15 Books Guaranteed To Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Christmas Memories in Library
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

We always know when it's time to hang the garlands and light the sparklers, but while sometimes the festive mood arrives unbidden, other times it needs some coaxing. Whether you're looking for something to read during the holidays or are craving an uplifting read in the middle of the summer swelter, you can find a dose of festive spirit on your bookshelf. We've put together a list of books that never fail to get us in the holiday mood. From classic collections to new novels, you can read these books any time of year to get into a celebratory mindset. They'll tide you over until the season arrives and add a bit of sparkle to your reading hour.

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Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

Blue Christmas

Favorite characters from Mary Kay Andrews novels come together during the holidays in Blue Christmas, which includes some holiday recipes too.

02 of 15

Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson


Award-winning writer Jeanette Winterson collects her holiday stories (and a few recipes) in this compilation of seasonal tales.

03 of 15

Christmas Is Coming: Traditions from Around the World by Monika Utnik


The whole family will enjoy reading this book, a collection of holiday traditions, stories, and celebrations from around the world.

04 of 15

The New Year's Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini


Quilters who mark the coming of the holiday season and the New Year with storytelling and craftsmanship are the main characters of this novel by Jennifer Chiaverini.

05 of 15

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris


David Sedaris's hallmark humor is on show in this collection of stories about holiday hijinks from his Christmases past.

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The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

A love story is at the heart of this novel about a writer looking for inspiration at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration held on the last night of Hanukkah.

07 of 15

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci


David Baldacci's The Christmas Train, a beloved holiday story about a journalist on a cross-country journey, was told in novel form before becoming a 2017 Hallmark movie of the same name.

08 of 15

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli

This holiday romance is set in India during Diwali and finds the main character embracing spontaneity and finding love in the unexpected.

09 of 15

A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories, ed. Bettye Collier-Thomas


This collection includes Christmas stories written by African American journalists and authors published in periodicals and newspapers from the late 1800s to the 1950s.

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Christmas in London by Anita Hughes


There's nowhere like London during the holidays, and Anita Hughes's holiday novel tells a love story set in the starry city.

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The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

Identical twins who are desperate for change swap places and look for ways to get their lives back on track in this holiday-set novel by Maggie Knox.

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The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans


A Christmas love story is at the heart of this Richard Paul Evans novel which was recently made into a Hallmark movie.

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Always, in December by Emily Stone

Always, in December by Emily Stone

An unexpected collision in London leads to a year of unexpected encounters in this love story, which is bookended by Christmas seasons.

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The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo


This winter young adult romance is set at an inn, once the setting for a popular holiday film, and tells the story of two rivals thrown together during a school break.

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Dear Santa by Debbie Macomber


Holiday wishes and letters to Santa feature in this Christmastime story by Debbie Macomber.

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