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The Books You Need to Read in 2023

Posted on 1st December 2022 by Mark Skinner

This is the blog we know you've all been waiting for. We present the top 10 titles for 2023 in fiction, non-fiction and children's books; a glorious mix of masterful storytelling, compelling subject matter and page-turning thrills. And if you are hungry for more, don't miss our three category blogs for an even deeper dive into next year's literary riches.    


 

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Featuring a glorious cast of characters from George Orwell and Martha Gellhorn to an alien tasked with retelling human fairy tales, this spellbinding collection of short fiction from the award-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale showcases Atwood’s narrative genius and boundless imagination at their very best.
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From the masterly pen of the acclaimed author of Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses comes a luminous epic that spans a quarter of a millennium and begins in fourteenth-century India where a girl is tasked by a goddess with giving women agency in a patriarchal world.
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£16.99
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The bestselling author of Babel harnesses her satirical powers in this tantalising and deliciously humorous literary thriller that investigates ambition, greed and white privilege with deadly precision.

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£20.00
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Taking inspiration from a real-life nineteenth-century imposture trial, Smith's immersive first historical novel weaves together the stories of a Scottish housekeeper with a novelist cousin, a formerly enslaved valet unexpectedly thrust into the limelight of a legal case and the missing heir to the Tichborne baronetcy.

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£12.99
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With boundless empathy and psychological precision, the award-winning author of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers and Lanny delivers a breathtaking vignette of a troubled young boy caught between the ghosts of his past and the enormous questions about his future.
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From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Luminaries comes a dazzling psychological thriller about a guerrilla gardening group and their compromised existence working the land of an abandoned farm, rich in profound characterisation and prescient, thought-provoking themes.

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The author of the bestselling Child 44 delivers a taut, chilling tale of a group of apocalypse survivors determined to forge a society in a hostile sub-zero corner of the world where life is still possible.
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The geriatric sleuths of the Thursday Murder Club are faced with their most dangerous case yet when the disappearance of a highly dangerous package sends the body count spiralling in Osman's irresistible fourth crime caper.

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A slayer of gods and a disillusioned knight must join forces in a perilous quest to defeat an indestructible deity in Kaner's breathtaking fantasy debut.

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The engrossing prequel to the bestselling The Priory of the Orange Tree delivers more character-driven, emotionally complex adventure and intrigue as the eruption of the Dreadmount brings three formidable women to the fore.
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In the most eagerly-awaited memoir of 2023, Prince Harry tells his version of the story about the tragic death of his mother Princess Diana, life within the Royal Family and his marriage to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, with remarkable candour and directness.
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The comedian and host of the Griefcast podcast reflects on her father's passing when she was fifteen and discusses the process of grieving and society's changing attitudes to death in this powerful, inspiring and frequently funny volume.
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Using examples from his own life experience, the much-loved poet reflects on trauma and grief with his characteristic insight and candour and discusses how it is possible to find light in even the darkest of situations.
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£25.00
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Taking the dramatic 1654 explosion in Delft that killed the painter Carel Fabritius as a springboard for a profound meditation on Dutch art and culture, the author of On Chapel Sands casts light on an era of astonishing artistic creativity and innovation.
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The acclaimed actor and noted trans activist reflects on gender, mental health, Hollywood and much more in this thoughtful, passionate memoir.
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Wide-ranging, topical and revelatory, this monumental account from the author of The Silk Roads of how the natural world has shaped human history sheds fascinating new light on both today's climate crisis and the epochal shifts of the past.
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The bestselling author of Prisoners of Geography and The Power of Geography turns his attention to the geopolitical space race, analysing the cosmic strides Russia, China and the United States have made and what it means for the rest of us down here on Earth.
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Deconstructing the processes and culture of the badly broken British political system in clear and accessible prose, the author of How to Be a Liberal reveals how we have got to this low point and how to start dragging Westminster out of the mire.
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Revelling in the small wonders that underpin our existence, May's luminous call to embrace the magic of the natural world is a life-affirming path to mental wellbeing and calm.
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An inspiring new volume from the bestselling author of Think Like an Artist, See What You’re Missing guides the reader through the eyes and minds of great artists – from contemporary icons to old masters – on how to notice and experience beauty, colour and emotions in everything we see around us.
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The spectacular sequel to the mega-selling Skandar and the Unicorn Thief finds our young hero and his friends embarking on their second year at the Eyrie amidst the terrifying slaughter of immortal unicorns by sinister, unknown forces.

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The author of former Waterstones Children's Gift of the Year Julia and the Shark delivers the first part of a bewitching epic fantasy series that pitches a resourceful recluse into a thrilling rescue mission.

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A boarding-school runaway, a botanical genius and a seriously feisty cat must join forces to protect an enchanted verdant paradise from dark magic in Thomson's immersive fantasy.
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Perfect reading for fans of Madeline Miller and Jennifer Saint, Underwood's utterly immersive debut novel delivers a sweeping Sapphic epic of sacrifice, revenge and female courage inspired by Greek mythology.
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Mining philosophy, science fiction and Japanese mythology to craft a mature, compelling story of loss and tragedy, Kumagai spins the tale of a Japan fractured in time by an earthquake caused by an infamous monster.
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Inspired by the names of numerous children that Julia Donaldson has signed her books for, this irresistible picture book written in her trademark effortless rhyming style is a love letter to books, their fans and the magic of bookshops.
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The adorable and uplifting sequel to Waterstones Children's Book Prize category winner Grandad's Camper sees Milly attempt to bring the spirit of Pride to her beloved grandfather's cottage.
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£6.99
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Can you track down the missing monarch in this right royal addition to the bestselling Felt Flaps series, which boasts other characters including Mrs Tube Driver and Mr Beefeater?
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£6.99
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Superbly silly and highly endearing, the first book in Reeve and McIntyre's series of rodent adventures sees plucky young Pedro determined to prove he can join the titular band of mighty mice.
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Antoine de Saint-Exupery's seminal fable is rendered even more essential courtesy of this sumptuous hardback gift edition adorned with exquisite illustrations from former Waterstones Children's Laureate Chris Riddell.
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