Notable Books of 2023

By Scott Lindrup | November 29 2023 | General

2023 has been another fantastic year for Penguin Random House books. And, as the year draws to a close, the world is taking notice; naming oodles of PRH and our distribution partners’ books to their notable books of the year lists.

First up is the New York Times Book Review and their 100 Notable Books of 2023! Not only do PRH books account for 46(!) of those 100 books, but they also named their 10 Best Books of the Year and PRH nabbed 8(!!) of those spots. Amazing!

We also have the New York Public Library’s picks for notable books across multiple categories. Again, PRH and our distribution partners are well represented throughout their adult, children’s, and teen lists!

We are immensely proud of all of these books and excited to see wide recognition for our amazing authors. It is also exciting to share this notoriety with our partners in sales. Without the hard work that goes into merchandising, marketing, and selling these books, lists like these wouldn’t be possible. We fully expect to see even more books on best-of lists as they come along in the next few months so keep an eye on this space!

Here are all the notable PRH book lists for 2023:

NYT Book Review - Best Books of 2023

Chain Gang All Stars
A Novel
978-0-593-31733-4
A NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN FICTION • A READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Two top women gladiators fight for their freedom within a depraved private prison system not so far-removed from America’s own in this explosive, hotly-anticipated debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Friday Black • LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE
$27.00 US
May 02, 2023
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover
384 Pages
Pantheon

Eastbound
978-1-953861-50-4
** SELECTED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES AS 1 OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR **** INCLUDED ON THE NEW YORKER'S BEST BOOKS OF 2023 **“At The New York Times Book Review, I think it's fair to say we were dazzled by the way the author creates . . . a miniature masterpiece of narrative tension and compression” –  Emily Eakin, "The Book Review" podcastIn this gripping tale, a Russian conscript and a French woman cross paths on the Trans-Siberian railroad, each fleeing to the east for their own reasonsPerfect for fans of Maggie Shipstead's Great Circle and The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
$18.00 US
Feb 07, 2023
5-1/2 x 6-1/2
Paperback
137 Pages
Archipelago

The Fraud
A Novel
978-0-525-55896-5
From acclaimed and bestselling novelist Zadie Smith, a kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England, about who gets to tell their story—and who gets to be believed
$29.00 US
Sep 05, 2023
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover
464 Pages
Penguin Press

North Woods
A Novel
978-0-593-59703-3
A sweeping novel about a single house in the woods of New England, told through the lives of those who inhabit it across the centuries—a daring, moving tale of memory and fate from the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Piano Tuner and The Winter Soldier.
$28.00 US
Sep 19, 2023
6-1/8 x 9-1/8
Hardcover
384 Pages
Random House

The Best Minds
A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions
978-1-59420-657-3
Acclaimed author Jonathan Rosen’s haunting investigation of the forces that led his closest childhood friend, Michael Laudor, from the heights of brilliant promise to the forensic psychiatric hospital where he has lived since killing the woman he loved. A story about friendship, love, and the price of self-delusion, The Best Minds explores the ways in which we understand—and fail to understand—mental illness.
$32.00 US
Apr 18, 2023
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover
576 Pages
Penguin Press

Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs
A Journey Through the Deep State
978-0-525-65549-7
A NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • A NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR • A VANITY FAIR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR“Riveting and darkly funny and in all senses of the word, unclassifiable.” – The New York TimesA wild, humane, and hilarious meditation on post-privacy America—from the acclaimed author of Thrown
$28.00 US
Mar 21, 2023
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover
256 Pages
Knopf

Fire Weather
A True Story from a Hotter World
978-1-5247-3285-1
A NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION • WINNER OF THE 2024 JOHN WESLEY DAFOE BOOK PRIZE 2024 • A stunning account of a colossal wildfire and a panoramic exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between fire and humankind from the award-winning, best-selling author of The Tiger and The Golden Spruce • Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, TIME, NPR, PBS, Good Morning America, Slate, Financial Times, WIRED, The Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, Air Mail, and Orion Magazine“Grips like a philosophical thriller, warns like a beacon, and shocks to the core." —Robert Macfarlane, bestselling author of Underland“Riveting, spellbinding, astounding on every page.” —David Wallace-Wells, #1 bestselling author of The Uninhabitable Earth
$32.50 US
Jun 06, 2023
6-1/4 x 9-1/4
Hardcover
432 Pages
Knopf

Some People Need Killing
A Memoir of Murder in My Country
978-0-593-13313-2
A fearless, powerfully written on-the-ground account of a nation careening into a violent autocracy—told through harrowing stories of the Philippines’ state-sanctioned killings of its citizens—from a leading journalist of international renown
$30.00 US
Oct 17, 2023
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover
448 Pages
Random House

NYPL Notable Books

Remember Us
978-0-399-54546-7
National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson brings readers a powerful story that delves deeply into life’s burning questions about time and memory and what we take with us into the future.
$18.99 US
Oct 10, 2023
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover
192 Pages
Nancy Paulsen Books
Age 10 and up

Superman: The Harvests of Youth
978-1-77951-105-8
A grounded and heartbreakingly human story about the legendary Superman as a teenager finding his place in a world filled with death and hate, without losing sight of his greatest power…hope.
$16.99 US
Oct 03, 2023
6 x 9
Paperback
208 Pages
DC Comics
Age 13-17 years

Forgive Me Not
978-0-593-40684-7
In this searing indictment of the juvenile justice system, one teen in detention weighs what she is willing to endure for forgiveness.
$19.99 US
Aug 15, 2023
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover
400 Pages
Nancy Paulsen Books
Age 12 and up

Contenders
Two Native Baseball Players, One World Series
978-0-593-40647-2
The true story of John Meyers and Charles Bender, who in 1911 became the first two Native pro baseball players to face off in a World Series. This picture book teaches important lessons about resilience, doing what you love in the face of injustice, and the fight for Native American representation in sports.
$19.99 US
Apr 11, 2023
11 x 9
Hardcover
48 Pages
Kokila
Age 6-9 years

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
A Novel
978-0-593-42294-6
THE RUNAWAY NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKFROM ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE OF 2024NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR/FRESH AIR, WASHINGTON POST, THE NEW YORKER, AND TIME MAGAZINEONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2023“A murder mystery locked inside a Great American Novel . . . Charming, smart, heart-blistering, and heart-healing.” —Danez Smith, The New York Times Book Review“We all need—we all deserve—this vibrant, love-affirming novel that bounds over any difference that claims to separate us.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post From James McBride, author of the bestselling Oprah’s Book Club pick Deacon King Kong and the National Book Award–winning The Good Lord Bird, a novel about small-town secrets and the people who keep them
$28.00 US
Aug 08, 2023
6 x 9
Hardcover
400 Pages
Riverhead Books

Land of Milk and Honey
A Novel
978-0-593-53824-1
The award-winning author of How Much of These Hills is Gold returns with a rapturous and revelatory novel about a young chef whose discovery of pleasure alters her life and, indirectly, the world.
$28.00 US
Sep 26, 2023
6 x 9
Hardcover
240 Pages
Riverhead Books

Start Here
Instructions for Becoming a Better Cook: A Cookbook
978-0-593-32046-4
Change the way you think about cooking! In this epic guide to better eating, the chef, recipe developer, and video producer Sohla El-Waylly reimagines what a cookbook can be, teaching home cooks of all skill levels how cooking really works.
$45.00 US
Oct 31, 2023
8-1/2 x 11
Hardcover
656 Pages
Knopf

Safe and Sound
A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair
978-0-7440-7907-4
#1 New York Times BestsellerDon’t panic—Mercury Stardust, AKA The Trans Handy Ma’am is here to help!
$24.99 US
Aug 22, 2023
7-11/16 x 9-3/16
Hardcover
224 Pages
DK