Top 10 Reads of 2023

As the new year gets underway, I’m excited to once again share my top 10 reads from the last year!

Whether you’re a lifelong reader or wanting to establish a new rhythm in 2024, I hope you find some ideas for your ‘to-read’ list below.


In no particular order, my top 10 reads from 2023 were – 

(along with publishers’ intro text from Amazon)

1 – Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (Gabrille Zevin)


This is the story of Sam and Sadie. It’s not a romance, but it is about love.

When Sam catches sight of Sadie at a crowded train station one morning he is catapulted straight back to childhood, and the hours they spent immersed in playing games.

Their spark is instantly reignited and sets off a creative collaboration that will make them superstars. It is the 90s, and anything is possible.

What comes next is a decades-long tale of friendship and rivalry, fame and art, betrayal and tragedy, perfect worlds and imperfect ones. And, above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love.”


2 – The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Transformation of Trauma (Bessel van der Kolk)

“The effects of trauma can be devastating for sufferers, their families and future generations. Here one of the world’s experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for treatment, moving away from standard talking and drug therapies and towards an alternative approach that heals mind, brain and body.”




3 – Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less (Alex Soojung-Kim Pang)

Do you regularly find yourself too tired after a long day to do anything other than binge TV?
Do you go on holiday and still compulsively check your email?
Do you work through your lunch-break, often not even leaving your desk and getting some fresh air?

For most of us, overwork is the new norm, and we never truly take the time to rest and recharge. But as Silicon Valley consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang explains in this groundbreaking book, rest needs to be taken seriously and to be done properly, because when you rest better you work better. Drawing on emerging neuroscience, Rest is packed full of practical and easy tips for incorporating rest into our everyday:

– Stopping work on a task when you know exactly what the next step is will make it easier to get started the next day
– Take a long walk when you’re stuck on a task; it will help stimulate new ideas and creativity
– Have deliberate rest periods – scheduled into your diary – and use this time on trying a new activity

When you rest better you’ll find that it won’t just be your work which improves – you’ll have more time for hobbies, stronger relationships and you’ll sleep better, too.”


4 – Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (Matthew Perry)

“Here is the riveting story of acclaimed actor Matthew Perry, who takes us along on his journey from childhood ambition to fame to addiction and recovery in the aftermath of a life-threatening health scare. Before the frequent hospital visits and stints in rehab, there was five-year-old Matthew, who travelled from Montreal to Los Angeles, shuffling between his separated parents; fourteen-year-old Matthew, who was a nationally ranked tennis star in Canada; twenty-four-year-old Matthew, who nabbed a coveted role as a lead cast member on the talked-about pilot then called Friends Like Us. . . and so much more.

In an extraordinary story that only he could tell – and in the heartfelt, hilarious, and warmly familiar way only he could tell it – Matthew Perry lays bare the fractured family that raised him (and also left him to his own devices), the desire for recognition that drove him to fame, and the void inside him that could not be filled even by his greatest dreams coming true. But he also details the peace he’s found in sobriety and how he feels about the ubiquity of Friends, sharing stories about his castmates and other stars he met along the way. Frank, self-aware, and with his trademark humour, Perry vividly depicts his lifelong battle with addiction and what fuelled it despite seemingly having it all.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is an unforgettable memoir that is both intimate and eye-opening – as well as a hand extended to anyone struggling with sobriety. Unflinchingly honest, moving, and uproariously funny, this is the book fans have been waiting for.”


5 – Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention – And How to Think Deeply Again (Johann Hari)

“Is your ability to focus and pay attention in free fall?

You are not alone. The average office worker now focuses on any one task for just three minutes. But it’s not your fault. Your attention didn’t collapse. It has been stolen.

Internationally bestselling author Johann Hari shows twelve deep factors harming our focus. Once we understand them, together, we can take back our minds.”



6 – Station 11 (Emily St John Mandel)

“What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty.

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America.

The world will never be the same again.

Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse.

But then her newly hopeful world is threatened.

If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?”


7 – Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE (Phil Knight)

“In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.

But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, he tells his story. Candid, humble, wry and gutsy, he begins with his crossroads moment when at 24 he decided to start his own business. He details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream – along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls how his first band of partners and employees soon became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.

A memoir rich with insight, humour and hard-won wisdom, this book is also studded with lessons – about building something from scratch, overcoming adversity, and ultimately leaving your mark on the world. “


8 – Lead the Room: Communicate a Message that Matters in Moments that Count (Shane Hatton)

“In the moments that really matter, people don’t just look for something to inform them, they look to someone who will lead them. They don’t just want a speaker, they need a leader. This is a book about making those moments count. If you struggle with public speaking or presenting this book will help, but the real purpose aims higher than that. This is a book to help you become a more effective leader, to help you build and leverage your leadership platform to lead and mobilise your people.”



9 – Night (Elie Wiesel)

Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps.

This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.

Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.”


10 – The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever (Michael Bungay Stanier)

“In Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit, coaching becomes a regular, informal part of your day so managers and their teams can work less hard and have more impact.

Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock your peoples’ potential. He unpacks seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how–by saying less and asking more–you can develop coaching methods that produce great results.

– Get straight to the point in any conversation with The Kickstart Question
– Stay on track during any interaction with The Awe Question
– Save hours of time for yourself with The Lazy Question
– and hours of time for others with The Strategic Question
– Get to the heart of any interpersonal or external challenge with The Focus Question
– and The Foundation Question
– Ensure others find your coaching as beneficial as you do with The Learning Question

A fresh innovative take on the traditional how-to manual, the book combines insider information with research based in neuroscience and behavioural economics, together with interactive training tools to turn practical advice into practiced habits. Witty and conversational, The Coaching Habit takes your work–and your workplace–from good to great..”


Other 2023 Reads:

11 – My Life in Full (Indra Nooyi)

12 – The Light We Carry (Michelle Obama)

13 – Death by Meeting (Patrick Lencioni) [re-read]

14 – The 4 Disciplines of Execution (Chris McChesney et al.)

15 – The Loudest Guest (Dr. Amy Silver)

16 – No Cure For Being Human (And Other Truths I Need to Hear) (Kate Bowler)

17 – Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Anne Lamott)

18 – Leave the World Behind (Rumaan Alam)

19 – The 4-Hour Work Week (Timothy Ferriss)

20 – Entrepreneurial You (Dorie Clark)

21 – Is It Tomorrow Yet? (Ivan Krastev)

22 – Bluefishing (Steve D. Sims)

23 – The Power to Change (Craig Groeschel)

24 – Jurassic Park (Michael Crichton) [re-read]

25 – The Lost World (Michael Crichton) [re-read]

26 – Killing Comparison (Nona Jones)

27 – The One Minute Manager (Kenneth Blanchard)

28 – Leading Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Rohini Anand)

29 – Please, Sorry, Thanks (Mark Batterson)

30 – How to Grow Your Small Business (Donald Miller)

31 – Impromptu (Reid Hoffman)

32 – The Startup of You (Reid Hoffman)

33 – Leading on the Frontline (Linda Cruse)

34 – Lessons in Chemistry (Bonnie Garmus)

35 – The Displacements (Bruce Holsinger)

36 – The Glass Hotel (Emily St. John Mandel)

37 – Feminist Prayers for My Daughter (Shannon K. Evans)

38 – Dopamine Nation (Dr. Anna Lembke)

39 – Life of the Beloved (Henri J. M. Nouwen)

40 – Roverandom (J.R.R. Tolkien)

41 – Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide (John Cleese)

42 – Bigger, Faster Leadership (Samuel Chand)

43 – High Growth Fundraising (Vance Roush)

44 – God Has a Name (John Mark Comer)

45 – The Resilience Project (Hugh Van Cuylenberg)

46 – The Introverts Edge (Matthew Pollard and Derek Lewis)

47 – Scrappy Little Nobody (Anna Kendrick)

48 – When you Finish Saving the World (Jesse Eisenberg)

49 – A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson)

50 – The Silver Chair (C.S. Lewis) [re-read]

51 – The Advantage (Patrick Lencioni) [re-read]

52 – Before You Split (Toni Nieuwhof)

53 – Great CEOs Are Lazy (Jim Schleckser)

54 – Flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

55 – Influence (Robert D. Cialdini)

56 – Losing Our Religion (Russell Moore)

57 – Breaking the Social Media Prism (Chris Bail)

58 – Turn the Ship Around (L. David Marquet)

59 – The Culture Code (Daniel Coyle)

60 – The 7 Primal Questions (Mike Foster)


You can find the lists from previous years here: