Books I’ve Liked This Year So Far

As a type A personality with OCD, I like keeping a list of every book I read. Just entered a new one, started looking through the 2023 list and realized there’s a lot of good stuff coming out right now. So if you’re looking for something to read, here are a few recommendations (I read almost exclusively fiction and generally read books coming out right now):

Bradley Tusk
4 min readMay 9, 2023


The Shards — Bret Easton Ellis

The Shards — Bret Easton Ellis. I wasn’t in LA in the 1980s but it feels like his book captured what it was like for a really particularly rich set of teenagers. If you liked Less Than Zero, you’ll like this.

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs — Sidik Fofana

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs — Sidik Fofana. This won the 2022 Gotham Book Prize so have said a lot about it already and we recorded a podcast with Sidik the other day that should post soon. My favorite book of the year.

Age of Vice — Deepti Kapoor

Age of Vice — Deepti Kapoor. Great coming of age story set in contemporary India. Could have used some editing but still a fantastic read.

Every Man a King — Walter Mosley

Every Man a King — Walter Mosley. Somehow, I had never read anything by Mosley. I’m glad I finally did. The character of Joe King is fantastic and it’s a great detective story that also captures NYC really well.

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise — Colleen Oakley

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise — Colleen Oakley. Kind of a crazy road trip story loosely based on Thelma and Louise but really creative, really fun, really well written, really enjoyable. Great characters, great writing, great plot.

American Mermaid — Julia Langbein

American Mermaid — Julia Langbein. The structure of this book is complex and Langbein really pulls it off. Every other chapter is either the story about the author of the (fictional) novel American Mermaid or is a chapter from the (fictional) American Mermaid itself. Each time a new chapter begun, I was excited to see what the characters from two chapters ago were up to.

Romantic Comedy — Curtis Sittenfeld

Romantic Comedy — Curtis Sittenfeld. She’s a great writer and it’s kind of like the classic schlumpy guy manages to land a spectacularly beautiful woman book but the inverse, set on a 30 Rock/ SNL type show during Covid. Works really well.

Confidence — Rafael Frumkin

Confidence — Rafael Frumkin. This is such a fun book about two grifters who really make it big. The narrator is fantastic because he’s so honest and self aware and yet so helpless against his partner’s charm and manipulation.

Small Mercies — Dennis Lehane

Small Mercies — Dennis Lehane. Really good story by Lehane about busing in Boston in the early 1970s and a crime that emerges from it. The main character goes about seeking vengeance in a way that would make John Wick envious.

The Chain Gang All Stars — Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

The Chain Gang All Stars — Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. It’s like an adult Hunger Games but also a satire of the criminal industrial complex in the U.S. today (and even though the book’s perspective is definitely to my left, it was political without ever feeling preachy or self righteous and is a great story with great characters).



Bradley Tusk

Venture capitalist, political strategist, philanthropist and writer.