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Let’s check out 10 new holiday books to read in 2023!
There’s nothing like the holiday season. I feel like I spend the entire year looking forward to it! Don’t get me wrong, fall is wonderful, spring is lovely and summer is so fun. But once December hits, okay maybe now about mid-November, I’m ready for Christmas season!
Between checking out holiday lights, decorating Christmas trees and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, there’s so much joy in the simple and laid-back activities. And of course, you must add books to the mix!
There’s now so many new holiday books published each year, which is so fun. You have everything from the lighter, Hallmark versions to more heavier subject matters as well. There really is something for everyone and every type of reader.
Also, for more holiday reads, be sure to check out my Christmas book club list for 2023. This features even more new titles plus previously-released books. And bonus, the older titles include my original book club questions!
Let’s get to the 10 new holiday books list!
Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
Mary Kay Andrews is a bestseller author of more than 20 novels. Her writing is so beloved! She’s back with a new Christmas story, Bright Lights, Big Christmas. This is a novella, so a shorter story at about 285 pages, and it features love and second chances during the holiday season. This is definitely a must-read for holiday fiction lovers. Here’s the synopsis:
When fall rolls around, it’s time for Kerry Tolliver to leave her family’s Christmas tree farm in the mountains of North Carolina for the wilds of New York City to help her gruff older brother & his dog, Queenie, sell the trees at the family stand on a corner in Greenwich Village. Sharing a tiny vintage camper and experiencing Manhattan for the first time, Kerry’s ready to try to carve out a new corner for herself.
In the weeks leading into Christmas, Kerry quickly becomes close with the charming neighbors who live near their stand. When an elderly neighbor goes missing, Kerry will need to combine her country know-how with her newly acquired New York knowledge to protect the new friends she’s come to think of as family,
And complicating everything is Patrick, a single dad raising his adorable, dragon-loving son Austin on this quirky block. Kerry and Patrick’s chemistry is undeniable, but what chance does this holiday romance really have?
Three Holidays and a Wedding by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley
I’ve been excited about Three Holidays and a Wedding for quite some time! This multicultural and multi faith story features a massive snowstorm, unlikely friendships, budding romances and more.
The story is co-written by Uzma Jalaluddin, who is the of author of Ayesha at Last and Hana Khan Carries On and Marissa Stapley, who is the New York Times bestselling author of Reese’s Book Club pick Lucky. She has also co-written The Holiday Swap and All I Want for Christmas with bestselling author Karma Brown under the pen name Maggie Knox.
This is definitely one to add to the top of your holiday TBR! Here’s the synopsis:
As strangers and seatmates Maryam Aziz and Anna Gibson fly to Toronto over the holidays—Maryam to her sister’s impromptu wedding, and Anna to meet her boyfriend’s wealthy family for the first time—neither expect that severe turbulence will scare them into confessing their deepest hopes and fears to one another. At least they’ll never see each other again. And the love of Maryam’s life, Saif, wasn’t sitting two rows behind them hearing it all. Oops.
An emergency landing finds Anna, Saif, Maryam, and her sister’s entire bridal party snowbound at the quirky Snow Falls Inn in a picture-perfect town, where fate has Anna’s actor-crush filming a holiday romance. As Maryam finds the courage to open her heart to Saif, and Anna feels the magic of being snowbound with an unexpected new love—both women soon realize there’s no place they’d rather be for the holidays.
The Wishing Bridge by Viola Shipman
Wade Rouse is a popular award-winning memoirist and internationally bestselling author of 12 books. Rouse writes fiction under his grandma’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms inspire his writing. His latest holiday story, The Wishing Bridge, promises to be a heartwarming story about a woman who returns home with a goal in mind: close a business deal. But everything changes, when she once again starts to feel the magic of Christmas.
There’s just something special about these type of holiday stories! Here’s the synopsis:
Once the hottest mergers and acquisitions executive in the company, Henrietta Wegner can see the ambitious and impossibly young up-and-comers gunning for her job. When Henri’s boss makes it clear she’ll be starting the New Year unemployed unless she can close a big deal before the holidays, Henri impulsively tells him that she can convince her aging parents to sell Wegner’s—their iconic Frankenmuth, Michigan, Christmas store—to a massive, soulless corporation. It’s the kind of deal cool, corporate Henri has built her career on.
Home for the holidays has typically meant a perfunctory twenty-four-hour visit for Henri, then back to Detroit as fast as her car will drive her. So turning up at the Wegner’s offices in early December raises some eyebrows: from her delighted, if puzzled, parents to her suspicious brother and curious childhood friends. But as Henri fields impatient texts from her boss while reconnecting with the magic of the store and warmth of her hometown, what sounded great in the boardroom begins to lose its luster in real life. She’s running out of time to pull the trigger on what could be the greatest success of her career…or the most awkward family holiday of her life.
A December to Remember by Jenny Bayliss
A December to Remember follows three estranged half sisters who are reunited after their father passes away. In order to receive their inheritance, they need to go through a series of tasks to wrap up his estate. While it sounds heavy, the story is said to be heartwarming and full of holiday cheer. Here’s the synopsis:
Wildly different half sisters Maggie, Simone, and Star have hardly seen one another since their sprightly summers at Rowan Thorp, their eccentric father Augustus’s home. Known for his bustling approach to the knick-knack shop he ran, Augustus was loved by all and known by none, not even his daughters.
Now, years later, the three estranged women are called upon for the reading of Augustus’s will and quickly realize he’s orchestrated a series of hoops through which they must jump to unlock their inheritance—the last thing any of them want to do. But Maggie and Star desperately need the money. And who would Simone be to resist?
Through hilarious goose chases, small-town mishaps, and one heart-warming winter solstice celebration, love is in the air, if only the three sisters can let themselves grasp it.
Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey
Wreck the Halls is perfect for those who love spicy romances that feature a dash of escapism. The story follows the adult children of two former rock stars who team up to convince their estranged mothers to play a Christmas Eve concert. This holiday-lite story will be full of banter and plenty of steam.
Melody Gallard may be the daughter of music royalty, but her world is far from glamorous. She spends her days restoring old books and avoiding the limelight (one awkward tabloid photo was enough, thanks). But when a producer offers her a lot of money to reunite her mother’s band on live tv, Mel begins to wonder if it’s time to rattle the cage, shake up her quiet life… and see him again. The only other person who could wrangle the rock and roll divas.
Beat Dawkins, the lead singer’s son, is Melody’s opposite—the camera loves him, he could charm the pants off anyone, and his mom is not a potential cult leader. Still, they might have been best friends if not for the legendary feud that broke up the band. When they met as teenagers, Mel felt an instant spark, but it’s nothing compared to the wild, intense attraction that builds as they embark on a madcap mission to convince their mothers to perform one last show.
While dealing with rock star shenanigans, a 24-hour film crew, brawling Santas, and mobs of adoring fans, Mel starts to step out of her comfort zone. With Beat by her side, cheering her on, she’s never felt so understood. But Christmas Eve is fast approaching, and a decades-old scandal is poised to wreck everything—the Steel Birds reunion, their relationships with their mothers, and their newfound love.
Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
Jenny Colgan returns back to the old town bookshop in Edinburgh in the sequel to The Christmas Bookshop. As the bookshop’s manager is trying to save the shop from financial ruin, an American production company wants to film a Christmas movie at the bookshop, which changes everything. Here’s the synopsis:
Christmas comes early—far too early—to McCredie’s little Old Town bookshop in Edinburgh. It’s summer, but an American production company has decided that McCredie’s is the perfect location to film a very cheesy Christmas movie. After all, who can resist the charmingly narrow historic street with its Victorian grey stone buildings and warmly lit shop windows?
Carmen Hogan, the bookshop’s manager, is amused and a bit horrified by the goings-on, but the money the studio is paying is too good to pass up. She uses the little windfall from filming to create new displays and fend off a buyout offer from an obnoxious millionaire who wants to turn McCredie’s into a souvenir shop selling kilts made in China and plastic Nessies. Still reeling slightly from a breakup, Carmen’s not particularly looking forward to the holidays. But just as snow begins to fall and the lights of Christmas blink on, all sorts of lovely new possibilities present themselves…for McCredie’s bookstore, and for Carmen herself.
The Christmas Cafe by Eliza Evans
The Christmas Cafe is the debut novel of Eliza Evans and it sounds so charming! It features a small town, plenty of holiday treats and of a course, a romance or two! Here’s the synopsis:
Clumsy, earnest baker Sylvie West has worked at the Christmas Café in Silver Bells, Wyoming, ever since her boozy eggnog fruitcake won the town’s annual holiday bake-off. Her forever happy place, the café complements her sweet, well-ordered life with her roommates: recently widowed Gramps and her yappy chihuahua-pug, Crumpet.
So, when Sylvie learns the café might be sold, she’s determined to save it the only way she can: by getting the Holiday Channel crew to set a scene at the café. She’s even met the film’s charming lead actor, Royce, thanks to Crumpet’s meddling. Between an unexpected acting gig, a booth at the Christmas festival, an appearance at the Christmas parade, and a budding romance with Royce, Sylvie has a lot on her plate. Good thing her old friend, gruff yet reliable Abe, has just come home to manage his parents’ goat farm—until she catches herself feeling a little too merry and bright in his presence. With some help from family, friends, Crumpet, and the goat farmer down the way, Sylvie’s plate might just be full of the sweetest treats she’s ever had . . .
Love, Holly by Emily Stone
Emily Stone is known for writing more serious stories set during the holiday season. These are the type of stories that will definitely tug at your heart strings. In Love, Holly, a young woman tries to heal a rift in her elderly pen pal’s family in time for Christmas. Here’s the synopsis:
Ever since a car accident tore her family apart, Holly has been part of a lonely-hearts holiday letter–writing club. Each December, she writes to a stranger who is also spending Christmas alone, and receives a letter from another lonely person in return.
Usually, the letters go unanswered. That’s the point—the letters are anonymous, and the senders write whatever is in their heart. But this year, the letter Holly receives is different; not only is the letter full of a grief she knows all too well, but its writer, Emma, mentions a place that Holly has visited. When she realizes that she might actually be able to find the letter’s author, Holly becomes determined to reunite Emma with the estranged grandson, Jack, with whom Emma is desperate to reconnect.
When Holly finally tracks him down, she remembers that she’s met Jack once before . . . and the connection was electric. The spark between the two of them is still there—until a misunderstanding risks their burgeoning romance and his strained relationship with Emma, too. But Holly is determined; if she can fix Emma’s family, she might also be able to fix her own. Though as it turns out, Holly might have less time to put things right than she thought.
One Christmas Morning by Rachel Greenlaw
For fans of magical realism set during the holiday season, be sure to check out One Christmas Morning. This debut novel is about a woman’s self-discovery, the strength found in friendship, and the promise of second chances. Here’s the synopsis:
Eva has spent the past three years burying herself in her work, trying to forget the heartbreaking events of the Christmas that ripped her world apart. This year, the last thing she wants is to attend her friend’s weekend-long Christmas party. But at her husband James’ insistence, here they are.
When Eva—overwhelmed by bittersweet memories—tries to sneak back to London in the middle of the night, she is visited by the ghost of her beloved grandmother. Gran tells Eva that if she doesn’t face her fears head-on and stop shutting out her loved ones, she risks losing them all forever.
When Eva wakes on Christmas morning, she finds herself living not her own life, but that of her hardworking assistant, Diana, whose overflowing inbox isn’t the only secret she’s been keeping. The next day, she wakes on Christmas morning again, this time in the body of her best friend’s little sister. As Eva lives the same day again and again through the perspectives of her friends, she is offered a glimpse into the lives of those she has been pushing away. With each Christmas Day comes a new lesson—and an insight into the secrets and struggles her loved ones have been hiding. To move forward, Eva must let go of the past. But is it too late to fix her future?
The Christmas Orphans Club by Becca Freeman
The Christmas Orphans Club follows a group of friends who have formed a found family to celebrate the holidays every year. But when one friend announces a move across the country, the whole dynamic changes. It focuses on growing up, modern love and of course, features plenty of holiday vibes. Here’s the synopsis:
Hannah and Finn have spent every Christmas together since college. Neither has anywhere else to go—Hannah’s parents died, and Finn’s disowned him when he came out. Their tradition of offbeat holiday adventures only grows more outrageous with time. When the pair starts their adult lives in New York City, they add stylish Priya and mysterious Theo to the group, solidifying a found family and sense of belonging they’ve always craved.
But now, when Finn announces a move to L.A., this Christmas may be their last. Hannah is terrified of losing the family she’s built for herself, even as her boyfriend nudges her toward commitment. Meanwhile, Finn struggles with the things he’s about to leave behind—namely, his unexpressed feelings for Theo. Does growing up mean growing apart? This Christmas the changes these friends fear may be exactly what they need. . . .
Happy reading and happy holidays!