We wanted to make a list of our favorite holiday books. These are books that take place over the holiday season but are not necessarily about Christmas. Of course, we could not resist adding in our favorite Christmas books too, but this list will have some Hanukkah, some winter solstice, and other winter holiday books as well.
There is nothing like the perfect holiday book to help celebrate the season. So whether you are curled up by a fire or sitting on a beach, you can find the best holiday books to make the season even more special.
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Best Holiday Books for Adults: Winter Solstice
Jenny Bayliss is back with an exciting holiday book about the Winter Solstice. When Simone, Maggie, and Star, half-sisters with different moms, find out their father has died they also learn that in order to receive their inheritance, they must first solve a scavenger hunt and then relaunch the town’s Winter Solstice celebration.
The sisters don’t have a relationship outside of the one month each summer they all spend together with their father. Now, they are forced to work together and rebuild their sisterly bond.
Each sister is also working through something. One is a single-mom facing eviction. One is struggling with infertility. And one is a bit adrift and trying to start over and settle down.
I adored this holiday book about love and reconnection during the holiday season. It’s probably my favorite Christmas book for 2023. #gifted
This short novel bridges the gap between the #ACOTAR trilogy and the next three books set in the same universe. It saw us catching up with all of our favorite characters during the Winter Solstice.
This holiday book is cute and fun with no real plot – just some stage setting for the next book. Think of it as an extended epilogue to A Court of Wings and Ruins. You can find our complete guide to ACOTAR as well.
Best Holiday Books: Hanukkah
Maryam and Anna find themselves on a plane from Denver to Toronto in the middle of the storm of the century, they have no idea that they will spark an unexpected friendship.
When the plane is diverted to a small town outside of Ottawa with no end to the snow, they all must change their plans. Anna is not able to make it to Toronto to spend Christmas with her boyfriend, and Maryam’s sister’s wedding is in jeopardy.
This is an absolutely enchanting Hanukkah, Ramadan, romance Christmas book for 2023 with a charming small town, a snowbound inn, and a touch of fate that brings everyone together. This is a holiday book at its very best. #gifted
A Chanukah romance? Yes, please!!! I mean, I would have been happy to read this book based only on that but the fact Rachel is a Rabbi’s daughter who is secretly a best-selling author of Christmas romances hooked me.
Add in a splash of romance with Jacob, Rachel’s first kiss from summer camp/ arch nemesis and this book was the perfect light romance. I loved the humor and sweetness of this book. And I would not turn down food from Jacob’s Bubbie. I wish more Jewish writers would write Hanukkah romances! This is a definite must for any holiday book list.
Hannah Levin is upset that she is being forced to spend part of her winter vacation with her grandmother in small-town Texas. There is nothing she dislikes more than the tinsel of Christmas and wants to spend her Hanukkah with her friends and family in NYC.
When there is a snowstorm and her return flight home to New York is delayed, she is forced to spend Hanukkah in Texas. She meets Noah, who is annoyingly adorable and is determined to not only bring Hanukkah to his small town but teach Hannah that there are different ways to celebrate. This is a YA holiday romance at its best. If you are looking for the best holiday books, this Young adult pick is a gem.
Holiday Books Set during Christmas Time
When Charlie Goodwin gets a concussion, and cannot smell or taste, she doesn’t know what to do. Her job as a chef and the promotion she has been working toward is on the line.
She begs her twin sister Cass to switch places like they did when they were kids. She will take over the bakery and Cass will pretend to be her.
This adorable holiday romance is just the book to brighten your day and put a smile on your face. How could we not put it on a list of novels about food? This is one of the best holiday books we have read!
This is a hilarious look at what happens when a family is quarantined together over the holidays. The entire time I was reading this quarantine isolation book, I kept thinking to myself that it should be a movie.
Hornak takes series topics and makes them funny. This family drama book is about crazy coincidences and epic drama in one completely dysfunctional British family.
What starts out as a family spending a quarantine quietly in the family country home, turns into something from a soap opera. Every member of the family has their secrets and lies exposed. When I first read this holiday book, I thought it was the perfect book for book clubs. Now, after (during?) a pandemic, there is so much more for book clubs to discuss.
Looking for a last-minute Christmas Read, New Year’s book, or the perfect holiday book? Royal Holiday was the perfect first read for winter break.
When Maddie gets Kirsten’s dream gig (styling a Royal or let’s face it, hanging out with a Royal), she brings her mom, Vivian, with her to England. Vivian meets a very handsome gentleman who happens to be the Queen’s private secretary.
Sparks fly but will this be more than just a holiday romance? This adorable read is a perfect holiday/vacation read, especially for those who love a royal romance, and is a must-read for anyone who loves Emily Henry Books. Whether or not you are reading the Jasmine Guillory books in order, this romance will be a perfect holiday read.
December 2018 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
This is another holiday book I absolutely adored. This second chance love story takes place over 10 years and you’ll be rooting for this couple the entire time.
The perfect winter romance – this one is a bit steamy – that will have you smiling from ear to ear. I listened to this one from my local library, but it would be just as good in print. We love this pick from books about New Year’s.
This charming story is being released as an audiobook this year and it’s a sweet Christmas romance book for 2022.
Will is back at Willowtree Hall after his recent tabloid scandal and loss of his job. He thinks he can move into the Willowtree Lodge he’s expecting to inherit until Skye shows up claiming she owns the Lodge too.
Soon Skye is being welcomed into the community and Will is catching feelings – even if he wants the Lodge for himself. As they work together to help Will’s older brother get the Christmas wedding of his dreams, their romance blooms in a delightful way. If you are looking for holiday books, this is a must-read.
Fantasy Holiday Books
Do you love Christmas movies? Are you obsessed with Christmas Romance books? Do you need to swoon? If you answered yes to any of those questions, stop everything and order In a Holidaze. This is possibly my favorite Christmas novel of all time and was a must for best holiday books.
I adored Mae and Andrew’s love story. It’s set up like Groundhog’s Day with Mae repeating the same Christmas vacation until she gets it right. Time travel romance at its best. And man… does she get it right. Peppermint kisses, sexy sledding, snowball fights, Christmas Tree trimming… this book is oozing with cheer-filled holiday goodness with a few scenes that are steamier than a cup of cocoa.
If you only read one Christmas book this holiday season, let it be Just Like Magic. I adored this funny paranormal romance book and it is defintely one of the best holiday books ever! The premise is amazing. Down-on-her-luck Bettie Hughes accidentally summons the magical Holiday Spirit, who can’t leave her until he raises her spirit level.
So going by the name of Hal, he poses as her boyfriend for her week-long family Christmas vacation. His use of magic throughout the week is hysterical. It also helps that the chemistry between Hal and Bettie crackles. It’s unlike any other Christmas story I’ve read in the best way possible! If you are looking for reverse grumpy sunshine books, this should be on the top of your list.
I adored this Christmas romance novel with a magical premise. It’s all about a Christmas market and its residents who travel from town to town each Christmas. The baker, Jack loves to visit Milwaukee the most because he’s drawn to Astra, an average girl.
I loved hearing about each Christmas Jack and Astra met and how their loved formed. I also loved the magical elements of the market and how it played a crucial role in their story. This holiday book would be a great Christmas book for book clubs to discuss.
Best Holiday Books: Christmas
Jenny Colgan is back with a stand-alone Christmas romance book about a failing bookshop and the woman that saves it. Carmen is stuck with no boyfriend, no job, and living at home, while her sister Sophie seems to have it all – a beautiful house, a great husband, a killer job, and 3 kids with one more on the way.
When she realizes her client is going to lose his bookshop and home, she overs Carmen up for the job of turning the shop around, offering her a room at her house to boot.
But the long-standing rivalry between the sisters is out in full force, Carmen seems to sabotage her own happiness in the romance department, and her bookstore boss might be hiding some family secrets that need uncovering.
A charming contemporary fiction Christmas tale in true Jenny Colgan fashion, this heartwarming holiday book also has some appearances from beloved characters from previous books.
This is one of the books set in Paris that you will also find on our list of books set in France and it is unlike any other. It is written entirely in letter form between two friends during WWI.
You will fall in love with the characters as they fall for each other.
Evie is struggling to find a way to help out during WWI, while Thomas, her brother’s best friend, is struggling with the realities of battle. I just recently started reading WWI books and this one is high on the list. It is such a wonderful holiday book.
Charles Dickens’s latest book is a flop and he needs money. Christmas is around the corner and he’s become someone of a grump when thinking of all the expenses coming his way.
He decides to take his publishers up on their offer to finance and Christmas novel but he can’t seem to get inspired. A chance meeting with a young woman helps give him the inspiration he requires to write his classic tale. The new perspective on the classic Christmas tale makes this a perfect pick for the best holiday books.
I was blown away by this tear-jerking story. It was a romance story for the first 30% of the book, but then it becomes something much deeper.
Josie mails a letter to her deceased parents every Christmas, but this Christmas she accidentally hits a stranger named Max with her bike on the way to the post box.
As she explored the holiday season with Max her feelings start to grow, but when he leaves unexpectedly, she’s left to deal with the aftermath of the impact he had on her heart. But fate isn’t done with their story yet as they bump into each other throughout the year.
Probably my favorite Christmas romance book of 2021, this one is a tear-jerker for sure. I sobbed for the entire last 10% of the book and it will most likely, emotionally wreck you. This book is a testament to the healing power of love and the kind of impact each of us can make on each other.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you are looking for a Christmas book that ends with a bow and smile, you may want to look elsewhere. Despite this, we needed to include this on our list of best holiday books.
Looking for more Christmas Books for kids and adults? Check out our Christmas Hub for book club guides, book lists, book-related present ideas, and more!
Best Holiday Books: New Year’s Eve
In this sweet holiday romance book, Iris uncovers a hidden family recipe, falls in love, and learns the power of mouthwatering gelato. Set against the backdrop of New York City from Halloween to NYE, this romance book covers more than just love.
It’s a story that includes uncovering new layers of a deceased parent, recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship, single parenthood, and family ties.
With secrets, romance, and a dash of culinary magic, this charming tale will leave you craving for more. My only complaint is that Iris kept the secret for a little too long. #gifted
When two women are in the hospital in labor and there is one huge cash prize for the first baby born in 1990, one child will be born into a charmed life and the other will be named Minnie Cooper.
This book is a perfect book about New Year’s Eve from our romance books. When Minnie meets Quinn on the eve of their thirtieth birthday, well, it is the meet-cute of the decade. I can see this rom-com on the big screen and would love every second. This is an enemies-to-lovers book at its best and is a must for anyone searching for the perfect holiday book.
What a cute story. Taking place at a dated luxury hotel at Christmas time and culminating with a Year Year’s Eve ball, there is an abundance of antics afoot. Jewel thieves, ghosts, kid-nappers, back-door dealings, and teenage drama fill this wonderful holiday book.
This young adult Christmas book is an adorable read for the holiday season and a perfect feel-good book as well. If you are looking for books about New Year’s Eve, this is an adorable pick.
Frankie and Ezra were inseparable during college and it all ended in an epic breakup a decade ago. Now, they are seeing each other for the first time since at their friends’ New Year’s Eve of Y2K wedding.
When they wake up in bed together with wedding rings on their fingers and NO memory of what happened, they find themselves in search of answers. And all this has to happen before Ezra’s girlfriend shows up at the wedding because Ezra is planning on proposing.
This romance music book is a hilarious glimpse into the past and an adorable romance on this list of New Year’s Eve books as well.
For more NYE books, this is the list for you!
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