It’s time for the 10th Annual and my 8th year of sharing my First Book of the Year. Sheila at Book Journey hosts this annual feature and hundreds of other readers around the world share their first books with her.

What is First Book? Well, it is just like it says, it is the First Book you choose to read in the new year. It can be a book that you’ve wanted to read, maybe a classic, or one you received as a gift this Christmas. Perhaps it is something you’ve been meaning to read as part of your own self-improvement. It can be any book you’d like! It is YOUR FIRST BOOK.

I love seeing which book is the most popular choice and the wide variety of chosen books from other readers all across the world. I usually add a few books to my own reading list!

I had a difficult time deciding what to read this year. I wanted it to be from my own overflowing bookshelves, but nothing was jumping out at me. So, I went to my Book Jar (see what that’s about, HERE). I let the jar decide my First Book of 2023.

Before I share this year’s book, here are the books I’ve chosen from my previous years. You can see all my previous First Book posts, HERE.

Previous First Books

2016 – A Manual for Cleaning Women – I didn’t even finish it. Not for me.

2017 – The Two-Family House – Loved this historical fiction story of two families in NYC.

2018 – Just Between Us – Four suburban girlfriends join together to hide a murder.

2019 – I’d Rather Be Reading – A non-fiction all about the joys of reading.

2020 – The Only Plane in the Sky – A chronicle of the events that happened on 9/11. A must-read.

2021 – Atomic Habits – This wildly popular book is all about creating habits and routines.

2022 – Waiting for Tom Hanks – This rom-com is perfect for fans of Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movies.

And now my 2023 book…

I let the jar decide my book choice and this year it is a book that’s been on my shelf since 2019.


By Claire Gibson

Published: April 2, 2019

Publisher: William Morrow


Format: Hardcover

This came to me via Book of the Month and like many other Book of the Month books, it’s been sitting on my shelf for a while. I think I’ve avoided it because it is over 500 pages, but if it is a good story, that shouldn’t matter, right?

Three women are brought together in an enthralling story of friendship, heartbreak, and resilience. Set at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, this is an amazing debut novel.

Duty. Honor. Country. That’s West Point’s motto, and every cadet who passes through its stone gates vows to live it. But on the eve of 9/11, as Dani, Hannah and Avery face four grueling years ahead, they realize they’ll only survive if they do it together.

Everyone knows Dani is going places. With athletic talent and a brilliant mind, she navigates West Point’s predominantly male environment with wit and confidence, breaking stereotypes and embracing new friends.

Hannah’s grandfather, a legendary Army general, offers a stark warning about the dangers that lie ahead, but she moves forward anyway, letting faith guide her path. When she meets her soul mate at West Point, the future looks perfect, just as planned.

Wild child Avery moves fast and doesn’t mind breaking a few rules (and hearts) along the way. But she can’t outpace her self-doubt, and the harder she tries, the further it leads her down a treacherous path.

The world—of business, of love, and of war—awaits Dani, Hannah, and Avery beyond the gates of West Point. These three women know that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But soon, that adage no longer rings true—for their future, or their friendship. As they’re pulled in different directions, will their hard-forged bond prevail or shatter?

Beyond the Point is a heartfelt look at how our closest friends can become our fiercest battle buddies. After all, the greatest battles we fight rarely require a uniform.

Sheila will be posting collages of all the great FIRST BOOKS readers are sharing. Click HERE to see them all. Maybe you’ll be inspired to choose your FIRST BOOK!

If you choose a First Book, be sure to let me know in the comments or on my social media channels.

Happy Reading!

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