Reading Holiday Stories

Over the past month, I have been reading stories set during the holidays. A light read with a Christmas theme is fun this time of year. Many of these are shorter novellas with feel-good endings, and isn’t that the perfect thing for the holiday season? This month, all of the books are recommended, not a bad one in the bunch. Amazon links are provided for you to read publisher synopses, thank you for using my links when you can. Here we go!

Christmas at Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball is a delightful holiday novella you can finish in just a couple of days, or even in one sitting. It is the hottest Christmas eve on record, and the plans are in full swing as the characters we’ve come to know once again bite off more than they can chew. A near disaster for Noah, and a Christmas tree on fire in the house sets off the events triggering memories of Christmases past. Short vignettes of those memories sprinkle through the story, and the last half of the book is filled with comfort food recipes. A fun read for the holidays.

Christmas at the Hummingbird House by Donna Ball – It is Paul and Derrick’s first Christmas offering at their new bed and breakfast, and they want it done right. But the collection of people who check in will give these two inn keepers a challenging time to maintain the holiday spirit in the elegant way they envision. Funny and heartwarming, an easy reading novella with a bit of Christmas magic thrown in.

The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini – The discovery of an unfinished Christmas quilt leads to memories of the past as Sylvia and Sarah come to terms with their own troubles. The timeline of this book falls right after the first book in the series, when the quilt retreat has had its first summer season, and the house is empty for the holidays. Sweetly sad in a way, but through the story we get to know our friends at Elm Creek Quilts a bit more.

Christmas at Timberwoods by Fern Michaels – This was a nice surprise, a mystery novel about the race to fend off a bomber at a huge shopping mall at Christmastime. With an indoor parade and huge store sales bringing record numbers of people to the gigantic mall, threatening letters and a strange girl’s premonition bring the security division in conflict with the mall owner and shopkeepers who want the mall to stay open at the busiest and most profitable time of year. Well written and interesting story.

Candlelight Christmas by Susan Wiggs – A sweet Hallmark movie of a novel, this one is a bit of holiday romance. Normally I don’t go for romance novels, but somehow they seem like just the right thing at Christmas. This one is told from the point of view of the guy for a change, a single father sharing custody of his young son with his ex. I haven’t read the other books of this series which focus on single dad Logan and his domineering father, but this one does work as a stand alone. There is a bit more depth in this book than one would expect with a romance novel with some family issues. Overall an enjoyable book.

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews – Gotta love a holiday story set in the North Carolina mountains. A woman on the heels of a messy divorce buys a broken down farmhouse in a small town, still full of old furniture and boxes. When she finds a Santa Suit with a note in the pocket, she has a little mystery to solve. This makes for a fun story with the usual holiday mishaps, a bit of romance, and everything neatly tied up at the end in a surprising way. Very enjoyable.

Have you ever read the original Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens? The written story is only 58 pages long, much shorter than you’d think. If you’ve only ever seen one of the several movies made, there are some differences between the movies and the novella.

In the book, Ebenezer is older than his sister, and the cause of his mother’s absence is not explained. The description of the Ghost of Christmas Past varies just a bit from the screen versions, and the Ghost of Christmas Future has more scenes to show Scrooge. Overall, it is a fun read for the holidays. I have a leather bound book of several Dickens tales, and I have plans to read some classics next year. I planned to do that last year too and didn’t get to it. So many books!

A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg – This little hardback is a poem that can be read in five minutes then mused on for hours. It celebrates the older people in our lives and keeping connections with family. It is a nice idea for a small hostess gift, to set on a coffee table for the season.

What are you reading now? Do you enjoy stories set during the holiday season?

15 thoughts on “Reading Holiday Stories

  1. Sandra Kendrick

    I always make it a point to pick up the new Richard Paul Evans Christmas Book. It all started back in 1993 with the Christmas Box.

  2. Charleen

    Ypur list is intriguing, sparking an interest in reading your suggestions. I am currently slogging my way through Red Island House set in Madagasar (where I lived for 4 plus years) with some history of the beautiful red island thrown in. It feels forced so I’m not enjoying it. Ever have a read like this?

  3. karenfae

    My library had the Fern Michaels books so I checked that one out and put the Susan Wiggs on hold- thanks for the recommendations – too bad neither had an audio version right now

  4. Sandra B

    Thanks for the great list of Christmas themed books! I love reading during the holidays ….. it gives me a nice break from all the hustle and bustle….
    I love The Christmas Quilt…and have been reading it annually, over the Thanksgiving weekend, for many years. Just like watching White Christmas every year, reading The Christmas Quilt has become a tradition!

  5. This looks like a great bunch of books – thanks for all the recommendations! I’ll have to look for them at the library. My dad used to always read us the original Dickens’ Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve. My book club read The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith for our November meeting, and it was a good one.

  6. Joan Sheppard

    Oh thank you. There are so many holiday books out there – thanks for sifting through and finding the good ones! Love to read them in the summer when I’m melting – good reminder that “this too shall pass!”

  7. Thanks for the reminder, I have intended to read Dickens the last couple of years and forgotten! I have Deb MaCombers new Christmas novel that I saw at the library, but haven’t started it yet. Those are usually feel good, so I thought it would be a fun weekend read. I read the Elm Street book last year, and enjoyed it!

  8. Kathleen M Cuilan

    Hi Carole.
    I have to tell that I had to laugh a little when I saw your blog on reading Christmas novels. I have never been a Hallmark Christmas kind of gal. But in the past 2 weeks, I have savored every night watching at least one Christmasey movie, whether adult themed or kid themed. Maybe it’s my age or nostalgia, but I am loving it.
    I’ll definitely read some of these interesting Christmas books you’ve talked about! Cheers to the Holidays!

  9. Arlene Reed

    OMG I knew we were sisters fm a different mother. I have read The
    Christmas Quilt. Currently have Round Robin, The Quilters Legacy, the Runaway Quilt and many others. I bought a whole bunch fm a lady when I lived in FL. As I read them I passed them on. I have also picked up this similar author Emilie Richard’s Sisters choice and Lovers knot. I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only one who knows about Jennifer Chiaverini.

  10. Thank you for this list! I was alerted by Diann at Little Penguin Quilts. I love a good Christmas read, in spite of the fact it will be 80 degrees here in north Texas today!

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