Ranging from children’s books to Yuletide horror and everything in between, I’ve squirrelled away the best in Indie Christmas Reads for you.
The books presented here have all been reviewed on this blog either last Christmas or this year.
Clicking on a book cover will take you to the review and its relevant links.
Christmas also features heavily in R.M. Gauthier’s Christmas Miracle series, in which the stories take place in Christmas Town, USA at different times of the year.
‘Twelve Tales of Christmas’ is a collection of fantasy and contemporary short stories with Christmas themes. Some of the stories are poignant, while others are lighthearted. The stories offer a good variety of themes, settings and characters, and each one delivers its own unique message to ponder.
As with any collection, there were some stories I preferred over others, but I found them all to be enjoyable and interesting at the very least.
This book would make great family or individual reading during December.
‘Midnight Lasagne’ is a very enjoyable collection of varied and original Christmas-themed stories that make relaxing reading for the holiday season.
Each story offers a different perspective or experience of Christmas, from that of a single mother to a ten-year old kid whose first love is video games.
These stories are perfect for filling in quiet moments in the busy lead-up to Christmas.
‘Murder and Mistletoe’ is a very good cozy mystery set in 1936, first on the Paris-Bordeaux train and then in Bordeaux itself. The very confident and classy Franny Calico is a seasoned amateur sleuth who finds herself investigating a mystery that threatens not only her own safety, but that of others near and dear to her.
The story is well crafted and develops at a good pace, keeping both Franny and the reader intrigued. The characters are engaging and interesting, and there are sufficient touches of late 1930s styling and glamour to make the settings and plot believable.
Easily read in less than 90 minutes, this novella delivers most enjoyable reading, ideal for readers busy with preparations for Christmas and end of year celebrations.
It’s the most awful feeling: knowing you have screwed up, knowing that you may have ruined everything you’ve been working for… and knowing there’s not a thing you can do about it.
If you have ever been in that situation, you will totally relate to Jack’s thoughts and feelings at the beginning of this book. The author has done an excellent job of creating distance and tension between her characters that is almost palpable, as is the misery Jack experiences as a result. It takes quite some skill as a writer to make the reader feel sympathy for a man who has caused his own problems, but Gauthier does so most effectively.
In addition to further developing the continuing story of events in Christmas Town, the author uses her characters to deliver important and relatable lessons about friendship, loyalty, and resolving one’s problems in constructive and healthy ways. Of course, the story is so entertaining that the reader doesn’t even realise they are being schooled in conflict resolution until they stop to reflect on what they have read.
The seventh of eight novellas in this endearing mystery/romance series, this has been the most thought-provoking thus far. ‘Christmas Miracle on Thanksgiving’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.
A highly recommended Christmas short story collection.
Jane Jago is a gifted writer who creates vivid and believable characters and drops them into situations that the reader finds engaging and relatable. Many of these stories are laced with Jago’s trademark wit, while others are quite sobering.
‘Twelve Tales of Christmas’ delivers varied and excellent short stories, each set at Christmas time, each with its own theme and messages.
These well-written stories are entertaining and thoughtprovoking at the same time, long enough to fully engage the reader, and short enough to be enjoyed in snatched breaks in the very busy pre-Christmas season.
This collection comes highly recommended, and has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy on Amazon.
An enchanting Christmas story with a classic feel.
Not everyone believes in Santa, but Henry Burrows wants to. In the time-honoured tradition of great Christmas stories, though, things aren’t always so straightforward.
‘Santa’s Chair’ is the story of Henry’s visit to a city department store to see Santa and the magic that can happen when a young child believes.
This is a delightful and well-written story that can be read and enjoyed in less than half an hour. It’s a good story for any age, and would be great to share as a family during the pre-Christmas season. It has the feel of a classic story, and definitely has the potential to become one.
‘Santa’s Chair’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.