Get ready for a breathtaking reading experience with the most read books of 2023 in Turkey and around the world. The mystery of fiction, the limitlessness of fantasy or the simplest reality of history are in these pages.
Cumhuriyet’in Doğuşu: Kurtuluş ve Kuruluş Yılları, İlber Ortaylı
The book, which met with readers on the 100th anniversary of the Republic, is a bedside book for young generations by one of our living values, İlber Ortaylı. Cumhuriyet’in Doğuşu opens with the overshadowed life of Zübeyde Hanım and ends with Atatürk’s childhood and the period when he entered the military profession during World War II. It progresses by focusing on the Abdulhamid period. Saying that the most important phase of the Republic of Turkey was its first five years, Ortaylı describes in his book the self-sacrificing soldiers of Çanakkale, the Sultanahmet Rallies that organized a great resistance, and how a nation that thought it was over was resurrected with its breakthrough on May 19, 1919.
Ortaylı, who illuminates the most controversial processes of history, from the Treaty of Sevres to Lausanne, sheds light on the successful and unsuccessful periods of the Republic. Ortaylı, who deals with many sensitive issues such as the Caliphate, the alphabet revolution, and how to interpret the neutrality decisions in the Second World War, explains 100 years of history in a language that everyone from seven to seventy can understand. The Birth of the Republic, which is among the most read books of the year, is one of the works that will be at the top of the lists not only in 2023 but also in 2024.
No Longer Human, Osamu Dazai
No Longer Human is a farewell book to the readers of Osamu Dazai, who committed suicide by throwing himself into the Tamagawa Canal in 1948. The biggest factor in this book becoming one of the most read again after half a century is undoubtedly the manga series called “Bungo Stray Dogs”. The series, which also made anime movies with the same name, managed to remind the new generation of readers of the works of the profound writer Osamu Dazai, who penetrates people with his novels and stories.
No Longer Human masterfully shares the painful life of Dazai, who attempted suicide countless times, starting from his childhood, and how he lost his hopes. Dazai, who experienced family problems as well as the feeling of loneliness that started at an early age, portrays in a simple language the traumatic environment of Japan, which suffered serious wounds after the war, and the pessimism it created in the soul of the Japanese society. The limits of melancholy are pushed with this short work, which is sad and realistic.
Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The novel, published in 2020 under the name The Midnight Library, was translated into 42 different languages in just three years and was published in Turkey under the signature of Domingo Publishing House. The Midnight Library, which won first place in the “Best Fiction” category in the Goodreads Reader Awards voting, belongs to Matt Haig, one of the famous names of English literature. The main character of the book, Nora Seed, is like one of us, with her wishes, regrets and inner questionings based on possibilities. The main question of the book is: “If another life was possible, would you try to make up for your mistakes? Or would you stand behind your choices and continue living with what-ifs?
This may sound like a common question. This is where Haig’s mastery emerges. It is impossible not to get carried away by the impressive world of The Midnight Library, which includes magical reality and fantasy fiction. What will happen when Nora finds herself between life and death, in a library full of books with endless parallel lives she could have lived, and moreover, when she gets the chance to try these alternative lives? Sound appealing? Then read Midnight Library. As the pages progress, you will put yourself in Nora’s shoes and begin to question your life.
Yaşadım Demek İçin Ne Yapmalı?, Muazzez İlmiye Çığ/Büşra Sanay
Who wouldn’t want to ask Muazzez İlmiye Çığ, a Sumerologist who devoted his life to knowledge and knowing, about the meaning of life? Undoubtedly, most of us do not have such an opportunity. It is almost a book on the history of the Republic that will convey the answers to these questions to the generations after us, who knew and knew about Çığ and were enriched by its existence.
Çığ, born in 1914, is one of the longest living people in the world today. But his privilege is more than just “living”, she does justice to living. As a girl born in Anatolia under the shadow of wars, the fact that her name was named “İlmiye” makes us think that her fate was rewritten from the beginning. Çığ, who made history by creating the archive of cuneiform scripts in the Sumerian, Akkadian and Hittite languages, his efforts to reach knowledge regardless of the circumstances and his intention to develop courageously despite the difficulties are almost like a lesson.
Yarın Yok, Ayşe Kulin
In her latest novel, Yarın Yok, master writer Ayşe Kulin takes the reader hundreds of years later and confronts her with striking facts. All the natural resources of the planet were exhausted, a war broke out that reset the calendar, and peace was finally declared with the sacrifice of a handful of survivors. However, this time humanity faces a completely different danger. Mira, one of the youngest scientists of the Central City State, will pursue the formula of the Tayro virus, which was produced long ago as a biological weapon. Of course, this adventure will cause all kinds of questions. She will know love, learn solidarity and get to know the brave women from the same lineage.
As for the main question of the book… Kulin makes us question what kind of a world awaits us unless we change our habits, and on the other hand, confronts us with questions that are much more meaningful in the war agenda. The master author says that Yarın Yok, which seems hopeless, is a warning book, and that he wants to write a sequel and, if possible, hopes to end it with a happy ending.
Spare, Prince Harry
One of the most heartbreaking moments of the twentieth century was undoubtedly the sight of two little children walking behind their mother’s coffin. The world watched these two princes in sadness and horror. As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions of people wondered what the princes were thinking and feeling, and how their lives would unfold from then on. Prince Harry’s book, Spare, was ultimately the answer to what everyone was thinking.
In the unforgettable finale of “The Crown”, we all wondered what that slightly vagrant, somewhat rebellious, often fearless young man, whom we could not catch up with in time, was going through, and how this story would progress, especially with his sensational relationship. It is a mystery whether Prince Harry approved this book to satisfy this curiosity or to settle scores. But Spare certainly reveals Prince Harry’s hard-earned wisdom, from his marriage, his relationship with his brother and father, to his perspective on the monarchy.
Fourth Wing, Rebecca Yarros
Welcome to the exclusive and brutal world of Rebecca Yarros, who entered The New York Times bestseller list with two of her books. The first of the series, Fourth Wing, takes place in a fictional country called Navarre and tells the story of the 20-year-old young female character, Violet Sorrengail, who lives a quiet life and struggles to become a dragon rider under the pressure of her parents. Violet’s job is quite difficult since dragons cannot bond with fragile humans. Because he is small, fragile, and there are candidates ready to kill him at the expense of bonding with dragons. Moreover, there are those who are enemies of him because of his despotic mother. Like Xaden Riorson, the powerful and ruthless wing leader of the Riders Company.
Violet, who has to use her intelligence to the fullest in order to survive, must also watch her back at all times in the war, whose brutality is increasing day by day. Moreover, in this chaos, Basgiath will either graduate from the War Academy or die. And in the meantime, he will face the secrets kept. Yarros’ complex fictional world, rich historical knowledge, gripping plot and undoubtedly strong female characters give the reader great pleasure. Iron Flame, which comes after the Fourth Wing, tells about Violet’s new life process, where some lose their lives and some lose their humanity.
The Woman In Me, Britney Spears
While the whole world witnessed her abuse live for years, she could not stop herself from watching and eagerly waited for the criminals to be punished one day. Of course, the fact that a small-town girl from Louisiana became one of the highest-earning pop stars in the world attracts the attention of many people. When the main character becomes one of the iconic names of the pop music world, everything calms down. It is useful to remember this; This book was written by a ghost writer. Written by Sam Lansky, The Woman In Me brings the reader to the sad story of little Britney, who came to New York from Louisiana when she was only 11 years old, turned her life upside down and pursued big dreams.
Moreover, the dreams are not just his own. She shapes the dreams of her sister, mother, husband and of course her father. Although his rapidly rising career often creates problems for him, everyone around him convinces him that he can overcome them. In The Woman In Me, Spears talks about her psychological problems, confusions and delusions, while also conveying how the foundations of her father’s long-term abuse were laid. In this autobiographical novel that spans from childhood to adulthood, it is clearly seen how Spears overcame or failed to overcome difficulties.
Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus
The book tells the story of chemist Elizabeth Zott and also gives an important message to its female readers. “No woman is average.” Moreover, he shows the courage to say this while working at a research institute in the 1960s with a team consisting entirely of men and not being very fair in terms of equality. The only person who doesn’t object to him is Calvin Evans. Evans is a Nobel candidate, an intelligent and famously spiteful lover of Elizabeth. But we will learn this later.
Life often doesn’t go as planned, so one day Elizabeth finds herself a reluctant host of a television cooking show and a single mother. She made a big splash in one of her shows when she suggested that her audience mix a tablespoon of acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride. Its aim, beyond cooking, is to change the status quo for women. A Chemistry Matter is a very enjoyable novel to read with its humorous language, extraordinary power of observation and interesting character.
Friends, Lovers and the Big Bad Thing by Matthew Perry
It is not known whether Matthew Perry, who we lost suddenly last year, knew that he was so loved while he was alive, but it is certain that the sympathetic character of “Friends” left a deep void in the hearts of millions of people. Perry left his book, in which he describes many things in full detail, from his childhood dreams to the difficulties he experienced in the world of fame, as a legacy. Perry, who started his great adventure from Montreal to Los Angeles without anyone, literally confronts himself in his book, in which he candidly describes the gap created by separated parents, the difficult times when he turned from a passionate tennis player to a drug addict, and the years he fought with this addiction. An honest and extremely striking autobiographical work that conveys even the most painful memories in a humorous language.