Books I Read in 2023 & Think You Should Read in 2022

Overall, I read 160 books in 2023. This may be the most books I’ve ever read in a year, but as always, read at the pace that suits you and for the type of books you’re reading. Most books I read were under 500 pages, and a large chunk of them were under 300 pages. Read some pamphlets!

The vast majority of the books were fiction, with only 10% nonfiction. I made reading lists for history months: Black History Month, AAPI History Month, Pride Month, and Latinx Heritage Month. What this mostly did was intentionally focus on authors or books I’d been meaning to read from my shelf. I’m a mood reader, so TBRs often don’t work for me.

My most-read “genres” were LGBTQIA+ (81 books), Romance (73), and Fantasy (51). My top-read 7 authors were Kresley Cole (9 books), Mariko Tamaki and Ngozi Ukazu (6), Katee Robert and Tui T. Sutherland (5), and Adriana Herrera and Ilona Andrews (4). I really got into Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, and I’ll likely finish everything in the unfinished series in 2024.

My primary reading goal accomplishment was reading (or DNFing) 84 books on my physical TBR that I’d purchased, been gifted, or got for free in 2022 or earlier. My goal was 50. (This does not include anything I’ve unhauled.) I have an extensive collection of unread books. It’s a constant balance for me as I get excited about new and upcoming books, too!

One of the greatest things I did last year was raise $3,050 for Trans Lifeline during the Trans Rights Readathon! I read some incredible books, but most importantly, it was all for a great cause to assist other trans people.

For 2024, I’ll have another 100 book goal, but more importantly, 50 more books off my shelf purchased in 2023 or earlier.

My Top 10 Books from 2023
Of the 37 books, I rated 5/5 stars

Book cover: 1. Amateur: A Reckoning with Gender, Identity, and Masculinity by Thomas Page McBee1. Amateur: A Reckoning with Gender, Identity, and Masculinity by Thomas Page McBee
Genre: memoir

McBee chronicles his training and becoming the first trans man to compete in a (charity) boxing match against another man at Madison Square Gardens. But this book is so much about masculinity, our relationships with each other (including violence and trauma), and how to be a better man and person.

Book cover for Unwritten Rules (Unwritten Rules #1) by K.D. Casey2. Unwritten Rules (Unwritten Rules #1) by K.D. Casey
Genre: cis achillean contemporary romance

The closet is a stifling and paranoid place that brings out the worst in ourselves and in our relationships. This baseball romance explores the life of Zach, a professional baseball player who believes he can either play ball or be gay, even as he falls in love.

Book cover: Band Sinister by K.J. Charles3. Band Sinister by K.J. Charles
Genre: cis achillean historical romance

Charles shows what societal rules and etiquette are meant to be broken and how those who break those rules find each other and stick together, whether by blood or found family. Plus, who knew that Latin could be so sexy.

Book cover for Kindred by Octavia E. Butler4. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Genre: speculative fiction

A Black woman in the 1970s is sucked back to Antebellum times and to a Southern plantation through a connection with her white slaver ancestors, whose life she must save. Butler’s prose is razor-sharp, and there’s a reason this is a classic.

Book cover for Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin5. Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin
Genre: splatterpunk horror

Felker-Martin, a trans woman, tackles a gender plague, where any testosterone-dominate person turns into a monster. The true horror in an apocalypse is always other people, as 2 trans women, 1 cis woman, and 1 trans man try to survive and maybe carve out a little hope.

Book cover for The Sunbearer Trials (The Sunbearer Duology #1) by Aiden Thomas6. The Sunbearer Trials (The Sunbearer Duology #1) by Aiden Thomas
Genre: YA fantasy

Teo is a teenage demigod fighting in Hunger Games-like trials to keep ancient evils at bay. At first, he wants to win and beat the popular kids. Then, everything he thinks about himself, his fellow contestants, and his world is turned upside down.

Book cover for The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey7. The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
Genre: sci-fi thriller

No one knows someone else’s marriage, but what about your clone? What about the clone your husband made to replace you after he stole your research? And what if your clone killed him, and then you must cover it up?

Book cover for Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart8. Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart
Genre: queer literary fiction

An utterly heartbreaking tale of Mungo, a young teenage boy growing up in poverty and violence in 1990s Glasgow and discovering his queerness. Stuart’s gaze is unflinching, and his prose is glowing, even as you know the worst will happen.

Book cover for Catwoman: Lonely City by Cliff Chiang9. Catwoman: Lonely City by Cliff Chiang
Genre: superhero comics

A stunning tribute to Gotham City’s secret hero, Catwoman. Fresh out of prison for murdering Batman (she didn’t do it!) and 50 years old, Catwoman tackles Batman’s final wish and teams up with her old pals, Killer Croc, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Barbara Gordon, and more.

Book cover for Saint (Priest #3) by Sierra Simone10. Saint (Priest #3) by Sierra Simone
Genre: cis achillean contemporary romance

Aiden left his boyfriend Elijah one night and pledged himself to become a Catholic monk. After spending 5 years devoted to God and finding a peace he never had before, Elijah shows up to write an article about the beer the monks brew, and Aiden finds there are other ways to worship God.

Other 5-Star Fiction Reads (alphanumerical by author’s or editor’s last name)

  • Think of England (England World #2) by K.J. Charles
    Genre: cis Achillean historical romance
  • A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals #3) by Alyssa Cole
    Genre: contemporary cis bi man/het woman romance
  • The Feeling of Falling in Love by Mason Deaver
    Genre: YA t4t (trans boy/nonbinary person) romance
  • You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
    Genre: cis bi man/woman contemporary romance
  • Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier and Val Wise
    Genre: contemporary cis/trans sapphic YA romance graphic novel
  • American Love Story (Dreamers #3) by Adriana Herrera
    Genre: cis achillean contemporary romance
  • Act Your Age, Eve Brown (The Brown Sisters #3) by Talia Hibbert
    Genre: contemporary cishet romance
  • Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin
    Genre: contemporary cishet romance
  • Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell
    Genre: superhero sci-fi comics
  • The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz
    Genre: sci-fi sapphic ace romance novella
  • Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix (Remixed Classics) by Anna-Marie McLemore
    Genre: YA queer historical
  • Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth, edited by Isabela Oliveira and Jed Sabin
    Genre: plant-themed sci-fi and fantasy short stories
  • Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman
    Genre: contemporary cis achillean YA romance comics
  • The Hidden Kingdom (Wings of Fire #3) by Tui T. Sutherland
    Genre: middle reader children’s fantasy
  • Lumberjanes: The Good Egg (Lumberjanes novels #3) by Mariko Tamaki and Brooklyn Allen
    Genre: middle-grade children’s fantasy
  • Something is Killing the Children Vol 4 by James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’Edera, and Miquel Muerto
    Genre: contemporary horror comic
  • Check, Please! Year Four by Ngozi Ukazu
    Genre: contemporary cis achillean romance comics
  • Rafe: A Buff Male Nanny (Loose Ends #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon
    Genre: contemporary cishet romance
  • Your Body is Not Your Body: An Anthology, edited by Alex Woodroe and Matt Blairstone
    Genre: horror short stories
  • The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor
    Genre: middle-grade children’s historical comic

Other 5-Star Nonfiction Reads (alphanumerical by author’s or editor’s last name)

  • The Transmasculine Guide to Physical Transition: For Trans, Nonbinary, and Other Masculine Folks by Sage Buch
    Genre: nonfiction gender studies
  • Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society by Cordelia Fine
    Genre: nonfiction gender science and psychology
  • How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
    Genre: memoir
  • Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon, kd diamond, and more
    Genre: nonfiction sexual education
  • Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje
    Genre: memoir

4-star rated books I cannot get out of my head

  • Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
    Genre: queer fiction
  • Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark #9) by Kresley Cole
    Genre: cishet paranormal romance
  • The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
    Genre: literary fiction

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