KCLS releases best books list of 2023

Librarians are always reading — here’s their top picks for this year.

Still looking for a gift for someone special?

KCLS recently released their top 125 books list for 2023, which includes 25 titles from fiction, non-fiction, teen, children, and audio books, which is a new category this year.

The Best Books list is comprised of nominations made by KCLS staff and librarians that “read thousands of books each year”, a press release reads. A selection committee then takes those nominations and whittles them down to the list it is now.

For a full list in all categories, and to see if they’re available to check out at your local library, head to kcls.org/best-books.


* “I Have Some Questions for You”, by Rebecca Makkai

* “The Covenant of Water”, by Abraham Verghese

* “Ghost Music”, by An Yu

* “Tress of the Emerald Sea”, by Brandon Sanderson

* “The September House”, by Carissa Orlando

* “Biography of X”, by Catherine Lacey

* “Happy Place”, by Emily Henry

* “Ink Blood Sister Scribe”, by Emma Torzs

* “How to Sell A Haunted House”, by Grady Hendrix

* “Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries”, Heather Fawcett

* “The Wind Knows My Name,” by Isabel Allende

* “Big Swiss”, by Jen Beagin

* “Summer Reading,” by Jenn McKinlay

* “Maame”, by Jessica George

* “Bad Cree”, by Jessica Johns

* “Good Night, Irene”, by Luis Alberto Ussea

* “The Spare Man”, by Mary Robinette Kowal

* “What You Are Looking For Is in the Library”, by Michiko Aoyama

* “To Shape A Dragon’s Breath”, by Moniquill Blackgoose

* “The Shamshine Blind”, by Paz Pardo

* “Yellowface”, by R. F. Kuang

* “Fourth Wing”, by Rebecca Yarros

* “Mr. Nash’s Ashes”, by Sarah Adler

* “Lone Women”, by Victor LaValle

* “The Passenger”, by Cormac McCarthy

* “Stella Maris”, by Cormac McCarthy


* “Imogen, Obviously”, by Becky Albertalli

* “A First Time for Everything”, by Dan Santat

* “The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich”, by Deya Muniz

* “A Stolen Heir”, by Holly Black

* “Darkhearts”, by James Sutter

* “Lion’s Legacy”, by Lev EC Rosen

* “Different for Boys”, by Patrick Ness

* “The New Next Syrian Girl”, by Ream Shukairy

* Ander & Santi Were Here”, by Jonny Garza Villa

* “Those Who Helped Us”, by Ken Mockizuki

* “Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejanda Kim”, by Patrica Park

* “Family Style”, by Thien Pham

* “Blood Debts”, by Terry J. Benton-Walker

* “Spice Road”, by Maiya Ibrahim

* “Accountable:, by Dashka Slater

* “Brooms”, by Jasmine Walls

* “The Davenports”, by Krystal Marquis

* “An Echo in the City”, by K. X. Song

* “She Is A Haunting”, by Trang Thanh Tran

* “That Self-same Metal”, by Brittany N. Williams

* “Those Who Saw the Sun”, by Jaha Nailah Avery

* “Your Freedom, your Power”, by Allison Matulli

* “¡Ay, Mija!” by Christine Suggs

* “Simon Sort of Says”, by Erin Bow

* “Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling”, by Elise Bryant


* “Global”, by Eoin Global

* “Just Jerry”, by Jerry Pikney

* “Remember”, by Joy Harjo

* “An American Story”, by Kwame Alexander

* “Spanish Is The Language of My Family”, by Michael Genhart

* “The Dark Lord’s Daughter”, by Patricia C. Wrede

* “Mexikid”, by Pedro Martin

* “Woo Hoo! You’re Doing Great!”, by Sandra Boynton

* “A Land of Books”, by Duncan Tonatiuh

* “Bea Wolf”, by Zach Weinersmith

* “I’m From”, by Gary Gray

* “Stickler Loves the World”, by Lane Smith

* “In The Night Garden”, by Carin Berger

* “My Powerful Hair”, by Carole Lindstrom

* “My Baba’s Garden”, by Jordan Scott

* “One Upon A Book”, by Lin Grace

* “Nell Plants A Tree”, by Anne Wynter

* “The Universe in You”, by Jason Chin

* “Simon and the Better Bone”, by Corey R. Tabor

* “The Yellow Handkerchief”, by Donna Barba Higuera

* “Slowly, Slowly”, by Toni Yuly

* “The Manifestor Prophecy”, by Angie Thomas

* “We Still Belong”, by Christine Day

* “The Lost Year”, by Katherine Marsh

* “Parachute Kids”, by Betty C. Tang