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photo by Janie Jones

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On The Bookshelf

A new year is often a time of reflection and goal setting, and as an avid reader I always include a  yearly reading goal.  Lucky for us, 2023 promises to be another fantastic year for literature! It was hard to narrow down this list to just four books so if you would like to see more recommendations throughout the year, visit my Instagram page @downtogetthefictionon where I share what I’m reading or books I’m excited to read. When I started my page in May 2018, I never thought dedicating time and energy into reading would be such a life changing journey so I hope this year you find a book or hobby that makes you learn and brings new experiences or opportunities! 


Young Adult - HIGHLY SUSCIPIOUS AND UNFAIRLY CUTE by Talia Hibbert (on sale January 3, 2023)

Celine is a bright, hardworking, high schooler with a love for conspiracy theories and big goals to become a high-powered attorney.  Bradley is the popular jock and also happens to be Celine’s ex-best friend who he ditched once his star began to rise.  When life throws them into the same survival challenge there’s more than just their reputations and bragging rights on the line - there’s also a full-ride university scholarship! Will they continue to sling mud at one another or will time in the wilderness start to repair their once-close friendship? Witty, smart and full of important topics, this YA book is one to add to your 2023 reading lists.  

Romance - ROMANTIC COMEDY by Curtis Sittenfield (on sale April 11, 2023)

Sally is a writer for the popular late-night sketch show “The Night Owls.” While Sally is happy at her dream job at TNO, her male co-workers have also found love with guest celebs widely out of their league.  Always looking for the laugh, Sally writes a sketch mocking this phenomenon when Noah, a successful singer, is the host and musical guest for TNO.  While Sally finds Noah’s music cheesy, throughout the week she starts to see a different side of him that makes her question her earlier impression and wonder if maybe this uber-famous heartthrob could be interested in a sweats-wearing tv writer but that’s not how this phenom works! Set between 2018-2023, the story takes you from behind the scenes at TNO to Sally’s time back in Kansas City with her stepdad during 2020 and beyond.  Kansas Citians will love the nods to our city and will be charmed by both Sally and Noah.  


Fiction - HELLO BEAUTIFUL by Ann Napolitano (on sale March 28, 2023)

William Waters has grown up feeling alone in the shadow of a family tragedy. As a child, he finds the one place he can belong is on the basketball court. When his talents bring him to Chicago for college, he meets Julia Padavano who quickly becomes his steering force and guide in life. The Padavano family are intertwined and part of one another like he’s never experienced. When William’s life takes a turn, he risks jeopardizing his relationship with Julia and potentially damaging the entire Padavano family dynamic. An engrossing family saga that spans over 60 years, it is a character driven story that you’ll want to read with tissues nearby.  

Literary Crime Fiction - AGE OF VICE by Deepti Kapoor (on sale January 3, 2023)

Set in India, this is a weaving tale of loyalty, family, crime and injustice. Ajay is a diligent and  hardworking servant to Sunny, the heir to a well known crime family. Ajay has worked his way up the ranks by keeping quiet and following orders  but when Neda, a curious  journalist, becomes involved with Sunny life begins to get even more dangerous as the stakes become higher. Greed, revenge and the struggle for power make this genre bending book a wildly unique and engaging page turner. If you love crime fiction and enjoy when a book takes you to another place and time, then I think you will love this book. 

  • photo by Janie Jones