Hello and welcome to the first annual, Books That Austin Really Enjoyed Awards. I read 22 books this year, which is a record for me. I’m over here finishing a 5k while all my Goodreads friends are wrapping up their ultramarathons with 100 books completed in 2023.
I read many good books this year, several of which will stick with me. For this post, I’m limiting my favorites to just three. Though I’ll throw in a few runners-up as well. So, without further ado, I present the winners in no particular order:
The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman. Fun, endearing, and a bit of wonderful chaos. Following a group of elderly crime enthusiasts around their retirement village as they try to solve a murder was joyful. I want to spend more time with the characters in the book. Luckily, there are a few more in the series. This first is a gem.
The Mountain in the Sea, by Ray Nayler. This one just lit up all the right spots in my brain. Near-ish future, slightly cyberpunk, story of a disgraced scientist and a corporate owned android researching a possible sentient species of octopus. Their story interwoven with that of a slave on an automated fishing ship, and the question of how to define consciousness.
Fairy Tale, by Stephen King. I had barely dabbled in King prior to this. I thought all his novels were thrillers or horror. I was wrong. This is surreal, modern fantasy. It takes its time to get going, but it luxuriates in story it tells. It is what it says on the tin. If you want a modern fairy tale with emotion and adventure. One that doesn’t attempt to be edgy, but has some real weight, read Fairy Tale.