Reading list 2023 by the book
No one quite understands the problem of plenty like a bibliophile. Too many books to read, too little time. Industry markers and reading patterns over the last two years alternated between the shadow of the pandemic, hope, and good-old celebrity goss. Sales of Prince Harry’s Spare rocketed up in proportion to his popularity; Michelle Obama didn’t want old pal Meghan Markle anywhere near her book tour of The Light We Carry. Current affairs have currency: Blowing Up Ukraine: The Return of Russian Terror and the Threat of World War III by historians Yuri Felshtinsky with Mikhail Stanchev sold its film rights at the London Book Fair.
The pandemic did prompt a surge of delightfully dark content. The New York Times Magazine commissioned a collection of short stories—The Decameron Project: 29 New Stories from the Pandemic (2020)—by Margaret Atwood, Tommy Orange, Edwidge Danticat, et al. In Just the Two of Us (2023), Jo Wilde writes about how a couple on the brink of divorce rediscovered love during the Book man T-shirt. Crime, mystery, and thrillers as usual stay on their high perch: among the anticipated reads are Srinath Rao’s Meow Meow, the true story of Baby Patankar.
The much-awaited second installment in the Lady Joker series by Karol Takamura is due this year. Self-help books remain an evergreen genre—read Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab and Attention Span: Find Focus, Fight Distraction by Gloria Mark. The Greatest Self-Help Book (Is the One Written by You) by Vex King and his beauty-influencer wife Kaushal is meant to encourage readers to love themselves. For historical fiction and non-fiction fans, come Kate Thompson’s The Wartime Book Club, Akshat Gupta’s Hidden Hindu 3, and Black on Black by Daniel Black.
Going with the times, Indian history and mythology are having their spotlight moment, with children’s books such as Daaji’s Tales from the Puranas and A Complete History of India by Roshen Dalal wooing young minds with new narratives. Technology is the arbiter of the 2000s and Book man T-shirt altered the bible scene considerably.
The main challenge for publishers, booksellers, and libraries is from audiobooks, the global m