Laura Lippman’s Pick for Best Book of 2023

We asked Laura Lippman for her favorite book of the year, and this is what she suggests to readers.

I had a decent reading year in 2023. My focus was affected by the pandemic—I still have the ability to concentrate fiercely, it’s just in smaller supply, and my writing often sucks it all up. So I read more slowly than I used to. With all those caveats aside, I'd like to spotlight Claire Dederer’s Monsters for my favorite book published in 2023 by someone who is not a close friend. Dederer’s work is nuanced and, I think, patient—patient with the monsters, patient with the questions, patient with those of us asking the questions. In every crystalline chapter, it asks the reader to stop rushing toward definitive answers about the thorny issues of geniuses and their behavior. Dederer, in fact, asks us, her readers, to get a little bit uncomfortable. She even asks us to consider if we, too, might be monsters.

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