Book Review · Books

Five Winter/Holiday Reads

One of my absolute favorite things to do during the holidays is to turn on the Christmas lights in my room, snuggle up with a blanket, and settle into a winter or holiday themed book. Over the years I have acquired a collection of such books and I thought it would be fun to share my top five favorites (in no particular order).

My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Winter Romances edited by Stephanie Perkins


I have been savoring this anthology this month by reading one story a day until Christmas. So far, I love it. There’s a story for just about everyone and the best part is it doesn’t just focus on Christmas, but rather the entire winter season, hence “Winter Romances.”

This particular copy I have is the UK paperback edition because I think it’s cuter than the US edition. The UK’s title is Twelve Winter Romances, while the US title is Twelve Holiday Stories. Nevertheless, both books contain the same stories and are worth a read.

Synopsis via The Book Depository: “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays. Includes:Ally Carter, Holly Black, Laini Taylor, Rainbow Rowell, Matt de la Pena, David Levithan, Stephanie Perkins, Kiersten White, Kelly Link, Jenny Han, Gayle Forman, and Myra McEntire.”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


A classic. Pretty much all of us know the story, but up until this year, I had never actually read/owned the book. I got this copy from TBD for super cheap and I’m obsessed.

It’s also a UK edition, as it’s part of the Penguin English Library, and I wanted it to match my copies of Emma and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, which are also a part of the English Library series. I eventually want to collect all the books in the cover series. Can you tell I love UK editions of books??

Synopsis via The Book Depository: “Charles Dickens’s tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is haunted by three spirits and learns the true meaning of Christmas has had, along with Dickens’s other Christmas writings, a lasting and significant influence upon our ideas about the season as a time for celebration, charity and memory.”

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle


I read this collection of short story years ago, but I remember it fondly and still find myself going back to it every winter. The stories are sweet and funny without being unbearable and cringe.

Synopsis via The Book Depository: “A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors–John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle–the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.”

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg



I could talk about my love for The Polar Express for the entirety of December, I’m not even kidding. It’s a book and movie I love with the whole of my heart. I have vivid memories being read the book by my elementary school librarian as a child, and vivid memories of when I first watched it in elementary school with my class as we had our huge pre-winter-break breakfast.

To me, The Polar Express is Christmas. There is this rush I feel every time I think about it, every time I watch it, and every time I flip through the book. I absolutely adore Chris Van Allsburg and I have just decided at this very moment that I need to collect all of his books and I have no idea why I haven’t already done so. The edition I have is the mini-hardback edition (from the UK because OF COURSE). It’s so tiny and cute.

Synopsis via The Book Depository: “Late on Christmas Eve, after the town has gone to sleep, a boy boards a mysterious train that waits for him: the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. When he arrives there, Santa offers him any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the reindeer’s harness. It turns out to be a very special gift, for only believers in Santa can hear it ring.”

What Light by Jay Asher 


I actually have yet to read this book, but I can confirm that I am veryyy excited to start it. Since it’s an entirely new book for me, I want to save it until we get closer to Christmas, but I had to include it on this list because it’s by Jay Asher, who wrote Thirteen Reasons Why.

I read Thirteen Reasons Why back in high school many years ago, and reread it after the Netflix show was released. I still enjoyed Jay’s writing, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy this book and that it’s not as heavy as Thirteen Reasons Why. It is Christmas after all, don’t be mean, Jay.

Synopsis via The Book Depository: “Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon – it’s an idyllic place for a girl to grow up, except that every year they have to pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life begins to eclipse the other.”

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