Kerri Miller and two book lovers share their favorite books of 2023

A collage of books
"Lessons in Chemistry," "How to Say Babylon," "The Comfort of Crows," "The Paris Bookseller," "Family Lore" and "Moonrise Over New Jessup" were among the favorites.
Courtesy images

What book did you read this year that you immediately recommended to all your friends?

That was the topic MPR News host Kerri Miller tackled Monday at 9 a.m. for a special live edition of her regular Friday show, Big Books and Bold Ideas. Instead of chatting with an author, Miller took calls and chatted with Glory Edim, the founder of Well-Read Black Girl, and Julie Buckles, the owner of Honest Dog Books in Bayfield, Wis.

Before the show, we asked our social media followers what their favorite books of the year were and the top responses were: “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus, “Tom Lake” by Ann Patchett and “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver.

Kerri’s picks

Julie’s picks

  • “Good Night, Irene” by Luis Alberto Urrea

  • “Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett

  • “The Paris Bookseller” by Kerri Maher

  • “The Diary of a Bookseller” by Shaun Bythell

  • “You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir” by Maggie Smith

  • “The River: A Novel” by Peter Heller

A person sits with a stack of books
Julie Buckles, the owner of Honest Dog Books in Bayfield, Wis., in studio with Kerri Miller on Monday.
Kelly Gordon | MPR News

Glory’s picks

  • “Company: Stories” by Shannon Sanders

  • “Witness” by Jamel Brinkley

  • “The Fraud” by Zadie Smith

  • “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

  • “Family Lore” by Elizabeth Acevedo

  • “The Unsettled” by Ayana Mathis

  • “Moonrise Over New Jessup” by Jamila Minnicks

A woman poses by a tree
Glory Edim poses for a photo.
Courtesy of Tiffany A. Bloomfield

Caller’s picks

  • “Winter’s Song: A Hymn to the North” by TD Mischke

  • “Foster” by Claire Keegan

  • “West with Giraffes: A Novel” by Lynda Rutledge

  • “Angry Water” by Allen Theisen

  • “The Seed Keeper” by Diane Wilson

  • “The Comfort of Crows” by Margaret Renkl

  • “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus

  • “The Jungle Book: by Rudyard Kipling

  • “Mr. Texas: A Novel” by Lawrence Wright

  • “Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America” by Heather Cox Richardson

  • “The Measure” by Nikki Erlick

  • “A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them” by Timothy Egan

  • “Whiskey When We’re Dry: A Novel” by John Larison

  • “Chenneville” by Paulette Jiles

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