The best new Christmas-themed books for your holiday reading
The dark days of winter will be here soon, and it's the perfect time to start hunting for holiday gifts. For book lovers looking forward to Christmas, the season ushers in a new crop of heartwarming festive tales. Whether you're looking for a charming holiday gift for a bibliophile or satisfying your need for a feel-good Christmas tale, there is a bevy of festive releases this year.
Here are some top picks for Christmas-themed books:
"You're a Mean One, Matthew Prince" by Timothy Janovsky (Oct. 4, 2022)
This new LGBTQ adult romance is funny, heart-warming, and perfect for fans of Schitt's Creek. Timothy Janovsky's You're a Mean One Matthew Prince stars Matthew, a young, wealthy, and spoiled man. His family is growing weary of his highly publicized antics, and after another PR disaster, they reach their breaking point. Prince is cut off and shipped off to his grandparents in a small town called Wind River for the holidays.
Prince struggles to fit into the festive vibes, especially when dealing with a local college student, Hector Martinez. Even the infectious spirit of the holidays can't help the two get along until they're forced to work together for a charity Christmas gala. Eventually, Prince begins to fall in love, as even he can't resist the power of Christmas cheer. Publisher's Weekly calls the novel "a sweet romance that's sure to put readers in the holiday spirit." It's the perfect book for anyone looking for a twist on the typical Christmas romance.
"Kiss Her Once for Me" by Alison Cochrun (Nov. 1, 2022)
Multiple outlets call this new novel by The Charm Offensive author Alison Cochrun the best new holiday romance this Christmas season. Kiss Her Once For Me focuses on Ellie, a woman grappling to get her life back together after a failed romantic encounter with a mysterious woman the previous Christmas.
Ellie struggles to keep up with her rent until her landlord drunkenly proposes a fake marriage for a share of his inheritance. He takes her home to meet his family for the holidays, and Ellie is ready to keep the ruse going until she meets his sister. She turns out to be Jack, the woman Ellie fell in love with last Christmas. Now, Ellie is stuck in a love triangle. Will she choose another chance at love or stick to the plan for financial gain? Amazon says this cheeky romantic comedy is perfect for fans of Written in the Stars and One Day in December.
"The Christmas Wish" by Lindsey Kelk (Nov 15., 2022)
Christmas is a joyous occasion for many, but reliving it over and over could quickly be a nightmare. This novel is perfect for book fans looking for a Christmas read in the fantasy genre. The Christmas Wish by award-winning author Lindsey Kelk combines the joys of Christmas romance with the quirky hijinks of Groundhog Day. Lawyer Gwen Baker hopes a trip to her family home for Christmas will soothe her after a breakup.
Everyone, including her old crush Dev, seems to have their lives together. Her family has a Christmas wish tradition, which turns out to be more magical this year than Gwen anticipates. Gwen wakes up, and it's Christmas all over again! Now she's stuck in a loop of reliving family squabbles over turkey dinner. Getting to spend time with her childhood crush may be the only silver lining, but how can she fall in love with someone who forgets her every day? Gwen's journey to find a way out leads her to life lessons about family, friendship, and love.
"Just Like Magic" by Sarah Hogle
For another whimsical yuletide twist on fantasy, check out Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle. Bettie Hughes is dreading her family's upcoming Christmas dinner. She'd rather avoid it altogether if it meant she wouldn't have to answer their prodding questions. They have no idea that she's no longer living the luxurious life of a celebrity she posts on her social media. The struggling superstar is squatting in Colorado, barely holding it together.
When she accidentally plays a vinyl of Mariah Carey's classic, "All I Want for Christmas is You," she unleashes Hall, a personification of the Christmas spirit. He intends to help her navigate reconnecting with her estranged family and find a way to let the joy of the season in. When their interaction takes a romantic turn, things get complicated. If Hall gets Bettie to feel enough cheer, he'll have to return to the holiday spirit realm.
The Christmas Princess by Mariah Carey and Michaela Angela Davis; illustrated by Fuuji Takashi (Nov. 1, 2022)
Speaking of the self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey is adding a new children's book to her Christmas repertoire. Carey worked with Michaela Angela Davis to pen The Christmas Princess. The heartwarming modern- fairytale follows none other than Little Mariah as she tries to fulfill her holiday wishes. All she wants for Christmas is a cheerful, peaceful holiday. Little Mariah embarks on a joyful journey through a winter wonderland to find a way to cure her loneliness. Ultimately, she learns a lesson about using her voice to spread the holiday cheer she longs for.
Carey and Davis weave her unique flair for Christmas music with an endearing story and adorable illustrations by Fuuji Takashi. This book is perfect for small children and nicely complements other classic festive tales.
YA Christmas books
Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany B. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon (Nov. 8, 2022)
Some of the top names in Young Adult fiction come together for this teenage Christmas romance. Whiteout is another collaboration from the team that wrote the New York Times bestseller, Blackout. Both books are a collaborative ode to young Black love. Their second novel is set during a rare snowstorm that has hit Atlanta, and a group of teenagers is on a mission to help their friends get back together. The book features multiple interconnected love stories that happen throughout the same night. Each is unique and a heartwarming exploration of love in the holiday season. This cozy YA romance is a great option for teenage fans of the group's first novel or those looking for a new winter read.
"The Christmas Clash" by Suzanne Park (Oct. 4, 2022)
This story takes the classic Romeo and Juliet trope and makes it Christmas-themed. The book balances both characters' perspectives with heartwarming, hilarious dialogue. Teen romance fans will love The Christmas Clash, Suzanne Park's festive take on the Shakespeare classic. Publishers Weekly calls the novel "an upbeat homage to nostalgic 'suburban mall culture.'"
The families of Korean American Chloe Kwon and Chinese American Peter Li have always had a fierce rivalry. The two families run competing food stalls in a Tennessee mall food court. Tensions run higher when Chloe and Peter get seasonal jobs at competing holiday attractions at the mall. Chloe is taking photographs with the mall Santa, while Peter works at the virtual reality sleigh ride.
Their commitment to their rivalry is tested when news emerges that the mall is planning to close. The pair decide to put their differences aside to save their family businesses. As the duo works together to help their parents and other business owners, they develop a friendship. The more time they spend together, the harder it is to hold on to old grievances as romantic sparks begin to fly. Will this new relationship lead to a Christmas miracle?
"A Murder at Balmoral" by Chris McGeorge (Oct. 25, 2022)
Amazon says the vibe of this Christmas murder mystery is "The Crown meets Clue." If you're looking for something different than the usual jolly holiday atmosphere, A Murder at Balmoral by Chris McGeorge is worth checking out. It's the perfect stocking stuffer for book lovers who get into thrillers.
The royal family is gathered for the holidays at their Scottish retreat, Balmoral castle. On Christmas day, the king suddenly dies from suspicious poisoning. The only people on the castle grounds at the time are the king's family, the head of security, and his private chef Johnathan. Now Jonathan is tasked with figuring out why someone close to the king would want him dead. Everyone's a suspect in this who-dun-it, in this spinetingling yuletide mystery.
"Blackmail and Bibingka" by Mia P. Manansala (Oct. 4, 2022)
Finally, we have, Blackmail and Bibingka, the third book in Mia P. Manansala's Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery series. Another murder mystery that takes place during the holiday season, it is a perfect read for a chilly winter night. Inspired by her Filipino heritage, Manansala offers this gripping Christmas thriller filled with lovable characters and hilarious holiday antics.
Lila Macapagal is having a hard time enjoying Christmas in Shady Palms. Her new business, the Brew-ha Cafe, is doing well, and so is her new romantic relationship with Jae Paek. But an unexpected visit from her cousin Ronnie seems to suck all the jolly feelings out of the holiday. Tita Rosie is happy her son is back, but Lila is weary of her trouble-making cousin. Her intuition proves correct when Ronnie becomes a suspect in a murder. Now Lila has to put her feelings aside to help Ronnie. After all, he's still family.