17 of the best books for men to read in 2023

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Maybe you’ve read a handful of incredible books in the last few years. Perhaps you tore through them in a matter of days and recommended them to everyone who’d listen.

But consistently finding good books to read? That’s not always so easy.

To help you out (and accompany my list of the books every man should read at least once), here are some of the best books for men to read in 2023.

These are some of the best books if you don’t know what to read right now, including the most inspiring non-fiction and self-improvement books, gripping thrillers, and some of the best beach reads for men this summer.

As always with these posts, I don’t really believe there’s such a thing as books for men or women. If you’re a reader, you can pick up whatever you want, and the recommendations below are all books I’ve loved reading.

But that said, these are my top recommendations for the best books for men now, based on what I’ve been recommending to friends and readers of the blog. I hope you can find some of your next favourite books here too.

The best new books for men to read in 2023

Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Daniel Silva

Read Portrait of an Unknown Woman for… a thrilling high-stakes search for the greatest art forger who ever lived by bestselling author Daniel Silva. If you’re looking for books to read on vacation, it’d be a great choice.

As one of the best suspense thrillers to read in 2023, the story opens with renowned spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon happily settling into his quiet retirement in Venice.

However, when London art dealer Julian Isherwood requests his help in investigating the origins of a lucrative sale of a supposedly centuries-old painting, Gabriel is pulled into a risky and elaborate game.

This is Book 22 in the Gabriel Allon series, but you can also read it as a standalone. (And good news! Book 23, The Collector, has just been released in July.)

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

Read American Prometheus for… not a new book (it was first published in 2005), but the basis for Oppenheimer, the less pink movie that everyone’s talking about.

While sitting in one of my favourite bookshops on the outskirts of Copenhagen this week, I was sipping tea, browsing books, and half-listening to conversations between the staff and customers.

Everyone seemed to want to know about American Prometheus (that had sold out, unfortunately for the bookshop).

In this gripping non-fiction book that reads like a thriller, the authors reveal the story of a brilliant, complex, and flawed man: physicist and polymath J. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Read Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow for… one of the most wonderfully creative and gripping books I’ve read in a long time, named Goodreads Fiction Book of the Year 2022.

This fiction bestseller is the story of two nerdy kids who meet in a hospital, bond over video games, and years later start their own game company. This brings them money and fame, but also loss they never could have seen coming.

I’ve recommended (and given) Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow to so many people: it’s one of the most wonderfully creative and gripping books I’ve read in a long time, and a perfect summer read for men in 2023.

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Read The Covenant of Water for… Abraham Verghese’s long-awaited new novel about love, faith, and medicine for 2023, fourteen years after one of my all-time favourite books, Cutting for Stone.

Set against the historical progress of India from 1900 through to the 1970s, The Covenant of Water is a big, multi-generational book about the whole spectrum of life, including both joy and sadness… quite a lot of sadness.

There are some traumatic moments in the book that are difficult to read, but that said, it’s an incredibly well-written and ambitious book – one that I’ll absolutely be re-reading and thinking back to this year.

How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question by Michael Schur

Read How to Be Perfect for… a laugh-out-loud and thought-provoking guide to living a good life, drawing on thousands of years of deep thinking and wisdom from around the world.

From the creator of The Good Place comes this fresh and funny look at what it takes to live an ethical life.

Published in 2022, the book begins with easy questions such as “Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?” and continues to the most complex moral issues that humans have struggled with throughout time.

Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia MD with Bill Gifford

Read Outlive if you want to… learn science-backed ways to get your body and mind in the best shape for health and longevity.

Outlive is leading longevity expert Peter Attia’s groundbreaking manifesto on living better – and longer – which is due for release in March 2023.

Like Peter’s popular podcast, this book will challenge conventional medical thinking and reveal a new approach for health. Learn how to prevent chronic disease and extend healthspan, not just lifespan.

City on Fire by Don Winslow

Read City on Fire for… a compulsively readable thriller that transforms the events at Troy and the founding of Rome into a riveting gangster tale as two empires grapple to control New England.

I first read The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow while on the Trans-Mongolian train across Russia, Mongolia and China a few years ago and was hooked.

Last year, I binge-listened to the audiobook of Don Winslow’s newest release and first part of a new series, City on Fire. It’s an excellent new crime thriller to immerse yourself in for a few days that’s as gripping as a fast-paced movie.

More good news: the sequel, City of Dreams, has just been released this year, so you won’t be left hanging at the end of book one.

We Should Not Be Friends: The Story of a Friendship by Will Schwalbe

Read We Should Not Be Friends for… a warm and funny memoir that follows the course of an improbable and life-changing college friendship over forty years.

I adored Will Schwalbe’s 2013 celebration of the comfort of reading, The End of Your Life Book Club. Now in 2023, Will has shared a rare and joyful view of male friendship, starting with the first time he met Maxey as a junior in college.

While Will was nerdy and creative, Maxey was physically imposing, loud, and a star wrestler who was determined to become a Navy SEAL. But thanks to a little-known secret society at Yale, the two forged a bond that transcended their differences.

Greenwood by Michael Christie


Read Greenwood for… a multi-generational saga from 2020 that has many similar threads to Richard Powers’ bestseller The Overstory.

Although the first chapter didn’t immediately pull me in, after about an hour of reading Greenwood, I was hooked.

I read most of this doorstop of a book in a weekend, completely lost in the multi-generational story of a family’s rise, fall, secrets, and inherited wrongdoings, accompanied all the while by one steady presence: trees.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Read Project Hail Mary for… a fantastically well-researched, nerdy, and lighthearted show of world-building that’s easy to read and difficult to put down

If you loved The Martian, Andy Weir’s latest bestseller is one of the best new books to read next.

Bill Gates shared about this sci-fi hit: “[Project Hail Mary] is a wild tale about a high school science teacher who wakes up in a different star system with no memory of how he got there. The rest of the story is all about how he uses science and engineering to save the day. It’s a fun read, and I finished the whole thing in one weekend.”

Unnatural History by Jonathan Kellerman

Read Unnatural History for… a gripping new thriller for 2023 by Jonathan Kellerman, the bestselling master of suspense. This is Book 38 in the Alex Delaware series, but it can be read as a standalone.

As soon as Lieutenant Milo Sturgis and Psychologist Alex Delaware discover the body of a photographer in an LA warehouse, they’re set on the path of a complex and dangerous case.

Did the victim’s recent controversial project showcasing homeless people have something to do with it? Or was the threat in the victim’s own family?

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention- and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari

Read Stolen Focus for… proven tactics to win back your focus and learn how to pay attention in a world that wants to distract you.

Have you also lost your ability to pay attention? As one of the best self-improvement books to read this year, Stolen Focus is Johann Hari’s groundbreaking examination of why so many of us have lost our focus and how to regain the art of thinking deeply.

The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self by Michael Easter

Read The Comfort Crisis if you want to… discover the evolutionary mind and body benefits of living at the edges of your comfort zone and reconnecting with the wild.

The Comfort Crisis is one of the most inspiring and readable non-fiction books I’ve read in the last couple of years. Pick up a copy and learn how embracing discomfort is actually a path to reclaiming your happiest and healthiest self.

Desert Star by Michael Connelly

Read Desert Star for the latest installment of the Renée Ballard series, about a driven young detective fighting to prove herself in the LAPD.

In Book 1 of the New York Times bestselling series, The Late Show, we meet Renée Ballard, a talented young detective determined to face her demons and find justice for victims who can’t speak for themselves.

Now with the fifth installment in the series for 2023, Desert Star, Renée Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch, the star of Connelly’s Bosch series, to hunt Bosch’s “white whale” – a man responsible for slaying an entire family.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Read Cloud Cuckoo Land for… an ambitious novel that masterfully toes the line between historical fiction and speculative fiction, crafting a tale of resilience and hope in worlds in peril.

In this incredible novel from Anthony Doerr, travel between Constantinople in the 15th century to a library in present-day Idaho and the interstellar ship Argos in a not-so-distant future.

The result is a dazzlingly imaginative story about common ground, the power of books, and dreamers and outsiders.

The 6:20 Man by David Baldacci

Read The 6:20 Man for a gripping thriller about a cryptic cover-up and the menace that prowls beneath the opulent world of finance.

Travis Devine works at the city’s most prestigious investment firm, but as an entry-level analyst, he’s at the bottom of the pile. Each morning, he puts on a cheap suit, grabs his faux-leather briefcase, and boards the 6:20 commuter train to Manhattan.

However, one morning Devine’s routine is shattered by an anonymous email. The body of his coworker and former girlfriend has been found. There’s no clear answer as to what really happened, and secrets from his own past are about to surface.

Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah

Read Small Joys for… a charming debut about the family we choose for ourselves, the winding road to happiness, and the grace of second chances in rural England.

Could I one day inspire happiness in others, the same way he seemed to do in me? This book starts out quite emotionally, as Harley, a young queer black Ghanaian man, struggles with his mental health and drops out of university.

But when Harley meets Muddy at what should be the end, a tender and joyful slice-of-life tale about coming-of-age and belonging unfolds.

For more of the best books for men, you might also like…

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