Can you feel the magic of Christmas in the air? The holiday season isn’t just about presents under the tree—it’s also about reading and discussing a heartwarming story with friends.
Here, you’ll discover the best Christmas book club books that capture the essence of the season, from timeless classics to contemporary gems in a variety of genres. Grab a warm drink, and discover the perfect Christmas suggestions for book club reading.
First, if you’re extra curious or in a rush, below is a quick, shoppable list of all the books that made the list.
- The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
- The Christmas Orphans Club by Becca Freeman
- A Christmas Story by Jean Shepard
- Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
- Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
- In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
- Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
- One Day in December by Josie Silver
- Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
- Three Holidays and a Wedding by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley
- Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
Details on All the Best Christmas Book Club Reads
I created this post to narrow down the dozens of great holiday reads you can choose from for your book club. As a book blogger who’s read so many good Christmas books for a book club, I focused this list on the books I personally believe from my reading experience offer a variety of genres as well as the most to talk about with others during the holiday season, from books that are nostalgic to humorous, and even those you can compare to their famous film adaptations.
The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan
Why it makes a good book club book: The protagonists are middle-aged and all coping with various aspects of life at that stage that are ripe for discussion: from grief to second chances, family, motherhood, and more. Plus, it’s actually about a book club!
The Book Club Hotel is not written by Elin Hilderbrand, yet it felt like a delightful mix of her books, The Hotel Nantucket and The Five Star Weekend to me.
The young widower and single mom who runs the Maple Sugar Inn, Hattie, is juggling life and work by herself this holiday season. And, she’s not the only one.
When three lifelong friends, Erica, Claudia, and Anna, host their book club retreat there, it’s clear that they, too, have their own unique emotional baggage in tow.
Over the week, all four women cope, and they find their lives to be more interconnected than they could have ever imagined. It’s an especially good choice for those who like middle-aged protagonists.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Why it makes a good book club book: Most people know the story of A Christmas Carol from its countless written and film adaptations but have not yet read the book. It’s short and beautifully written, and it offers the ability to discuss what readers took away from the full text versus their perceptions of it.
A list of the best books about Christmas would not be complete without this Christmas short story. We all know the story of A Christmas Carol, and how the bitter old Ebenezer Scrooge is transformed in the spirit of Christmas after a visit from the ghost of his former business partner and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come, including Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim of course.
You can also use these A Christmas Carol quotes at your book club meeting.
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
Why it makes a good book club book: A Christmas Memory gets my personal highest rating of all these holiday-themed books for book club because it’s brief and so utterly nostalgic and captivating. Readers can discuss the meaning of Christmas and what (and whom) makes them feel nostalgic.
The short story A Christmas Memory is a beautiful Christmas short story about a young boy in rural Alabama, looking back with nostalgia about his elderly friend.
They save their pennies throughout the year to make 30 fruitcakes as soon as fruitcake weather arrives. They share them with only the most deserving persons, including the one they send to the White House each year, wondering if the President serves it thereafter.
Together, they share more holiday cheer as the old friend comes to find their time together to have a deeper meaning.
The Christmas Orphans Club by Becca Freeman
Why it makes a good book club book: This would be a great choice for a fun and festive type of book club meeting. I can totally see everyone talking about potential castings, your favorite references, and more. You can also pair it with a movie and/or food referenced in the book.
The Christmas Orphans Club has quickly become one of my absolute favorite Christmas-themed books. It’s the debut novel of one of my favorite podcast hosts (Bad on Paper), and it TOTALLY delivered.
The premise is that Hannah and Finn became college friends over one Christmas they spent together on campus because, for different reasons, they weren’t with family that day. This began a holiday tradition and, along the way, they picked up two more Christmas orphans, Theo and Priya.
Over the course of a decade, they spend Christmas in New York together as friends, but impending major life changes are threatening the continuation of their annual festivities.
Alternating between the perspectives of Hannah and Finn, it’s mostly about friendship and found family, but it’s also a very layered story that’s also about love (including LGBTQIA+ romance), biological family drama, and growing up. Freeman is an exceptionally fresh and refreshing voice to watch in this space, incorporating oodles of pop culture references and utterly unique and comical details into a novel that’s already unlike any other holiday novel I’ve read.
As an elder millennial and long-time fan of quirky, turn-of-the-millennium New York friendship shows like Friends and Will & Grace (and as someone who re-watches their holiday episodes each and every year), this book felt like the best Christmas “episode” ever, and I can only hope to see an adaptation someday.
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd
Why it makes a good book club book: The compilation of autobiographical works that make up A Christmas Story the book can be compared to the popular movie of the same name.
A Christmas Story is the nostalgic tale in which young Ralphie’s family represents the average American family having a disastrous, but memorable, Christmas season, in which, most notably, he yearns for a rifle gun.
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
Why it makes a good book club book: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas satisfies those book clubs who prefer to read and chat about mysteries and thrillers, and who guessed “whodunnit.”
In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, Agatha Christie’s famed investigator is tasked with a Christmas Eve murder at a family reunion in which everyone seems to have a reason to hate the deceased man.
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Why it makes a good book club book: Holidays on Ice is one of the best Christmas book club reads to discuss because it’s a realistic and comedic look at the holiday season. Readers can share their own funniest holiday stories to get a good laugh at a busy time of the year.
Holidays on Ice is a festive collection of tales, featuring the irreverent style of humor that is the trademark of Sedaris, including the diaries of a Macy’s elf (my favorite), being a child locked out in a snowstorm, the nonsensical Christmas traditions around the world, and more!
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
Why it makes a good book club book: In a Holidaze is one of the best Christmas novels for book clubs who love to read romance books. This one maintains the feel of a romantic comedy and allows readers to discuss time travel in the context of the holiday season.
Instant New York Times bestseller
In a Holidaze is a holiday romantic comedy book that starts after a Christmas in which a lot goes wrong for Maelyn at her family’s usual “Christmas with friends” at a snowy Utah cabin. She leaves wishing to find happiness, and it seems like things can’t get worse until a car crash occurs.
Maelyn then begins to relive her Christmas vacation as if it were Groundhog Day. But, the others insist a car crash never occurred, and that she just woke up from a bad dream. As Maelyn navigates Christmas all over again in her “dazed” state, she tries to fix everything that went wrong the first time she experienced Christmas. And, of course, there’s a love triangle and some holiday steaminess in store!
Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
Why it makes a good book club book: Last Christmas in Paris is great for historical fiction book clubs and those who want to discuss the Christmas seasons of their ancestors.
As the Great War begins, Evie thinks that it will be over by Christmas. Her brother Will and his friend Tom leave for battle, and the group plans to meet for a holiday in Paris when the war is over.
But the war drags on. Last Christmas in Paris is a World War I story and a love story told almost entirely through letters and telegrams, with sprinkles of Christmas mixed throughout and penultimate Christmas events at the end.
Last Christmas in Paris also evokes themes of family, love, belief, and hope, which are the spirit of Christmas.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
Why it makes a good book club book: A modern bestseller, One Day in December earns its place for as a holiday “must read” your book club members will want to check off their lists. Love triangles like the one this book features also always offer a lot to talk about!
#1 New York Times bestseller
It’s about a British woman who sees her dream man outside of a bus she’s riding in, and later finds out he’s her best friend’s new boyfriend. The story follows their lives for the next ten years, and a lot happens in that time, although I won’t spoil any storylines.
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Why it makes a good book club book: Royal Holiday is a quick and delightful read that caters to diverse book clubs and book clubs that prefer middle-aged protagonists. You can also discuss the swoon-worthy details of the royal festivities over a cup of holiday tea.
When Vivian accompanies her daughter on a work trip to style a royal duchess in England, she meets the handsome private secretary of the Queen and is offered a very personal tour.
As Christmas approaches, their flirty friendship turns into a mistletoe kiss, and later a fling to ring in the New Year. As the clock ticks away on the year and the “holiday,” will this fling turn into something even more in the new year?
Three Weddings and a Holiday by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley
Why it makes a good book club book: Three Holidays and a Wedding gives book clubs a variety of holidays and events to celebrate, along with a love triangle to debate, and some lighthearted family drama to explore.
Three Holidays and a Wedding combines everything that readers love in a Christmas book plus adds even more, since it also tackles two additional holidays and, you guessed it, a wedding.
Maryam is flying to Toronto for her sister’s last-minute holiday wedding, and her seatmate Anna is headed to meet and spend the holiday season with her boyfriend’s rich family.
Turbulence causes them to bond and confess their hopes and fears, and an emergency landing leaves them snowbound in the very festive small town of Snow Falls.
There, Maryam, who celebrates Ramadan, re-connects with her crush and re-evaluates her place in the world and in her family. Meanwhile, Anna, who celebrates both Christmas and Hannukah, questions her relationship after she meets her celebrity crush, who’s there filming a holiday movie.
Their snowbound status also puts the big wedding in jeopardy.
This book is a light and scrumptious treat for those who love closed-door romances, Hallmark movies, and a diverse holiday season.
Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
Why it makes a good book club book: Winter Street is the first book in the Winter Street series of four books, so if book club members like it, they can stay busy with the remainder of the series during the rest of the holiday season. It also offers the storylines of several family members to talk about.
Kelley Quinn owns the Nantucket Winter Street Inn and is the proud father of four grown children, all of whose personal lives are in a state of chaos. The oldest, Patrick, is a hedge fund manager dealing with a white-collar crime. Bartender Kevin has a secret relationship with the Inn’s housekeeper. Teacher Ava can’t get her dream boyfriend to commit. And Bart, the youngest, and the only child of Kelley’s second marriage to Mitzi, is fighting overseas in the Marines.
Christmas approaches, and Kelley walks in on Mitzi kissing the Inn’s Santa Claus, bringing all of the families’ drama to a head. It becomes up to Kelley’s first wife, famous news anchor Margaret Quinn, to attempt to save Christmas.
Christmas is a season of togetherness, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by reading and discussing the best Christmas book club books. These books are bound to bring warmth and joy to your book club discussions.
To recap and help you decide what to read, my top 3 picks are: