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New York Times Notable 100 Books of 2023

Hot off the press! The tastemakers at the helm of the illustrious New York Times Book Review have published their annual 100 Notable Books list.

Check out which books made the cut by reading The New York Times online—free with your Burlington Public Library card. Once you activate the 72-hour access period to The New York Times, just click on this link to the article.

A Sampler of Selected Titles

To whet your reading appetite, here are five titles from the list that you can borrow from BPL’s collection.

After Sappho

book cover After Sappho by Selby Wynn Schwartz

"The first thing we did was change our names. We were going to be Sappho," so begins this intrepid debut novel, centuries after the Greek poet penned her lyric verse. Ignited by the same muse, a myriad of women break from their small, predetermined lives for seemingly disparate paths: in 1892, Rina Faccio trades her needlepoint for a pen; in 1902, Romaine Brooks sails for Capri with nothing but her clotted paintbrushes; and in 1923, Virginia Woolf writes: "I want to make life fuller and fuller."

Borrow After Sappho by Selby Wynn Schwartz

The Bee Sting

book cover The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

An irresistibly funny and thought-provoking tour de force about family, fortune, and the struggle to be a good person when the world is falling apart. The Barnes family is in trouble. Dickie’s once-lucrative car business is going under—but rather than face the music, he’s building an apocalypse-proof bunker in the woods. His wife Imelda is selling off her jewelry on eBay, while their teenage daughter Cass, formerly top of her class, is binge-drinking her way through her final exams. Twelve-year-old PJ is putting the final touches to his grand plan to run away from home. Where did it all go wrong? A patch of ice on the tarmac, a casual favour to a charming stranger, a bee caught beneath a bridal veil—can a single moment of bad luck change the direction of a life? And is there still time to find a happy ending?

Borrow The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

Birnam Wood

book cover of Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

Birnam Wood is on the move... A landslide has closed the Korowai Pass on New Zealand's South Island, cutting off the town of Thorndike and leaving a sizable farm abandoned. The disaster has created an opportunity for Birnam Wood, an unregulated guerrilla gardening collective that plants crops wherever no one will notice. For years, the group has struggled to break even. Then Mira, Birnam Wood's founder, stumbles on an answer: occupying the farm at Thorndike would mean a shot at solvency at last. But Mira is not the only one interested in Thorndike. The enigmatic American billionaire Robert Lemoine has snatched it up to build his end-times bunker. Intrigued by Mira and Birnam Wood, he makes them an offer that would set them up for the long term. But can they trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust one another?

Borrow Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

The Deluge

book cover of The Deluge by Stephen Markley

In the first decades of the 21st century, the world is convulsing, its governments mired in gridlock while an unrelenting ecological crisis looms. America is in upheaval, battered by violent weather and extreme politics. In California in 2013, Tony Pietrus, a scientist studying undersea methane, receives a death threat. His fate will become bound to a stunning cast of characters who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begin a project that will alter the course of the decades to come. Their intertwined odysseys unfold against a stark backdrop of accelerating chaos as they summon courage, galvanize a nation, fall to their own fear, and find wild hope in the face of staggering odds. As their stories hurtle toward a spectacular climax, each faces a reckoning: what will they sacrifice to salvage humanity's last chance at a future?

Borrow The Deluge by Stephen Markley

The New Naturals

book cover of the New Naturals by Gabriel Bump

After losing their child and looking hard for a safe place, a young Black couple begins to construct a separate society: somewhere nurturing, where everyone can feel loved and wanted, where all the Spike Lee movies play, where the children learn actual history—and somewhere underground, where they won't need anything or anyone from the world above ground to make it work. After locating a benefactor, it begins to take shape. Two homeless men are told about the place and start their journey to get there. A disillusioned journalist stumbles upon it and wants in. As does a former soccer player who has lost his footing in society. But it doesn't take long for problems to develop, for conflicts to surface, for food to become scarce, and for the children to crave life beyond this place.

Borrow The New Naturals by Gabriel Bump

Read More NYT Top Picks

You can easily browse books on the New York Times current Best Sellers list through BPL’s website. Select Books in the top menu on BPL’s website and look under “Trending popular titles.” Once you click/tap on the NY Times Best Sellers link to the library's online catalogue, you can explore all the books you can borrow with your library card!

Image source: The New York Times (Nov 21 2023) 100 Notable Books of 2023