realize Nietzsche can be a polarizing and controversial figure, but I’d encourage you to put that aside for this book. Feld and Jilk aren’t looking to praise Nietzsche, they are just using some of his writing as a way to provide sound, solid advice to entrepreneurs and startup businesses.
I’m not going to go into the details for the “bonus” reads. You can click on the links to see my review for the book if you want to learn more before adding it to your reading list.
- The Extinction Trials by A.G. Riddle
- Interference by Brad Parks
- The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
If you’re still in need of books for your 2023 reading list, you can review my lists from years past for more ideas.