12 Festive Book Recommendations for Christmas in July

July 23, 2020 in Bookish

One thing I’ve learnt about Christmas in July over the years is that you either love it or loathe it! Luckily for you, I’m all about that festive spirit all year long. So today I’m going to share with you some festive book recommendations to get you in the Christmas in July spirit.

Now I should add that some of these are books that I’ve read and loved, some I own but haven’t read yet and others are books I’d love to read! You’ll also find book choices for every age range. So whoever you are, whatever you’re in the mood for, hopefully there’s something on this list that’ll appeal to you!

Children’s Books

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
by Dr Seuss

The Grinch is a miser who hates Christmas. With a heart two sizes too small, he’s grown up alone and bitter and when the merriment of the Whos down in Whoville get too much for him one year, he’s determined to put a stop to their festivities: by stealing Christmas.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss

The Snowman
by Raymond Briggs

We’re walking in the aiiiiiiiiiiiir. Watching The Snowman every Christmas is a holiday rite of passage in itself for some.

The Snowman is a wordless picture book about a boy who builds a snowman that comes alive in his dreams and they have all these adventures. It’s a beautiful story about imagination, childhood and  loss.

The Jolly Christmas Postman
by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

A postman delivers festive themed handwritten letters from various fairytale and nursery rhyme characters in this delightfully interactive children’s book.

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

The Christmasaurus
by Tom Fletcher

The Christmasaurus is a story about a boy named William Trundle, and a dinosaur, the Christmasaurus. It’s about how they meet one Christmas Eve and have a magical adventure. It’s about friendship and families, sleigh bells and Santa, singing elves and flying reindeer, music and magic. It’s about discovering your heart’s true desire, and learning that the impossible might just be possible. (from Goodreads)

Young Adult/Teen

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Teenager Lily leaves a notebook full of dares in a bookshop which is found by Dash, setting off a series of adventures in a very festive New York City. It’s a YA romance novel so I don’t feel bad in revealing that it is a love story.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase
by Cynthia Hand

On Christmas Eve five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three Ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t. And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge—as their latest Ghost of Christmas Past. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable. But this year’s Scrooge is different. This year’s Scrooge might change everything… (from Amazon)

My True Love Gave to Me
edited by Stephanie Perkins

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love. (from Goodreads)

Adult Fiction

Christmas at Tiffany’s
by Karen Swan

This one’s about a woman who’s lost it all and embarks on a year-long journey through three cities (New York, London and Paris) to find herself, her place in the world and new love. It’s a wonderful feel-good festive romance and it’s so good that I can still remember how I felt at the end of the book, even after all these years.

Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan

Miss Marley
by Vanessa Lafaye

A sort of prequel to Dickens’ masterpiece, A Christmas Carol, Miss Marley is a work of art in its own right. It tells the tale of Clara Marley, the kind-hearted sister of Jacob, and how shared experiences with her brother led them both down separate paths. It’s a beautiful story of love, kindness and doing what’s right.

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

This book needs no introductions but just in case… A Christmas Carol is about a man named Ebenezer Scrooge, a debt collector with no kindness or compassion in his heart, who is visited by three spirits who want him to see the error of his ways and change his life before it’s too late.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas
by Adam Kay

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is the hilarious, poignant and entertaining story of the life of a junior doctor at the most challenging time of the year. With twenty-five tales of intriguing, shocking and incredible Christmas incidents, the British public will finally appreciate the sacrifices made and the challenges faced by the unsung heroes of the NHS. (from Goodreads)

Santa Claus: A Biography
by Gerry Bowler

In this engaging social and cultural history, Gerry Bowler examines the place of Santa Claus in history, literature, advertising, and art. He traces his metamorphosis from a beardless youth into a red-suited peddler. He reveals the lesser-known aspects of the gift-bringer’s life — Santa’s involvement with social and political causes of all stripes (he enlisted on the Union side in the American Civil War), his starring role in the movies and as adman for gun-makers and insurance companies. And he demolishes the myths surrounding Santa Claus and Coca-Cola.

Santa Claus: A Biography will stand as the classic work on the long-lived and multifarious Mr. Claus. (from Goodreads)

What’s your favourite festive book? Let me know in the comments below!

Featured Image: Joanna Kosinka from Unsplash


  • Heather @ RandomRedheadedRamblings July 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    What a great list, for me it has to be either The Grinch or Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather, I love reading and watching them both at Christmas.

    • Hayley July 23, 2020 at 3:00 pm

      I’ve never read Hogfather! I’m not sure why, it just never appealed to me.

  • lifestyleseason July 23, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing! I haven’t read any of these books but I want to check them out! I am already excited for Christmas!

  • Ming Qian July 23, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Santa Claus: a Biography looks so interesting to me. I’ve gotta go check it out. I don’t have a favorite Christmas book. I have My True Love Gave to Me, but I only read the first short story and I never picked it up again. Oops! I love Christmas movies though. The Grinch and The Holiday are two of my favorites!

    • Hayley July 23, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      Haha I understand as I have a love-hate relationship with collections of short stories! I’m hoping that I’ll feel differently if the stories are written by different authors each time. 🙂

      I love Christmas movies too!

    • JENISH JOYAL J July 24, 2020 at 5:47 am

      I’m adding all these books in my To-read list 😇
      Thank you for sharing this post 😇

      JENISH | knowafactfromj.blogspot.com

      • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:58 pm

        Thanks Jenish!

  • Chrissy July 23, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    I love How the Grinch Stole Christmas as well as the Christmas Carol! I’ve yet to read some of the other books you’ve mentioned but I’m looking forward to reading them. x

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks Chrissy! 🙂

  • Claire July 23, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Brilliant list. I love a Christmas read.

    The jolly postman is one I remember loving at Christmas as a child, is almost forgotten about it x

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      Me too! The Jolly Postman is one of those fond childhood nostalgia type books, can’t wait to read it to my son this Christmas! 🙂

  • Rums the Reader July 24, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Such a great list of festive books – I don’t personally celebrate Christmas but I enjoy the time of year and the festive vibe and these books will definitely get a reader in that headspace, even if it is July! I’ve heard that The Nightshift Before Christmas is really good as well as his other books so I want to take a read at some point for sure.

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂 Hope you enjoy The Nightshift Before Christmas!

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