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5 Books to Get You in the Christmas Spirit

‘Tis the season for holiday books to find a place on your reading list, from Christmas murder mysteries to hilarious holiday stories to snowy romances. If you’re looking for a great novel to get you in the holiday spirit, check out these Christmas books below.

  • 1. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
  • New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

    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…

  • 2. Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and the perfect moment to escape to a charming English village! From the beloved author whose novels are “sheer indulgence from start to finish” (Sophie Kinsella) comes a delightful holiday story — funny, heartfelt, romantic and packed with recipes — perfect for the winter months.

    In the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, the Christmas season has arrived. It’s a joyous time for family, friends, and feasting, as decorations sparkle along the town’s winding streets and shop windows glow with festive displays. And in Polly’s Little Beach Street Bakery, the aroma of gingerbread cookies and other treats tempts people in from the cold.

    Though Polly is busy keeping up with the demands of the season, she still makes time for her beekeeper boyfriend, Huckle. She’s especially happy to be celebrating the holiday this year with him, and can’t wait to cuddle up in front of the fireplace with a cup of eggnog on Christmas Eve. But panic ensues when a storm cuts the village off from the mainland. Now it will take all of the villagers to work together in order to ensure everyone has a happy holiday.

  • 3. The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
  • A poignant holiday novella about a man who sacrificed his family in the single-minded pursuit of success and the courageous little girl fighting for her life who crosses his path. It all begins with a father telling a story to his son on Christmas Eve and admiting that he’s taken a life but he won’t say whose, not yet.

    One week earlier, in a hospital late at night, the man met a five-year-old girl with cancer. She’s a smart kid, smart enough to know that she won’t beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day. As the man tells his son about this plucky little girl, he slowly reveals more about himself: while he may be a successful businessman, idolized by the media and his peers, he knows he failed as a parent. Overwhelmed by the responsibility of fatherhood, he took the easy way out and left his wife and little boy twenty years ago to pursue professional success. The Deal of a Lifetime reminds us that life is a fleeting gift, and our only legacy is how we share that gift with those we love.

  • 4. Christmas in London by Anita Hughes
  • Set during London’s most festive time of year and filled with delicious food Anita Hughes’ Christmas in London is about love and friendship, and the season’s most important lesson: learning how to ask for and give forgiveness.

    It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren’t hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day; so she agrees.

    The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge’s. It’s a great opportunity, and Digby Bunting, Louisa’s famous baking idol, will be there. Even if he does seem more interested in her than her food.

  • 5. Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
  • Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’ life, Samantha Silva’s Mr. Dickens and His Carol is an irresistible new take on a cherished classic. Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop and the critics have turned against him. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. When his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses and a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.

    Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.

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