Keeping Up With The Penguins

Reviews For The Would-Be Booklover

What I’ll Be Reading In 2023

Happy new year, Keeper Upperers! It’s that wonderful time when we’re all fresh eyed and full of hope for the year to come. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ll be reading in 2023, so here’s a little sneak peek for you.

What I'll Be Reading In 2023 - Keeping Up With The Penguins
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Trying something new for book reviews in 2023

So, I’ve been at this Keeping Up With The Penguins lark for a few years now. Once I’d read my way through the original list of 109 books I intended to read, I started… winging it. There’s a whole wide world of books out there, and I want to read them all!

The thing is, ‘winging it’ goes against my nature. I’m a planner, a plotter, a schemer. I started making little rules for myself – like only reading Black books during Black History Month, or queer books during Pride – to give myself some structure. Next thing I know, I’m a slave to the calendar, and reading something just because the date says I “should”.

This is all a long-winded way of saying: I’m trying something new. It’s a halfway bet between structure and random chance. I’ve decided to use a TBR jar to choose what I’ll be reading in 2023.

What’s a TBR jar?

It’s really not as weird as it sounds. I’m going to write the titles of books I want to read down on slips of paper, and then draw them out at random.

It’ll be my usual mix of… well, a little bit of everything. Classics, thrillers, romances, fiction, non-fiction, hefty tomes and slim novellas. It’s just that I won’t be reading them in any particular order, or choosing specifically which to read when (unless I decide I want to, in which case, I reserve the right).

What’s in the box jar?

I haven’t finalised the list at the time of writing, but here are a few titles I’ll definitely be throwing into the jar.

What about new books released in 2023?

There are also a few new releases that I’m already really looking forward to! I’ll definitely be getting my greedy hands on these if I can, and sharing my thoughts right here:

It’s going to be a great year, don’t you think?


  1. I love this idea! I tried out a TBR jar a few years ago, but I also tried to do a reading challenge and still make a list for myself that same year so….suffice it to say: I only drew one title out of the jar. 🤣 I think I may start a jar this year and just start throwing in all my unread titles every time I have a few minutes to spare and then utilize the jar for my 2024 reading. I might be thinking too far ahead, but I’m with you on needing a plan!

    • Sheree

      January 11, 2023 at 2:39 PM

      Any minute now, we’ll be staring down the barrel of 2024 – so planning ahead is definitely a good idea! 😅

  2. I have a good feeling about this year too, even if it’s coming from the very low bar of the last few. Middlemarch is a tome, but damn, it’s such a great book. I’m also very much looking forward to the new Grady Hendrix and Riley Sager. And agree with you re ‘Spare’ – normally don’t have any time for the royals, but interested in this one.

  3. Just THANK you Sheree, you are a fantastic inspiration l have this huge once upon a time popcorn can which is almost full with 3 by 5 card “da books l want to read before l cross over” the can is more than ten years old
    What a riot!! HAPPY and HEALTHY new year, aquiles

  4. That is quite a lovely idea! I like planning ahead a little (giving a geographical theme each month, for example), but I could be more spontaneous within that!

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