stack of books

In the words of every single Youtuber and blogger after July hits: “How are we already over half-way through the year??!”

But yet here we are. In fact I’m actually very late. Originally, this blog post was going to be my April – June reading check-in, using the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag. But seeing as it’s now August, I figured I’d mix it up a little bit.

In this blog we’ll chat about my reading statistics for the first six months of the year. Plus I’m sharing my best books of 2023 so far. And some books I’m excited to get to!

Reading Statistics

Between January – June 2023, I read a total of 36 books! I originally set my 2023 goal at 25 books so, clearly, we have achieved that. I updated this goal to 50 books earlier in the year, but we’re now well over half way so we’re well on track!

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Best books of the year so far

Your Word or Mine by Lia Middleton

This was my favourite book of the first quarter of the year, and is holding onto it’s title as we reach the end of quarter 2!

I spent the first half of this book not sure whether I loved it or hated it. The tension that Lia Middleton manages to build made me feel physically on-edge and uncomfortable in a way that books don’t usually manage and really fit with the story.est

This is a psychological thriller following a woman who was sexually assaulted as a teenager, when her attacker walked free because the main evidence was mis-handled. Years later she finds herself prosecuting the case of a young girl stabbing a man. And the man just happens to be the man who attacked her. Determined to uncover the truth about this case, she sets out on a mission to find out what really happened.

This book manages to balance intelligent and thoughtful discussion about the legal/justice systems, and how victims are treated; with the tension and intrigue of a thrilling plot line. I usually fall asleep to audiobooks, but I kept having to turn this off because I was staying awake to hear more.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

This book was a big surprise to me. Historically, I haven’t been a big romance reader. Instead I have veered more towards mystery and thrillers, and historical fiction. But this book has really kicked off my romance era. They’re just such a fun and easy read that bring me a lot of joy at the moment.

I had heard so many people talk about this book, so you’ve probably heard the synopsis 100 times. But this book follows Olive and Ethan – sworn enemies who end up going on their siblings’ honeymoon after everyone else gets sick at their wedding.

Whilst on the trip there are all kinds of situations they end up in which I found really entertaining. The romance itself is very cute and fun and just held my interest for the whole book – I zoomed through it.

The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda

I had never read a Megan Miranda book before this one. I saw it was available as an audiobook from my library so I thought I would give it a go and I was hooked from page one. This book has a super interesting concept – we follow a girl who has been super protected by a mother living in fear. And then her mother disappears.

The intrigue and atmosphere in this book was incredible. It takes place over such a short period of time but it fits so much in without anything feeling too rushed or too drawn out. I think the audiobook really helped to improve the experience of this book for me too. A good audiobook can really improve a good book for me!

The Thursday Murder Club Series by Richard Osman

To be honest, I can’t believe that it was this year when I read this series – it feels like such a long time ago! The Thursday Murder Club was the first book I read in 2023, with book two and three following very quickly after. It is such a beautiful series following a group of people living in a retirement village together. They get together each week to try solving cold cases – but then a murder happens on their doorstop.

I enjoyed the mystery element of these books more in books two or three, but to be honest they are the kind of books that I wouldn’t really mind if the mystery was never solved. The characters are what really carry these books and draw you in. It manages to be thoughtful and reflective, whilst also really funny at the same time. Even the side characters are interesting and developed. I can’t wait to read book four later this year!

Books I’m excited to read before the end of 2023…

I guess this is always kind of an endless list, but here are just a few of the books I am super excited to read in the next few months if I can fit them in!

    What have been your best books of 2023 so far? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

    Other blog posts you might enjoy…

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