Christmas Book Recommendations!

Today I wanted to share a selection of Christmas books that I’ve read and reviewed in recent years.

 

If you’re running short on time and want to fab festive read then I can recommend the following novellas and short stories:

The Christmas Spirit by Susan Buchanan

This is a lovely novella set in the four weeks running up to Christmas. It is magical and sweet and really makes you feel festive! My review is here.

Merry Mistletoe by Emma Davies

This is another beautiful novella set in the weeks running up to Christmas. It’s such a stunning book that I found immensely comforting and it’s a story that has really stayed with me. My review is here.

 

Christmas Spirit by Nicola May

Christmas Spirit is a beautiful, romantic and heart-warming novella and I highly recommend you grab a copy to read over Christmas! My review is here.

The Boy Under the Mistletoe by Katey Lovell

If you’re really, really short on time but want a cute Christmas read then this is the story for you. It’s part of the Meet Cute series and it will warm your heart. It’s the perfect read to escape into during a coffee break! My review is here.

 

If you have time to read a novel (or two or three…) over the festive period then I recommend all the following books:

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

This is a gorgeous novel set in New York in the run up to Christmas. It has echoes of A Christmas Carol running through it and it’s a wonderful festive novel. My review is here.

How To Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake

This is such a fun read that is perfect to read around Christmas-time. It is full of friendships and romance and recipes (some more successful than others!)! My review is here.

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale

This is a lovely romantic novel set in the lead up to Christmas. Interior designer Abby gets a job decorating Nick’s family home and things go from there. It’s really Christmassy and I very much enjoyed it. This has now been made into a film and I loved that too! My review is here.

Every Time A Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington

This is a a really gorgeous novel based on the ideas from It’s A Wonderful Life and I adored it. It really encapsulates so much of what Christmas is and the emotions it brings up. I love this book! My review is here.

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce

This is such a brilliant Christmas novel. A married couple, Judy and Calvin, each feels that the other has the easier time of it so wish to switch lives in the run up to Christmas. One morning they wake up in each other’s bodies and fun ensues as they try to navigate their new roles! This is a really fun festive novel and I really want to re-read it! My review is here.

Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel by Karen King

This is such a lovely festive novel that really does capture Christmas spirit. It is one that I loved last year and I plan on reading it again in the years to come. My review is here.

What Happens At Christmas by T. A. Williams

This novel has everything you could possibly want in a Christmas story! It’s set at Christmas, it’s in a gorgeous location, it’s heart-breaking but more so it’s heart-warming, it has romance, it has crackly log fires, and it has snow! My review is here.

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

This novel won’t fail to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. It’s just a gorgeous Christmas novel that will give you butterflies and will warm your heart. My review is here.

Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler

Christmas Camp is a really festive, feel-good novel and I highly recommend it. This is going on my list of books that I’ll read again in future at this time of year! My review is here.

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

I highly recommend this book, it’s wonderful. It’s one of those books that you can curl up with on a cold day and just escape, and when you’ve finished reading you feel all content and warm and smiley. My review is here.

Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

This is a very funny and highly entertaining novel that will have you laughing out loud from the very first page! It’s also full of Christmas romance and just so gorgeous – you will not be able to put this book down! My review is here.

Snowday by B. R. Maycock

Snowday is a really engaging, fun read that shows the reality of life but with a fab dose of humour too. It’s such a gorgeous, wintery read and I absolutely loved it! I highly recommend adding this to your festive reading lists. My review is here.

The Snowman by Michael Morpurgo

This is such a lovely, magical book and I would have loved to have had this when I was a child. It’s always a bit of a worry when someone writes a variant of an old favourite but Morpurgo has been so respectful of the original story and this stands alongside it as an extra Snowman story that is just as wonderful. A gorgeous, magical and nostalgic read! My review is here.

And finally here are reviews of four of my favourite Christmas reads from this year.

One Week ‘Til Christmas by Belinda Missen

One Week ‘Til Christmas is a gorgeous, romantic read that will really get you in the festive spirit! I adored this book and I will definitely re-read it over Christmases to come. My review is here.

The Christmas Wish List by Heidi Swain

The Christmas Wish List is a very special festive book, one that has stolen a piece of my heart. It is firmly going on my shelf of treasured Christmas books that I try to read every year. I highly recommend this one – it’s truly gorgeous! My review is here.

One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster

This book has sadness and difficult times but it’s still the most gorgeous and festive novel. It’s full of forgiveness and finding solace, it’s about making new memories and finding ways to move on while still remembering what came before. It really does capture the spirit of Christmas and it really is the most beautiful book! I’ll definitely be re-reading it over Christmases to come! I can’t recommend it highly enough! My review is here.

The Other Side of Christmas by Sharon Booth

The Other Side of Christmas really is such a gorgeous festive read, it is the perfect length for the story being told and it leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. My review is here.

 

#BookReview: Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler @KarenSchaler @PiatkusBooks #ChristmasCamp

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About the Book

Haley ‘the Grinch’ Hanson’s idea of the perfect Christmas is escaping into work and avoiding all the traditional distractions. Over the years, she’s sacrificed her personal life to climb the ladder at a prestigious advertising agency. Now she just needs to land a coveted Christmas toy company account to make partner. But first, her boss thinks she needs a holiday attitude adjustment, so he ships her off to Christmas Camp – a mountainside retreat promising to revitalise even the most determined Scrooge’s festive spirit.

Arriving reluctantly at the snowy inn, Haley meets the owner’s handsome son, Jeff, and feels an instant spark. Yet despite the attraction, she’s determined to ‘graduate’ camp as fast as possible so she can get back to work.

But it’s impossible to resist the charm of the season and soon even Haley starts to live in the moment, growing ever closer to Jeff. Although when he discovers she’s been conspiring with his dad to defeat Jeff’s plans for the future, it will take all the magic of Christmas to bring these two hearts together . . .

My Thoughts

I couldn’t resist looking at the Christmas novels on NetGalley recently and found myself downloading a few. Christmas Camp was the one that called to me the most due to the gorgeous, snowy cover and I’m so happy to say that the novel is every bit as fabulous as it looks!

Haley is a workaholic and is something of a grinch, she has zero Christmas spirit but is vying for a partnership in her firm and this means winning a lucrative toy campaign requiring lots of Christmas joy. Her boss decides that the things she needs is a week at Christmas Camp to find her Christmas spirit and Haley has no option but to go.

I loved this novel so much! It’s set in the week before Christmas and is full of festive spirit. I get so disappointed when a novel is marketed as a Christmas read but you really only get Christmas at the very end of the book but I’m so delighted that Christmas camp has all the Christmas you could possibly want from start to finish!

Haley is determined to get through the activities as quickly as possible each day so that she can return to her room to get on with her presentation but the adorable Max the dog has other ideas! He latches on to Haley right away and is determined to get her involved. I loved Max so much, he’s made me want to get a dog. He really is a character!

The Camp activities include things like making cookies, going sledging, cutting down a Christmas tree – everything you can think of that relates to celebrating Christmas. I’ve always adored the festive period and still I want to go to this Camp, it just sounds so magical and wonderful!

There is a potential romance in this book between Haley and the owner’s son but the path of true love doesn’t run smoothly for these two and I was never quite sure if they’d ever manage to get things worked out so they could be together. I enjoyed these parts of the novel but especially the way that it was more about Haley working out her own life and what she wanted rather than her bending her will to be what a man wanted her to be.

There is real heart in this book; it explores so many of the complicated emotions that always come with the festive time of year and does it in a way that is really genuine but also always uplifting. I shed a few tears reading this book but ultimately I finished it with a great big happy smile on my face!

Christmas Camp is a really festive, feel-good novel and I highly recommend it. This is going on my list of books that I’ll read again in future at this time of year!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

Christmas Camp is out now and available here.

About the Author

Karen Schaler is a three-time Emmy Award–winning storyteller, author, screenwriter, journalist and national TV host. She has written original screenplays for Netflix and Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies. Her travels to more than sixty-five countries as the creator and host of Travel Therapy TV inspired Christmas Camp. All of Karen’s stories are uplifting, filled with heart and hope.

This Week in Books (21 Nov 2018)! What are you reading at the moment? #TWiB

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Today I’m taking in part in This Week in Books, which was started by Lipsyy Lost and Found! If you want to join in you just need to share what you’re reading now, what you’ve read over the last week, and what you hope to read next.

 

I’ve had a brilliant week of reading so I’m hoping the week ahead will bring more of the same!

Now

The Christmas Spirit by Susan Buchanan

This is my latest festive read and I’m really enjoying it.

Fukushima Dreams by Zelda Rhiando

I started reading this last night and it’s such a beautifully written book. It’s set in the aftermath of the horrendous tsunami in Japan a few years ago and follows a man and woman who have become separated from each other. It’s very dream-like and so good.

Twenty-Six Seconds by Alexandra Zapruder

This is another one of my picks for non-fiction November and I’m so glad I was able to pick it up this week. I started reading this yesterday and I’m three chapters in. It’s such a fascinating read, I had no idea what it was like for the Zapruder family living with the burden of the footage taken of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The Upstarts by Brad Stone

This is also on my non-fiction November TBR as my audio book choice. It’s an interesting book to listen to and I’m enjoying finding out more about how Air BnB and Uber came to be.

 

Then 

Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler

This is a gorgeous festive read and I really enjoyed it. I do love when a Christmas book is full of the joys of the season so this was a lovely read. I’ll be reviewing it soon.

Bouncing Back with a Bang by Geraldine Ward

This is a powerful and moving poetry collection that I very much enjoyed. I reviewed it yesterday so you can read more of my thoughts on it here if you’d like to.

The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983 – 1992 by Tina Brown

This was a non-fiction November pick and I’m really glad to have got it read this month as it’d been on my TBR for almost a year. It was enjoyable in places but particularly in the early part of the diary there were so many people that I had no idea about that it was a bit over my head. I’m in the middle of writing a review so my full thoughts will be posted soon.

No Such Thing as Society: A History of Britain in the 1980s by Andy McSmith

This is a non-fiction book about the 80s and I very much enjoyed it. A lot of things I already knew but this book helps put things into context that gave me new insight into some of the things that happened in the 80s. It’s a really accessible book and I recommend it.

The Present by DS Devlin

This is a crime fiction novel set near Christmas and while I really enjoyed the opening chapters, it did all fall a little flat for me after that. It was a fast read but it was missing something for me. I’ll be reviewing this at some point.

The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

I had an ARC of this on my TBR but spotted the audio book on my audio subscription service so I half read and half listened to this. It’s the first Poirot novel that I’ve read by Sophie Hannah and I enjoyed it so I’ll definitely be looking out for the previous ones by her. I hope to get my review of this posted soon too.

I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller

I was looking for something light to listen to this week and this book caught my eye. I loved Friends back in the day and I’m now enjoying watching the repeats on Channel 5. This was a fun listen and I found out some things I didn’t know, and it was nice to think back over favourite episodes. I recommend this if you’re a Friends fan.

The List That Changed My life by Olivia Beirne

I loved this book. It was heart-warming and life-affirming and it was just a gorgeous book. I’ll be reviewing this for the blog tour next week so look out for that on Tuesday.

 

Next

Snowday by B R Maycock

I’m so looking forward to reading this winter read. It sounds like a gorgeous book to curl up with on a cold snowy afternoon so this is the week for this one!

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

I was so excited when a proof copy of this arrived recently and I can’t wait any longer to start reading it! It feels like another perfect book for curling up in the chair with on a cold wintery day.

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

I’ve had this on my TBR since it was published earlier this year and I’m just in the mood to read it so hopefully I’ll get to this one in the coming week.

Mansfield and Me by Sarah Laing

This book is on my non-fiction November TBR and I’d really like to read it soon. It’s been a while since I read a graphic novel so this should be a lovely change.

 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in This Week in Books or WWW Wednesday please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂