Best Books of the Month | January 2023 Starred Reviews

Starred titles reviewed in our January 2023 print issue, spanning audio, mystery and suspense, SF/fantasy, romance, and more.


Bono. Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story. Books on Tape.

Carvan, Tabitha. This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch: The Joy of Loving Something—Anything—Like Your Life Depends on It. Books on Tape.

Davis, Geena. Dying of Politeness: A Memoir. HarperAudio.

Lithwick, Dahlia. Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle To Save America. Books on Tape.

Newman, Paul. The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man: A Memoir. Books on Tape.

Stoppard, Tom. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. L.A. Theatre Works.


Chern, Lina. Play the Fool. Bantam.

Connelly, Lucy. An American in Scotland. Crooked Lane.

Kapoor, Deepti. Age of Vice. Riverhead.

Lehane, Dennis. Small Mercies. Harper.

Rubinstein, Mark. Downfall. Oceanview.

Smith, Tom Rob. Cold People. Scribner.

Sutanto, Jessie Q. Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers. Berkley.


Ashton, Edward. Antimatter Blues. St. Martin’s.

Drake, Piper J. Wings Once Cursed & Bound. Sourcebooks Casablanca.

Gladstone, Max. Dead Country.

Klune, TJ. In the Lives of Puppets. Tor.

Raney, Brenna. The Meister of Decimen City. CamCat.


Castro, V. The Haunting of Alejandra. Del Rey: Ballantine.

Fracassi, Philip. Gothic. Cemetery Dance.

Pelayo, Cynthia. The Shoemaker’s Magician. Agora.


Blakely, Lauren. The Boyfriend Comeback. self-published.

Charles, KJ. The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen. Sourcebooks Casablanca.

De la Rosa, Liana. Ana María and the Fox. Berkley.

Forest, Kristina. The Neighbor Favor. Berkley.

James, Kira. Embrace Me Darkly. Martini & Olive.

Kellogg, Camille. Just as You Are. Dial.

Kelly, Anita. Something Wild & Wonderful. Forever: Grand Central.

McCoy, Taj. Zora Books Her Happy Ever After. Mira: Harlequin.

Simone, Naima. Don’t You Forget About Me. Oliver-Heber.


Abbas, Fatin. Ghost Season. Norton.

Barry, Sebastian. Old God’s Time. Viking.

Mallon, Thomas. Up with the Sun. Knopf.

Meissner, Susan. Only the Beautiful. Berkley.

Minnicks, Jamila. Moonrise over New Jessup. Algonquin.

Sittenfeld, Curtis. Romantic Comedy. Random.


Blecha, Peter. Stomp and Shout: R&B and the Origins of Northwest Rock and Roll. Univ. of Washington.

Brown, Ashley. Serving Herself: The Life and Times of Althea Gibson. Oxford Univ.

Brown, Nic. Bang Bang Crash. Counterpoint.

Coleman, Robin R. Means & Mark H. Harris. The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar. Gallery.

Hodgkins, Lisa. Everyday Fashion in Found Photographs: American Women of the Late 19th Century. Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

Levit, Igor & Florian Zinnecker. House Concert. Polity.

Mask, Mia. Black Rodeo: A History of the African American Western. Univ. of Illinois.

Smith, Zadie. The Wife of Willesden. Penguin Books.


Betts, Reginald Dwayne (text) & Titus Kaphar (illus.). Redaction. Norton.

Moore, Beth. All My Knotted-Up Life: A Memoir. Tyndale House.

Williams, Kidada E. I Saw Death Coming: A History of Terror and Survival in the War Against Reconstruction. Bloomsbury.


Larson, Kate Clifford. Harriet Tubman: A Reference Guide to Her Life and Works. Rowman & Littlefield.

Overbey, Tracey & Amanda L. Folk. Narratives of (Dis)Enfranchisement: Reckoning with the History of Libraries and the Black and African American Experience. ALA Editions.

Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Asian Women Artists: A Biographical Dictionary, 2700 BCE to Today. McFarland.

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