Hi everyone, welcome to my blog. today I'm so excited to share my best cozy Christmas book recommendations for 2022.
I was so thrilled that so many of you enjoyed the best Christmas cozy mystery books in this series.
Because I shared lots of best Christmas cozy mystery books recommendations already
Cozy Christmas Reads: Heartwarming Books for the Holiday Season in 2022
I think we celebrate Christmas this year with a bit of extra cheer from these best cozy Christmas books, I find so much comfort and joy and festive spirit
so I hope you do too. I hope you enjoy my recommendations but I've got a great big pile to get through so let's get going.
1. Thirteen Days Of Christmas
first of all, I wanted to share this gem of a book that my mum first read to me when I was little but it's still a firm favorite with both of us that's the 13 days of Christmas by Jenny Overton it's beautifully illustrated by Shirley Hughes as well which makes it extra special
because I love her illustrations this is a charming and very funny story about the imagined events behind the carol of the 12 days of Christmas.
it's about a family who is rather fed up with their older sister who can't cook at all and they wish that she would just marry and get off their hands now there is a young man who wants to marry her but he isn't considered romantic enough doesn't quite meet her high standards
so the young children set about giving him some hints and tips about sending their sister some romantic presents well he takes their advice a little bit too much to heart the first gift he sends her is, of course, a partridge in a pear tree and the story follows along matching the carol from there and it's just absolutely hilarious.
I love some of the old customs that jenny Overton writes about in this too it's really fascinating to look at some of the histories of Christmas seen through this book but it's also just such a fun read and at the end,
you find out whether their sister gives in and agrees to marry a very persistent suitor or not but like I said it's a hilarious read and a firm favorite of ours every Christmas.
2. Winter Solstice
and then next I have to recommend winter solstice by Rosamund Pilcher Rosamond Pilcher is one of my favorite writers I adore reading this book at Christmas time and in fact I've chosen it for my book club read in December
so I hope you're able to read along if you feel like it this is a book that I reread whenever possible at Christmas time it doesn't start out at Christmas and in fact, there is a real tragedy at the start of the book but then it quickly moves into the Christmas season.
and it's about a group of rather unlikely people who are brought together in a lovely house in Scotland and they end up celebrating Christmas together and helping each other in ways they maybe wouldn't have anticipated it's such a comforting heartwarming story
it's really all about how we can help each other and celebrate the true spirit of Christmas together even through difficult years and difficult times in our lives I find it such a moving story and I also like to try to read it in real time when possible.
because I think about either the 19th or 20th of December in the book the story starts unfolding day by day so you can read each day on the appropriate date if that makes sense and I love to do that although I won't be doing that this year because we'll be discussing the book on the 20th
but normally I do love to read each appropriate section following each day in the run-up to Christmas it just is a very special tradition for me to do that but yes a wonderful heartwarming read for this time of year.
3. Miss Plum and Miss Penny
and then I also wanted to recommend miss plum and miss penny by Dorothy Evelyn smith which is a rather curious story about a 40-year-old spinster miss penny the story starts out in late November on miss penny's birthday and every year on her birthday she receives a letter from her former lover whom she never married because her parents highly disapproved of him
but she always wonders what if on every birthday when she gets a letter from him and she thinks about whether she's truly happy in her choice to remain single there are some other eligible bachelors in the village.
and she has fun I would say pondering if she should marry either of them but then this year is different on her birthday miss penny receives no letter from George her former lover however when she heads out for some birthday treats she happens upon a suicidal young woman called miss plum and stops miss plum from trying to drown herself in the duck pond miss penny takes pity on this plum
and invites her back to her home where she nurses and takes care of her however miss plum proves rather difficult to dislodge and she soon exasperates miss penny she won't talk about the future at all and she tends to fall into tears at the drop of a hat.
I enjoyed this book because there are some lovely Christmasy scenes in it there's a wonderful skating scene and there's a lovely carol singing scene and there are some also touching episodes in this book with some of the more minor characters one of miss penny's eligible bachelors is the village vicar and he is a widower who also has a rather difficult relationship with his son and I thought one of the strongest elements of this book is how Dorothy even smith writes about that father and son relationship and the tension there but how over the Christmas period they're able to find some sympathy and understanding with each other and that's a really special part of the book.
in general, it's meant to be just a very sort of light-hearted if slightly dark comic book I mean it certainly is of its time and doesn't deal with you know issues of mental health, for instance, the way we would speak of it today
but it is just meant to be quite a light-hearted read and not taken too seriously a lot of adventure happens when Miss Penny's former lover George actually turns up and asked to miss penny to marry him again.
and this is really a book too about realizing what actually makes you happy in life about being content with your lot and finding pleasure and joy in everyday
I enjoyed that about the book as well as its Yorkshire setting and there are some lovely Christmasy scenes in it which is what makes it a good read for this time of year so I wanted to recommend that one.
And then I wanted to recommend a few mysteries of the sort of snowbound English country house party-style mystery.
4. Mystery in White
the first is one of the British Library crime classics series it's called a mystery in white by jay Jefferson Farjeon a Christmas crime story now these aren't really the best mysteries I have to say however they're the sort of thing that's quite fun to curl up with over December and just read quickly they're quite fun light reads this one is very atmospheric.
because it's about people who get stranded on a train journey they can't move any further and they decide to seek shelter in a nearby abandoned house in the middle of nowhere, of course, the snow falls heavily outside all the while and traps them in the house and a murder is committed and they have to solve this crime so it's a little bit of a silly story but a fun one for this time of year.
5. An English Murder
and in a similar vein is an English murder by Cyril Hare again this is a classic English house party a Christmas time sort of mystery the snow falls the telephones are cut off and almost at the stroke of midnight a murder is committed.
and there's a whole assortment of suspects amongst the fans and friends family and friends gathered at Christmas time even the butler is a suspect so this is a very sort of classic British Christmas crime mystery, not one of the very best mysteries but still quite a fun read.
6. The Case of the Abominable Snowman
and then another one in a similar vein is 'the case of the abominable snowman by Nicholas blake' and this one is quite a fun read as well I love the fact that a snowman actually does feature within the plot of this book which I thought was a really fun detail but it's about a detective called Nigel.
Nigel Strangeways gets called into an English country house party over the festive period because there are all these strange goings-on happening so he's a sort of private detective who's called in to investigate and then a young woman seemingly commits suicide
but it's clear that not all is quite as it appears so again this is just quite a fun light read for this time of year I always love a good mystery over Christmas so I would recommend those.
7. High Rising: A Virago Modern Classic
and then I love angela Thirkell's books and the first in her series of books in the English countryside is high rising this is a lovely one to read over Christmas because much of the action takes place over the Christmas holidays and new year's it's about a popular female novelist who goes home to her country mansion for the Christmas holidays.
her rather troublesome young son comes home for the holidays too and she has to work out how to entertain him over time but she also gets caught up in some of the affairs of her neighbors and village life there's a bit of romance that goes through this book too and it's just a really cozy comforting sort of reading so I recommend this.
8. Christmas at High Rising
and if you enjoy that then there's this lovely little collection of short stories not all of them are Christmas Christmasy but there is a nice Christmas one in here and this is called 'Christmas at High Rising by Angela Thirkell'.
It's just a slim volume it features some of the same characters that you meet in high rising I love both these covers too they're just so gorgeous so wintry so I had to recommend those.
And then I wanted to share two of my vintage children's books that I absolutely love to pull out at this time of year.
9. The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas: An Austin Family Story
this is another book that my mum recorded that my mum read to me when I was little it's the 24 days before Christmas by Madeleine L'Engle and it's really such a lovely story it's about a young girl who is going to be an angel in the Christmas play in her school Christmas play and she feels nervous about it
because she's a bit tall and awkward for her age her mom is also expecting a new baby so things this Christmas are just making her a little bit anxious but it's just a really cozy beautiful Christmas story about a lovely family.
and every day in the lead up to Christmas the parents arranged something special for the children to do whether that's getting that advent calendar on the 1st of December or going out to cut holly another day and putting up some Christmas decorations on yet
another day or doing some crafting some baking things like that and I absolutely love that idea of arranging some simple but special little treat to do every day in the lead-up to Christmas.
I think if you have a family that's such a lovely idea and what I really like about that too is in this book the parents really expect the children to actively participate in these treats each day it's not just something that the parents sort of organizing and do completely the children really take responsibility for it as well
which I really love but, of course, their poor mother ends up having to give birth at the end in the midst of a snowstorm that keeps them all at home so it's quite dramatic but it's just a really charming lovely Christmas story that I really recommend.
10. Fell Farm for Christmas
and then another favorite read is the fell farm for Christmas by Marjorie Lloyd this
I think is the second book in her foul farm books there are three in the series and this follows a really charming little family it's two sets of twins and then just one child who doesn't have a twin you always feel a bit sorry for but the parents as is typical in these sort of interval yearbooks are away for the Christmas holidays.
The children are left to sort of fend for themselves they're under the care of their aunt but they get sent off to a farm for Christmas and then they have an absolutely wonderful time they do all sorts of games in the snow and around the farm
and it's just a really charming little story again there's a lovely carol singing scene in this book which I absolutely love they also get up to some adventures or they stop um sheep stealers from stealing the sheep on the farm and it just is a cozy lovely little story.
11. Castaway Christmas
This is 'castaway Christmas by Margaret j baker' so it's one of the books on my to-be reg pile it says what a prospect for Christmas. Pinks and their brother lincoln find themselves stranded in a strange house with no money no food
and flood water rises all around them then lincoln gets marooned on a tiny island and is rescued in the nick of time by his dog swimming across to him with a rope.
this is an exciting interesting story showing exactly how resourceful ordinary children can be when they are really up against it see it's again a sort of classic example of children's literature from the interval years
and also just post-war years where the children were often just left to fend for themselves and parents are mysteriously absent a lot of the time but this just sounds really fun and I hope you enjoy this one.
12. Christmas at Nettleford
and then I've mentioned before that I absolutely loved the stories by Malcolm Savile when I was little my favorite series by him are the lone pine books but I also really loved the Nettleford books there are only four in the series and this is the second and it's called Christmas at Nettleford by Malcolm Savile
I love the cover it's so pretty and this is such a lovely book to read at Christmas time it's one of my absolute all-time favorite Christmas reads it's about two sets of families Elizabeth is the daughter of the uh vicar of Nettleford she's about 15 years old and she has an older brother and also a younger brother and she is best friends with sally who's the daughter of the bookshop owner of Nettleford.
there's a lovely bookshop in Nettleford called the wise owl bookshop which of course that's one of the reasons why I love this book I love any book that features a bookshop and this is just such a charming story about how these two groups of friends get together in the Christmas holidays
and have a lot of fun as well as some adventure they also are on the track in this one not of sheep stealers but of chicken stealers in this story.
and it really is quite charming but they also show themselves to be very helpful and attentive to their neighbors some of whom don't have people to celebrate Christmas with
there's a really touching scene at the end of the book where Elizabeth's parents invite anyone who's a little bit lonely or on their own at Christmas to come and share some singing around the piano and some treats with all of their family on Christmas day again.
there are some really wonderful Christmasy scenes in this the children sell holly to make money for the church funds there's a lovely nativity play that they prepare for in this and lots of other quiet but sweet little adventures and it really is an utterly charming story if you can get hold of a copy I really recommend it.
13. The Story of Holly and Ivy
and then again from my earliest childhood I absolutely adored this book the story of holly and ivy by rumor goddamn I love the writer rumor garden and this is such a special Christmas story for young people
but it's also really poignant to read as an adult as well it's about a young orphan called ivy and she sets off on she's put on a train to spend the holidays in a different sort of orphanage I think.
but she decides to get off the train and go in search of her grandmother she doesn't have a grandmother but she strongly feels the urge to get off at a certain stop and try to find somebody who will love her once she's in a little village she stumbles upon a toy shop
and there she sees an amazing doll dressed all in red who is, of course, called holly in the window and holly and ivy are really meant to be together as Roma Gordon says at the start of this story.
it really is a book about wishing and the spirit of Christmas the magic that's in the air at this time of year those who are wishing for your heart's desire may be having that wish come true it's a really special beautiful book and a firm favorite of mine at Christmas.
14. Christmas: A Biography
and then for something a little bit different there's this book Christmas a biography by Judith Flanders and this is all about the history behind Christmas I love the little illustrations that go down I don't know if you can see those but they go down the edges of the page which I think are really sweet I really love them and this is a reality.
If you want to know a bit more about the history of Christmas and its traditions and the special days and saints days surrounding Christmas then this is a really interesting read so I recommend that one.
15. The Christmas Collection
lots of people said they loved reading Susan hill's short stories around Christmas time well so do I and I have this collection the Christmas collection by Susan hill and it's illustrated by John Lawrence with some really lovely woodcut illustrations in this there's lovely story in here called the glass angels which is a lovely one lanterns across the snow is another favorite of mine in here.
I think Susan hill is such a good short story writer her ghost stories are amazing and these are some lovely Christmasy short stories that she's written I love the illustrations as well you can see one there so I definitely recommend this one.
16. Christmas from the Heart of the Home
and then I'm also a huge fan of Susan Branch I know a lot of you are too Susan Branch writes an excellent blog. She's an American writer but also a real anglophile she's written lovely books about her love of England and also her wonderful life in the states and her love of food and traditions and I love this book which is Christmas from the heart of the home by Susan Branch.
And she's a wonderful illustrator as well as a writer she illustrates all of her own books and I love the amazing script that she uses too this is a lovely book full of recipes for Christmas but she also includes lots of lovely seasonal quotes in her books which I really enjoy and little tips um for sort of homemade Christmas gifts and things like that I love her ideas for a teddy bear tea party for young children and breakfast and brunch so a really lovely book.
17. Sarah Raven's Complete Christmas
And then in a bit of a similar vein I also wanted to recommend Sarah raven's complete Christmas food and flowers so again I love this book not only for the wonderful Christmasy recipes in it but also because there are lots of tips on entertaining and things like how to do a lovely festive table setting how to decorate your Christmas tree.
And all sorts of tips on what flowers to use which is really useful this time of year when you don't always have so much choice for flowers and I really love Sarah raven's ideas on how to arrange some pretty flowers for the table as well as her wonderful recipes so this is a book that I always like to dip into at Christmas time.
18. Miss Read's Christmas Book
And then a book that is really a part of my life because I think my mum has never been separated from this book for as long as I can remember anyway is miss reed's Christmas book this is actually a Christmas anthology but I wanted to save it for this article because it's just such a lovely cozy read I mentioned lots of 'miss read' books in my part one best Christmas cozy mystery books to this.
Isn't her own writing but it's her sort of choice of Christmasy extracts I like the illustrations in it too they're very sweet and she's just brought together some really charming extracts about this the Christmas season there are little stories and poems it just really is a very charming little anthology so I wanted to draw your attention to this one.
19. A Christmas Memory: One Christmas, and The Thanksgiving Visitor
And then many people said how much they loved to read Truman Capote at Christmas well so do I this is a lovely little collection of three of his short stories there are two Christmas short stories in here and then one thanksgiving short story and so the two Christmas ones are called a Christmas memory and one Christmas.
It's a lovely little book obviously to read at this time of year and a Christmas memory is one of my very favorite Christmas stories it always makes me cry I have to confess but it's such a life-affirming sort of story it's about the importance of friendship and about doing things for other people at Christmas time and it tells this the tale of a rather lonely little boy who's living in a house full of relations
but his closest friend in this house is an older woman who is a cousin of his they're both rather neglected and not treated particularly well by the other relatives and given very little money but they find so much joy in each other's company and they get up to their own Christmas adventures together.
One thing that they do every year is to make 30 odd fruitcakes at Christmas time and they send them to their friends and it's just such a touching heartwarming story if you've never read it before then I really recommend it but I know it's a story that's on many people's annual Christmas reading list so I wanted to mention that too.
20. Christmas with Anne and Other Holiday Stories
And this is such a charming little collection as well moving into a few short story collections I wanted to recommend to you here Christmas with Anne and other holiday stories by ellen Montgomery is really lovely they're all festive reads in this collection which I love so this makes it a perfect holiday read.
And I think the first one in here is the part from Anne of green gables where Matthew buys a dress with puff sleeves and that's just always been one of my very favorite scenes in a book and it's such a touching part of ann's story I absolutely loved it but there are lots of really sweet little stories in this collection so if you're a fan develop Montgomery then I really recommend this book.
21. Village Christmas
Next up I love this collection of stories by Laurie lee it's called village Christmas and other notes on the English year and it's a collection of stories about the village going through the year there are a couple of Christmasy ones at the beginning in the winter section
obviously, they're not all Christmasy but there's the famous caroling scene in the Cotswolds at the beginning which I absolutely love to read that one every year.
And then there's I think one other a couple other stories there's a cold Christmas walk in the country and my country childhood which is a bit of a new year's eve story as well and they're just really charming little stories to read and in fact,
I like all of them it's a fun one to read throughout the year but especially the winter section of the book at this time of year is really lovely.
22. A Maigret Christmas: And Other Stories
And then I'm also such a fan of the Maigret books the book surrounding the brilliant french detective and this is a lovely collection of meg grey stories it's called a Maigret Christmas and other stories not all of them are festive in this book
but if I remember one or two are sort of Christmas related but the others are just really fun to read.
Anyway I really enjoy curling up with sort of cozy crime-type books at this time of year mega isn't as cozy as some books but they're not that gruesome either they are always more involved in the sort of psychology of crime
which I find interesting this is definitely a lovely collection of short stories and if you've never read one of the mega books then it would be maybe a good place to start to get a feel for this style of mystery writing which I do really enjoy.
23. An Almost Perfect Christmas
And then this is a really fun little collection of stories it's called an almost perfect Christmas by Nina Stibbe. Nina Stibbe is such a funny writer she's got a real flair for the comic one of my favorite scenes in this book is when Nina describes her mother's attempts at making the Christmas turkey
and it is completely dry every year it's really a disaster the mom couldn't cook at all poor thing but there are lots of really funny anecdotes in this as well as sort of Christmasy short stories also Nina's tips on Christmas correspondence.
And it's just a really fun read it would make actually a really good stocking stuffer too because it's just a small little book but I really love it I think it's a fabulous cozy sort of reading for this time of year
and if your Christmas isn't perfect too then I think this is a really comforting kind of book because Nina's very good at still finding the sort of festive spirit and joy even in not-ideal circumstances so I do love it for that reason too.
24. Jeeves and the Yule-tide Spirit: And Other Stories
Another short story collection that I love is this one 'Jeeves and the yule-tide spirit and other stories by P. G. Woodhouse the thing is there's really only one very Christmassy short story in this, unfortunately, pg woodhouse didn't write a lot of stories around to the Christmas time
but there is a very funny Jeeves and Worcester story in here that involves hot water bottles and a rather catastrophic Christmas eve of paul Bertie a bit of Jeeves getting his own back which is always so fun in these stories.
So I love that one there's also honeysuckle cottage in this collection which is the rather humorous ghost story that I read a little extract from and our tea reads Halloween special
so if you've been wondering where you can read that then that's in here and lots of other short stories too that aren't particularly festive but are definitely fun to read and always sent me laughing anyway.
25. Murder on Christmas Eve
26. Murder Under the Christmas Tree
And then I also really like these little collections I think there are more than this I don't have them all but I have 'Murder on Christmas eve' and 'Murder under the Christmas tree' and these feature a lot of golden age crime writers and they're all sort of festive little mystery stories which I really enjoy.
I think they're predominantly golden age but there are a few modern writers like Val McDermott her short stories in here and they just look really fun and they're the type of book that again it's just fun to curl up with them in the long December evenings with the mince pie and the hot chocolate so I do enjoy that kind of festive short story collection.
27. Christmas at Thompson Hall
28. A Merry Christmas
then a couple others I really like are 'Christmas at Thompson Hall and other Christmas stories by Anthony Trollope and 'A merry Christmas and other Christmas stories by Louisa May Alcott' these are really delightful short story collections too
I think it's so fun as I've said before to read short stories in the festive season which is really a busy time for many of us and sometimes you don't always have time to read a lot or to get through a whole novel but being able to just pick up a book and read the old festive short story is a really fun thing to do.
And I love this series it's the Christmas classics by penguin and I think I have all of them but these two are particular favorites of mine I love the writers Anthony Trollope and Louisa may Alcott so I wanted to highlight them.
29. Noel Streatfeilds Christmas Stories
Then I adore 'Noel Stratfield' I loved her book ballet shoes when I was little and this is a lovely festive collection of her short stories it's called 'noel Stratfield's Christmas short stories' it's it would be a lovely gift for any young person in your life there are some beautiful illustrations in the book which I love.
I love illustrated books as you can probably tell and these are really nicely done which I really appreciate it says that originally written in the 1940s to 60s for annual magazines and the radio these stories have never been collected before.
So also if you're a fan of noel Stratfield then it's quite special to have this little volume of her stories that have never been brought together in one before so I wanted to recommend this one.
30. Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A little book of festive joy
And then finally I wanted to talk about the book calm Christmas and a happy new year a little book of festive joy by beth Kempton I think we would all like a calm Christmas and happy new year and this is a lovely little book all about how to achieve a calm Christmas it also gets you thinking about what Christmas really means to you.
I think best Kempton shares sort of five stories or sort of variations of what Christmas means to different people and she invites you to choose one of those meanings of Christmas and then that then helps you to construct the type of Christmas that will make you and your family happy
so I thought that was a really interesting and good idea there are lots of really great ideas in this little book so I wanted to recommend it too.
Conclusion of Best Cozy Christmas Books 2022
I think I'd better end it there but I really enjoyed sharing all of these wonderful reads with you I hope you enjoyed my recommendations too let me know if any of these really caught your eye
or if there are any books I haven't spoken about that you love to read at Christmas time I'd really love to know but please do give this article a share. if you enjoyed it don't forget to subscribe to my blog.
Thanks so much for reading happy 'Thanksgiving' to all of my American followers. I hope you enjoy plenty of pumpkin pie or whatever it is that means 'Thanksgiving' to you and I'll be back again very soon with my next article, goodbye.