Watch Read Listen: Best of 2023

We’ve rounded up our favorite selections from the past year.


I’m undoubtedly with the majority here – but this movie was so necessary. (Elle)
I haven’t seen a movie in the theater more than once since I was in high school, until this year with Barbie. Such a fun, and yet also deep, film. I can see more viewings of this one in the future! (Dana)

Brian and Charles
This is a sweet story of an oddball who builds himself a cabbage loving robot that becomes his son and best friend. (Liz)

Lost in Paris (Kanopy)
This movie is silly and fun and its main character is a librarian who lives in snowy northern Canada and has always wanted to live in Paris. She gets her wish in a gloriously goofy, roundabout way. (Janet)

Nimona (Netflix)
The BEST animated movie this year! A stunning adaptation of ND Stevenson’s graphic novel, it is an exploration of identity (and transness) that celebrates embracing yourself and fighting for a world that accepts you for who you are. Also, sharks. (Renee)

Past Lives
This movie has it all…suspense, romance, and much insight into what it is like to leave behind your country of birth and those that you loved. (Janet)


Every Man for Himself and God Against All: A Memoir by Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog may be best know for having a delightful German accent and a recurring role on the first season of The Mandalorian, but this memoir by one of the greatest directors of all time chronicles not only his films, but his completely bonkers life from a child in the Bavarian mountains to the jungles of South America to a theater in California where he ate his own shoe to a failed meet up by the Wisconsin grave of a serial killer’s mother, and more. (Liz)

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
Looking at my list of books read this year, The Five stands out the most. I’m still blown away at how Rubenhold managed to tell such a compelling story for each woman, given the minimal historical information that can be found for individuals (especially women) who lived in poverty at that time. (Dana)

How To Read Now by Elaine Castillo
What a great perspective on reading and the world. Also, it’s nonfiction by a Filipino author. I want more of that!! (Hazel)

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
One of the best books I’ve read in a decade. (Kelly)

Miss Major Speaks: Conversation with a Black Trans Revolutionary by Toshio Meronek and Miss Major
A punchy, reflective interview-memoir taking you through several seminal events in queer history through Miss Major’s eyes. She provides a sharp insight into fighting for queer liberation today. (Renee)

My Friend Anne Frank: the Inspiring and Heartbreaking True Story of Best Friends Torn Apart and Reunited Against All Odds by Hannah Pick-Goslar
So much to say about this book, written by Anne Frank’s best friend. I was especially touched by the fact that the author reconnected with Otto Frank, Anne’s father, after the War and remained in contact with him until he passed away in 1980. (Janet)

Not On Any Map: One Virgin Island, Two Catastrophic Hurricanes, and the True Meaning of Paradise by Margie Smith Holt (Hoopla)
One of my four 5-star reviews of 2023: So amazing to read an amazing adventure about a place, in the place, I love & visit often. (Deb)

Princess Floralinda and the Forty Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir
A delightful, weird, gross, horrifying inversion of fairy tale tropes. When I first read it it didn’t make such a strong impression, but I find myself recommending it to everyone these days! (Renee)

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher
A woman named Mouse travels to rural North Carolina to clean out the house of her recently deceased grandmother. Once there, she uncovers dark secrets relating to her step-grandfather, who believed something unnatural lived in the nearby woods. Unfortunately for her, it’s still there, and it’s got plans for Mouse. Funny and terrifying. (Greg)

What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez
If Stephen Sommers masterpiece The Mummy (1999) and Agatha Christie’s Death On the Nile had a baby, it would be this. The plot twist had me LIVID, the cliffhanger ending had me FUMING, and all the ancient Egyptian-ness had my globetrotters heart SOARING! Can’t wait for part 2! (Elle)


Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, read by Charlie Thurston
One of my four 5-star reviews of 2023: So engaging from Page 1!! Dickens’s David Copperfield meets 1990’s Appalachia. Reading Dickens isn’t required, but if you have, the parallels are plentiful. (Deb)

Miss O’Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved by Chris O’Dell, read by Katherine Ketcham
Chris O’Dell is one of the first female assistants and tour managers in the world of rock and roll. A caveat: most of the rockers described here were really badly behaved and I like most of them a lot less than I did before listening to this. Still a very worthwhile listen! The narrator is wonderful. (Janet)

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
I’ve never related so much to a book while also learning so many new things! (Hazel)

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, read by Jorgeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, Michael Crouch
One of my four 5-star reviews of 2023: Captivating story telling! One character was so annoying that I physically rolled my eyes every time it was their turn to tell the story. That must be good writing. The culmination of the story centers around real events, making it that much more dramatic. I would tweak two tiny things about the final scenes, but that’s totally nit-picky! (Deb)

So Much (For) Stardust by Fall Out Boy (Hoopla)
Fall Out Boy’s best album since Folie a Deux and my top album by FAR on my Spotify Wrapped. Nostalgic and innovative all at once. (Renee)

Wild Dreams by Westlife (not available in the Minuteman Library Network)
This album was my most-played of the year for the second year running. Once my guilty pleasure listen, I have fully accepted that Westlife are the ~Kings of My Heart~ and this album has some bops. (Dana)

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister, read by Lesley Sharp
One of my four 5-star reviews of 2023 and recommended by my excellent colleague, Dana: SUPER intriguing writing! This story reveals itself backwards, essentially. Only one of my guesses turned out to be true. I love a book that keeps me on my toes! (Deb)