Aside from a beach vacation, is there any better time to really indulge a reading hobby than the holidays? With extra time off, you can snuggle up on the couch, grab a new book, and fully immerse yourself in a story. An even better way to dig into the rich plot of a great tale is to share it with a book club. And if your group is looking for something especially festive, these 18
holiday books for book clubs are must reads.
What makes a great holiday read? Well, by my standards it must meet one of three criteria: 1) It should take place during winter. A story doesn’t necessarily have to evolve around winter holidays, but if the characters are navigating snow drifts or talking by a hot fire, well that adds to the festive feel. 2) It should evolve around a holiday. Choice two means some of the plot literally takes place around a holiday like Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, or even New Year’s Eve. (I mean, how many romance novels have used Christmas as a meet cute or happily ever after scenario?) Or, 3) It should be a hot new read that everyone is talking about. It’s always fun to be on top of a literary trend, especially when you can hash it out with others who have read the same story. Nothing makes for better book club chat than a fun read that’s making headlines.
So, without further ado, here are some festive tales that will put your book club in the holiday spirit.
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Stuck in a Christmas version of
Groundhog’s Day, Mae has to keep repeating the holiday until she can get her true love under the mistletoe. Of course, adventures and hilarity ensue. This is definitely a holiday love story that will keep you cozy this winter.
Have you ever wondered where Christmas traditions come from? Why do we celebrate it in December? Has it always been a time of magic and cheer? Find out the answers to your Christmas history questions in this book, and have fun dissecting it with your book club buddies.
Confessions of a Shopaholic will enjoy this holiday-themed book in the series. The story follows Becky as she plans to host her whole family for Christmas, a task that usually falls on her parents. The whole planning becomes a stressful mess and Becky has to figure out how to pull it all off.
Noel has taken ownership of her late father’s bookstore, a surprising distraction from the rough patch she’d been going through for quite some time. But, Noel starts receiving anonymous letters addressed to her at the bookstore, and they lead her to an epiphany.
For the book clubs who like a good murder mystery, this novel takes the 12 days of Christmas to a less cheery place. When a town is shut down because of a blizzard, everyone is looking over their shoulder because there’s a killer on the loose, and it could be anyone.
Riley Kennedy is having a heck of a time at work, because people keep sending her emails to her colleague, Kenney Riley, and vise versa. When the two meet up to discuss the frustrating situation, they get to talking and decide to be each other’s stand-in dates to appease their families during the holiday season. Of course, sparks fly.
A Dog's Perfect Christmas
Puppies make everything a little sweeter, right? Well, that’s not exactly what the Goss family thought when a stray pup found its way to them at a time when the last thing they needed was to take in a dog. But, it’s Christmas, and they can’t leave him out in the cold!
New mom Flora and her brother are frantically trying to put the finishing touches on their new hotel before their grand opening party. The story follows them, a kitchen chef (who is secretly a Duke), and a pair of new friends as they navigate the hotel’s opening.
The Twelve Dates of Christmas
Kate is fulfilled in her career and, after a string of bad dates, she’s over it. Unbeknownst to her, her best friend signs her up for a dating service that guarantees she'll find love before Christmas, which is just over three weeks away. So, she has 12 dates to get through... surely one of them will be the love of her life, right?
Christmas Cupcake Murder
Hannah’s busy supplying her town with pastries from her bakery when a body is found not far from her storefront. Suddenly, the hectic holiday season gets even more hectic. This is a lighthearted murder mystery that also happens to have some delicious recipes sprinkled throughout.
This book is a new twist on Hans Christian Anderson’s original
The Wild Swans. It’s set in the 1960s at Christmastime and follows Laura, a teenager who finds a one-winged swan boy and spends her time secretly trying to build him a new wing so he can fly home, and she can distract herself from the constant arguing her grandparents (and guardians) are doing.
A Catholic priest has been killed, and Detective Inspector St. John Strafford is on the case. As he investigates the murder, he sets his sights on one family, the Osbornes, who seem to be keeping a lot of secrets.
This Christmas novel has a little southern charm, a little mystery, and a lot of Elvis. It follows Weezy, a small shop owner in Savannah who has decked her store out in Elvis-themed Christmas decor for a contest, but finds that a few things have gone missing.
If your book club is looking for a novel that is holiday-themed, a mystery, and has a bit of humor to it, this is your book! It follows Meg, who was working with a non-profit organization that was working to declutter a hoarder’s home before the man was killed. Who did it, and why?
Royal Holiday (Paperback) by Jasmine Guillory
Vivian joins her daughter Maddie on a work trip to England. Her original plan was to simply help Maddie with her work and take in the sights, but then she meets a handsome private secretary to the queen and everything changes. The pair kiss under the mistletoe, and holiday love quickly follows.
A Princess for Christmas (Paperback) by Jenny Holiday
Leo is driving his little sister, Maggie, when she spots a woman in a gorgeous gown trying to hail a cab. Maggie begs her brother to stop for the woman, who she’s certain must be a princess, and he reluctantly stops. As it turns out, the woman is in fact a princess and now she wants Leo to be her personal driver during her trip to the US. Fate plays a key role in this sweet Christmas novel.
If it’s a James Patterson book, you know there will be a twisty mystery involved! This book follows Detective Lindsay Boxer who was originally celebrating the low crime rate thanks to the holiday season, but was quickly brought back to work when a notorious criminal ends up in her neighborhood and it’s up to her to catch him.
One Day In December was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick, so you know it’s good! It’s a story of love at first sight through a foggy bus window. Laurie is sure the man she saw that December day is the love of her life, and she spends the next year always on the lookout for him. She eventually finds him at a holiday party, and he’s her best friend’s date.