Bookish Musings: Top Ten Books/Series I Read in 2023 + Some Non-Bookish Things


Here we are, the last blog post of the year! It might be the new year by the time you’re reading this, but still, it’s my last 2023 post, and I guess I saved the best for last? Since I am talking about my favorite books from the year. (All of which are queer, btw! Love that!)

I’m grateful to have found these, and all the other great books I read this year, because they brought me joy or distraction or made me feel a little bit understood during a year when I’ve been struggling. But this isn’t about my year, it’s about the books I loved, so (in no particular order) here they are!

The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley

The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley

I didn’t know what to expect from this one, but it captivated me once I started. Sci-fi, unique, and bittersweet with a sort of romance between one imperfect but good person and one terrible, messed up one.

[ My Review ]

Tyack & Frayne Series by Harper Fox [Audiobooks]

Once Upon a Haunted Moor by Harper FoxTinsel Fish by Harper FoxDon't Let Go by Harper Fox

I started this 10-ish book series years ago but re-listened to those and finished the rest this year. (Unfortunately the last few don’t have audio, at least not yet.) The paranormal and mystery elements were nice, but I especially loved this couple and getting to see their relationship go years beyond the initial romance. It followed them through ups and downs, but no matter their struggles, they always loved each other and had each other, and it was beautiful.

[ My Review ]

The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon

The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon

This was one of the most unique worlds I’ve read about, with AI running cities and people becoming changed when the AIs corrupt and those people then being used to power giant robots. And the characters were equally as fascinating, with complicated relationships and histories and secrets.

[ My Review ]

The Archer’s Heart Series by Astrid Amara

The Archer's Heart Book 1 by Astrid AmaraThe Archer's Heart Book 2 by Astrid AmaraThe Archer's Heart Book 3 by Astrid Amara

Some of the relationships (romantic, family, and friend) in this series were beautiful. Some were heartbreaking. The world and the magic were interesting. But best of all was how imperfect and complex the characters were. Some changed for the better, some changed for the worse, but they were all so compelling.

[ My Review ]

The Hundredth Voice by Caitlin Like

The Hundredth Voice by Caitlin Like

This was just a delight to read, with wonderful art, really interesting magic and ghosts and fae, kind characters, sweet friendships, and a surprising story.

[ My Review ]

Sigils of Spring // Spells of Summer // Runes of Fall by A.K. Faulkner

Sigils of Spring by A.K. FaulknerSpells of Summer by A.K. FaulknerRunes of Fall by A.K. Faulkner

This is one of those series that is more than the sum of its parts for me. These characters have grown on me more and more with each book, and I love it every time I get to spend more time with them. The magic is cool, the stories get intense sometimes, the character dynamics are interesting when certain ones are around each other, and the relationship between the two main characters is only getting stronger (and sexier)!

[ My Review of Book 1 ]

Gwen & Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher [Audiobook]

Gwen & Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher

This book was so much fun! I laughed, I almost cried, and I loved all these characters and their growth and their bravery and the way they helped each other. This also had one of the best battle scenes I’ve ever read because it really nailed the balance of action with personal stakes and emotion.

[ My Review ]

Half Bad Trilogy by Sally Green [Audiobook]

Half Bad by Sally GreenHalf Wild by Sally GreenHalf Lost by Sally Green

This trilogy made me sad, but in a way that I appreciated. This character was so well-written with such a strong voice, and I really, really felt for him. The author really put me in his head. A lot of the characters felt so real though, and the story and magic were interesting too.

[ My Review ]

All the Hidden Paths by Foz Meadows

All the Hidden Paths by Foz Meadows

This series was so easy to sink back into. These are such lovable characters, such lovely romance, such wonderful friendship. In this one, there was a lot of angst and struggle in the relationship, but only because these men really cared about each other and were just having a hard time figuring out how to navigate things while also dealing with their own trauma and grief (not to mention the politics of this fantasy world). I loved all the emotion and layers it brought, as well as how it was handled by the author.

[ My Review for Book 1 ]

Sword Dance Series by A.J. Demas

Sword Dance by A.J. DemasSaffron Alley by A.J. DemasStrong Wine by A.J. Demas

This was one of the first things I read this year, and I knew it would be one of the best! I adore both of these characters, especially Varazda whom I said in my favorite characters post is my new idol. Their relationship was so beautiful and caring and gentle. I especially loved seeing a romance about a character who had limited sex things they were ok with and a partner who fully accepted that. There was also nonbinary rep, physical disability, and trauma / PTSD, and it was all handled with so much care. Just a wonderful non-magical fantasy series.

[ My Review ]

Favorite Movie:
Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name Movie Poster

It didn’t come out this year, but I watched it for the first time this year. And then I watched it again the next day, and two more times that week. Which I’ve never done with any other movie except Tangled. I just needed to see it again though. I needed to. Every time I watched it, I felt like I appreciated more things about it that I hadn’t noticed before. It was so well-written and well-acted to capture such wonderful and heartbreaking emotion.

[ Amazon ]

Favorite Song:
“golden hour” by JVKE

It’s just a pretty song. The sound and the lyrics. I think I spent like four days listening to it nonstop when I first found it šŸ˜… And then I found a bunch more songs by this singer that I loved and just affected me emotionally in unexpected ways.

Check out my other end of the year posts!

Gamer Musings: Top Ten Games I Played in 2023
Cover Love: Best Book Covers from Books I Read in 2023
Bookish Musings: Top Ten Characters from Books I Read and Games I Played in 2023
Bookish Musings: Top Ten Books/Series I Read in 2023 + Some Non-Bookish Things


Talk to me!

Have you read any of these books or series?
What's one of your favorite books you read in 2023?
Your favorite movie or show or song?


Your Thoughts


6 thoughts on “Bookish Musings: Top Ten Books/Series I Read in 2023 + Some Non-Bookish Things

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  1. Lola

    I always love seeing people’s favorites reads of the year! I have to look up The Hundredth Voice as that one sounds good. The cover of the Inheritance series look so nice next to each other. I do like those series that grow on you and get even better the longer you read them. I have the first book in the Sword Dance series, I will have to bump it up on my to-read list as it sounds so good!

    Sorry I haven’t stopped by much this year, this year was really stressful for me and haven’t gotten to do as much blog visiting.

    1. Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)

      You might enjoy that one, it’s cute! Yeah, actually, they’re such nicely consistent covers and do like extra nice lined up. I really loved the Sword Dance, hopefully you will too!

      No worries, I barely bloghop anymore, it can be overwhelming and tiring.

  2. Roberta R.

    So many series! It’s great that they all seem to have great relationship dynamics at their core – of all kinds. I’m glad they were able to put a smile on your face when you needed it most.

    I hope your 2024 will bring you better things, or at least that it will keep putting awesome books on your radar!

  3. Angela @ Literary Wanderer

    I haven’t read any of these, but isn’t it nice that we can find fun and joy through books?

  4. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I’ve read none of these but the Half Bad series and I wish I remembered more about it other than really feeling for Nathan because that whole world sounded awful! I vaguely remember about being annoyed in the third book but no idea why.

    Also, can’t believe I’m going to say I’ve not seen Call Me By Your Name even though I know it’s an insanely popular film. I think the hype got to me and so I avoided it. The fact you watched it several times makes me think I should give it a chance.

    1. Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)

      I read about lots of characters who’ve been through bad things, but somehow Nathan’s really got to me and I felt more for him. That’s why I think it was just really well-written. I’m going to talk all about the thing that annoyed you in my review for the third book, so you can use that to jog your memory if you want lol.

      I didn’t see it until 2023, so I’m not gonna judge. And it was only because Netflix showed me the perfect little clip. It’s so good though!