The Best Fiction of 2023, According to the LA Times

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Always books. Never boring.

The Los Angeles Times is using December to look back at the best and biggest cultural moments of 2023, from theater to video games to, of course, books. They’ve highlighted 15 of their top reads of 2023: 13 novels and two short story collections.

While there are some familiar titles on this list that have appeared on several other Best Books of 2023 lists, the LA Times notes that they chose to leave out some of the biggest and buzziest books of the year in favor of writing about the releases that didn’t get the attention they deserved.

Unlike most of the Best Books of 2023 lists put out by major publications, this one is attributed to specific readers. Three of the publication’s book critics — Mark Athitakis, Hillary Kelly, and Bethanne Patrick — each selected their five favorite fiction reads of the year.

One intriguing choice is Julia by Sandra Newman, a feminist retelling of 1984 giving Winston Smith’s lover main character status with an added backstory and motivation. The introduction to this list claims that it “arguably bests the original.”

Other picks including the queer historical fiction title The New Life by Tom Crewe, the Black western horror novel Lone Women by Victor LaValle, an exploration of domestic life in Tokyo with Mild Vertigo by Mieko Kanai (translated by Polly Barton), and even a “parable about real estate” in Terrace Story by Hilary Leichter.

You can read the whole list at the Los Angeles Times.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.