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10 Great Books About the Ho-Ho-Holidays!

Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

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Holidays are nothing if not about tradition, and what better way to celebrate them than with books? My favorite holiday book that we always read when I was young was Mole and Troll Trim the Tree, about two Ernie and Bert-type roommates who can’t agree on what kind of Christmas tree to get for their house. It’s sadly no longer in print (I’m kinda old) but there are still the classics, like The Grinch and Polar Express, and tons of great new books about the holidays being released every year. Here are ten fun choices about this time of year to check out and maybe make part of your holiday traditions.

my true love gave to meMy True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

A delightful selection of holiday-themed stories from some of today’s most fabulous authors, including Kelly Link, Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han, and Holly Black, set during Christmas, Hanukkah, the winter solstice, and New Year’s Eve.



the latkeThe Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket

Unlike his cool and calm friend, the Gingerbread Man, Latke the potato pancake cannot handle being cooked. So he screams and screams. An unusual holiday offering from an unusual author.

the santa claus bookThe Santa Claus Book by Alden Perkes

This is another of my favorite holiday books. It tells the “true” story of the origins of Santa, his elves, his reindeer and more, alongside gorgeous, fun illustrations.




cover of holidays on iceHolidays on Ice by David Sedaris

No holiday book collection is complete without this selection of hilarious essays from Sedaris, including probably his most famous piece, “Santaland Diaries,” about his stint as an elf at Macy’s. Best consumed on audio.




christmas kitschChristmas Kitsch by Amy Lane

If you’re looking for a little holiday romance, this is a delightfully sweet story about a college football player willing to give it all up for his a boy from the wrong side of the tracks.





krampusnachtKrampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus edited by Kate Wolford

What holiday would be complete without a little horror? If you think Santa is mean for leaving coal, wait until you meet Krampus. Krampus is the Christmas Devil, and here are a dozen stories about his devious devilishness.




best holiday sweetsBest Holiday Sweets & Treats: Good and Simple Family Favorites to Bake and Share by Daniella Malfitano

One of the best things about holidays is all the food! This is an easy, fun book of holiday-themed sweets to make and share with all your friends and family and Book Riot contributors. (Just sayin’.)



kwanzaaSeven Candles for Kwanzaa by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Still a relatively new holiday in North America, this book helps explain Kwanzaa, the commemoration of an ancient African harvesting ritual, and is beautifully illustrated.

superfun times veganThe Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Isa is a food goddess, and this is her newest offering, a collection of fun and easy recipes for the holidays that prove that vegan eating can be delicious. (It’s true, I swear.)



dreidels on the brainDreidels on the Brain by Joel ben Izzy

Joel, a young boy growing up in Los Angeles, is trying to survive the holidays as the only Jewish kid in his school. He also wants to become a famous magician. So, armed with a suitcase full of magic tricks, he sets out to learn about his heritage and the meaning of Hanukkah.