BookBrowse 2023 Award Winners

BookBrowse 2023 Award Winners

Every year, we announce our annual Top 20 books, chosen by participating BookBrowse subscribers. But which are the cream of the crop, the favorites among favorites?
From this year’s list, we bring you the Award Winners for Top Fiction, Top Nonfiction, Top Debut and Top Young Adult, determined by the highest number of votes in
each category.

Best Fiction Award 2023
The Covenant of Water

The Covenant of Water
by Abraham Verghese

Hardcover May 2023. 736 pages

Published by Grove Press

Verghese sustains the massive story in The Covenant of Water with numerous enigmatic and vividly drawn characters like Big Ammachi, Digby, a Swedish physician named Rune who runs a colony for lepers, Philipose and his love Elsie, who is born to be an artist of staggering genius if only the world will let her. However, running like a riptide beneath the waters of the Malabar Coast, the Condition strikes the family in new, unbidden and heartbreaking ways. It will reach a crescendo with Mariamma, Big Ammachi’s granddaughter, who becomes a neurosurgeon to unlock the secrets of this affliction, only to face the secrets “that can bind them together or bring them to their knees when revealed.” (Peggy Kurkowski)

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Best Nonfiction Award 2023
The Wager

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder
by David Grann

Hardcover Apr 2023. 352 pages

Published by Doubleday

I found The Wager to be well-researched, well-written and extremely easy to read. It was actually quite a thrilling read to be honest. It felt more like I was reading an adventure book than a nonfiction book (Tara T). Although the subject matter was not of great interest to me when I started reading the book, my opinion quickly changed when more of the narrative was developed. The author takes a maritime scandal and engulfs the reader in a suspenseful historical thriller! (Dan W). It’s a riveting, page-turning adventure, complete with shipwreck, mutiny and murder (Lois K).

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Best Debut Award 2023
In Memoriam

In Memoriam: A Novel
by Alice Winn

Paperback Mar 19, 2024. 400 pages

Published by Vintage

Winn’s descriptions of the WWI battlefront leave an indelible image and the author realistically conveys the various ways conflicts like this can leave someone permanently scarred, both physically and emotionally. As well-written as the novel’s battle scenes are, the highlight of In Memoriam is the love story between Ellwood and Gaunt, and the dynamic between the two sets up the primary tension in the narrative. Winn completely captures Ellwood and Gaunt’s terrible longing for each other and the ache of their unexpressed love. (Kim Kovacs)

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Best Young Adult Award 2023
Remember Us

Remember Us
by Jacqueline Woodson

Hardcover Oct 2023. 192 pages

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books

Woodson strikes an excellent balance of accessibility and poignancy with her writing, lending the novel genuine appeal to a broad readership. While Remember Us is aimed at younger audiences and her adolescent protagonist feels authentic, its themes of place, memory, identity, and belonging will ring true for readers of any age. It never seems as though Woodson is patronizing younger readers by simplifying the complex themes and emotions at play, and she never resorts to clichés or saccharine prose. (Callum McLaughlin)

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Top 20 Awards LogoThanks to everyone who voted; we hope these Award Winners and our 2023 Top 20 give you some ideas for what to read next!

For more great recommendations, be sure to check out our Novels and Nonfiction for Book Clubs in 2024, as well as Award Winners from previous years and 23 years of past Best of Year lists. You can also test your knowledge with our Best of Year Quiz!

If you’d like to know how the books are selected, information here.

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