The Best Books We Read in 2023

This much anticipated and compellingly artful autobiography depicts the Duke of Sussex’s life in a tight three-act drama, consisting of his occasionally wayward youth, his decade of military service, and his relationship with Meghan Markle, with numerous bombshells sprinkled throughout. The memoir, luridly leaked, is worth reading not just for its headline-generating details but also for its voice and its sometimes surprising wit. Harry’s ghostwriter, J. R. Moehringer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter turned memoirist, has a novelist’s eye for detail and a felicitous familiarity with the British literary canon; elevating Shakespearean flourishes may give readers a shiver of recognition, while descriptions of the patched, starched bed linens at Balmoral hint at the constricting fabric of monarchy. Haunted by the spectres of family tragedy and dysfunction, “Spare” takes aim at the media, the monarchy, and—most of all—the prince’s own flesh and blood.

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