The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Best Books of 2023

The New York Times Top 10 Books of the Year

Each spring, the New York Times (NYT) book staff begins their task of compiling the most exceptional books they have read  throughout the present year. According to the book staff’s article detailing this momentous task, “Things can get heated. We spar, we persuade and (above all) we agonize until the very end, when we vote and arrive at 10 books — five fiction and five nonfiction.” 

Here are the New York Times Best Books of 2023:

1) “The Bee Sting” by Paul Murray is a tale about an Irish family grappling with crisis. “This is a book that showcases one family’s incredible love and resilience even as their world crumbles around them,” the NYT book staff noted. 


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2) “Chain-Gang All-Stars” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is a dystopian novel in which death-row inmates duel on television for the opportunity to be freed from their sentence. 


3) “Eastbound” by Maylis de Kerangal, is a short, lyrical novel about a Russian conscript on a trans-Siberian train shows.As stated by the reviewer Ken Kalfus, “the insecurity of existence across this vastness and on board the train emphasizes the significance of human connection.”


4) “The Fraud” by Zadie Smith is based on a 19th century criminal trial. The NYT staff made sure to note that reading another one of Smith’s works was “a pleasure” and Karan Mahajan wrote in his review, “Dickens may be dead, but Smith, thankfully, is alive.”


5) “North Woods” by Daniel Mason is a “kaleidoscope novel which ushers readers over the threshold of a house in the wilds of western Massachusetts,” according to the NYT book staff. Mason’s book includes letters, poems, songs, lyrics, and much more across nearly 400 pages. 


6) “The Best Minds” by Jonathon Rosen is, according to the NYT, “a reconstruction of the author’s long friendship with Michael Laudor, who made headlines first as a Yale Law School graduate destigmatizing schizophrenia.” 


7) “Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs” by Kerry Howley is an account of the national security state and, “the people entangled in it include fabulists, truth tellers, combatants, whistle-blowers,” the NYT stated.


8) “Fire Weather” by John Valliant, details the 2016 wildfires in Canada, and is described by the bookstaff as “both a real-life thriller and a moment-by-moment account of what happened — and why, as the climate changes and humans don’t, it will continue to happen again and again.”


9) “Master Slave Husband Wife” by Ilyon Woo is reported to be an “immersive rendering, which conjures the Crafts’ escape in novelistic detail,” that tells the story of the American abolitionist, Ellen and William Craft. 


10) “Some People Need Killing” by Praticia Evangelista is the final book on the list. “This powerful book,” according to the NYT staff, “mostly covers the years between 2016 and 2022, when Rodrigo Duterte was president of the Philippines and pursued a murderous campaign of extrajudicial killings.”

Overall, the New York Times Best Books of 2023 showcases some of the best literary works of the past year. Whether you are a die-hard bookworm or a casual reader, there is something on this list for everyone to enjoy. For more information, go to

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Lainey Vollmer
Lainey Vollmer, Staff Writer

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