Posted on 12/23/2019 at 07:55 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Days are growing shorter and colder, as many of us travel to see loved ones for the holiday — and maybe seek respite from too much togetherness.

In other words, what better time to hit the books?

We sought our Facebook fans’ opinions on what to read twice in the past few weeks: once asking about holiday-specific choices, another time asking about books that warmed their hearts during cold weather.

Enjoy their recommendations and read on for even more suggestions, from other publications, for books that put you in some sort of Christmas spirit.

(And we haven't forgotten our Jewish readers — BookRiot has eight books for the eight nights of Hanukkah.)

Our readers’ holiday picks

Catherine W.: A Christmas Carol, always. Also something not well known in the U.S., The Christmas Mystery by Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder.

It's a mystery involving biblical history and time travel with many unexpected insights along the way.

It contains one of my favorite quotes — “Many things have been done in the name of Jesus that do not please heaven.”

The story is told through a “magic” Advent calendar, so you can read a short chapter every day leading up to Christmas.

Jackie R.: Winter Solstice, by Rosamunde Pilcher!

Cathy S.: Mine is Winter Solstice, too!

Linda C.: Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens.

Pamela S.: The Bible.

Trena W.: And then there's me, Stephen King's The Institute.

Books that recently warmed followers’ hearts

Allison L.: Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama's The Book of Joy.

Kathy M.: Time to re-read the five-part trilogy, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It's been calling to me lately.

Loretta T.: Something Like Happy, by Eva Woods.

Vicki M.: I just finished The Titanic Secret, by Clive Cussler.

Tops on popular lists

We consulted holiday book roundups from OprahTIME, and Southern Living magazines, plus the websites The Art of Doing Stuff and BookRiot, and noted which titles came up multiple times.

To those choices, we added some suggestions of our own and created three separate lists: one for the new (or traditional) Christmas reader, one for a bookworm ready to take a deep dive, and one for the folks in between.

Happy reading, no matter the theme you choose this time of year!

Entry-level
  • A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

  • “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clarke Moore.

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, by Dr. Seuss.

  • Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott.

  • The Christmas Box (and subsequent books), by Richard Paul Evans.

  • “The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry. (Interesting Literature recommends several other Christmas-themed short stories, if you need quick reading material.)

  • The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg.

Intermediate
  • A Christmas Story, by Jean Shepherd.

  • A Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg.

  • Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, by Agatha Christie. (Enjoy chills down your spine? Mary Higgins Clark and Janet Evanovich also have offerings you may like.)

  • The Cat Who Came For Christmas, by Cleveland Amory.

  • “The Greatest Gift,” by Philip Van Doren Stern (the inspiration for the movie It’s a Wonderful Life).

  • The Tailor of Gloucester, by Beatrix Potter.

  • Various books by Jenny Colgan, Elin Hilderbrand, and Debbie Macomber.

Advanced
  • “Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem,” by Maya Angelou.

  • Christmas in London, by Anita Hughes.

  • Last Christmas in Paris, by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb.

  • Mr. Dickens and His Carol, by Samantha Silva.

  • Seven Days of Us, by Francesca Hornak.

  • The Christmas Sisters, by Sarah Morgan.

Enjoy this post? Make sure to comment on our Facebook posts so we can share your bookish stories and opinions in the future!

Comments
A Christmas Carol is a perennial favorite. And for my inner child : How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Claudine Mellinger | 12/23/2019 at 08:39 AM
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