This posting provides a list of books, movies, theatre and music that have brought me pleasure in 2023. Though not all book titles have been published in the past year, I’m glad they came my way. I tried to keep each list to a clear 5 titles but I needed to push a little further at times. Yes, each of these suggestions is a favourite, but alas there were some favourites amongst favourites which I’ve designated with an asterisk (*).



An American Story by Kwame Alexander; illus. Dare Coulter                                                                                                                                                         

Big by Vashti Harrison *

Kozo The Sparrow by Allen Say *

There Was A Party For Langston by Jason Reynolds; illus. Jerome Pumphrey & Jarette Punmphrey

A Walk in the Woods by Nikki Grimes: illus,. Jerry Pinkney & Brian Pinkney


Dear Street by Lindsay Zier-Vogel; illus. Caroline Bonne Miller

Everyone is Welcome by Phuong Truong; illus. Christine Wei

The Imaginary Alphabet by Sylivie Daigneault

Do You Remember? by Sydney Smith

Imagine a Garden: Stories of Courage Changing the World by Rina Singh; illus. Hoda Hadad *

We Belong Here by Frieda Wishinsky; illus. Ruth Ohi

When You Can Swim by Jack Wong 

FICTION: Middle Years (ages 9-12)

The Eyes & The Impossible by Dave Eggers; illus. Shawn Harris 

One More Mountain by Deborah Ellis

The Probability of Everything by Sarah Everett

Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac

Top Story / Finally Seen by Kelly Yang

You Are Here: Connecting Flights (ed. Ellen Oh) (Short stories)


FICTION (Illustrated) /Middle Years (ages 9-12)

Big Tree by Brian Selznick

The Puppets of Spelhorst by Kate DiCamillo; illus. Julie Morstad  *                                                                                                                                    

The Skull by Jon Klassen

The Wild Robot Protects by Peter Brown

A Work In Progress by Jarrett Lerner



But I Live: 3 stories of child survivors of the Holocaust by Miriam Libicki (ed.) (Graphic Text)

Chinese Menu by Grace Lin (information/ folktales)

The Mona Lisa Vanishes by Nicholas Day; illus. Brett Helquist

We The Sea Turtles by Michelle Kadarusman (Short Stories)

The Windeby Puzzle: History and Story by Lois Lowry *



In Memoriam by Alice Winnnb*

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict  & Victoria Christopher Murray

The Postcard by Anne Berest

So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan (3 short stories)

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

ADULT NONFICTION: Biography/ Autobiography

Friends, Lovers and Terrible Things by Matthew Perry

I Am Full: Stories for Jacob by Dan Yashinsky ***

I Remember by Joe Brainard *

IM by Isaac Mizrahi

Getting Better / Many Different Kinds of Love by Michael Rosen

Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley **

Why Fathers Cry at Night by Kwame Alexander *


Anatomy of a Fall *


Maestro *

Past Lives **

The Zone of Interest


THEATRE (Toronto)

Bad Roads

The Chinese Lady


The Lehman Trilogy

Sizwe Banzi is Dead

THEATRE (New York)

Good Night, Oscar  *

Here We Are; Merrily We Roll Along 

A Doll’s House

Topdog / Underdog 

Purlie Victorious *

CD’s (yes, CD’s)

The Maestro: Very Best of Leonard Bernstein

Brent Carver: Walk Me to the Corner

Rickie Lee Jones: Pieces of Treasure 

Oscar Levant: The Complete Piano Recordings

Willie Nelson: A Beautiful Time

Rufus Wainwright: Folkocracy *


Audra McDonald (519 Gala) *

A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy by Nathan Thrall (nonfiction)

A Little Life (theatre, London)

Fellow Travellers (TV series) *

Houston Person (saxaphonist), CD’s

Cecile McLorin Salvant (concert, Koerner Hall)

Dead Man Walking (Met Live Opera) *

The Hours (Met Live Opera)

The Red Court by Matthew Hastie (YA)