2023 Reader Favorites Announced!

We asked, you answered! The votes are in and readers have spoken up about their favorite new books and movies released in 2023. From immersive fantasy fiction to revealing biographies, books exploring the richness of the Pacific Northwest to compelling mystery novels, readers chose their favorite titles of the past year. Consider these exciting new additions to your to-be-read pile or the perfect book or movie suggestion to share with friends and family.

General / Literary Fiction

Readers overwhelmingly chose The Covenant of Water as their favorite adult fiction novel of the year. This Oprah's Book Club pick set in Kerala on South India's Malabar Coast from 1900-1977 follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning--and in Kerala, water is everywhere. Want more Oprah's Book Club Picks? Check out Our Favorites, opens a new window


If you're looking for a good scare, check out How to Sell A Haunted House by Grady Hendrix. This hilarious and terrifying novel follows Louise as she returns to the small Southern town where she grew up to sell her childhood home. It means she'll have to spend time with her younger brother--and their old grudges make that a terrifying prospect. But childhood hurts pale in comparison to the dangers posed by what still lives inside the house. Love a good haunted house story? Check out our list of Home Scream Home, opens a new window titles. 

Mystery / Thriller

Topping readers' list of favorite mystery novels from the past year is Lisa Jewell's None of This Is True. This psychological thriller about a woman who befriends a mysterious new acquaintance only to find herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast will be sure to keep you guessing until the very last page. Looking for more chilling mysteries? Check out our list of Winter Thrillers, opens a new window


Charming readers with its unique blend of science, romance and comedy, Ali Hazelwood's Love, Theoretically follows two rival physicists who collide in a vortex of academic feuds and fake dating shenanigans. Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt physicist Elsie Hannaway to put her most guarded theories on love into practice? While you wait to find out, check out more Romance Rooted in STEM, opens a new window titles. 

Science-Fiction / Fantasy

The first book in the new Empyrean fantasy series from Rebecca Yarros, Fourth Wing captured our readers' imagination--and their votes--with its blend of romance, fantasy and adventure. Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general--also known as her tough-as-talons mother--has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders. But once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die. Did you love this book or get stuck in its long holds queue? Check out our list of suggested read-alike titles, opens a new window


The highly anticipated memoir from Prince Harry holds the Guinness World Record, opens a new window for fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time. With raw, unflinching honesty, Spare details the Duke of Sussex's life, in his own words, from the death of his mother at age 12 through his military service, marriage and eventual rift with the British royal family. In search of more autobiographies? Check out some of our favorite celebrity memoirs, opens a new window

Pacific Northwest

Kick back, relax and get On Island Time with this travel guide to Puget Sound, British Columbia and the San Juan Islands. Showcasing the hidden delights, natural wonders and unique history of the Salish Sea, readers loved the book's whimsical, color illustrations that bring the region's islands to life. For more Pacific Northwest travel guides, see our list of Offbeat PNW Adventure, opens a new window titles. 

Movies & TV

Hollywood's breakout hit of the summer was also our members' favorite film of the year. Equal parts hilarious and thought-provoking, Barbie reminds us that we all feel pressure to live up to the expectations of others, but being true to yourself is what matters most. Need a recommendation for your next movie night? Check out some of our top fun female films, opens a new window

View All 2023 Staff Favorite Titles

You've seen what readers have chosen as their favorite titles of the year. Now check out which titles Sno-Isle Libraries' staff named as their favorite new books and movies from 2023