Christmas in July! a review by Amy

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🎶It’s the most wonderful time of the year!🎶

The twinkling lights. The hope in children’s faces. The candy cane dreams and the sugar plum wishes. Oh how my heart longs for the holidays. There really is only one drawback to the most wonderful time of the year… the cold weather. In my neck of the woods, Christmas means freezing temps and snow. And while dreaming of a white Christmas is a lovely sentiment, for me, it’s not nearly as enjoyable in reality.

So… how to enjoy all the magic without the “brrrrrrr” factor? Christmas in July of course! And there’s no better way to celebrate than in a good book!

I’ve enjoyed taking a stroll down memory lane into Christmas past 2020. Last year, I indulged in quite a few festive reads, and what a treat they were! Here are a few of my favorites:


In a Holidaze
Christina Lauren
307 pages
Gallery Books

Christina Lauren + Christmas = masterpiece. This is my favorite holiday read. I read it last holiday season, and I plan to read it again this year. Some holiday books use the season as the backdrop alone. Not this book. This book is Christmas through and through. It’s cozy and sweet and perfectly festive. It had just the right amount of family, tradition, and Yuletide spirit paired with a burgeoning new relationship. This is a delightfully fun read.


One Day in December
Josie Silver
393 pages
Ballantine Books

This is a sweet story about friendship and love. Laurie (implausibly) falls hopelessly in love with a stranger she sees at a bus stop. Even more implausible, she finally meets her dream man when her best friend introduces him as her new boyfriend. As unrealistic as the whole story is, it held my attention and kept me hooked to see how it would all (predictably) unravel. There is holiday spirit in this book, but ultimately the focal point is on the friendship and love.


Mr. Dickens and His Carol
Samantha Silva
271 pages
Flatiron Books

Nostalgic and endearing. Samantha Silva reimagines the inspiration for Dickens’ famed Christmas Carol. In her vision, Scrooge might not have been just a miserly figment of Dickens’ imagination. As the holidays approach, we see Dickens under pressure, tormented by a tribe of his own dependents, and the lesson to be learned is his own. Just as A Christmas Carol leaves you uplifted in the end, so too does Silva’s take on how it all came to be. If you need a good reminder that Christmas begins in the heart, this is your book for the season!


🎄This upcoming holiday season has quite a few merry and bright options that I’m keeping my eyes on

Here are a few:

The Secret of Snow
Viola Shipman
Graydon Books
352 pages
Available October 26, 2021

This is Shipman’s first holiday novel, and it’s promising to be as comfortable as your favorite sweater.

Here’s a a snippet of the summary from the publisher:
Sonny, an actual human meteorologist, is being replaced by an AI meteorologist.
And, the only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is one in her northern Michigan hometown. Returning home means reacclimating to painfully long, dark winters while having to confront her past. To distract herself from the unwelcome memories, Sonny decides to throw herself headfirst into all things winter to woo viewers and reclaim her success. From sledding and ice fishing to skiing and winter festivals, the merrymaking culminates with the town’s famed Winter Ice Sculpture Contest. Running the events is a widowed father and chamber of commerce director, whose genuine love of Michigan, winter and Sonny just might thaw her heart and restart her life in a way she never could have predicted.


The Christmas Bookshop
Jenny Colgan
288 pages
William Morrow Paperbacks
Available October 26, 2021

Let’s start with the cover… SWOON. What more can you want? Beautiful holiday decorations that frame *all the books*. Stunning. And the book itself promises to touch on a bit of everything (women’s fiction, family drama, romance) under one festive holiday umbrella.

Here’s a snippet of the summary from the publisher:
In a bit of a perilous situation, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?


Dear Santa
Debbie Macomber
408 pages
Random House
Available October 19, 2021

If you’re looking for holiday nostalgia, look no further than Debbie Macomber’s new book, Dear Santa. Maybe Santa can bring some much needed hope and joy to Lindy this year!

Here’s a snippet of the summary from the publisher:
Reading through a box of childhood letters to Santa and reminiscing about what she’d wished for as a young girl may be just the inspiration Lindy needs. With Ellen’s encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, one that will encourage her to have faith and believe just as she’d done all those years ago. Little does Lindy know that this exercise in gratitude will cause her wishes to unfold before her in miraculous ways. And, thanks to some fateful twists of Christmas magic–especially an unexpected connection with a handsome former classmate–Lindy ultimately realizes that there is truly no place like home for the holidays.


The Santa Suit
Mary Kay Andrews
224 pages
St. Martin’s Press
Available September 28, 2021

I love a book about second chances. Mix that with Christmas spirit, and I’m all in! This novella seems to touch on a wide variety of topics: community, discovery, letting go, and finding love.

Here’s a snippet of the publisher’s summary:
When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit–beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

I can’t wait to dig into some of these Christmas goodies! I’ll be starting with Dear Santa by Debbie Macomber. What about you? What’s on your Christmas reading list?









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