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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! What better way to get in the spirit than a festive book?! If you are looking to maximize your reading time this season, these are the best Christmas books for adults.

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Top 3 Picks


A Christmas Memory: Best for fans of classics, nostalgia, and Truman Capote

One Day in December: Best for fans of Love Actually, Bridget Jones, and Serendipity

Winter Street: Best for fans of Elin Hilderbrand, lighthearted family drama, and a Nantucket setting

Quick List

First, if you’re extra curious or in a rush, below is a quick, shoppable list of all the books that made the list.

  1. All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox
  2. Always in December by Emily Stone
  3. The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan
  4. The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett
  5. The Christmas Cafe by Eliza Evans
  6. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  7. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
  8. The Christmas Orphans Club by Becca Freeman
  9. Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey
  10. The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
  11. Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
  12. The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan
  13. The Christmas Wish by Lindsey Kelk
  14. Faking Christmas by Kerry Winfrey
  15. Flight by Lynn Steger Strong
  16. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
  17. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
  18. Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh
  19. The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox
  20. In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
  21. Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle
  22. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
  23. Love, Holly by Emily Stone
  24. Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison
  25. Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss
  26. Nantucket White Christmas by Pamela Kelly
  27. Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert
  28. One Day in December by Josie Silver
  29. Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
  30. The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews
  31. Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
  32. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
  33. Three Holidays and a Wedding by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley
  34. The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss
  35. A Vineyard Christmas by Jean Stone
  36. Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
  37. The Wishing Bridge by Viola Shipman

Details on The Best Christmas Books for Adults

All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox

Best for fans of country music and reality competitions

All I Want for Christmas is a cute, light, festive romantic comedy about two competitors in a country music reality singing competition during the holiday season. As they fake a romance, one copes with grief, then they are forced to be together during the next holiday season, when their relationship ebbs and flows over time.

It’s a quick, delightful holiday book for adults, with a unique country music twist that feels festive and fun.

Always in December by Emily Stone

Best for fans of tearjerkers

In Always in December, Josie mails a letter each year from her London home to the parents she lost on Christmas years ago, saying: Missing you, always. But this year, a bicycle collision with a handsome stranger named Max knocks her tradition off course and changes her life.
Max has his own reasons for avoiding Christmas, which leads them to spend the holiday together. But, just when Josie thinks this might be the start of something special, Max disappears without saying goodbye. 
Over the course of the next year, fate continues to bring them together. But what does fate hold for Josie and Max as Christmas approaches again? It’s definitely a tearjerker.

The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan

Best for fans of books that feel like Elin Hilderbrand’s

The Book Club Hotel is not written by Elin Hilderbrand, yet it felt like a delightful mix of her books, The Hotel Nantucket and The Five Star Weekend to me.

The young widower and single mom who runs the Maple Sugar Inn, Hattie, is juggling life and work by herself this holiday season. And, she’s not the only one.

When three lifelong friends, Erica, Claudia, and Anna, host their book club retreat there, it’s clear that they, too, have their own unique emotional baggage in tow.

Over the week, all four women cope, and they find their lives to be more interconnected than they could have ever imagined. It’s an especially good choice for those who like middle-aged protagonists. Naturally, it’s a great Christmas book club pick too!

The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett

Best for fans of cozy mysteries and unique storytelling

The Christmas Appeal is a really one-of-a-kind novella for those looking for something mysterious, yet also quick, light, and cozy this holiday season.

Told through cringeworthy Christmas letters, behind-the-scenes emails, and tell-tale text messages, it’s a story of small-town drama amongst the Fairway Players. In the midst of their seasonal production of Jack and the Beanstalk to raise money for a new church roof come personality conflicts, a potentially asbestos-filled beanstalk, and even a dead body.

Read this one in a night with a cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace.

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

Best for book lovers

In The Christmas Bookshop, Carmen has been laid off from her department store job, and she is not looking forward to spending time with her perfect sister, Sofia.

Sofia isn’t all that excited to see Carmen either, but she is managing another baby on the way, a mother who wants them all to get along, and a client who needs his old bookshop revitalized. Carmen moves in and takes the bookshop job.

In the ancient bookshop in historic Edinburgh, Carmen is actually intrigued by its charm, especially when a famous author takes an interest in her.  

The Christmas Cafe by Eliza Evans

Best for fans of Hallmark movies

The Christmas Cafe is about as saccharine as it gets — in a good way (if that’s what you like). In the small town of Silver Bells, Wyoming, baker Sylvie works at the Christmas Cafe, where it’s festive all year long.

When she learns the Cafe that’s meant so much to her throughout her life may be sold, she gets the Holiday Channel to film a scene there. The lead actor, Royce, takes an interest in her, which makes her practically melt, yet she also finds herself interested in the wellbeing of her old local friend, Abe, who’s back in town to manage his parents’ goat farm.

Mixed into this light love triangle with a celebrity romance trope are a mischievous dog named Crumpet, a sweet extended family with loving memories, and even a Christmas festival and parade.

It’s a guilty pleasure as sweet as Sylvie’s treats for those looking for a really light small-town escape or a closed-door romance. Think: Gilmore Girls meets Wyoming.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Best for fans of classics

A list of the best books about Christmas would not be complete without this Christmas short story. We all know the story of A Christmas Carol, and how the bitter old Ebenezer Scrooge is transformed by the spirit of Christmas after a visit from the ghost of his former business partner and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come, including Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim of course.

But did you know how compulsively readable and superbly written the original novella is?! I read it as part of my Rory Gilmore reading challenge and, not that I expected less, but I was still blown away by how fantastic it is. An absolute holiday “must-read” for all book lovers.

And — the audio version is exquisitely performed by the incomparable Tim Curry, and your library should have it always available for a loan without a wait.

Related Post: A Christmas Carol Quotes

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

Best for fans of classics, nostalgia, and Truman Capote

Truman Capote is climbing the charts as my all-time favorite author. The short story A Christmas Memory is an absolute gem. Capote is at his best when he depicts complex characters in simple sentences.

“‘Oh my,’ she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, ‘it’s fruitcake weather!'”

Truman Capote

This has become one of my favorite declarations in holiday literature. It begins this short and beautiful tale about a young boy in rural Alabama, looking back with nostalgia about his old, but childlike, friend whose face is “not unlike Lincoln’s.”

They save their pennies throughout the year to make 30 fruitcakes as soon as fruitcake weather arrives. They share them with only the most deserving persons, including the one they send to the White House each year, wondering if the President serves it thereafter.

The short story A Christmas Memory, and the short stories that follow in this book, which flesh out the character of the boy, are classic American holiday literature at their finest. I intend to re-read A Christmas Memory each year and hope you do too.

The Christmas Orphans Club by Becca Freeman

Best for Fans of Friends, Will & Grace, and the aesthetic of Christmas in New York

The Christmas Orphans Club has become one of my absolute favorite Christmas-themed books. The premise is that Hannah and Finn became college friends over one Christmas they spent together on campus because, for different reasons, they weren’t with family that day. This began a holiday tradition and, along the way, they picked up two more Christmas orphans, Theo and Priya.

Over the course of a decade, they spend Christmas in New York together as friends, but impending major life changes are threatening the continuation of their annual festivities.

Alternating between the perspectives of Hannah and Finn, it’s mostly about friendship and found family, but it’s also a very layered story that’s also about love (including LGBTQIA+ romance), biological family drama, and growing up. Freeman is an exceptionally fresh and refreshing voice to watch in this space, incorporating oodles of pop culture references and utterly unique and comical details into a novel that’s already unlike any other holiday novel I’ve read.

As an elder millennial and long-time fan of quirky, turn-of-the-millennium New York friendship shows like Friends and Will & Grace (and as someone who re-watches their holiday episodes each and every year), this book felt like the best Christmas “episode” ever.

Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Best for fans of Southern Christmases

In Christmas in Peachtree Bluff, Southern matriarch Ansley Murphy is comforting the women in her life, as her eldest daughter Caroline is divorcing her husband and leaves misbehaving fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi behind for the holidays.

As the “storm of the century” approaches, Caroline, her husband, and Vivi plan to get away but end up stuck behind with no shelter or provisions.

The Murphy sisters must come to the rescue on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, in an effort to rebuild their community and their family. It’s a great light story focused on family relations during the holiday season.

The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank

Best for fans of Dorothea Benton Frank, Southern charm, and character-driven novels

Dorothea Benton Frank is such a beloved favorite author of mine, who always evokes the most heartfelt Southern charm, and The Christmas Pearl was no exception.

It’s a quick, very character-driven book about Theodora, the Southern matriarch of a family that has grown into “knuckleheads.” And this Christmas in her very old age fails to live up to the extravagant, traditional ones in her childhood.

She nostalgically reminisces about Pearl, her grandmother’s beloved housekeeper, and closest confidante, and Christmas becomes what it was always meant to be.

I recommend this as one of the best holiday / Christmas books for adults who love character-driven novels, nostalgia, and/or Southern charm.

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Best for fans of lighthearted “Chick Lit”

In Christmas Shopaholic, Becky returns from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and work with her best friend.

Becky adores the traditions of Christmas in her parents’ home, but this year they ask Becky to host Christmas. Becky becomes overwhelmed by the holiday frenzy and the chaos of pleasing everyone, and she wonders if she can bring the spirit of Christmas to all.

Christmas Shopaholic is a quick and delightful read! It reminded me of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, as it’s all about preparation for Christmas, and how everything goes humorously wrong in the process.

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

Best for fans of family stories and a Scottish setting

In The Christmas Sisters the McBride sisters come home to snowy, festive Scotland for Christmas, and they are each finding their own challenges this holiday season. Posie has a budding romance that is the talk of the town. Beth is a mother struggling to decide whether to go back to work. And Hana is a reserved workaholic who plays her cards close to her vest.

However, their adoptive mother is convinced that “this year will be different!” Family drama ensues as Christmas approaches, and it’s unclear whether Christmas will be as magical as their mother hopes. The Christmas Sisters is a delightful and satisfying perfect holiday read.

The Christmas Wish by Lindsey Kelk

Best for fans of Groundhog Day

In The Christmas Wish, Gwen is a newly single and very unhappy lawyer heading to the country for her family’s Christmas, when she runs into Dev, her old crush, who’s now engaged, and it makes her feel like everyone has his or her life figured out except her.

After a very British comedic holiday, Gwen wakes up to find that she is living Christmas all over again each day thereafter. She’s got to figure out how to escape these repeated Christmases all while Dev continues to shine more each day for her.

This book pleasantly surprised me, as it offered a lot more depth than a standard Christmas romance. It offered a real window into Gwen’s unhappiness in her life and the difficult things she needed to do examine her state of affairs and change her course. In many ways, it often reminded me of A Christmas Carol but with a love story too.

Faking Christmas by Kerry Winfrey

Best for fans of The Unhoneymooners

Faking Christmas is a real delight! It takes the common enemies-to-lovers and fake dating tropes and makes them fresh again, as well as seasonal.

To get the job as a social media manager for an Ohio tourism company, Laurel pretends to be a farmer. All is well, until her boss invites himself to Christmas at the farm.

So, she must pretend her twin sister’s farm is her own, and that her brother-in-law’s groomsman (Laurel’s nemesis) is her husband. Things get even more complicated when they become trapped at the farm by snow. The close proximity just may change her feelings.

This was one of my favorite holiday reads! It kept things light and, while the tropes are familiar, the story still felt very alive and festive. I highly recommend it, especially if you love modern romance writers like Christina Lauren.

Flight by Lynn Steger Strong

Best for fans of The Family Stone

Flight is a unique Christmas book for adults in that it’s primarily character-driven, and it’s about family, motherhood, and grief, not joy or presents. In many ways, it reminded me of the moving Christmas flick, The Family Stone.

It’s the first Christmas that siblings Martin, Henry, and Kate are spending Christmas without their mother, Helen. It’s also the first time they are celebrating in upstate New York, rather than Florida.

Gathered with their siblings and children, they prepare for the holidays and discuss what to do with their mother’s Florida home, as family drama rises to the surface in each of their lives.

But when a local mother and child need help, they must come together on a Christmas unlike any other they’ve had.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Best for fans of classic mysteries

What’s a holiday without a good old-fashioned murder? In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, Agatha Christie’s famed investigator is tasked with a Christmas Eve murder at a family reunion in which everyone seems to have a reason to hate the deceased man.

It reads exactly as you would expect from a classic Christie mystery. And, it’s especially good to read ON Christmas Eve if you are partaking in the Jolabokaflod (Christmas book flood) tradition.

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Best for fans of comedy

If the name “David Sedaris” means something to you, then you will probably love Holidays on Ice!

This festive collection of tales, featuring the irreverent style of humor that is the trademark of Sedaris, includes the diaries of a Macy’s elf (my favorite), being a child locked out in a snowstorm, the nonsensical Christmas traditions around the world, and more!

It’s great for some quick comedic relief during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.

Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh

Best for fans of closed door romances and the friends-to-lovers trope

Holiday Romance came highly recommended to me by friends in the book world, and they were right! It’s light and festive, while also focusing on character development.

Molly and Andrew are friends who’ve spent each Christmas holiday for the past decade flying from the United States back home to Ireland together. This year, snow grounds them, but Molly is determined to get Andrew home.

During this time, Molly and Andrew consider their lives — she’s unhappy in her career and he’s overcoming a personal problem. This leads them to also consider each other in a different, more romantic way, as well.

This Christmas story uniquely focuses not just on the potential for romance, but also on personal growth and having the support of loved ones at Christmastime and beyond. For those reasons, it’s an especially memorable read this time of year.

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

Best for fans of The Parent Trap and The Holiday (the movies)

International bestseller

In The Holiday Swap, chef Charlie Goodwin loses consciousness on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, which causes her to also lose her ability to taste and smell. Meanwhile, her identical twin sister, Cass, is trying to hold it all together in their quaint mountain hometown family bakery — while also dealing with her remorseful ex.

Days before Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to switch places. But, it’s more complicated than when they were children as two handsome suitors appear. Is this a recipe for disaster?

I found this to be a really light and charming story.

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Best for fans of modern rom-coms and Groundhog Day

Instant New York Times bestseller

In a Holidaze is a holiday rom-com that starts after a Christmas in which a lot goes wrong for Maelyn at her family’s usual “Christmas with friends” at a snowy Utah cabin. She leaves wishing to find happiness, and it seems like things can’t get worse until a car crash occurs.

Maelyn then begins to relive her Christmas vacation as if it were Groundhog Day.  But, the others insist a car crash never occurred, and that she just woke up from a bad dream.  As Maelyn navigates Christmas all over again in her “dazed” state, she tries to fix everything that went wrong the first time she experienced Christmas.  And, of course, there’s a love triangle and some holiday steaminess in store!

In a Holidaze is a perfectly light and immersive read about the power of holiday wishes.

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle

Best for fans of Elf

Just Like Magic is an absolute delight that will make fans of the movie Elf feel so giddy and festive. Bettie was once a luxurious social media influencer, but now she’s downright broke, and her family doesn’t know.

Dreading the thought of facing her family this Christmas, she plays a record of “All I Want for Christmas” backward and conjures up Hall, the Holiday Spirit, who also happens to be a handsome and friendly man.

She pretends he’s her fiance, but his quirky charm starts to catch on, and Bettie finds herself truly happy with him. The problem? His time on earth is limited.

This book is whip-smart, laugh-out-loud funny, and incredibly creative. It’s bound to put a smile on your face this holiday season.

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Best for fans of historical fiction

“‘Paris is always a good idea,’ I reply, my breathing heavy as I reach the door. ‘Especially at Christmas.'”

Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb

As the Great War begins, Evie thinks that it will be over by Christmas. Her brother Will and his friend Tom leave for battle, and the group plans to meet for a holiday in Paris when the war is over.

But the war drags on. Last Christmas in Paris wasn’t *exactly* a Christmas book — it was more so a World War I story and a love story told almost entirely through letters and telegrams, with sprinkles of Christmas mixed throughout and penultimate Christmas events at the end.

However, Last Christmas in Paris also evoked themes of family, love, belief, and hope which are the spirit of Christmas. It was a great read that kept me engaged in the fate of the characters and brought out my emotions, particularly at the end. I felt connected to the characters and how World War I impacted and forever changed their lives.

Love, Holly by Emily Stone

Best for fans of tearjerkers

Stone has carved out a niche for herself in dramatic, tear-jerking holiday stories, and Love, Holly is no exception to the rule. With content warnings like cancer, deaths, car accidents, abandonment, and infertility, it’s not a festive feel-good novel, but rather a very real take on grief, found families, and forgiveness around the holidays.

But, if you’re up for it, Love, Holly does deliver a memorable story about two women, one older and one younger, who meet through seemingly anonymous letters about their shared trauma and loneliness, as a result, during the holidays.

These women are more connected than it seems, and their connections will pull at your heartstrings, as they each seek redemption, and the younger (Holly) also seeks love.

I especially enjoyed the very British feel this one had, and I think it’s one I won’t soon forget.

Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison

Best for fans of spicy romances and the fake dating and friends-to-lovers tropes

Lovelight Farms is a book that came recommended to me by so many people on Bookstagram — and they were right! It’s slightly festive and slightly steamy in all the right ways.

After Stella finally purchased the Christmas tree farm of her dreams, she struck financial troubles running it. So, she enters an Instagram contest for publicity and a cash prize.

The catch? She needs to present herself as having a boyfriend. Her trusty best friend agrees to go along with it and, well, you can probably guess where this is going.

Meanwhile, a bit of mystery also unfolds to uncover the source of damage to the farm.

If you’re a romance lover, this is an absolute must-read, beloved by readers. It’s also the start of a series in which you can indulge if you like it.

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss

Best for fans of British rom-coms and the enemies-to-lovers trope

In Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Nory was a scholarship student back with her prep school friends for a wedding at the castle near their old school just before Christmas.

There, she reunites with Isaac, the gardener, who’s a fan of neither Nory nor her posh friends. But, as their attraction grows, they cope with everything from family drama to grief, class conflict, and uncovering the truth about stolen art.

The aesthetic of this book totally transported me there, and I fell in love with the characters and the setting.

Nantucket White Christmas by Pamela Kelly

Best for fans of Elin Hilderbrand books, Hallmark movies, and a Nantucket setting

The style and setting of Elin Hilderbrand’s books meet a Hallmark movie in Nantucket White Christmas. A down-on-her-luck young woman surprisingly inherits an estate on Nantucket and, while spending a “White Christmas” there, makes friends, meets a handsome suitor, explores the island, and searches for the meaning of home.

It’s the most delightful and enjoyable type of PG-rated fluff, and I enjoyed every second of it.

Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert

Best for fans of magical realism

When I heard Once Upon a December was about magical realism at a holiday market, I thought, “Sign me up!” Jack works at a magical Christmas market in Milwaukee, where he meets the same beautiful woman each year, but she always forgets him.

This year, however, the woman, Astra is reeling from a painful divorce and helps him discover the world outside the market. The question is whether their relationship can survive Jack’s magically traveling lifestyle.

It’s such a sweet and unique holiday book with a fantastical twist.

One Day in December by Josie Silver

Best for fans of Love Actually, Bridget Jones, and Serendipity

I loved One Day in December! It has been described as a mix of Love Actually, Bridget Jones, and Serendipity, and I wholeheartedly agree.

It’s about a British woman who sees her dream man outside of a bus she’s riding in, and later finds out he’s her best friend’s new boyfriend. The story follows their lives for the next ten years, and a lot happens in that time, although I won’t spoil any storylines.

Sometimes books involving love triangles can make the characters unlikeable, but everyone remained likable to me in One Day in December, and it was a really delightful December read that has remained popular for many holidays now.

Buy on Amazon

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Best for fans of royals, lighthearted rom-coms, middle-aged protagonists, and diverse books

Royal Holiday was a real delight! And I love that it featured two middle-aged Black people as the main characters — and of course, royalty. I read it so quickly!

When Vivian tags along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal duchess, she befriends a handsome private secretary named Malcolm who has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until he meets Vivian.

As Christmas approaches, their flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, and a full-on fling to ring in the New Year. The clock is ticking on this “holiday,” and you will have to read the book to see what happens after the clock strikes midnight!

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

Best for fans of small-town charm and the magic of Christmas

In The Santa Suit, new divorcee Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse as a way to foster change in her life. It’s a labor of love―literally.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds a beautiful old Santa suit hiding a note written by a little girl who wishes for her father to return home from the war. And just like that, Ivy is on a mission to find out who wrote the note and what happened afterward.

Her quest just may bring Christmas miracles in the form of a welcoming town, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love. It’s a perfectly light and charming festive story.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Best for fans of The Family Stone

Seven Days of Us perfectly teases out the concept of what it would be like to be quarantined with your family over the Christmas holiday — before most of us experienced it ourselves in real life. This 2016 setting focuses on Haag, the deadly Liberian disease that the Birch’s daughter treated as a doctor, thus forcing the holiday quarantine.

She, along with her parents, each have deep secrets that will be revealed, and her sister copes with a flailing engagement. A surprise visitor also shakes things up.

I’m a sucker for family dramas/dramedies, and this one was just about perfect. I love that it focused on family (versus romance) in December and everything that can be both happy and sad at the holidays. While it mostly reminded me of the movie The Family Stone, fans of Love Actually will love the British humor and heart as well. It’s a real standout.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Best for fans of John Grisham and Christmas with the Kranks

Skipping Christmas is the book upon which the cute movie Christmas With the Kranks is based.

Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip everything Christmas one year. Come December 25, they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, skipping Christmas isn’t easy in their town or their family … and their plan comes to a head with some humor on the side.

Grisham truly delivered a well-written comedic holiday classic in this one, and I only wish I discovered it even before the movie, which I also love.

Three Weddings and a Holiday by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley

Best for fans of closed-door romances, Hallmark movies, and a diverse holiday season

Three Holidays and a Wedding combines everything that readers love in a Christmas book plus adds even more, since it also tackles two additional holidays and, you guessed it, a wedding.

Maryam is flying to Toronto for her sister’s last-minute holiday wedding, and her seatmate Anna is headed to meet and spend the holiday season with her boyfriend’s rich family.

Turbulence causes them to bond and confess their hopes and fears, and an emergency landing leaves them snowbound in the very festive small town of Snow Falls.

There, Maryam, who celebrates Ramadan, re-connects with her crush and re-evaluates her place in the world and in her family. Meanwhile, Anna, who celebrates both Christmas and Hannukah, questions her relationship after she meets her celebrity crush, who’s there filming a holiday movie. Their snowbound status also puts the big wedding in jeopardy.

This book is quite simply a light and scrumptious treat that I think most holiday readers will enjoy as much as I did.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Best for fans of Gilmore Girls

The Twelve Dates of Christmas gave me major Gilmore Girls vibes. The main character is a Lorelai-like 34-year-old single and thriving designer and part-time baker at her old friend’s cafe (a very Luke Danes kind of guy) in a small British town not unlike Stars Hollow.

Her best friend signs her up for a holiday dating experience of twelve dates with twelve different men, which are all quirky and unique in their own right (the dates and the men).

At the same time, she evaluates her feelings about her old friend.

A Vineyard Christmas by Jean Stone

Best for fans of New England setting

Martha’s Vineyard is my favorite place on earth, and I will read any book that takes place on this picturesque New England island.

A Vineyard Christmas was a cute Christmas-y book in which Annie Sutton rents a cozy cottage on Chappaquiddick, a very private portion of the island. As a blizzard approaches, Annie finds on her front porch a basket containing a baby girl. A note reads: “I named her Bella, after my grandmother. Please help her, because I can’t.”

Annie decides to keep the baby and try to find the birth mother, giving her a chance to change her mind.

But this secret is hard to keep in this small island community, especially around Christmastime. It’s another quick and delightful holiday read for those who love New England charm.

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand

Best for fans of Elin Hilderbrand, lighthearted family drama, and a Nantucket setting

Winter Street is just about everything you could want in an Elin Hilderbrand Christmas novel — family drama and holiday spirit mixed together.

Kelley Quinn owns the Nantucket Winter Street Inn and is the proud father of four grown children, all of whose personal lives are in a state of chaos. The oldest, Patrick, is a hedge fund manager dealing with a white-collar crime. Bartender Kevin has a secret relationship with the Inn’s housekeeper. Teacher Ava can’t get her dream boyfriend to commit. And Bart, the youngest, and the only child of Kelley’s second marriage to Mitzi, is fighting overseas in the Marines.

Christmas approaches, and Kelley walks in on Mitzi kissing the Inn’s Santa Claus, bringing all of the families’ drama to a head. It becomes up to Kelley’s first wife, famous news anchor Margaret Quinn, to attempt to save Christmas.

The three remaining books in the Winter series are Winter Stroll, Winter Storms, and Winter Solstice. I recommend this book series if you like family dramas.

Related Posts: Popular Elin Hilderbrand Books | Elin Hilderbrand Book List

The Wishing Bridge by Viola Shipman

Best for fans of second chance romances and middle-aged protagonists

The Wishing Bridge has a lot of elements that make for a lovely holiday read: a German Christmas-themed small town in the midwest, a middle-aged protagonist, and a second-chance romance upon returning home.

To keep her ambitious job, Henri must convince her elderly parents to sell their local Christmas store to “the big guys.” So, she heads back to her charming hometown to spend December making the deal.

There, she’s surprised to find her old flame and memories that make her second guess her career and her life.

It’s quick and super cozy in all the right ways!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I read this Christmas?

Three of the most popular, festive, and highly recommended books you should read this holiday season are A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote, One Day in December by Josie Silver, and Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand.


The best Christmas books for adults offer something everyone can indulge in this holiday season, from romance to family drama and traditional tales.


To recap and help you decide what to read first or next, my top 3 picks are:

Related Posts

If you enjoyed this post on the best Christmas books for adults, check out more good book lists for the holiday season:

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