These blog posts typically go notoriously bad for me. Looking back at some of my previous “books on my bookshelf I want to read this year” posts I’ve written over the years, the amount of books I’ve ACTUALLY read from those lists is… abysmal. To put it bluntly. The intentions are always good but…

I’m sure any book lover will understand that sometimes our reading plans go out of the window when new exciting books get released all year round. Or a random trip to the library sees us come back with 10 extra books we need to read before we have to take them back.

And as someone that just loves books so much, I’m always accumulating new books throughout the year.

In fact, 2022 was the year I realized that I do LITERALLY come back from EVERYWHERE with a book. I went to a funeral and came back with 5 books that someone had brought along for me because they knew I liked reading.

I also went to view a house and ended up coming back with a book that the woman who lived there gave to me.

It’s getting a bit ridiculous.

You can check out last years bookshelf TBR here: 9 Books I Want To Read In 2022

So, I’m keeping an open mind when it comes to writing this post this year. And I’m certainly not going to put any pressure on myself to read all of these books specifically. 

Because I KNOW that I’ll be gaining more books throughout the year, some of which I might be more excited to read than those listed here.

And that’s okay because I’m also a mood-reader and I hate to limit myself with what I can read. The worst thing is trying to read a book you’re just NOT in the mood for.

Reading is supposed to be fun, right.

So, all that being said, here are 12 books that are currently on my bookshelf RIGHT NOW that I’m hoping to finally get around to reading in 2023.

Some of them have been there for quite some time, others are new books that I’ve just picked up. But all of them are on my hopeful TBR this year.

Here’s a quick run-down of each book I want to try and read this year:

The Lemon Tree Cafe by Cathy Bramley

Yes, this book was on last year’s list and I didn’t get around to reading it. Not for any particular reason but I’m hoping to get around to The Lemon Tree Café in the Spring this year, I think that’d be a perfect time to read this and I’m a fan of Cathy’s writing!

The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett

Oh look, another book from last year’s list as well *hides face*. I don’t know why I haven’t read this yet. I think it’s because I’ve heard LOTS of good things about The Vanishing Half and I’m intimidated. Whoops.

The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page

This one hasn’t been on my bookshelf for very long, so I don’t feel too bad about not having read this one yet. The Keeper of Stories was picked up on a trip to Lincolnshire in November and sounds like a beautiful read!

How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie

How To Kill Your Family has been on my radar for ages – everyone seems to have read this book! I’ve heard mixed reviews but it definitely sounds up my street!

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

This is another book that’s been on my book case for FAR too long because, quite honestly, I’m intimidated to read it. I’ve heard amazing things about Girl, Woman, Other but definitely feel like I’ll be out of my comfort zone reading this!

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

This is a book I picked up on an absolute whim. I’d never heard anything about it before and it sounded REALLY different from what I’m used to, so I guess I thought I was trying to expand my reading *repertoire* with The People in the Trees. Except I didn’t read it because I got scared.

The Push by Ashley Audrain

I’ve heard soooo many great things about The Push and it’s also been nominated for a few awards, so I definitely have high hopes for this one. This is one I picked up with a Waterstones gift card I got for Christmas.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Another one that everyone seemed to be raving about in 2022 and whilst this isn’t typically the sort of book I would have picked up, I do want to read different styles and genres this year, so Book Lovers seemed like the perfect option for delving into more rom-com.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman novels keep popping up for me as recommendations from other book bloggers or book tubers and I mean, they can’t ALL be wrong, can they? I really liked the sound of A Man Called Ove, so I’m looking forward to reading this one.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book has been out for over 10 years and I keep seeing it and reading about it but for some stupid reason I still haven’t picked it up – until now. Only 11 years late to The Night Circus party but I finally made it!

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

I’ve heard great things about this series of books so I reaaaally looking forward to delving into Get a Life, Chloe Brown. I love the fact that it has a chronically ill main character as well, as that’s not something you see often.

The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker by Lauren James

I read a Lauren James book last year and I was absolutely blown away by it so I’m really glad I was able to find another of her books with my Waterstones gift card to read in 2023. The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker sounds like a ride!

I feel like 2023 already is shaping up to be an excellent year for books and reading. I can’t remember a year where I’ve been THIS excited at the prospect of reading so many books on my bookshelf before.

My goal is definitely to get through as many of my bookshelf books as possible. I love the library but I think I’ll only be sticking to the library to get some non-fiction books throughout the year for a while!

Now over to you! Tell me which books you’re excited to read in 2023! Have you read any of these on this list?

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  1. I love this idea! I’m going to take a look at my bookshelves and select books that I haven’t read or haven’t finished reading, like The Lemon Tree Cafe! I started reading it last spring but got bored with it so I stop reading it, I’m going to challenge myself to finish it this year! ♥

  2. I’m a mood reader as well and you’re so right.. it’s miserable forcing yourself to read something that just isn’t doing it for you at that time.
    It looks like you have some great books to choose from though! Half of these are on my list as well.
    Thanks for sharing!

      1. I am So glad that it’s not just me. With books I have to read what interests me or it just won’t work.. which kind of sucks because I much prefer planning ahead. 😅

  3. I have had books on my bookshelf unread for about three years and it’s becoming painful! I just can’t seem to find the time to sit down and really get encrossed in a book. But your post has definitely inspired me to think about those books gathering dust and at least read a couple this year before buying anymore which is always so tempting with their shiny front covers. Good luck with your TBR list.

    1. Ah I totally understand that, it does get painful to see all those books gathering dust doesn’t it! Hope you manage you get around to a few of yours this year – maybe set yourself a small goal of like one a month?

  4. Coming back from everywhere with books sounds like a superpower to me. You must give off serious bookworm vibes. Can so relate to going to the library and coming out with a massive stack of books. I need to return a book today, am going to try to resist looking for new ones…
    There’s loads of brilliant sounding books on this list. I’ve only read The Night Circus but it was very atmospheric and beautifully imagined. Hope you have a wonderful reading year, whichever books you end up picking up.

  5. I read How To Kill Your Family last year, I found it really enjoyable! If you want to read A Mna Called Ove, I would also recommend reading All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle – absolutely stunning book.

  6. i’m a mood reader too! there were so many books i thought i was going to read last year but never got to – trying to read a few more on my physical tbr before i buy more books. that way i feel a little less guilty lol!

    some books i’m looking forward to reading: the housemaid by freida mcfadden, the atlas six by olivie blake & his & hers by alice feeney

  7. Great list, Jenny! I loved the idea of putting this post out there and having some accountability for a growing book stack. I almost have to put blinders on for bookstores when I got out and my to read stack has grown too big.

  8. I feel seen that I am not the only one collecting books everywhere she goes and end up having full bookshelves! The vanishing half and Girl, woman other I read last year and loved both of them! I listened How to kill your family and had kind of mixed opinions on it, hope you get to read all of them x

  9. Some great reads to come for you, definitely. A Man Called Ove’ is fantastic and my wife has just finished How To Kill Your Family and says it’s ace. I have Girl, Woman, Other on my list this year too.

  10. I love that you seem to collect books wherever you go! ☺️ But I guess you do build up a bit of a collection at home. I love reading too – I need to make more time for it, it’s so good for the mind. This sounds like a great collection. I’m going to add The Reckless Afterlife to my list – thanks for sharing. Jade MumLifeandMe

  11. I really want to get back into reading – I find it so much easier in the summer when the days feel longer and I actually allow myself to chill in the sun! Love your picks, top my list this year are: The Time Traveller’s Wife & The Handmaid’s Tale

  12. You’re accumulating a lot of books but that’s such a nice way to live! I would love to go places and always come back with new books haha.
    This list of 12 books has so many great reads, a few that I rated 5 stars. I hope you’re able to get to them and enjoy them!

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