Top 10 Expat Books for 2023

It’s that time of the year again when we ask our friends at Expat Bookshop to compile a list of some of the best expat books published during the year. Enjoy this summary of great reads for 2023, which are in no particular order! A huge thank you to Jo Parfitt for her recommendations.

#1 The Carry-On Imperative: A Memoir of Travel, Reinvention & Giving Back

Robin Pascoe (Botania Books)

Chronicles Robin Pascoe’s early beginnings – including losing her mother to a brain aneurysm at the age of 12 – her years as a journalist/broadcaster and not-so-diplomatic foreign service spouse and, above all, her lifelong quest to learn from her early losses and support others. Wise, touching and funny.

#2 A Celebration of Breastfeeding: A Global View of Baby Friendly Nurture

Ruth I. Rusby PhD (Troubador Publishing)

An illustrated book to inspire, inform and support mothers-to-be, as well as their partners and family and friends, and other caregivers. Offers practical advice on what to expect and compares cultural ideas and myths around early mothering. Compassionate, informative and highly topical.

#3 The Raft that Soared: Dedicated to Kids and Families on the Move, Everywhere

Dr Rebecca Bower and Steven Ayling (Summertime Publishing)

Join Sahana and David as they navigate the waters of change and transition. Experience their hopes, fears and dreams as they journey to unfamiliar places. A charming book for children and families on the move.

#4 The Singing Warrior: Finding Happiness After a Life Filled with Pain and Abuse

Niamh Ni Bhroin (Springtime Books)

Niamh is a woman “who copes”, “who gets on with things” – that is, until her abusive past resurfaces and becomes an obstacle to the happiness she knows she deserves. This re-released memoir shows how a remarkable woman learned to search for the hero inside herself and found healing through singing. A story of survival and hope.

#5 Incredible Lives and the Courage to Live Them: Thoughts of a Third Culture Kid Therapist

Dr Rachel Cason (Life Story Therapies)

For adult TCKs, making sense of the impact of the multicultural, high mobility experiences of your childhood can feel overwhelming. This collection of thoughts from a TCK therapist creates space for you to explore and make sense of the incredible life you’ve lived. An invitation to community and belonging.

#6 Nest: A Memoir of Home on the Move

Catriona Turner (Word Bothy Press)

Away from her career, raising children between international moves, and faced with mental health struggles, Catriona lost her sense of direction. Alongside amazing travel, enriching new friendships, and unimagined opportunities, came family separation, an emergency birth, a political lockdown, and endless culture shock. An honest search for what it means to be home.

#8 The Soul’s Compass: A Traveller’s Way Home 

Nikki Cornfield (Balboa Press Au)

This memoir centers on the search for home and meaning as Nikki travels the world and navigates the challenges and joys of an expatriate life. As she begins to connect the dots of her life, she increasingly notices the serendipities that appear to direct her path. A spiritual voyage that emphasises the importance of listening to our inner voice.

#8 Girl Uprooted: A Memoir 

Lena Lee (Little Koo Press)

Growing up, Lena Lee never knew where she belonged. The daughter of a diplomat, she moved countries every three years, swinging between East and West. By the time she returned “home” to South Korea at the age of 22, Lena’s inner and outer lives were worlds apart. Ultimately, it would take an explosive family rupture to force Lena to confront her mental health issues and ask herself: Who was she? And where, if anywhere, did she belong? A fascinating exploration of identity and belonging.

#9 Good Grief: Transforming Loss into Hope and Resilience – for the Globally Mobile  

Sarah Kobrus (Albern Publishing)

Full of gritty and inspiring stories from those who have faced significant adversity including cancer treatment, bereavement, mental health challenges and trauma. The writers share from their heart, to help you discover and apply your emotional logic (EL): a practical system of therapeutic coaching tools which empowers anyone, anywhere to thrive through tough times. Focuses on the complex loss and grief experienced by those with globally mobile lives.

#10 Belonging Beyond Borders: How Adult Third Culture Kids Can Cultivate a Sense of Belonging 

Megan C. Norton (Belonging Beyond Borders, LLC)

Third Culture Kids (TCKs) have typically spent a significant part of their upbringing crossing cultures, which can make it challenging to find, form and sustain a sense of belonging to place and/or to people. Written by an Adult TCK, this book unpacks what it means to belong in multiple communities: personal, professional, familial, cultural, spiritual and includes questions and self-reflection exercises. An invitation to get curious about how, why and where to belong.

A huge thank you to Jo Parfitt for her recommendations.

Which is your favourite? We’d love to know! Simply leave a comment below.