The 23 Most Popular Books on Book Riot in 2023

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Danika Ellis

Associate Editor

Danika spends most of her time talking about queer women books at the Lesbrary. Blog: The Lesbrary Twitter: @DanikaEllis

Here at Book Riot, we’ve talked about our favorite books of 2023, but what we haven’t talked about yet is your favorite books of 2023. We write about a staggering amount of books here every year: which ones are you picking up? Which titles are you investigating further and adding to your TBR?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a perfect measure for that. As much as I’d like to know how many books we convinced you to read last year, that much of a surveillance state is probably not worth it. What we do have, though, is a less accurate but still intriguing piece of data: the books you’re all clicking on the most.

I don’t know why you clicked on these books. Maybe it’s because you were moved to buy them right that second. Maybe you just thought the book was so strange that you needed to learn more about it. Maybe you mis-clicked. I don’t know your life. But I do think this gives a rough idea of the titles on Book Riot that got the most attention last year.

Without further ado, let’s explore the 23 books we mentioned on Book Riot that were clicked on the most in 2023!

#23:

the cover of The Shining

The Shining by Stephen King

This is a classic horror novel, so it makes sense that we referenced it a few times in 2023: as one of the bestselling horror books of all time, an adaptation that the author didn’t like, and as an example of social significance of ghost stories.

#22:

the cover of The Housemaid's Secret

The Housemaid’s Secret by Freida McFadden

This one wasn’t mentioned frequently on Book Riot last year, but it was included in one of our most-viewed posts of 2023: Here Are The Goodreads Choice Award Winners for 2023, where this title won in the Mystery/Thriller category.

#21:

cover of If I Survive You by Jonathan Escofffery, showing a graphic of a black SUV against an ombre background of blue, orange, and pink

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery

This literary darling made it onto many award lists, which means it was mentioned in several news stories last year: Here is the 2023 Booker Prize Longlist, The 2023 Booker Prize Shortlist Has Been Announced, 2023 PEN America Literary Awards Longlists, and 2023 PEN/Faulkner Finalists. It was also a book club pick in April.

#20:

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros Book Cover

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

This romantasy book has taken over the reading world, and Book Riot is no exception. In fact, I don’t have space to include all the articles it appeared in, but here are the highlights: FOURTH WING Series is Being Adapted Into a TV Show, How the Publishing Phenomenon of the Year Was Made, 23 of the Best and Swooniest Romantasy Books, 10 Books Trending on TikTok Right Now, and many, many bestseller lists.

#19:

The Laughter cover

The Laughter by Sonora Jha

This was only mentioned on Book Riot a couple times in 2023, but evidently it caught your attention. We included it in our new releases round up the week it came out, and it was one of NPR’s best books of the year.

#18:

Book cover of The Devil Takes You Home by Gaino Inglesias

The Devil Takes You Home by Gaino Inglesias

This was another title that was only in two articles in 2023, but it still managed to make this list! For fans of detective novels with a new spin, it was in this list of neo-noir books, and it’s also an example of an author who coined their own sub-genre — in this case, barrio noir.

#17:

the cover of The Bee Sting

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

This literary fiction title has gotten attention from many publications, which means it was linked in several of our news stories: The Best Reviewed Fiction of 2023, The 100 Notable Books of 2023 According to the New York Times, The 10 Best Books of 2023 According to the New York Times, Here is the 2023 Booker Prize Longlist, 2023 Kirkus Prize Finalists Announced, and The 2023 Booker Prize Shortlist Has Been Announced. Oh, and we included it in our new releases round up the week it came out!

#16:

cover of The House of Doors

The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng

Historical fiction has really been trending lately, at least here at Book Riot! Some of our most popular posts have been focused on this genre, including Historical Fiction Books for People Who Don’t Like Historical Fiction, which includes this book. It also was on the 2023 Booker Prize longlist, was a November book club pick, and was recommended to Geminis in the October horoscopes and book recommendations post.

#15:

yellowface book cover

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

#14:

cover of Blackouts by Justin Torres

Blackouts by Justin Torres

This National Book Award-winning title got a ton of critical attention. We mentioned it in 2023 National Book Awards Announced, The 2023 National Book Awards Longlists Have Been Announced, and Authors Who Work as Booksellers. It was also discussed on the Book Riot podcast as one of the It Books of the Year.

#13:

Book cover of Weyward by Emilia Hart

Weyward by Emilia Hart

#12:

cover of The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

It’s easy to find an excuse to talk The Princess Bride, which is one of the most successful book to movie adaptations of all time. Last year, we mentioned it in this discussion of Some of the Most Popular Books That Don’t Exist, The Bookish Life of Mandy Patinkin, and The Bookish Life of Pedro Pascal.

#11:

the cover of Watership Down

Watership Down by Richard Adams

We mentioned Watership Down in passing a few times last year, as part of The Bookish Life of Gemma Chan, as an example of a book being banned from middle schoolers in Texas unless they get parental permission (seriously), as well as in this round up of books with TTRPG adaptations. The post most of these clicks likely came from, though, was Adult Versions of Your Favorite Childhood Fantasy Novels. Check it out to see which adult book you should read next if you loved Watership Down as a kid!

#10:

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark Book Cover

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark

This queer military fantasy is mind-blowingly good, so I’m happy to see it was written about a few times in 2023: 8 Fantasy Books Where Magic Comes With Deadly Consequences, 30 Must-Read SFF Books By Black Authors, The Best Fantasy Royalty, 28 of The Best Queer Fantasy Books, The 20 Best Debut Fantasy Books Ever Written, Must-Read Books Based On Your D&D Class, and Can You Guess the Fantasy Book Based On a Vague Description. If that doesn’t convince you to pick this up, I don’t know what will!

#9:

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

I mentioned earlier that historical fiction has been popular recently, and of course this Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning historical novel has been included in many of those lists: 20 Award-Winning Historical Fiction Books, 25 of the Best Historical Fiction Books of the Past 10 Years, 30 Must-Read SFF Books By Black Authors, 9 of the Very Best Alternate History Books, Most Influential Sci-Fi Books Of The Past 10 Years, and more.

#8:

cover of Babel: An Arcane History by R.F. Kuang

Babel: An Arcane History by R. F. Kuang

Hello again, R. F. Kuang! While Yellowface was still making waves, this author released another buzzy book, this time in the fantasy genre! I can’t include all the lists we mentioned Babel on, but here are a few: 10 Fascinating Fantasy Books Like Babel To Read Next, 8 of the Most Thought-Provoking Fantasy Books Ever Written, 8 Magical Libraries in Fiction, 10 Satisfyingly Sinister Novels about Secret Societies, Dark Academia Authors to Lure You Into the Shadows, and many more.

#7:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss Book Cover

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

This title looms large in the fantasy genre, so it had to be mentioned in these lists: The Best High Fantasy Books for Magical Escapes, 10 of the Most Polarizing Fantasy Books Ever Written, and Bestselling Fantasy Books of All Time.

#6:

Jade City by Fonda Lee Book Cover

Jade City by Fonda Lee

If you want a peek at the kind of esteem we hold this book in, just take a look at the lists it make it into: The 22 Best Fantasy Books of All Time, 20 of the Best Award-Winning Fantasy Books, The 20 Best Debut Fantasy Books Ever Written, 13 Fantasy Books That Need To Be Adapted for the Screen — and that’s only a few of them!

#5:

cover of The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

This National Book Award-winning title was named one of the best books of the year by Barack Obama, Barnes & Noble, Oprah Daily, Amazon, TIME, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. It also was on several of our bestseller lists.

#4:

An Ember in the Ashes cover

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I’ll admit, I didn’t think this YA novel from 2016 would be so high on the list! But it made it onto several of our most-viewed posts of the year, including The 22 Best Fantasy Books of All Time, The 20 Most Influential Fantasy Books of the Last 10 Years, The Best High Fantasy Books for Magical Escapes, and The Future Is Now: 40 of the Best Dystopian Novels.

#3:

Book cover of The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

This title almost stumped me, I have to tell you. When I searched the posts from Book Riot in 2023 that mentioned this title, nothing came up. I solved it, though: this is one of the books mentioned in Can You Guess the Fantasy Book Based on Its 1-Star Reviews? It’s not mentioned in the post, because you have to click the link to see which book it is. In fact, several of the titles on this list are from that post, but I won’t tell you the others, because that would be giving you too many hints!

#2:

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin Book Cover

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

It’s hard to overstate how influential N. K. Jemisin is. It’s not just any author who can win a Hugo three years consecutively — for all three books in a trilogy. Here are just some of the posts we included The Fifth Season in: The 20 Most Influential Fantasy Books of the Last 10 Years, The Very Grungiest of Sci-Fi, 20 of the Most Thought-Provoking Science Fiction Ever Written, Bestselling Fantasy Books of All Time, 20 of the Best Award-Winning Fantasy Books, and more.

#1:

A Wizard of Earthsea cover

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

This is a classic of the fantasy genre, so it’s no surprise we talked about it multiple time in 2023: as one of the best fantasy books of all time, one of the bestselling fantasy books of all time, and one of the best high fantasy books. We also praised its unique magic system and discussed it as a book whose adaptation wasn’t appreciated by its author.

Those are the titles Book Riot readers clicked on the most often in 2023! I have to say, you all have great taste: this is a list that spans genres and age categories, plus it represents authors of different genders and races. If this is any indication, you’ve got a well-rounded TBR! Congratulations!