There’s not a lot I like more than a good book at Christmas. Ideally, I have a big fluffy chair between the window to watch the snowfall and the burning logs of the fireplace. On the small table near my chair, I have a mug of tea or coffee. Here’s a list of my cozy Christmas books.
Oh, and I almost forgot, I’m breathing in the fir tree scent from the fresh Christmas tree (or the essential oils diffuser!). Add a good cozy Christmas book to all that, and I’m in heaven.
I have quite a few Christmas books on my stand right now, and I can’t wait to dive in! Some of them are oldies but goodies. Then, a few are brand new I’m super-excited to experience for the first time.
One is even a Christmas novella from a very talented lady I’ve known most of my life and is the beginning of a new series for her.
Let’s dive in, shall we?!
I hope you too can pick up some of these Christmas books (or others!) to give as gifts or enjoy yourself this holiday season!
My holiday book list: Christmas books
by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
First of all, this book is marketed incredibly well. Who can pass up the cover with a girl walking towards the Eiffel Tower in a bright red coat and the words Last Christmas in Paris and A Novel of World War I over her? Truly, I am the ideal target reader as a history buff and former French teacher. As are many others, I’m naturally drawn to anything Paris, and World War I is a fascinating time period to explore. Good characters and the emotional upheaval of the time make for an absorbing read.
Second, I’ve read several of Hazel Gaynor’s previous books and love her writing style and delicate description. It seems to place you in the scene with all five of your senses alert and aware of the situation. I’ve not read Heather Webb before but am already intrigued by the setting, time period, and style of this book. Much of the book is told in letters back and forth between Thomas Hardy on the front line in France and Evie Elliott in a quiet suburb of London.
Pick up your copy from Amazon today by clicking here: Last Christmas in Paris.
***Update! I finished this book just before Christmas, and I oh so wanted to like it much more than I did. It is difficult to write a story in letters, and unfortunately, it just did not hold my interest. Now, it could be because we were crazy busy, and I read it in many sessions. Perhaps if read in 1 or 2 sittings it would be better. That said, I’d probably give it a 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
by Charles Todd
(Bonus book! I veered off of my scheduled reads list)
Another book I read this month set during the same World War I time period was The Walnut Tree: A Holiday Tale by Charles Todd. I’d recommend it as more of a page-turning read with characters you care about with all their problems, idiosyncrasies, and determination. It’s a part of the Bess Crawford series but focuses on one of her fellow nurses during World War I. It’s a well-written, historical, romantic mystery, and I loved it!
Order it here from Amazon.
by Tamera Alexander
If you read much Christian fiction you will probably recognize the name, Tamera Alexander. Because I’ve read most of her books, I know I can always count on her to give me an uplifting, compelling story. Her characters speak from the heart, and I love the historical world she paints. (Also, as my younger self I used to babysit her children and know first-hand what a fun and amazing family they are!) This Christmas she takes us to Civil War-torn Nashville and the Carnton Plantation.
“Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas – and sacrificial love.”
Around Christmas, this is just the kind of story I like to indulge in by the fire with my steaming mug of tea. However, I feel I have to warn you. I’ve found I don’t like to put down Tamera Alexander’s books and end up reading through the night or don’t get anything at all done until all the pages have been turned. Definitely, it’s a heart-warming addition to a list of Christmas books!
Spoil yourself and order it now on Amazon by clicking here: Christmas at Carnton.
***Update! I finished Christmas at Carnton and find myself eagerly awaiting the next book in the series! If you have any interest in the Civil War era, in Tennesee especially, this is the book for you! This inspiring story was well-told with fascinating characters and locations. I highly recommend it for yourself or as a gift for a friend. Now, I’m journeying to Paris during World War I with Last Christmas in Paris.
by Kate Milford
I have a confession to make. I love mysteries. Generally English mysteries in a big house and a good who-dun-it. Greenglass House is juvenile fiction, but I’m excited to have it on my list so I can then pass it off to my daughter. Double-win!
I don’t know about you, but I usually like to preview the books she reads (although she’s getting too fast for me!). This is not to spy on her and be controlling, but more a way to be a part of her life. Because I love books so much, it is awesome to be able to discuss them with my 9-year-old daughter and watch her face light up with excitement. Of course, I want to be a part of that and know where the excitement is coming from.
So here in Greenglass House, we have a mystery with 12-year-old (the innkeeper’s adopted son). It’s wintertime, and he lives in the spooky smuggler’s inn. Secretive guests start arriving during this normally quiet period for the inn, and the cook’s daughter Meddy teams up with Milo to solve the mystery of Greenglass House. Why are things going missing? Who are all these people in conflict? They must find the secret of the house and learn about themselves at the same time. Awesome.
by Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot. What does the name mean to you? Funnily for me, my first thought is of the fastidious detective’s famous mustache. This is the ultimate Christmas cozy mystery because we find the great detective in a family mansion investigating what? A murder of course. Was it the random burglar? The butler perhaps? Or do we dig deeper into the animosities between the family members gathered for the “merry” holiday season?
I love it. There’s a reason Agatha Christie mysteries have sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in other languages. I really can’t resist a good mystery, so take it from me. Another one for a list of great Christmas books. Get yours today!
To get it on Amazon click here: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
by Sarah Caudwell
Sarah Caudwell is fabulous. Who else could make English tax law a comedy in an old English village with a murder mystery? It sounds completely off, but it is hysterical. This is one of those books I’ve read many times and just happens to take place during the Christmas season. The Sibyl in Her Grave is one of those witty, crazy books that somehow makes complete sense, and I find myself laughing out loud every other page no matter how many times I read it.
A huge part of this book is the great cast of characters. Professor Hilary Tamar (an Oxford don) is called upon by her friend Julia at Lincoln’s Inn to help her aunt with a tax problem. Aunt Regina and her friends have pooled their resources to invest in equities and made off extremely well. Now the tax man’s come calling, and the money’s all been spent!
Add to that a psychic counselor Isabella del Camino (the Sibyl) who’s moved into the rectory of the village and plowed down a cherished garden. She also keeps an aviary of ravens and has offended everyone in the village. So what happens? Spoiler: She ends up found murdered of course.
Chaos, fun, and tax law intertwine to make a great story. Reading my description it doesn’t do it justice at all. There’s too much to the story and awesome character quirks, and it’s a fun place to escape to more craziness than your own holiday household.
by Samantha Silva
Last but not least, Mr. Dickens and His Carol. Every Christmas my family watches various versions of what’s probably the most famous Christmas tale ever written, “A Christmas Carol”. Have you ever wondered about the man who wrote it? Was he really hating Christmas, depressed by the failure of his last book, in writer’s block, and envisioning the poorhouse? What inspired him to write this classic Christmas story?
“Mr. Dickens and His Carol is a charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.”
-Anthony Doerr (author of All the Light We Cannot See, another fabulous book)
Purchase your own copy to get started on right away! Click to order on Amazon here: Mr. Dickens and His Carol.
Create a new cozy Christmas books tradition
Did you know they have an amazing holiday in Iceland called the “Jolabokaflod”? It’s translated as the “Yule Book Flood” and the gist of it is you search for the months before Christmas Eve to find the perfect book for family members and everyone opens up books on Christmas Eve. Isn’t that perfect?!
It gets better.
The tradition is that everyone then gets to read their books late into the night, or all night, all while eating CHOCOLATE!!
Yes, they do this every year, and it may be my new favorite holiday! Why not try it out for yourself and maybe even select a few books from my list of cozy Christmas books? Happy reading!
Pin this list for later here!
For more Christmas book recommendations check out Explorer Momma’s: Christmas Mystery Books to Read Next.