Well, it’s almost that time of year again, lights and baubles, tinsel and mistletoe, sleighs and reindeer, Macaulay Culkin and Julie Andrews (or are Flemish TV stations the only ones to rehash Home Alone and The Sound of Music every single year?). It’s the time to be jolly and merry and read Christmassy books!
And you see, that is where my Christmas reading problems start: while I do feel like sitting in front of the fire, warm and cosy, reading books with a Christmassy setting, Christmassy reads are more often than not fluffy and light, and as I don’t do fluffy and light in the other 11 months of the year, I don’t see why I should do in December. But Kelly, don’t you want to shake things up with a Christmassy romance? Nope, I do not, thank you very much! I have seen dozens of such books on my WP and Twitter feed lately, and if those are your bag, have at it, enjoy! They’re just not for me.
Last year, I came across The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday, and realised that I’d found my kind of Christmas tale. So this year, I went looking for similar stories, non-festive festive reads, set in the Christmas period but not forcing me into a genre I don’t fully enjoy. I’ve made a list and I thought I’d share it with you, in case you, like me, like your Christmas novels on the bloody side…
Click on the little Christmas trees to take you to the book on Goodreads!
I already have a few of these in various formats and I can’t wait to dig in and get into the Christmas spirit! There is, however, one light and fluffy Christmas read I might make an exception for:
I have all the Shopaholic books, it’s been a while since I read any, but I still have a soft spot for Becky, so if I read one warm and fuzzy Christmassy book this season, it will be this one.
There is also one book that is not Christmassy, but it is a perfect winter read, I’m dying to read it but I still haven’t got to it, and I hope to read it this December:
Do you have any recommendations to add to my list? Has any of these caught your eye, are you more into traditional Christmas stories, or do you continue to read whatever it is you read during the rest of the year? Let me know below! And if you’re into more traditional Christmas reads, be sure to check out this festive post on Jill’s Book Cafe.
Thanks for the shout out Kelly and glad you found something darker to suit your taste. Happy festive reading!!
You’re most welcome, Jill 😊 Thanks, I’ve already started Stealing Christmas, not sure it’s making me feel very festive but I’m enjoying it nonetheless 😄 Happy reading, festive and otherwise, to you too!
I can recommend Bloody Christmas by Caimh McDonnell and also The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer both set at Christmas time but not fluffy!
Right, I’ve seen Bloody Christmas around, isn’t it sold for a charity or something? I’ve listened to The Beautiful Dead, actually! But not at all at Christmas, so I’d forgotten that’s when it’s set 🙈 Good book though!
Definitely going to be checking some of these out, Kelly 👍
Fab! Thanks Gemma, hope you enjoy them, do let me know!
I started reading One Day in December last year but never completed. Since it was New Year didn’t want to still be in a Christmas mood, so I’m avoiding them this year.
I totally get that, once Christmas is over I can’t stand Christmassy reads either!
Yep we’re definitely on the same page here! And Oooo The Secret Santa looks great. The only Christmas novel I read and loved so far was Dying for Christmas by Tammy Cohen.
I’ve read mixed reviews of The Secret Santa but it was really cheap on Kindle so I gave it the benefit of the doubt 😊 I’ve read a few Tammy Cohen books, and I liked them so I’m adding Dying for Christmas to my list, thanks Inge 😘
I’m a bit afraid now… Did you read my mind? I was just thinking that I should try and browse for more Christmassy reads as I only have How The Grinch Stole Christmas! ready to read and that one doesn’t really count haha. And like you, I don’t really do light and fluffy and prefer my Christmas reads on the bloody side mostly. I’m definitely looking up these recommendations!
If you are looking for something fun and not romance, Matt Haig wrote a middle grade Christmas series that is highly entertaining. Other than that, I fail at giving Christmassy recommendations. xD
Also, Home Alone is definitely on repeat down here as well! I don’t mind though as the movies (one and two only) bring back great memories. The Sound Of Music is not popular at all though, and I kind of want to see it again? xD
Yes I totally read your mind 😈😂 I’m so happy to notice that quite a lot of people share my aversion to light and fluffy 😄 I’ll look into Matt Haig, thanks! And I’ll think of you when I’m watching Home Alone yet again 😄
Home Alone has already been on TV once or twice and I might just have watched it. 😉
Oooh, what about the other Agatha Christie book? The one with the Christmas pudding? Have you read that yet?
I don’t normally read “in season” but last year i read a christmas themed book – didn’t like it much though. Written by SJI Halliday (under Susi Halliday, i think), but i can’t remember what it was called. :/
Yes I’ve read that one! It was The Deaths of December and you found it on my blog, sorry 😂 If I remember correctly you thought the killer was a nag and you weren’t wrong there 😂