Sadly, I did not receive any books as gifts this year for Christmas….Am I a little disappointed by that? I would be lying if I said no. Truth be told, I can’t say I blame my dad or anyone else as to why they did not. I’ve bought myself a lot of books this year. Even in December, when I told myself I would not.
As you might expect, this is another large book haul. Let’s get to it.
Book of the Month selections
A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw is a paranormal mystery set in a mysterious small town where several people have gone missing. The first was a psychic hired to find a lost girl. The other is a reporter investigating the closed off community and gets in way over her head.
The Postmistress of Paris by Meg Waite Clayton is a historical fiction novel I’m shocked I never heard of prior to finding it on Book of the Month. It is set in France of WWII, following a young woman using her position as a postmistress to help the Resistance after the Nazis invaded.
The Family by Naomi Krupitsky was a selection from November I was not entirely interested in at the time. Then, I followed the positive reviews surrounding its release. After that, this family drama about two daughters of a mob family became much more intriguing to me.
So, This is Christmas by Tracy Andreen was one of the most hyped Christmas books this year. While the concept interested me—a girl showing her grumpy classmate around her hometown Christmas, Oklahoma—I will admit the cover is really what got me.
I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas by Tiffany Schmidt is a cutesy Christmas novel about a teen girl nannying for a wealthy family during the holiday season and bonds with the older half-brother of her charges.
Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva is a retelling of Charles Dickens, who is struggling with writer’s block during the holiday season. Then, he meets a young woman who gives him a new outlook on Christmas.
One Way or Another by Kara McDowell is a Groundhog Day inspired book set during Christmas, following a teen girl struggling to cope with her anxiety on making decisions out of fear of making the wrong one.
Blame it on the Mistletoe by Beth Garrod is a young adult book similar to the movie The Holiday. Two girls, one from America and the other from England, switch places during the holiday season and the change of scene helps them find what they were looking for.
The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo was another of the hyped Christmas YA romances of this year. It is set in an inn, where two rivals are forced to work together and, after accidentally switching phones, learn they can help each other in more ways than one.
All I Want for Christmas by Wendy Loggia is yet another cutesy Christmas YA romance about a girl looking for someone to kiss under the mistletoe. She thinks she’s found the perfect guy, until the one she least expects shakes up her holiday season.
The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox is one of the most hyped adult Christmas romances of the year. Adult twin sisters switch places to help each out of their respective messy situations during Christmas and, of course, two super-hot guys come into the picture.
The Christmas Dress by Courtney Cole is a book I, admittedly, bought on impulse after reading the synopsis and seeing the cover online. It is an intergenerational story, about a young woman’s friendship with an older woman and how a dress brings them together.
Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday is a cute royal romance about a British duke falling for an American woman while in the country for a wedding.
Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall is a friends-to-lovers story set during Christmas, on a Christmas tree farm. I didn’t need to know much more than that.
A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli is set in India during Diwali, where a young woman finds herself, and love, during the season.
A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss is a women’s fiction novel following an older woman who is trying to find a new sense of holiday cheer after reaching a crossroads in her life.
It Started with a Dog by Julia London follows two rivals brought together by their dogs and their competing businesses. It was the dogs that got me.
A Certain Appeal by Vanessa King was a book I thought was a New Year’s Eve story because of the cover. Only, turns out, it is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Burlesque club. I’m not mad about it, though.
Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis is an adult romance I’m not entirely sure if it’s set during Christmas. But I liked the idea of a couple meeting during a blizzard, then think they will never see each other again until fate intervenes.
The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss is another Christmas friends-to-lovers romance. Do I even need to explain I had an obsession with holiday romances this year?
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan is the only book from this haul I managed to read during Christmas. It is set in Ireland circa 1985, during Christmas, as a man named Bill tries to expose a terrible secret the local church is hiding from the community.
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens is a New Year’s Eve romance whose cover reminds me of an ice cream sundae.
Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo is an adult romance about a fashion designer agreeing to a fake-dating situation in order to help her career.
One Day in December by Josie Silver is a modern Christmas romance classic. Admittedly, I was wary of this book, given the element of emotional cheating. Yet, there was something about it that was so intriguing.
Christmas by the Book by Anne Marie Ryan follows a couple who use their bookstore to spread Christmas cheer in their small town.
The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan follows a young woman down on her luck and forced to stay with her estranged sister. She later takes a job at a quirky bookstore that helps her find a new lease on life in a most unexpected way.
The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer is a holiday romance following a Jewish woman with a secret career as a Christmas romance novelist. When her editor charges her to write a Hannukah romance, she reluctantly teams up with her childhood rival during the Matzah Ball to find inspiration.
Always, in December by Emily Stone is a women’s fiction on the sadder side, following two people brought together by grief during the holidays. And this is one of the covers I love the most of this haul.
Used Bookstore Finds
The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate follows three young women looking for lost family members in the post-Civil War south. Their story intersects with a modern-day teacher, who discovers their story and uses it to connect with her students.
Night Music by Jojo Moyes follows a widow named Isabel who inherits the derelict Spanish House from her estranged uncle and meets a man named Matt who plans on using the house for revenge.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn follows two women brought together during World War I. One is a spy recruited to work in the Alice Network in France and the other is an American socialite looking for her missing cousin.
The Huntress by Kate Quinn is another historical thriller set during World War II about a female assassin who previously worked for the Nazis.
The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff is a story of friendship between three women and a female spy ring working together in France during World War II.
The Clockmaker’s Wife by Daisy Wood is another historical fiction novel following a clockmaker’s wife who inadvertently gets involved with helping the Resistance with her husband and his clocks.
The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley was previously titled The Royal Secret. It follows a reporter who stumbles upon the story of a lifetime when she discovers the lost love letters of a man connected to the nobility as well as his troubling secrets quickly coming to the surface.
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory is a well-known historical drama following Mary Boleyn, who was the mistress of King Henry IIIV before her notorious younger sister and rival, Anne.
Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict is a fictional account of Clementine Churchill, Winston Churchill’s wife, as she works beside her husband during World War II.
The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict follows a 1940s Hollywood actress hiding both her Jewish heritage and her scientific mind from a world dominated by men and still recovering from the disaster of World War II.
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry is a historical novel with touches of mythology and science. A widow pursues her passion for a mysterious creature called the Essex Serpent and, as a result, questions not only her faith, but the rapid scientific advancement happening around her.
OK…I’m done…for now….