Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Best Book I Read in 2023

Did you read a lot of books last year? I recently reviewed the list of books I purchased from Amazon and local bookstores and realized I read 50 works of fiction during 2023. This means that, during 2024, I have set a goal of more than 50. And Goodreads has made it easy by providing a hashtag for the project #GoodreadsChallenge.

Before I look through my "must-read" books - both fiction and nonfiction - and my "it would be nice to read" list, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on my favorite book of 2023.

I may have been late to the adventure, but I read REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES in late-2023. Simply put, it was a wonderful book, but before I dive in with my reasons, I would like to extend a shout-out of gratitude to Melanie Bell and her Leaders Who Fiction book club for the recommendation to read the book and the virtual discussion that took place in late-November.

I don't want to provide any spoilers because I believe everyone should read the book, so I will share a brief overview: An elderly lady meets an octopus, makes friends with an octopus, and meets her extended family.

Naturally, there is much, much more to the story, but I don't want to slip up and give away any of the exciting layers. And the title has an interesting twist too. Suffice it to say that this story will remain with me for a very long time.

According to an article in The New York Times, "Shelby Van Pelt, a former financial consultant, first had the idea that morphed into the novel in 2013, when she took a fiction writing workshop at Emory University in Atlanta. One of the assignments was to write a short story from an unusual perspective, and she came up with an acerbic octopus who was bored and frustrated by his confinement in an aquarium. Her teacher pulled her aside and suggested she build something larger around the character, and she began writing vignettes about the octopus."

So, if you have not yet read this book, add it to the top of your MUST READ LIST. You'll be glad you did!

Article in The New York Times:

Interview with the LA Public Library:

If you'd like to join the next Leaders Who Fiction virtual book club meeting, check out @LeadersWhoFiction on Instagram for details.

Image Credit: Amazon.

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