Christmas is here, and what better way to get into the festive spirit than by curling up with a good book? Whether you need to escape from a loud and long festive dinner or you want to fully enjoy some me-time, there’s a Christmas book out there for everyone.
So, before having a well-deserved mug of hot chocolate and snuggling up on the sofa in your cosiest Christmas jumper, don’t forget to feed your mind and grab a good book to spend your festive holidays with.
The best Christmas feel-good books
We have compiled a selection of the most popular and feel-good Christmas novels, including a few classics for good measure. Regardless of your preferred genre, this list serves as a great starting point to create new memories and get you in the right spirit.
The Christmas Trilogy Box by Richard Paul Evans (Simon & Schuster)
Since it was first published, more than seven million people have been touched by the magic of The Christmas Box, a holiday classic that is as beloved in our time as “A Christmas Carol” was in Dickens.
The story relates how a young couple, Richard (who narrates) and Keri, accept a position to care for a lonely widow, Mary Parkin, in her spacious Victorian mansion. As Christmas draws near, Mary becomes anxious about Richard’s obsession with success and his failure to make time for his family. She urges him to reconsider his priorities, but he is always too busy to heed her advice.
It is only when Mary is on her deathbed and her secret sorrow is revealed through the letter-laden Christmas box of the title that Richard realizes what she has been trying to tell him.
Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan (Avon Books)
Scottish author Jenny Colgan is back with another heartwarming tale. This time, Christmas comes early—far too early—to McCredie’s little Old Town bookshop in Edinburgh. It’s summer, but an American production company has decided that McCredie’s is the perfect location to film a very cheesy Christmas movie. After all, who can resist the charmingly narrow historic street with its Victorian grey stone buildings and warmly lit shop windows?
Carmen Hogan, the bookshop’s manager, is amused and a bit horrified by the goings-on, but the money the studio is paying is too good to pass up. She uses the little windfall from filming to create new displays and fend off a buyout offer from an obnoxious millionaire who wants to turn McCredie’s into a souvenir shop selling kilts made in China and plastic Nessies. Still reeling slightly from a breakup, Carmen’s not particularly looking forward to the holidays. But just as snow begins to fall and the lights of Christmas blink on, all sorts of lovely new possibilities present themselves for McCredie’s bookstore, and for Carmen herself.
Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin’s Press)
Kerry Tolliver dedicates most of her time to her family’s Christmas tree farm in North Carolina. However, this Christmas, she will embark on a new adventure in NYC, assisting her brother in selling Christmas trees in Greenwich Village.
Accompanied by a cosy vintage camper, Kerry is excited to explore Manhattan for the first time and create a fresh start for herself. As the days draw closer to Christmas, Kerry forms a strong bond with the delightful neighbours residing near their tree stand. When an elderly neighbour mysteriously disappears, Kerry must utilize her rural expertise and newfound knowledge of New York to safeguard her newfound family.
Adding to the complexity of the situation is Patrick, a single father raising his charming son Austin, who has a deep love for dragons, on this eccentric block. The undeniable chemistry between Kerry and Patrick is palpable, but can this holiday romance truly withstand the test of time?
Filled with family ties, both rekindled and new, and sparkling with Christmas magic, ‘Bright Lights, Big Christmas‘ delivers everything Mary Kay Andrews fans adore, all tied up in a hilarious, romantic gem of a novel.
A December to Remember by Jenny Bayliss (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Jenny Bayliss’s books are fun to read with great characters and a wonderfully joyful holiday setting. In this case, ‘A December to Remember‘ sees wildly different half-sisters Maggie, Simone, and Star, who have hardly seen one another since their sprightly summers at Rowan Thorp, gathering at their eccentric father Augustus’s home. Known for his bustling approach to the knick-knack shop he ran, Augustus was loved by all and known by none, not even his daughters.
Now, years later, the three estranged women are called upon for the reading of Augustus’s will and quickly realize he’s orchestrated a series of hoops through which they must jump to unlock their inheritance—the last thing any of them want to do. But Maggie and Star desperately need the money. And who would Simone be to resist?
Through hilarious goose chases, small-town mishaps, and one heart-warming winter solstice celebration, love, hope, and reconciliation are in the air, if only the three sisters can let themselves grasp it. As old wounds resurface and long-buried secrets come to light, the sisters must learn to work together if they hope to succeed.
Mrs England by Stacey Halls (Manilla Press)
West Yorkshire, 1904. When newly graduated nurse Ruby May takes a position looking after the children of Charles and Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners, she hopes it will be the fresh start she needs. But as she adapts to life at the isolated Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there’s something not quite right about the beau, mysterious Mrs England.
Ostracised by the other servants and feeling increasingly uneasy, soon a series of strange events will force Ruby to question everything she thought she knew. Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception. Set against the atmospheric West Yorkshire landscape, Stacey Halls’ third novel proves her one of the most exciting and compelling new storytellers of our times.
Victorian Christmas Ghost by Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir Walter Scott (The Valancourt Book)
Apparently, during the Victorian era, it was the norm for publications to print ghost stories during the holiday season. This particular collection of chilling stories, edited by Tara Moore, is ideal for the most frigid winter nights.
For the first time, thirteen tales are collected here, including a wide range of stories from a diverse group of authors, some well-known, others anonymous or forgotten. You’ll enjoy spectacularly spooky tales from esteemed writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the lesser-known Ada Buisson. Readers will be surprised and delighted at the astonishing variety of ghostly tales in this volume.
A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott (Penguin Classics)
A Merry Christmas collects the treasured holiday tales of Louisa May Alcott, from the dearly familiar Yuletide benevolence of Marmee and her “Little Women” to the timeless “What Love Can Do,” wherein the residents of a boarding house come together to make a lovely Christmas for two poor girls.
Wildly popular at the time of their publication—readers deluged Alcott with letters demanding sequels—and drawing on Alcott’s family and experiences in the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements, these stories have the authentic texture and detail of Christmas in nineteenth-century America, while their emphasis on generosity and charity make them timeless embodiments of the Christmas spirit.
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory (Berkley)
From the New York Times bestselling author of ‘The Proposal’ comes a dazzling novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.
Vivian Forest has only travelled outside of the country once in her life, so when the opportunity arises for her to join her daughter Maddie on a work trip to England to style a member of the royal family, she jumps at the chance.
She’s thrilled to experience the beauty of British sights during the holiday season, but what she doesn’t anticipate is the instant attraction she feels towards a certain private secretary, with his charming accent and unwavering formality.
Malcolm Hudson has been serving the Queen for many years, but he has never before offered a personal, private tour—until now. From the moment he meets Vivian, he is captivated by her and finds himself creating excuses just to spend more time with her. What starts as playful banter quickly escalates into a passionate affair, culminating in a kiss beneath the mistletoe.
Although their holiday romance has an expiration date, they both seem content with the idea of ending their intense fling when New Year’s Day arrives… or do they?
Countdown to Christmas by Jo Thomas (Penguin)
An uplifting and feel-good Christmas romance book bursting with flavour, adventure, and love, from the reporter and producer of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show.
Chloe can’t wait for Christmas to be over! With her son Ruben away with his dad, she has decided to completely disregard the holiday. The only festive element in her life is her son’s advent calendar, which helps her count down the days until he returns.
However, everything changes with an unexpected phone call. Chloe might become the unexpected owner of some land in Canada! Initially, she suspects it’s a scam. But could it actually be the perfect escape she needs right now? Ruben’s latest note in the advent calendar encourages her to say yes!
In an instant, Chloe’s new Christmas countdown involves a cosy log cabin nestled in a snowy forest, a concerned community uncertain about its future, a rugged lumberjack who gives her butterflies, and an abundance of pancakes drenched in maple syrup.