Seasonal Reading: The Best Books For The Holiday Season

I challenge you to think of something better than a chilly December day, Christmas lights on, a hot Starbucks holiday drink in hand, and cracking open a good holiday book. You literally can’t think of a better day because there is nothing that tops that. There is just something so cozy and relaxing about reading holiday books on a cold day. It doesn’t need to be snowing or anything but just knowing it’s cold outside and you are inside all curled up just hits! 

I personally have a long list of holiday books I want to read. Every year new ones come out and there’s only so much time in December to read them so the list keeps growing. I wanted to share some of the ones I consider must-read either because I’ve read them and loved them or because I’m just SO excited to read them.

So, if you have been looking for the perfect holiday book to read this Christmas season, I got you. Check out my must-read books for this holiday season. 

Cute little holiday romances 

This might be the biggest category of books on this list because well, I love a good holiday romance (and I think you do too). I’m currently reading Christmas at the Chateau so let’s start there…

Christmas at the Chateau by Annabel French

Naomi just went through a divorce that wasn’t so pleasant and just isn’t feeling in the Christmas spirit. Her friend invites her to her father’s chateau in Switzerland where she sees her friend’s big brother for the first time in 15 years. 

Vibes: snowy Alps, sunshine girl and grumpy love interest, feel-good story 

Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison 

Stella wants to save her family’s Christmas tree farm so she enters a contest with an Instagram Influencer. However, she lied on her application saying she owns the farm with her boyfriend to make it seem more romantic (surprise: she doesn’t have a boyfriend). So she has to enlist her best friend to act like her boyfriend for the contest. 

Vibes: family farm, fake dating, best friends to lovers 

Along Came Holly by Codi Hall

** This is awesome on audio and is an audible original 

Holly is the Queen of Christmas. Holly owns the merriest shop in town and is hoping to win this year’s Festival of Lights. Everything goes wrong though and she has to ask the towns scrooge for help. As Holly and Declan work together, they slowly start to warm up to each other. They say Christmas is a time for miracles. 

Vibes: small town, enemies to lovers, festive feels 

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy 

Bee Hobs is an adult film star. However, her agent casts her in a new holiday rom-com movie set for a very clean and family-friendly audience. While she tries to keep her other identity under wraps she is recognized by her co-star, Nolan Shaw (an ex-boy band member and Bee’s childhood crush). As they try to keep their new relationship a secret they are found out by the same reporter who tried to ruin Nolan’s career. 

Vibes: inclusive characters, meet cute romance, secret relationship 

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox 

Twins decide to switch places to help each other with work (one as a cooking show judge and the other running the family bakery). This becomes much harder when two attractive men get involved. Can they get their lives back on track before the holidays? 

Vibes: cooking/baking, romantic comedy, Hallmark movie feels

Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey 

Melody is the daughter of music royalty. One day a producer offers Melody a lot of money to get her mom’s band back together for a live TV performance. Beat is the lead singer’s son. When Melody and Beat met as teenagers there was a spark but now, they have to work together to get their moms back together in time for Christmas Eve despite all the odds. 

Vibes: famous parents, insta love, christmassy rom-com 

Faking Christmas by Cindy Steel 

One little white lie is all it took to be fake-dating her work nemesis, Miles, on a week trip to Vermont with the family. It started as hate but maybe it’s growing into something else because she realizes that Miles is the only one she can’t fool. 

Vibes: fake dating, enemies to lovers, teacher main characters

Snowed In for Christmas by Jaqueline Snowe

Sorority mom Becca is not used to men taking her seriously. With the holidays and a major blizzard coming, she has everything she needs to get through the next couple of weeks alone. When the power goes out though and the grumpy football coach offers her shelter, she accepts. What will they do while they wait out the blizzard? Becca knows Harrison isn’t the dating type so maybe they are just playing with fire? 

Vibes: opposites attract, grumpy sunshine, steamy romance

The Winter We Met by Samantha Tonge 

Nik and Jess met on an airplane and felt a connection. She decides to invite him to visit and they take in the delight of the toy store where Jess works. She sadly learns that her grandmother’s care home is closing down so she decides to find her a new home and host an awesome Christmas party. With Nik’s help, they work together to make her plans happen. 

Vibes: meet cute, cozy romance, loving characters 

General fiction holiday books

I like a good contemporary fiction or just a story that isn’t totally focused on romance all the time. Something that gives you those cozy, fuzzy feelings and good vibes. Or something that can make me laugh! So here are few general fiction books for the holiday season.

Christmas Shopoholic by Sophie Kinsella

Becky adores Christmas and is gearing up to spend it with her parents as usual. However, Becky’s parents are moving to an ultra-trendy area and asked if Becky could host Christmas this year. With her family’s demands and the resurgence of an old boyfriend, will Becky be able to bring joy to Christmas? 

Vibes: family holiday, Christmas shopping, lighthearted story 

The Christmas Dress by Courtney Cole

Meg returns to Chicago to take over her father’s business (an apartment building) when he passes. Her dreams of getting into fashion are over. She immediately runs into many issues with the tenants but she becomes unlikely friends with an older tenant, Ellie, who is transitioning into a nursing home. Ellie shares her story about her dress and gives it to Meg to wear under one circumstance: she wears it to the building’s Christmas party which leads to the best night of her life. 

Vibes: feel good story, crumbing business to success, non-spicy romance 

The Christmas Orphans Club by Becca Freeman 

Hannah’s parents died and Finn’s disowned him when he came out which left Hannah and Finn to celebrate Christmas together every year since college. But when Finn says he is moving to LA, they realize this Christmas may be their last. 

Vibes: platonic love, non-traditional Christmas story, heartwarming 

Related reads ⬇

Mystery/ Thrillers for Christmas

Maybe you prefer to read something a little more serious or thrilling for the holidays. I love murder mystery’s (especially cozy mystery). Thrillers are also fun to read now and then and there just happens to be some festive ones to check out.

A Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril

Alex and Hannah own a mystery bookshop and are known for selling their poison-themed Killer Chocolates. Before Christmas, Jane, their neighbor tells them that a murderer from a true crime show has moved into the village. Soon after, Alex finds Jane’s body when she arrives at her house to watch a movie. Now, Alex is a suspect in the murder but she maintains her innocence. When Alex finds Jane’s journal she starts to understand the truth but will Alex make it to Christmas? 

Vibes: cozy mystery, small town, bookshop setting 

Sherlock Holmes & the Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove 

1890 – Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are visited in the days before Christmas by a new client who thinks she is being haunted by a Christmas spirit. Her late mother told her terrifying tales and it seems they are coming true. Holmes and Watson go to solve the mystery but it seems more is involved than originally thought. 

Vibes: ghost story, murder mystery, clever banter

One by One by Ruth Ware

Eight co-workers get snowed in at a beautiful rustic mountain chalet and no one can be trusted. Corporate life no longer matters – they need to focus on surviving but how many will be left by Monday morning?

Vibes: locked room mystery, classic murder mystery style, dual POV 

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

A group of friends go on vacation together to ring in the new year as they always have since college. They go to the Scottish Highlands for an idyllic getaway but they end up being hit by a nasty storm, getting sealed away from the rest of the world. Two days later one is dead and the weight of resentments and past issues begins to show. One is dead and one of them did it. 

Vibes: locked room mystery, friend group secrets, snowy winter setting

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

** this is a supernatural horror so keep that in mind lol. 

Victoria has a secret gift for finding things. Charles has a way with children and likes to transport them to an astonishing and terrifying place called Christmasland. One day Victoria meets Charles but manages to escape Christmasland. Now, Victoria tries to forget the trauma but Charles doesn’t forget about the only child who escaped Christmasland. He found his next child, Victoria’s son. 

Vibes: thrilling, big big book, captivating story 

Fantasy holiday reads

My personal favorite genre has to be fantasy. Think books like ACOTAR, Fourth Wing, Kingdom of the Wicked… I just love me some made up worlds and steamy romance what can I say. I hope you find these winter/ Christmas fantasy’s as interesting as I do.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand 

Five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how spoiled and selfish she had become. She didn’t change her ways and then she died. Now she worked for Project Scrooge as a new ghost of Christmas past. She is stuck at seventeen while her family and friends go on without her but this year things will change.

Vibes: funny, sassy main character, a good take on a Christmas classic 

A Court of Sugar and Spice by Rebecca F. Kennedy 

Clara and Louisa can’t have their Inheritance until they marry so they have to live with their godfather, Drosselmeyer. One night they come across a secret wooden doll who is actually a cursed Fae prince. The price begs for the sister’s help and they find themselves going to the Fae realm, meeting handsome Faeries, and dealing with much bigger problems like the Rat King – ruler of the Dread Court.

Vibes: exciting adventure, romantasy, retelling of The Nutcracker

Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis

In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen, but Cassandra never played by the rules. Four months ago Cassandra was betrothed to the love of her life but now she is trapped in a snowbound house party surrounded by annoying men, her frustrating ex-fiancé, and infuriating family members. Meanwhile, a danger lurks outside the manor – a powerful elf-lord is out there and Cassandra has lost her magic. To save herself and everyone else she must find her power within.

Vibes: quick read, historical fantasy, female leadership

Wrapping it up

There are clearly A LOT of Christmas romance books out there but I also wanted to highlight other genres you might not think of when it comes to holiday reading.

While I do enjoy the cute romance books during this time of year they can get a touch repetitive so it’s nice to change things up! Fantasy is a good one for me but I also really want to check out more mystery this year.

Hopefully you find a new holiday book to read this year and please let me know if you read one and what you think.

As always, I hope you’re doing well and enjoying life. Remember to give yourself some rest this Christmas season and curl up with a god book to recharge.

What book sparks your interest the most? Am I missing any good holiday books on this list?

the best reading list for the holidays
festive books for the holiday season

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