The 20 Best Books I Read in 2023

The 20 Best Books I Read in 2023 | Millennials with Meaning
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A few weeks ago, I covered my most-listened-to songs of the year, and today I’m excited to share my favorite reads of 2023! Let’s get to it!

Fiction Faves

I think this is the shortest fiction list I’ve ever had! I don’t put books on this list unless I would give them five stars out of five, so these were the books that made the cut this year. Most of the books I read this year were just so-so, and I’m hopeful for more five-star reads in 2024!

  1. Only the Beautiful by Susan Meissner. This book was captivating! Susan Meissner pens historical novels like no one else, and I was outraged to learn through this book about the power government held over certain groups of people just a few decades ago – not only overseas, but in America.
  2. A Midnight Dance by Joanna Davidson Politano. A friend recommended this author to me (shoutout to Johanna if you’re reading this!), and I was hooked after reading the first one. This book kept me invested the whole time and I was surprised in a good way at the resolution. I almost want to reread the whole thing and look for the clues I missed along the way!
  3. The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano. As I mentioned, I devoured many books by this author this year, and this was another favorite. Looking forward to more!

Nonfiction Faves

  1. The Blueprint: 30 Days of Prophetic Wisdom, Insights, and Direction for a New Era by Craig Cooney. I am so encouraged and strengthened by Craig Cooney’s regular prophetic words (Follow him on the socials or sign up for his e-mails!), and this book was equally encouraging. I read all of Cooney’s books this year and this was my favorite.
  2. God’s Best Friend: The Adventures of an Ordinary Man and an Extraordinary God by Gabriel Lopez. The author is a BSSM revival group pastor who also creates hilarious Christian videos at the Instagram handle @godsbestfriend. Though he has experienced pain and loss in his life, this book was full of inspiring and redemptive stories about his journey with the Lord.
  3. Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Making a Heart-to-Heart Connection by Danny Silk. I may not be a parent, but I plowed through quite a few parenting books this year to help me in teaching and loving my students well, and this was one of the best. Danny Silk has such insight about the importance of staying connected in our relationships.
  4. Secrets to Destroying Demonic Assignments: The Ultimate Spiritual Warfare and Deliverance Handbook by Joshua T. Giles. Some memorable quotes: “A person’s relationship with God determines their access with me.” “Whenever anyone speaks, it is either a blessing or a curse.” “An idol is anything overtaking you.” “Persecution will arise because of the work of God in your life. This is normal.” “The enemy’s purpose for your life is to experience failure at the point where your success is approaching in order for you not to trust in God.”
  5. Raising Giant-Killers: Releasing Your Child’s Divine Destiny Through Intentional Parenting by Bill & Beni Johnson. Another parenting book I went through for strategies on how to help guide my students. I will be returning to this one again someday when I have my own children!
  6. Right People, Right Place, Right Plan: Discerning the Voice of God by Jentezen Franklin. This one had been on my to-read list for a few years. With a title like that, how can it not be a winner? I think most of us are looking for our people, our place and God’s plan for our lives, and this book can help bring direction or confirmation.
  7. Command Your Healing: Prophetic Declarations to Receive and Release Healing Power by Hakeem Collins. As the author writes, “Jesus never instructed His disciples to pray for the sick but commanded them to heal the sick.” Big difference! This book contains many powerful declarations to speak over your health.
  8. Next Wave: Worship in a New Era by Bob Sorge. This was a free Kindle book that I didn’t really expect to be up my alley, assuming it was written for worship leaders. I was surprised to find it relevant and full of insight about both past eras and the current church landscape.
  9. Singled Out in a Couples World: Living a Fulfilled Life Regardless of Your Relationship Status by Christa Smith. I read this after coming across an interview with the author that caught my attention. Although some of my theology differs from hers, I found this to be a worthwhile read. The author married later in life than most people and speaks from real-life experience.
  10. The Poisoned Needle: Suppressed Facts About Vaccinations by Eleanor McBean. Being a decades-old book, this was a challenging read but very educational. The part that blew me away the most was the portion on fasting and how it can heal so many diseases! Mind blown.
  11. A More Excellent Way, Be in Health: Spiritual Roots of Disease, Pathways to Wholeness by Henry W. Wright. A thought-provoking book on health that provides the author’s observed root causes for many conditions that he encountered throughout his years in ministry. I will use this as a reference in the future!

Faves for Kids

As a classroom teacher and substitute, these were a few of the books my students LOVED this year! It’s often a struggle to find clean, age-appropriate books that students actually enjoy reading, but these fit the bill.

1. and 2. Third Grade Angels and Fourth Grade Rats by Jerry Spinelli. My hard-to-please third graders giggled, bugged their eyes out in disbelief, and related very easily to this series of books about an average boy, his annoying sister, and the girl he has a crush on.

3. Bad Kitty Gets a Phone by Nick Bruel. My students adore the Bad Kitty books. The only one I’ve read so far that I dislike is the Christmas one, which contains a reference to a same-sex “partner” that I don’t find appropriate for children. All the other books are so funny and make every student grin!

4. Definitely Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee. A favorite for the younger crowd. Kindergarteners love this one!

5. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems. Younger kids get so invested in this book, and it’s the cutest thing!

6. The Cool Bean by Jory John. A cute book that weaves humor into a lesson about kindness and including others. There are several related books, and though I haven’t gotten to them all, I’ve found each one so far to be a similar mix of entertainment and moral counsel.

That’s a wrap on 2023! For previous years’ lists, see below:
The 20 Best Books I Read in 2022
The 20 Best Books I Read in 2021
The 20 Best Books I Read in 2020
The 19 Best Books I Read in 2019
The 18 Best Books I Read in 2018

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and happy reading! See you in 2024!

The 20 Best Books I Read in 2023 | Millennials with Meaning
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