The Atlantic 10: The Best Books of 2023


The Atlantic 10 presents a collection of books, each offering profound insights and compelling narratives that captivated readers throughout 2023.

The Power of Books in Today’s World

The Atlantic 10 has once again compiled a list of books that offer a unique space for ideas to flourish, standing as a countercultural medium against the prevailing distractions of modern life.

Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton returns with a narratively ingenious novel, Birnam Wood, which explores the clash between idealism and pragmatism in the context of environmentalist dreams.

Beyond the Door of No Return, by David Diop

David Diop’s historical fiction, Beyond the Door of No Return, delves into the haunting quest of a botanist in the 18th century, offering a mesmerizing and layered narrative of the terrors of the slave trade.

Our Share of Night, by Mariana Enriquez

Mariana Enriquez’s literary horror masterpiece, Our Share of Night, intricately explores the legacies of societal and familial violence, weaving a tale of love, terror, sacrifice, and greed.

The Country of the Blind, by Andrew Leland

Andrew Leland’s memoir details his journey of confronting and embracing the reality of becoming blind, offering a fascinating cultural history of blindness and the opportunities it presents.

Ours Was the Shining Future, by David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt’s captivating narrative, Ours Was the Shining Future, provides a comprehensive exploration of the story of economic inequality and social unraveling in the past half century, highlighting the impact on the American economy and its people.

Couplets, by Maggie Millner

Maggie Millner’s debut, Couplets, offers a fresh perspective on love and self-discovery, narrated through a series of rhyming couplets that intricately capture the essence of desire and freedom.

The Best Minds, by Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan Rosen’s The Best Minds is an intimate portrayal of a tragic slide into schizophrenia, intertwining personal friendship, mental-health stigma, and forced institutionalization in a compelling narrative.

Ordinary Notes, by Christina Sharpe

Christina Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes provides a poignant examination of what it means to be Black in a world dominated by whiteness, infused with love and tender language, offering new ways of understanding individual and collective experiences of racism.

How to Say Babylon, by Safiya Sinclair

Safiya Sinclair’s memoir, How to Say Babylon, intricately weaves a complex portrait of Jamaica, depicting her journey as an artist and free woman, escaping the constraints of her upbringing and religion.

The Iliad, translated by Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson’s translation of The Iliad breathes new life into Homer’s epic, infusing it with clarity, approachability, and brutal intimacy, reanimating this classic work for modern readers.