CPL’s Most Popular Books of 2023

What print books were most popular with Chicago Public Library cardholders during 2023? We've published the lists for adult fiction, adult nonfiction, teen books and kids books. They are based on checkouts and hold requests and are presented in ranked order, with the most popular at the top. Let's take a look at some of the newer titles that broke through into the ranks of our most popular books.



The 2023 titles on the most popular adult fiction list include Emily Henry's romance Happy Place, about a couple who recently broke up but pretend to be together still for their annual group vacation, and R. F. Kuang's Yellowface, about a writer who passes off another writer's manuscript as her own. We included both titles on the list of our favorite books of the year, as well as I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai, Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano, Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros and Abraham Verghese's The Covenant of Water, which all also charted here.

Our most recent One Book, One Chicago selection, There There by Tommy Orange, also placed high on the list. It tells the story of a group of characters converging in Oakland for the Big Oakland Powwow. Thank you, as always, for joining us for this special community-wide program. (And keep an eye out for Orange's long-awaited follow-up, Wandering Stars, one of the most eagerly anticipated books of 2024.)

View the full list of the most popular adult fiction.


The highest-ranking 2023 book on our most popular adult nonfiction list: Spare by Prince Harry. Celebrity memoirs have performed well in recent years, and Britney Spears's The Woman in Me cracks our top 10, which is all the more impressive since the book wasn't released until near the year's end. Both books surely benefited from their authors' dramatic real-life experiences which received global media coverage in recent years.

Other 2023 books that charted include Jay Shetty's self-help breakout 8 Rules of Love, as well as David Grann's spectacular history of mutiny and shipwreck, The Wager, and Matthew Desmond's powerful challenge to Americans to face up to the problem of poverty in Poverty, by America. We named both Grann's and Desmond's books among our favorite books of the year

View the full list of the most popular adult nonfiction.


The newest title on our list of most popular books for teens was All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir. We included this story of hardship and the American dream on our list of the best teen fiction in 2022.

And a new Hunger Games movie surely drove interest in the book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, which tops the chart. It's a prequel to the original hit trilogy that features the villain Coriolanus Snow as a young man.

View the full list of the most popular books for teens.


The most popular books for kids list is dominated by a few beloved authors with enduring appeal: Jerry Craft, Jeff Kinney, Dav Pilkey, Raina Telgemeier and Mo Willems. They all charted last year, too.

The most recent titles on the list include the latest title in Pilkey's Dog Man series, Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea, and Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez and Gabriela Epstein, which tells the story of a group of kids thrown together to perform community service in their school cafeteria. We featured it as a staff pick shortly after it was published.

View the full list of the most popular books for kids.

More Suggestions

You can check out last year's most popular books for comparison and keep up with the latest trends all year round with our lists of the most popular books of the previous month.

Popularity isn't everything, of course. Visit and be sure to bookmark our Books, Teens and Kids pages for expert staff picks, blogs and lists all year long. Check out our picks for the best titles of 2023. And sign up for our email newsletters to have our reading suggestions delivered right to your inbox.