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Jess's top reads of 2023


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Explore the team’s favourite books of 2023! Choosing three from an entire year is a challenge and more recent reads tend to obscure what you read in February. Still, there are those that stay with you through the months. Why three? Because it's more than one but less than a list...

Here's what stood out the most in Jess's year of reading!

We, the Heartbroken by Gargi Bhattacharyya: published at the beginning of the year, this slim and courageous book feels ever more necessary as we end the year in the midst of internationally backed oppression and genocide. Accepting no shortcuts, it speaks to the need for emotional honesty about the inherent brutality of racial capitalism, one we cannot compromise away within this system. Such honesty is the prerequisite for any change meaningful enough. Yes, we are heartbroken, because this society is built to utterly break our hearts. That’s only the beginning, and I’m so grateful to this book for pointing toward it.

Voyager by Nona Fernandez: A deceptively short, vertiginous memoir with two starting points. One is the twenty-six stars renamed after twenty-six victims of the Caravan of Death, an assassination squad during Chile's dictatorship. The other root of the book is the neurological illness of the author's mother. In this way, brain and cosmos come together. Tender and bold, it’s also driven by an infectious curiosity about astronomy, the makings of history and of memory: all enormous questions which are handled with elegant precision in every individual line.

Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq: A book that only an artist with a lifetime of moving between voices and expressions could bring us. Split Tooth is a novel as much as it’s an incantation of a mythology that is inescapably personal, collective, spiritual and rooted in the Arctic. Shape-shifting throughout, it takes whatever form is necessary to honestly explore the reality of its young Inuk narrator - childhood vulnerability and agency, community, addiction and the immense power of a self bound up with all surrounding life.

Watch out for the rest of the team favourites, coming in the next few days on the website!

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