5 Holiday Books to Add to Your Holiday Reading List
by Sara Voigt (@meaningfulmadness)
You know I am ALWAYS anxiously awaiting holiday reading season, and this year is no different! I am so excited to talk to you about several books I think you will love if you are into incorporating festive reads into your holiday season.
Maggie Knox's The Holiday Swap (Amazon | Bookshop.org)
From the publisher:
"When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the LA set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell — both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie's identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family's bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won't get the memo that they're over.
"With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven't done since they were kids: Switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins' identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?"
Why should you read it? This delightful holiday tale about identical twins is easy, breezy, and a lot of fun. Knox uses a common trope (switching identities) to tell fun holiday tale.
Gretchen Anthony's Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners (Amazon | Bookshop.org)
From the publisher:
"Dearest loved ones, far and near - evergreen tidings from the Baumgartners!
"Violet Baumgartner has opened her annual holiday letter the same way for the past three decades. And this year she's going to throw her husband, Ed, a truly perfect retirement party, one worthy of memorializing in her upcoming letter. But the event becomes a disaster when, in front of two hundred guests, Violet learns her daughter Cerise has been keeping a shocking secret from her, shattering Violet's carefully constructed world.
"In an epic battle of wills, Violet goes to increasing lengths to wrest back control of her family, infuriating Cerise and snaring their family and friends in a very un-Midwestern, un-Baumgartner gyre of dramatics. And there will be no explaining away the consequences in this year's Baumgartner holiday letter….
"Full of humor, emotion and surprises at every turn, Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners brings to life a remarkable cast of quirky, deeply human characters who must learn to adapt to the unconventional, or else risk losing one another. This is the story of a family falling to pieces - and the unexpected way they put it all back together."
Why should you read it? Family can be complicated. Am I right? Anthony's store about the Baumgartner family is complicated and hilarious. There is even a tiny mystery woven in. (We talked about this one on episode 50.)
Jenny Bayliss's The Twelve Dates of Christmas (Amazon | Bookshop.org)
From the publisher:
"When it comes to relationships, 34-year-old Kate Turner is ready to say 'Bah, humbug'. The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn't exactly brimming with prospects, and anyway, Kate's found fulfillment in her career as a designer and in her delicious side job baking for her old friend Matt's neighborhood café. But then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. Twenty-three days until Christmas. Twelve dates with 12 different men. The odds must finally be in her favor...right?
"Yet with each new date more disastrous than the one before - and the whole town keeping tabs on her misadventures - Kate must remind herself that sometimes love, like mistletoe, shows up where it's least expected. And maybe, just maybe, it's been right under her nose all along...."
Why should you read it? Holiday fun in England. Food descriptions galore. AND a fun premise to boot. Read my review here.
Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb's Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I (Amazon | Bookshop.org)
From the publisher:
"August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes - as everyone does - that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafés of Paris.
But as history tells us, it all happened so differently....
"Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict - but how? - and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war, he also faces personal battles back home, where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father's newspaper business. Through their letters Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears - and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?
"Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris - a cherished packet of letters in hand - determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him."
Why should you read it? If you like historical fiction this epistolary novel is for you. The righting team of Gaynor and Webb weaves together a compelling story about love, loss, and the things that bind us. (We discussed this book on episode 102.)
Jenny Colgan's The Christmas Bookshop (Amazon | Bookshop.org)
From the publisher:
"Laid off from her department store job, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. The prospect of spending Christmas with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered yuppie life, does not appeal.
"Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want her prickly sister Carmen there either. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs help revitalizing his shabby old bookshop. So Carmen moves in and takes the job.
"Thrown rather suddenly into the inner workings of Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the picturesque streets of historic Edinburgh, Carmen is intrigued despite herself. The store is dusty and disorganized but undeniably charming. Can she breathe some new life into it in time for Christmas shopping? What will happen when a famous and charismatic author takes a sudden interest in the bookshop - and Carmen? And will the Christmas spirit be enough to help heal her fractured family?"
Why should you read it? This brand new novel (coming out mid-month) is from wildly popular writer, Jenny Colgan. And also the word "bookstore" is in the title. No brainer.
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