December 12, 2023booksfiction

A rated list of 36 books I read and a further 41 that I opened.

2023 - The Year in Fiction

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This is my list of fiction for 2023. I have rated them into categories, but within a category they are in no particular order.

Over the past few years my reading habit has changed in one important way: I put aside a book as soon as I stop enjoying it or get bored. Some of those I set aside I might read at a later time, but mostly I just, er, write them off. I think it’s a rational response: there’s so much to read and the available time to read them keeps getting shorter.

(Related: 2022 — The Year in Fiction and 2021 — The Year in Fiction)

Completely read or re-read

Very Highly Rated

  1. Past Caring by Robert Goddard
  2. The Enigma of Room 622 by Joel Dicker
  3. Arcadia by Iain Pears
  4. The Truth by Terry Pratchett
  5. Foucault’s Pendulum - Umberto Eco (Fourth complete re-read)

Highly Rated

  1. Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
  2. The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
  3. The Sword of the Lictor by Gene Wolfe
  4. The Citadel of the Autarch by Gene Wolfe
  5. Name to a Face by Robert Goddard
  6. The Erstwhile by Brian Catling
  7. The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers
  8. City of Mist by Carlos Luis Zafon
  9. A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee
  10. Making Money by Terry Pratchett


  1. The Claw of the Conciliator by Gene Wolfe
  2. The Leech by Hiron Ennes
  3. The Cabinets of Barnaby Maybe by Elsa Hart
  4. Love will tear us apart by C K McDonnell
  5. The Physiognomy by Jeffrey Ford
  6. Midsummer’s Equation by Keigo Higashino
  7. Legacy by John Pilkington
  8. The Reincarnationist Papers by D Eric Maikranz
  9. The Cognomina Codex by D Eric Maikranz
  10. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Good, but disappointing

  1. Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
  2. The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel
  3. The Hollow Places by T Kingfisher
  4. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
  5. The Dimensions of a Cave by Greg Jackson


  1. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
  2. The Beach by Alex Garland
  3. Whirligig by Andrew James Greig
  4. Maigret and the Hotel Majestic by Georges Simenon
  5. The Fine Art of Invisible Detection by Robert Goddard
  6. The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte

I do intend to come back and read some of these; especially the short story collections. I had to push some new books down into this list to accommodate the re-reading of Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, which I had scheduled for the year-end.

Partly read

  1. Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
  2. A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
  3. Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris
  4. The Curator by Owen King
  5. Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton
  6. She lover of death by Boris Akunin
  7. Death and Restoration by Iain Spears
  8. The Saint of Bright Doors by Vajra Chandrasekhara
  9. The Dimensions of a Cave by Greg Jackson
  10. The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien
  11. Disruptions by Steven Millhauser
  12. Santantango by Laszlo Krasznahorkai
  13. The Other Name by John Fosse
  14. The Narrator by Michael Cisco
  15. Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko
  16. The Seventh Son by Sebastian Faulks
  17. Locus Solus by Raymond Roussel
  18. Prophet by Helen Macdonald
  19. Sanctus by Simon Toyne
  20. Lanny by Max Porter
  21. When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut
  22. F by Daniel Kehlmann
  23. Monday begins on Saturday by Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
  24. The Fraud by Zadie Smith
  25. Swift to Chase by Laird Barron
  26. The Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathan Fairfax by Christopher Shevlin
  27. How to buy a Planet by D A Holdsworth
  28. Fever House by Keith Rosson
  29. Traveller of the Century by Andres Neuman
  30. Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
  31. Tomas Nevinson by Javier Marias
  32. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  33. Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov
  34. Cast in Order of Disappearance by Simon Brett
  35. Money by Martin Amis
  36. The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
  37. The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelman
  38. The Hike by Drew Magary
  39. The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski
  40. Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
  41. Illuminations by Alan Moore

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