Bryan Behrenshausen's public notebook. Updated irregularly.
A list of books I read in 2023.
I’ve gathered them all into a collection on Bookshop.org, too.
It was a year filled with emotion more powerful than any in recent memory, and filled with changes as sweeping as they were destabilizing.
The list reflects some of that feeling, though the periods between the books and the settings in which I read each one are likely to stick with me longer than some of the prose: Art of Community for my reading group at work, with co-workers who’d be fired and gone only weeks after finishing; Longing for Less as I reflected on the literal stuff of my life while packing it into moving boxes; Rerun Era as I acclimated to a new bed with new sheets in a new bedroom in a new house in a new life. The tenor changes midstream, however, when I started dating a neuroscientist who prefers time travel-focused science fiction, Meet Me in Another Life serving as the book I’d read to prepare for our second and third dates. Alongside her I’d read works focused thematically on temporal displacement and memory, and accordingly I’d revisit two books I’d read previously but knew she’d like: This is How You Lose the Time War and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.
Moreover, the 2023 list contains something altogether new for me: a book on investing. I’d heard Collins’ Simple Path to Wealth exalted among minimalists, and in 2023 finally gave it a try, gulping the entire thing down in two sittings—each leg of a flight between Philadelphia and London. By year’s end, I’d already re-read most of it piecemeal, working to implement its strategies.
The list doesn’t include selections I picked through as part of my theory/philosophy reading group, as I rarely read these in their entirety. Only completed works get to make the list. As usual, that list feels too short—but it sure does tell a good story.
# December 7, 2023