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BookBrowse 2023 Award Winners

Every year, we announce our annual Top 20 books, chosen by participating BookBrowse subscribers. But which are the cream of the crop, the favorites among favorites? From this year's list, we bring you the Award Winners for Top Fiction, Top Nonfiction, Top Debut and Top Young Adult, determined by the highest number of votes in each category.

Best Fiction Award 2023 The Covenant of Water

The Covenant of Water
by Abraham Verghese

Hardcover May 2023. 736 pages
Published by Grove Press

Verghese sustains the massive story in The Covenant of Water with numerous enigmatic and vividly drawn characters like Big Ammachi, Digby, a Swedish physician named Rune who runs a colony for lepers, Philipose and his love Elsie, who is born to be an artist of staggering genius if only the world will let her. However, running like a riptide beneath the waters of the Malabar Coast, the Condition strikes the family in new, unbidden and heartbreaking ways. It will reach a crescendo with Mariamma, Big Ammachi's granddaughter, who becomes a neurosurgeon to unlock the secrets of this affliction, only to face the secrets "that can bind them together or bring them to their knees when revealed." (Peggy Kurkowski)


The Top 20 Best Books of 2023

Top 20 Awards LogoWhat better way to kick off the holiday season than by announcing our subscribers' best-loved books of 2023? The BookBrowse Top 20 are determined by a significant number of votes — maxing out at over 9,000 in recent years — and have become a treasured tradition through which we celebrate some of the most memorable books of one year before moving into the next. Scroll down to explore the finalists below.

We compile the Top 20 with the intention of reflecting authentic reader opinion, opening votes only to members and subscribers of our free newsletters to prevent vote-stuffing and promote balance between books with different degrees of marketing influence (see more). This gives us a true picture of the titles voters were most excited about. Thank you to everyone who participated this year!


Book Club Buzz: All Our 2023 Discussions

All our 2023 discussions

Looking for some lively book banter? Whether you're hunting for possible book club picks or just curious about others' thoughts on a recent title, BookBrowse Book Club discussions are the perfect resource for tuning in to readers' opinions, feelings and observations.


Meeting New Books: First Impressions Reviews

Look Back on First Impressions 2023

Reading other people's opinions on a book is a fun way to decide whether you want to read it yourself. With BookBrowse's First Impressions program, you can dive into a variety of personal perspectives on new titles, enjoying honest reviews from multiple independent readers to form an idea of a book similar to what you might gather from a casual conversation with a group of friends.

We make sure our First Impressions reviews and ratings are free from any connections to an author or outside influences by exclusively featuring feedback from members who opt in to the program and receive books assigned by an algorithm months ahead of publication. So you can browse high-quality comments with confidence and feel excited about choosing your next read!

In 2023, our First Impressions program covered more than 50 books. We invite you to peruse these reviews as well as ones for hundreds of other titles in our archives.


The Best Novels for Book Clubs in 2024

10 Novels for Book Clubs to Read in 2024

For book clubs who read contemporary fiction, it can feel impossible to choose between the many acclaimed and anticipated works making an appearance every year. But not to worry, we have you covered with top-notch suggestions for your club in 2024! Our list of recommendations features new books from established favorites like Barbara Kingsolver, Lydia Millet and Lynda Rutledge, along with noteworthy debuts from emerging authors such as Costanza Casati, Alice Winn and Parini Shroff.

All of these books are recently or soon-to-be published in paperback, many are accompanied by reading guides, and all that are currently available have been recommended by either our professional reviewers or multiple readers in our First Impressions program, some of whose comments you can read below. Plus, we're hosting our own online discussions for the first three titles and would love for you to join us!


The Best Nonfiction for Book Clubs in 2024

6 Nonfiction Books for Book Clubs in 2024
Looking for nonfiction to read with your book club in the coming year? It can be tricky to track down quality nonfiction that has real discussion potential, so we've created this list to give your group a head start on your picks for 2024.

Our selections include two books portraying lesser-explored elements of World War II from unique angles, an engaging story of sisters separated by the Chinese Civil War, an eye-opening account of women fighting discrimination at MIT, an intimate and socially conscious portrait of George Floyd, and the dramatic telling of a North Carolina community's battle for justice against a multinational corporation.

All of these titles will be available in paperback during the first half of 2024; some have full discussion guides available; for those that don't, we recommend our 36 Book Club Discussion Topics for Any Book. We hope these books spark fruitful conversations!


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Match these 2023 Best of Year books to their opening lines