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10 Christmas Novels Your Book Club Should Read

*If you are new here, WELCOME! In this post, I’ll share 10 Christmas Novels Your Book Club Should Read!

10 Christmas Novels Your Book Club Should Read
10 Christmas Novels Your Book Club Should Read

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost to you or the featured book’s author). All opinions are 100% mine and every book, unless otherwise noted, is handpicked by me to be featured on the site.

In this post, I’m going to share 10 Christmas Novels Your Book Club Should Read. These novels, ranging from romance to suspense to women’s fiction, are a wonderful holiday addition for your book club. If you are looking for the Happily Ever After with a Christmas tilt, they will leave you more than satisfied.

Last holiday season, in my post Hallmark Christmas for Booklovers, I shared gift ideas for booklovers who also love Hallmark shows. Specifically, I highlighted these shows: Chesapeake Shores, Cedar Cove, When Calls the Heart, At Home in Mitford, and Love Comes Softly. If you love those shows or are an avid Hallmark fan and are looking for unique gift ideas, check out the post.

I also created a post of 14 Christmas Romance Novels for Hallmark Fans. That list includes 14 books from the Hallmark press that you will love if you love Hallmark Channel Holiday movies. If you didn’t know, Hallmark has it’s own publishing company. That’s right, the eponymous Channel has it’s own line of books.

If you are someone who sticks your nose up at Hallmark’s Holiday Extravaganza (I get it), still check out this list. In this list you won’t just find Romance, but Suspense, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction and more. There’s sure to be something your book club will love.

Now, let’s take a look at the holiday-themed books you’ll love this year! The books below are organized by category, so find your book club’s favorite and pick one or three books to enjoy this holiday season!

10 Christmas Novels Your Book Club Should Read by Trope

Romance

Last Christmas in Paris

This primarily epistolary novel (told in letters) takes the reader back to WWI when Evie watches her brother and his best friend, Will, leave for war believing she will see them both at Christmas when the war is over. As the war progresses, so does the romance between Evie and Will as they write back and forth. In this story of love and loss, told over the four years of WWI, the reader holds their breath hoping a Christmas miracle will come through for these two lovers.

Last Christmas in Paris

A quick summary from the publisher: “

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris. But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…”

One Day in December

One Day in December is Josie Silver’s debut novel about a woman who misses a connection with a man she’s sure is the love of her life. The book tailspins into a complicated triad between the woman, her best friend, and the man who turns out to be her best friend’s new boyfriend. I’ve actually reviewed this book in full with book club questions and a companion recipe. You can check that out here.

In my personal opinion this novel has enough depth to classify as Women’s Fiction, but most people categorize it as Chick Lit, so I’m including it under Romance because it’s definitely full of romance. I absolutely loved this novel and I think you will too!

One Day in December by Josie Silver

A quick summary from the publisher: “Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away. Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be. What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered.”

A Texas Kind of Christmas

As a native Texan, I’m always interested in stories about the state or cowboys. These two romances are anthologies, meaning you get multiple Christmas stories for the price of one. And, they both feature historical stories.

In A Texas Kind of Christmas, you’ll find three stories, each revolving around the annual Christmas ball at the St. Nicholas Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Yes, this was a real place owned and managed by a hard working woman named Sarah Horton Cockrell who shaped much of Dallas as we know it today. The stories, while fictional, will transport you to the hotel’s famous Christmas ball. Written by the talented Jodi Thomas, Celia Bonaduce and Rachael Miles, you’ll be transported back for three Christmas romances you won’t forget.

A Texas Kind of Christmas

A quick summary from the publisher: “ONE NIGHT AT THE ST. NICHOLAS
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jodi Thomas
 To escape her stepmother’s plot to marry her off, Texas heiress Jacqueline Hartman spends Christmas Eve sharing a hideout with an accused bank robber. After a night in Nathanial Ward’s arms, Jacqueline is certain she has met her match after all. But will his heartfelt promise of love lead to his demise at the hands of the law?
 
BIRDIE’S FLIGHT Celia Bonaduce
Seamstress Birdie Flanagan gets the surprise of her life when she receives a beautiful gown—and a sudden invitation—for the ball of the season! With her flaming red hair, Birdie creates a stir from the moment she arrives, capturing the eye of the dashing Captain Douglas Newcastle.  But will a villainous suitor from her past keep her from her long awaited happily-ever-after?
 
TEXAS SPIRIT * Rachael Miles
When lovely spinster Eugenie Charpentier makes a trip across the Texas frontier with former Texas Ranger Asher Graham, she gets an unexpected lesson in the ways of rough-and-tumble men. But once Asher is escorting her across the dance floor at the Christmas ball, it’s Jenny’s turn to tutor the rugged lawman in the art of love. . . .”

The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas

If you loved News of the World, you’ll love this anthology featuring three post-Civil War romances, including the headliner story by Jodi Thomas in which a disheartened man accepts a job transporting five little girls home to Dallas. Sprinkle in a little holiday cheer and two other stories you’re sure to love and this collection will have you smiling all season.

The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas

A quick summary from the publisher: “In these Texas-set stories of romance and adventure, the Civil War is over, Christmas is coming—and it’s time for three rugged fighters to become lovers . . .

FATHER GOOSE
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jodi Thomas
Dispirited by war, when Trapper Hawkins accepts a job hauling five little rich girls to Dallas, all he cares about is the money. He doesn’t expect they’ll awaken his spirit—or that their intriguing nursemaid, Emery Adams, will awaken his heart. And when danger strikes as Christmas Eve nears, he definitely doesn’t expect Emery and the girls to risk their lives—for him . . .

THE MISTLETOE PROMISE Sharla Lovelace
A catastrophic storm, an ailing herd, and a failing cattle ranch have left Texas rancher Josie Bancroft in danger of losing everything her father worked for. Still, she’d rather die than merge with her neighbor rancher Benjamin Mason, the man who broke her heart years ago, on Christmas Eve. As old sparks fly and secrets are revealed, however, Ben is determined to help Josie—and prove that this time around can be different. That the misunderstandings of Christmas past need not define their future . . .

CHRISTMAS ROAD Scarlett Dunn
Yellow Fever has hit Clint Mitchum’s Texas hometown and taken his father and siblings, leaving Clint ever more cynical. Racing homeward to be by his mother’s side, Clint finds only a note from her, asking that he help her caregiver, a young woman named Amelia. Assuming his mother has passed, in his grief Clint ventures out to search for Amelia—and finds the best of gifts—just in time for Christmas . . .”

Suspense

Visions of Sugar Plums

A humorous novel about a paranoid Fugitive Agent trying to deal with all of the holiday chaos while dissecting the sexy, but mystery man who shows up at her front door. If you are looking for humor and romance, this hilarious novel full of mishaps, family nonsense, and holiday anxiety is exactly what you need.

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

A quick summary from the publisher: “It’s five days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for Fugitive Apprehension Agent Stephanie Plum. There’s not a twinkle light anywhere to be seen in her apartment. And there’s a strange man in her kitchen. Sure, this has happened to Stephanie Plum before. Strangers, weirdos, felons, creeps, and lunatics are always finding their way to her front door. But this guy is different. This guy is mysterious, sexy-and he has his own agenda. His name is Diesel and he is a man on a mission. The question is, what does he want with her? Can he help her find a little old toy maker who has skipped out on his bail right before Christmas? Can he survive the Plum family holiday dinner? Can he get Stephanie a tree that doesn’t look like it was grown next to a nuclear power plant? These questions and more are keeping Stephanie awake at night. Not to mention the fact that she needs to find a bunch of nasty elves, her sister Valerie has a Christmas “surprise” for the Plums, her niece Mary Alice doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, and Grandma Mazur has a new stud muffin. So bring out the plastic reindeer, strap on your jingle bells, and get ready to celebrate the holidays-Jersey style.”

A Christmas Gathering

For those looking for a serious suspense novel (i.e. one that will have you clutching your covers closely rather than snort-laughing like Evanovich’s novel), check out this tale from one of the queens of suspense, Anne Perry. This novel is the most popular in an 18 book (yes, 18 book!) series of mysteries all set at Christmastime. So, if this doesn’t suit your fancy but you prefer something more than romance, check out the entire collection here!

A Christmas Gathering by Anne Perry

A quick summary from the publisher: “As beautiful as it may be, their friends’ country house is not where Lady Vespasia wishes to spend Christmas with her new husband, Victor Narraway. She’d have preferred a relaxing holiday at home with him—especially as Victor, former head of the London Special Branch, seems to be hiding undercover dealings with the other guests who have gathered at the spacious estate. As tensions grow, the young and beautiful Iris Watson-Watt becomes the center of several men’s focus. Unbeknownst to Vespasia, Iris carries a sensitive package that she must pass to Victor in the hope of unmasking a British traitor. While Victor plots his moves, he is reminded of a similar case from twenty years before, when a young Frenchwoman also carried a clandestine message—one that resulted in her murder, unsolved to this day. Victor has always been tormented by his failure to protect her, and now, with all eyes on Iris, Victor must act fast before history repeats itself. With the joy of Christmas at risk of being forgotten and Vespasia feeling alone with a distracted husband, Victor must ultimately learn to forgive himself in order to save both his country and the spirit of the holiday.”

Women’s Fiction

If you are looking for an emotional read that will have you sighing with all the good feelings, here’s a few Christmas novels you should definitely check out.

Skipping Christmas

Did you know that John Grisham wrote the novel that the movie Christmas with the Kranks is based on? If you’ve never seen Christmas with the Kranks, you are missing out! You’ve got to read Skipping Christmas and then watch the movie. It’s one of my holiday favorites.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

A quick summary from the publisher: “Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty, they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash, they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences—and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined. “

The Noel Diary

This short novel is a Christmas favorite. If you haven’t read any of Richard Paul Evans’ Christmas stories, you are in for a treat. In this story a young man returns home after his estranged mother passes and, besides a house full of memories, he finds a diary from a mysterious woman named Noel. This book is the first in a four book series, so if you’ve read this one, check out the other three here!

The Noel Diary by Richard Paul Evans

A quick summary from the publisher: “Bestselling romance author Jacob Churcher hasn’t been home for almost twenty years—not since his mentally ill mother kicked him out of the house when he was just sixteen. When a lawyer calls, days before Christmas, to inform him that his estranged mother has passed away and left her house to him, Jacob returns not just to settle the estate but to try and reconcile with the past and the pain and abuse he experienced as a child. Also, maybe cleaning out her house will be slightly less depressing than spending the holidays alone, watching re-runs of Christmas classics. But as it turns out, the house holds more than just difficult memories, Jacob’s mother had become a hoarder and he must excavate through two decades worth of clutter. As Jacob digs through the detritus, like an archaeologist, he uncovers many puzzling items including a diary left by someone named Noel, a young woman he has no recollection of, who stayed with Jacob’s family during her pregnancy. That’s not the only echo from the past. Jacob has an unexpected visitor, Rachel, a woman looking for the mother who put her up for adoption thirty years before. United by their quest to make sense of the past and rewrite their futures, Jacob and Rachel begin a search for Noel. Along the way they find more than they possibly imagined, including grace, forgiveness and a chance at love.”

A Redbird Christmas

This book by the fantastic novelist Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe) brings humor and grace to what one man believes to be his last Christmas. In the way only Fannie Flagg can, she weaves a tale full of magic and mystery and Christmas spirit that you won’t forget.

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

 A quick summary from the publisher: ” Fannie Flagg has written an enchanting Christmas story of faith and hope for all ages that is sure to become a classic. Deep in the southernmost part of Alabama, along the banks of a lazy winding river, lies the sleepy little community known as Lost River, a place that time itself seems to have forgotten. After a startling diagnosis from his doctor, Oswald T. Campbell leaves behind the cold and damp of the oncoming Chicago winter to spend what he believes will be his last Christmas in the warm and welcoming town of Lost River. There he meets the postman who delivers mail by boat, the store owner who nurses a broken heart, the ladies of the Mystic Order of the Royal Polka Dots Secret Society, who do clandestine good works. And he meets a little redbird named Jack, who is at the center of this tale of a magical Christmas when something so amazing happened that those who witnessed it have never forgotten it. Once you experience the wonder, you too will never forget A Redbird Christmas. “

Christmas Bells

In this Christmas novel, Chiaverini takes us between present-day Boston and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860’s home. The story follows Longfellow as he writes the poem that would later become the carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” If you are looking for a historical novel with depth about the holidays, this is the book for you.

Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini

A quick summary from the publisher: “I heard the bells on Christmas Day / Their old familiar carols play / And wild and sweet / The words repeat / Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow’s classic Revolutionary War poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” was less than a month hence, and the country’s grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed.

In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia’s music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children’s choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss.

Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow’s family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow’s patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. “Christmas Bells,” the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn.” 

And that wraps up the list of 10 Christmas Novels Your Book Club Should Read. I hope that you enjoyed reading all of the options available and that you’ll pick a few to make your holidays even brighter or share the Christmas cheer by giving a book or two away this year! Let me know which Christmas and holiday novels you and your book club love in the comments below! Happy holidays everyone!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost to you or the featured book’s author). All opinions are 100% mine and every book, unless otherwise noted, is handpicked by me to be featured on the site.

Mallory
 

I’m Mallory Barnes, a fiction writer living in West Texas.My hope here is to encourage reading and discussion. In the digital age, we often live together so separately. Community and intellectual discussion are harder and harder to come by. I hope that Book Club Bites can help alleviate that by encouraging the birth and growth of book clubs.

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