On My Radar: Christmas Books & More

Because I live in a town with a Wal Mart Supercenter conveniently located down the street from my house, I find myself doing most of my grocery shopping there. Who can resist such a good deal, right? But that means that every time I go grocery shopping I have to peruse through the book aisle.

It would just be wrong not to!

I try to only buy books after I've thoroughly researched them first, so here are some books that caught my eye on my most recent trip.


1. Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness—even if that only means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.

But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents hosting, carols playing on repeat, her mother pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors coming ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever, until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?

Becky’s sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave (again), and little Minnie needs a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend–turned–rock star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her bighearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky wonders if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all. (from Amazon.com)

2. The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

Laid off from her department store job, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. The prospect of spending Christmas with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered yuppie life does not appeal.

Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want her prickly sister Carmen there either. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs help revitalizing his shabby old bookshop. So Carmen moves in and takes the job.

Thrown rather suddenly into the inner workings of Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the picturesque streets of historic Edinburgh, Carmen is intrigued despite herself. The store is dusty and disorganized but undeniably charming. Can she breathe some new life into it in time for Christmas shopping? What will happen when a famous and charismatic author takes a sudden interest in the bookshop—and Carmen? And will the Christmas spirit be enough to help heal her fractured family? (from Amazon.com)

3. Deck the Halls by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark

In their first acclaimed work of collaboration, Mary Higgins Clark, the Queen of Suspense, and her daughter, bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark, create an exciting and entertaining story of a holiday kidnapping.

Three days before Christmas, Regan Reilly, the dynamic young sleuth featured in the novels of Carol Higgins Clark, accidentally meets Alvirah Meehan, Mary Higgins Clark’s famous lottery winner and amateur detective, at a New Jersey dentist’s office. That's where it all begins.

While Regan’s mother, Nora, the famous mystery writer, is in the hospital with a broken leg, her husband, Luke, and his chauffeur, Rosita, are kidnapped and held for a million-dollar ransom. Together, Regan and Alvirah track the case as the inept yet dangerous kidnappers make their demands known. Meanwhile, Luke and Rosita are held captive on a houseboat on the Hudson River and a fierce winter storm is gathering force.

A true Christmas classic, Deck the Halls blends suspense with poignancy, laugh-out-loud humor, and all-around holiday cheer. (from Amazon.com)

4.  The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith

In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet—her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there.

Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother.

Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined? (from Amazon.com)

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What books have caught your eye lately? Now that it's getting closer to Christmas I am definitely getting exciting about Christmas books again. :)

xo Marian