2023 Year in Reviews

And so another year passes. I’ve been doing these for quite a :

…so I think perhaps you get the idea.

All together, I love collecting data and I find it interesting to take a moment to look through what all I’ve done in the year. And hopefully–you find it interesting as well!

Overall, it’s been quite a year for reviews! This year I

It’s so silly to see some stats like that. I love it. So let’s break it down a bit more!

Table of Contents


Okay, books. I always read a fairly crazy amount and this year was actually really good for reading. I finished my 2023 Book Bingo Retrospective early (in September!) and just kept on going.


First and perhaps most interesting for those purists out there, of the 298 books I read this year:

  • 181 were graphic novels (~1 every other day, averaging 75 pages/day)
  • 99 were novels (~1 every 4 days, averaging 104 pages/day)
  • 9 were novellas
  • 3 were non-fiction
  • 2 each were anthology and children’s novels
  • 1 each were other children’s books and short stories

Basically, if it was long enough to read in more than one session and I write a review of it, I count it!

Again, of all 298:

  • 235 were in digital form (including all of the graphic novels, and ~1/3 of the novels)
  • 61 were audiobooks
  • 2 were physical books

The longest book I read this year was The Rose Code at 624 pages. The shortest were Defending Elysium (43 pages) and the Windflower series of novellas (80-100 pages each).

The oldest books I read were Heidi (1881), Betsy-Tacy and Tib (1941), Neuromancer (1984), and Consider Phlebas (1987).

The newest were were a whole handful published in 2023. The four books from the Year of Sanderson, Ink Blood Sister Scribe, Thornhedge, and VenCo.

Genrewise (and there’s some overlap here), I read 202 tagged fantasy, 128 tagged science fiction, 51 adventure, 38 romance, 28 historical, 21 myster, and 20 urban fantasy. Those are all grabbed from however people shelve them on Goodreads, so take it with a bit of a grain of salt, but it sounds about right.

Since I expect you’re curious (I was!) the two non-fiction were: Welcome to the Autistic Community and Build Your Own Redis with C/C++.

Ratingswise, I think I’m actually being more of a completionist than I usually am with series, which tends to lower my ratings. Rather than only reading books that I thought might be interesting, I’m reading those and all their sequels. Still, about half of my books this year I would rate 4 stars, with 1/4 each roughly 5 stars or 3. I did have a handful of books I really didn’t care for (2 stars) this year, which almost never happens.

One thing that I’ve considered is including these in yearly reviews as a sort of tier list. We’ll see. 😄

And finally, serieswise.

Series I finished this year:

Series I read in their entirety this year (non-graphic novels):

Graphic novels/comics:

Series I started:

And finally, perhaps weirdest of all to me, I only had 3 rereads this year. I almost always re-read at least one of my favorite series (often the The Dresden Files, Mercy Thompson, or Mistborn). But this year, I just didn’t get to it. The only 3 I re-read were The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to one of my kids, His Majesty's Dragon in order to read the rest of the series, and (somehow) Year Zero. I don’t really remember it, but I wrote it down pre-reviews!

Personal Favorites

My favorites of this year and books I’ll whole heartedly recommend (although not every book is for every person, feel free to reach out if you want a more personal matching!):

  • Blindsight - super dense sci-fi with some interesting ideas; ‘vampires in space’ but so much more than that
  • House of Suns - another dense sci-fi story on the scale of the galaxy and hundreds of thousands of years
  • Ink Blood Sister Scribe - family, found family, and magic books
  • Six of Crows - heist novels in a world with elemental magic; you don’t need to read Shadow and Bone first
  • The Founders Trilogy - urban fantasy with my favorite sort of reality rewriting magic system
  • The Goblin Emperor - a surprisingly cozy story about coming into power you never wanted
  • The Scholomance - Another take on a magic school; I actually liked how it went after the school bits, although YMMV
  • Year of Sanderson (perhaps not Frugal Wizard) - Sanderson in new and interesting styles, expanding on the Cosmere; especially if you love Sanderson 😄

Full list

Okay, that’s a lot of lists and things. So… what about the full list of all 300? Here you go! Click here to skip to TV or click here to go back to the top.

Posts in 2023 Book Reviews:

Pretty crazy looking at it that way. 😄


TV this year was:

Full list


I … actually got away from movies this year. I just didn’t have/want to spend 2 hours at a time, so TV worked better. There are an awful lot of good movies out there though… so perhaps next year?

(Honor Among Thieves was a delight though!)

Full list (ranked)

Board Games

Okay, back to a big one. I love board games. For the last ten years, I’ve been keeping a giant spreadsheet of every single game I play, although in the last year, I’ve moved over to Board Game Stats. If you like taking games, I highly recommend this app. It’s where most of these stats come from 😄.

So. Numbers. I play primarily on Board Game Arena:

  • Total: 1521 plays of 212 games (down a bit from the weirdness that was COVID BGA!)
  • Board Game Arena: 1363 plays of 170 games
    • 879 plays of 148 games turn based (I’ll have ~50 games going at once, but very rarely more than one at a time of the same one)
    • 484 plays of 89 games real time (especially when I find a new favorite; this also includes playing online with people I know/family)
  • 124 plays of 63 games in real life

Of those 212 games, 86 of them were new to me this year! Among my most played were Gizmos, Ark Nova, Akropolis, Earth, Bunny Kingdom, and Moon River with at least 20 plays each.

Overall, my H-Index for the year was 18 games (18 games I played at least 18 times each), with real life games reaching 5 at least!

Here’s the BG Stats image for all that:

Those with sparkles are new games, then the last three columns are plays, number of locations, and number of people played with (a bit weird for anonymous players on BGA).

I played with 43 different named people (I don’t track who I play against on BGA). Mostly immediate family, but over 20 with two different people I’m not even related to!

Of all of those games, I won 536 (35%) of them, which isn’t at all shabby.

A few favorites

My favorite games of the year (¹ marking new games, ² marking those on BGA):

  • Ark Nova ¹² - animal conservation themed game with a neat action system, interesting scoring; relatively little player interaction (for better or worse)
  • Azul ² - an old favorite, quick and light; recently discovered the variant factories for a bit more variation
  • Cosmic Encounter - alien themed negotiation game where every alien changes the rules (sometimes dramatically)
  • Earth ¹² - another nature themed game, this one is definitely an engine builder; has a neat way of everyone taking actions on other player’s turns, so minimal downtime
  • Lords of Waterdeep - a oldie but still a goodie in the worker placement genre with a D&D theme
  • Moon River ¹² - Kingdomino but you’re drafting the dominos half at a time; a fun wild west theme
  • Nidavellir ² - viking themed set bidding and set collection game, especially fun with expansions
  • Pictomania - simultaneous Pictionary; I like drawing games and this does it without all the downtime! a bit chaos
  • Potion Explosion ² - marble dropping combo gameplay; especially with all the expansions turned on, it’s surprisingly deep
  • Stockpile ¹² - just discovered (on BGA), a stock market game that I’m very recently enjoying
  • Terraforming Mars ² - currently in alpha on BGA, still a solid engine builder for how long and fiddly it can be
  • Welcome to the Moon ¹ - a set of 8(!) related space-themed Welcome To… games that can be played independently or with a campaign mode

Believe me you, I played (and loved) far more than this, but these are the ones on a quick look through that stuck out!

Steam Games

I spent 20% of my time in Noita and 13% in Stardew Valley (multiplayer, highly modded). That accounts for a large chunk by itself:

Factorio is still a big favorite, but I didn’t have any huge runs this year, so I’m down to only 12%. I … have a sneaky suspicion that one is going to go up in the coming year, and that’s even if they don’t release the expansion in the coming year!

Next up, the Roguelites. I have 10% each in PlateUp! and Backpack Hero, both well worth checking out.

Monthly, you can see it certainly ebbs and flows both what and when I’m playing:

The light green early in the year is Stardew Valley, before we moved on from that, with purple being Factorio. In July to September, that mostly was taken over by PlateUp! (light blue) and Backpack Hero! (brick red). October was an oddity. 80% Noita. New computer that ran it well. 😄

Overall though, I’m still about half on the Steam Deck. A pretty awesome bit of hardware all considered.

We’ll have to see how that goes next year.

I did actually perfect a game (achievementwise) this year! Peglin. And then they added more achievements that I haven’t gotten yet. Such is life. 😄

And finally, genrewise, we have:

Yup. I love Roguelites and Factorio. I’m still looking for that perfect combination of the two. I may never get anything done again!

And … that’s my year. Onward to another one!