We’re kicking off the month with my favorite Christmas fiction books. I love a good Christmas story, there’s something wonderful about curling up with a cup of hot tea at home. Or, if you are like me, you might be in a corner at Starbucks with steaming coffee, a warm scarf and a good book, listening to the music and enjoying the bustle of the season.
I’m slightly obsessed with Christmas stories and have read many over the years. If you’re looking for a satisfying Christmas read, here are my top recommendations.
- Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark
I’m re-reading this one right now. I love a Christmas suspense, and the Queen of Suspense did a wonderful job with this story about an escaped convict on the run, his sister who is trying to do things right and a family going through their own difficult time during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. The characters end up intertwining and a story ensues.
We’ve all had holiday seasons doused with extremely difficult times or tragedy. The beauty of the Christmas season comes to life when people reach out in uncommon ways to help others.
This is a short read, easy to finish over a week of nightly readings.
- Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
I love the movie rendition of this book, Christmas with the Kranks, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen. I watch it every year (okay, I watch it multiple times every year)!
BUT, the book is way better, like laugh out loud funny. Grisham plumbs the personality of the Krank family and the neighbors in a way the movie cannot. I laugh out loud when I read this book, thus, I won’t be reading this one at Starbucks. (your welcome to everyone sitting around me).
- A Christmas Treasury by Louisa May Alcott
Did you know Louisa May Alcott wrote a lot of Christmas stories? I didn’t!
Many of us have a connection with the characters from Little Women: Artistic and spirited Jo, responsible Meg, sweet spirited Beth and impulsive Amy . The Christmas scenes in that book (as well as in Little Men) are sweet and rich in character, aren’t they? I love it when the children put on a Christmas play for their family…or when they share their Christmas breakfast with the neighbors.
I discovered Ms. Alcott’s collection of Christmas stories a few years ago. The hardcover edition is gorgeous and makes a great gift for any Alcott enthusiasts. There’s several stories of different lengths. I read some of them to younger sisters or my nephews. Ms. Alcott conveys life lessons in her books. Many of the Christmas stories share lessons of strong character, perseverance, generosity and the importance of family.
- The Gift by Richard Paul Evans
I describe this book as a lovely, heartfelt, not-too-cheezy Christmas story. It has the proverbial Scrooge who hates Christmas who has an unexpected run-in in an airport with a mother and her soon. This interaction and his spontaneous act of helping them begins a tidal wave of events.
It’s one of those stories where the author connects characters together in a way that is tender and leaves you with a really feel-good sensation. It’s never too heal, it’s never too late to change and Christmas is a lovely time to do both. I think there is a movie, but I haven’t seen it.
- The Parisian Christmas by Jenny Oliver
I discovered Jenny’s books last year and they are quite delightful. The heroine is not a fan of Christmas and is in a bit of a slump in life after some unfortunate events. Her best friend enters her into a baking contest in Paris (thank you, best friend) and she wins the opportunity to go and compete.
If you enjoy cooking shows at Christmas and Paris and an unlikely romance, I think you’ll enjoy the book. It’s not labeled as a cozy, but if memory serves me correctly, there was very little (if any) swearing. I think there was one kind-of bedroom scene that served more to show what a no-good guy her ex-boyfriend was than to be gratuitous. I would feel fine about giving this book to my grandmother, but not my 11 year old sister.
Honorable author mentions go to Debbie Macomber and Melody Carlson who have written so very many Christmas stories! Check out their lists on Amazon. I found some great deals and I’m excited to import new Christmas books into my reading list. I read Starry Night by Debbie MaComber last Christmas and it was a fun bedtime read, no mystery, but a fun romance bouncing from Alaska to the city and back to the wild west again.
Your turn! What are you reading this week? I’d love to hear!