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Readers' Choice 2023

Thank you to all 106 people who participated in my “Readers’ Choice” survey. Joyce Maynard’s latest, The Bird Hotel, came in first. Ironically, it’s the only one of the six winners that I haven’t read, so that one is going on my to-be-read pile. Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead came in second, Abraham Verghese’s The Covenant of Water came in third; Shelby Van Pelt’s Remarkably Bright Creatures came in fourth; and tied for fifth were James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store and Geraldine Brooks’ Horse. Notably, this is Horse’s second year on the list, along with runners-up Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Lessons in Chemistry.

I’ll call out one of the honorable mentions - Anne Berest’s The Postcard - to say that I was surprised this one did not end up among the winners, which leads me to believe that not enough people have read it. So my (not-at-all-subtle) message: go read it!


1st place: The Bird Hotel, Joyce Maynard

2nd place: Demon Copperhead, Barbara Kingsolver

3rd place: The Covenant of Water, Abraham Verghese

4th place: Remarkably Bright Creatures, Shelby Van Pelt

5th place (tie): The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, James McBride and Horse, Geraldine Brooks


Tom Lake, Ann Patchett

Looking for Jane, Heather Marshall

Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow, Gabrielle Zevin

Go As a River, Shelley Read

Hello Beautiful, Ann Napolitano

All the Broken Places, John Boyne

The River We Remember, William Kent Krueger

Don’t Forget to Write, Sara Goodman Confino

Only The Beautiful, Susan Meissner

Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus

Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan

The Museum of Failures. Thrity Umrigar

The Measure, Nikki Erlick

Honorable Mentions:

A Play for the End of the World, Jai Chakrabarti - watch Jai at Literary Modiin

Count the Ways, Joyce Maynard

I Have Some Questions for You, Rebecca Makkai

My Name is Barbara, Barbara Streisand

Romantic Comedy, Curtis Sittenfeld

Sea of Tranquility, Emily St John Mandel

Signal Fires. Dani Shapiro

The Berry Pickers, Amanda Peters

The House in the Cerluean Sea, TJ Klune

The Marriage Portrait, Maggie O'Farrell

Mad Honey, Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

The Paris Daughter, Kristen Harmel

The Postcard, Anne Berest

Symphony of Secrets, Brendan Slocumb

The Violin Conspiracy, Brendan Slocumb

The Wolf Hunt (Relocation in Hebrew), Ayelet Gundar-Goshen


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