Before last holiday season, I had never been a 'holiday reader', in that I never thought to pick up seasonally themed books! Boy, was I missing out. I dedicated my entire month of December last year to reading holiday books and I loved it. I read some great ones, and I read some super cheesy ones (I'd be happy to share those with you if you're interested), and I'm excited to do the same this year. Here are some recommendations if you're looking to add some festivity to your reading life this holiday season. The first two are ones that I read, and loved, from last year and the last three are ones that I'm excited for this year.
Note: I recognize that many of these reads focus on Christmas, and that is not the only holiday celebrated during this season. If you have recommendations for books that highlight other holidays, please share them in the comments!
1. EVERGREEN TIDINGS FROM THE BAUMGARTNERS by Gretchen Anthony
I picked Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners up on a whim at the library last year and I'm so glad I did! Violet Baumgartner, the matriarch of the Baumgartner family, has sent her annual holiday letter for almost three decades. This year, however, family secrets come out and it threatens her tradition. We follow the Baumgartners as they wrestle with family dynamics and secrets over the course of a year and I found this one thoroughly entertaining and hilarious. I could just picture Meryl Streep playing a perfect Violet the entire time I was reading this.
2. ONE DAY IN DECEMBER by Josie Silver
One Day in December was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick last year and it was the perfect, lighthearted holiday romance story. Laurie and Jack see each other through a bus window one day in December and know it's love at first sight. Before they can say anything, the bus pulls away and Laurie is left pining after her true love for over a year...until Jack comes back to her life in an unexpected way. Ten years go by as we watch their lives slowly weave together and all the missed opportunities that Laurie and Jack have. You root for them, you get frustrated with them, and it's all worth it in the end.
3. WE MET IN DECEMBER by Rosie Walsh
We Met in December is my most anticipated read for the holiday season this year. The cover is so dang cute, and it just sounds like a really cute and fun story. Jess and Alex end up being roommates and instantly have a connection, Jess is sure. She goes away for a two week holiday and returns to find Alex in a relationship with Emma, the beauty downstairs. This one sounds like a delightful holiday rom-com and utterly charming.
4. THE ADULTS by Caroline Hulse
What happens when you bring together a divorced family and their new partners? I guess we'll find out in The Adults by Caroline Hulse. Claire and Matt are no longer together but decide to celebrate Christmas together so that their seven-year-old daughter, Scarlett, can have a "normal" holiday. Their new significant others end up being invite and the five of them embark on a holiday trip fraught with tension and drama. This one sounds hilarious and I'm guessing this one will be relatable to anyone who has divorced parents.
5. ROYAL HOLIDAY by Jasmine Guillory
I hopped on the Jasmine Guillory train earlier this year after reading The Proposal. I love the diverse characters that Jasmine creates and I was excited to see that she was coming out with a holiday centered book. Vivian gets to join her daughter's work trip to England for the holiday season. She's been out of the country a total of one time in her entire life. She's prepared to spend the holiday taking in the sights but doesn't expect to fall in love. But she meets Malcolm, who works for the Queen, and a full-blown fling follows. I love that the royal family weaves into this story and that it features a love story between two slightly older people.