Books I've read and enjoyed in 2023

As in 2022, reading books has given me enormous pleasure. This year, I published a special 10th Anniversary hardback edition of INCEPTIO with a gorgeous case cover and dust jacket by Jessica Bell Design, plus contributed a story called ‘My Sister’ to a collection Historical Stories of Exile.

Enough of me, the writer; in this post I’m writing as a reader.

This is not a beauty contest nor a selection. I chose the books that make up the image randomly. The list below contains just books I’ve read this year and enjoyed. Some made me catch my breath, others made me weep with joy or sorrow and others appalled me. But I loved the experience of reading them all.

I’m not mentioning those I didn’t enjoy or part-read – that’s not fair to the authors concerned as I’m probably not their ideal reader.

I’m a fussy reader. I use Amazon’s ‘Send a free sample’ service mercilessly, especially if it’s an author new to me. But I have discovered some real gems that way.

Oh, and I’ve read a few non-fiction for research and ‘professional development’.


Restless, William Boyd (re-read)
Legion XXII: The Capsarius, Simon Turney
Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr
The Lost Apothecary, Sarah Penner
Alternate Endings: A Short Story Anthology of Historical What Ifs, by Samantha Wilcoxson, Sharon Bennett Connolly, Michael Ross, Cathie Dunn, Karen Heenan, Salina B Baker, Virginia Crow, Elizabeth K Corbett & Stephanie Churchill
Winter Wedding at Bletchley Park, Molly Green
Mistake of Murder, Helen Hollick
Dark Earth, Rebecca Stott
The Glass Painter, Clare Flynn
The Ides of April, Lindsey Davis
City of Vengeance, D V Bishop
The Contraband Killings, Lucienne Boyce
A Tidy Ending, Joanna Cannon
The Venice Secret, Anita Chapman
Lost in Time, A G Riddle
Caesar’s Soldier, Alex Gough
The Weather Woman, Sally Gardner
The Maids of Biddenden, G D Harper
The Secrets We Keep, A J Wills
Sisters of Castle Leod, Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard
Promises of the Runes, Christina Courtenay
Siren Song, J J Marsh
Saturnalia, Lindsey Davis (re-read)
A Quiet Death in Italy, Tom Benjamin
Rocco and the Snow Angel, Adrian Magson
Death on the Marais, Adrian Magson
Murder Imperial, Paul Doherty
The Wild Poppy, Julia Bell
The Secrets of Hawthorn Place
The Wall, Douglas Jackson
Times of Turmoil, Anna Belfrage
Falling Sky, Harry Sidebottom
A Meadow Murder, Helen Hollick
Artful Antics at St Brides, Debbie Young
Signal Moon, Kate Quinn
Deadly Election, Lindsey Davis
The Garden of the Hesperides, Lindsey Davis
Rogue, Charlene Newcomb
The Husband Criteria, Catherine Kullman
The King’s Jewel, Elizabeth Chadwick
Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus
Third Nero, Lindsey Davis (re-read)
The Beacon at Alexandria
The Maid of Linden Hall, Katie Hutton
Salt of the Earth, J J Marsh
Moonshadows, Melinda Hammond
Secret Meetings, J G Harlond
Iron Maiden, J T Maicke
The Gladiator Only dies Once, Steven Saylor (re-read)
The Secrets of Morgarten, L S Mangos
Fatal Legacy, Lindsey Davis
A Vain and Indecent Woman, Colin Falconer
The Emperor’s Games, Damion Hunter
Catalina’s Riddle, Steven Saylor
Christmas with Sophie Sayers, Debbie Young
Blackshirt Masquerade, Jason Monaghan
The Picture House Murders, Fiona Veitch Smith

Non Fiction

How To Survive in Ancient Rome, L J Trafford
Blurb Your Enthusiasm, Louise Willder
The Fall of the Roman Empire, Peter Heather
How to Best Optimize Blog Posts for SEO, Rachel Thompson
The Darkening Age: the Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey
Vindobona, Michaela Kronberger
The Idea of the City in Roman Thought, Lidia Storini Mazzolani, trans. S. O’Donnell
How to Be Right, James O’Brien

On to 2024…

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers. JULIA PRIMA,  Roma Nova story set in the late 4th century, starts the Foundation stories. The sequel, EXSILIUM, will be out in February 2024.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines and taste world the latest contemporary thriller Double Identity… Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email update. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

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