Christmas Book Picks 2019

I received complimentary copies of some of these books for honest reviews, which you’ll find in the posts I’ve linked to.

The most wonderful time of the year has begun! I share my Christmas Book Picks before Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. in case any of my blog readers would like to procure and read a title or two from the list during the holiday season. I very much hope you will! You’ll find them listed in the order I read them.

To the authors of my Christmas Picks, if you’d like a medal for making the list, see the bottom of this post.

Christmas at Blue Hydrangeas by Marianne Sciucco

Contemporary Fiction

★★★★ from me

A blizzard leads to an unexpected Christmas at Sara’s bed and breakfast. This is the type of introspective tale that invites you to sit back, sip a warm beverage, and be patient as the story moves at its own pace. It has bittersweet moments, then there are moments of beauty, benevolence, and gentle joy. The few tears sprinkled into this story add all the more to its worth, warmth, and hope.

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie

Classic Mystery, Short Story

★★★★★ from me

More than holiday cheer awaits Detective Hercule Poirot at a Christmas celebration when a jewel thief is in the midst! The old-fashioned English Christmas elements in this short tale are downright charming, as are the little nods to romance. Even with the story’s shortness, the mystery has got a good number of clever twists, and I’m all for the quirky-and-proper flavor I expected to find in a read like this. I hoped to like this short holiday story, and I wound up loving it.

The Three Christmases of William Spencer by Derek Blount

Christian Fiction

★★★★★ from me

Although William has had his share of holidays over his many years, this next Christmas may be his most momentous yet. Seriously, this is one of the best Christmas stories I’ve ever read. Somewhere during the last third or so, I had to stop reading for maybe ten minutes…to weep. The tale is simple but wise and poignant at the same time, knowing what to explain or mention and what to leave unsaid. It’s a wonderfully realized journey of joy, pain, faith, and hope—what Christmas classics are made of.

It’s Christmas, Carol! by Sara-Lisa Andersson

Contemporary Fiction, Short Story

★★★★★ from me

Carol usually goes out of her way not to celebrate Christmas, but this year… I thought I might be in for a light, Scrooge-like comedy or something when I came across this short story. I did not know it was going to amaze me. The story does not at all shy away from pain, and yet, I didn’t find it to be a depressing read. Instead, I found it to be a wise, even challenging, and hopeful tale that resonates with some of my strongest beliefs about life, death, living, and love. And, yeah, it’s got a touch of magic, too!

Tin Can Serenade by Amanda Dykes

Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Short Story

★★★★ from me

A cross-river correspondence brings a chance for love and redemption. This Victorian short hooked me with its “jump right in and get it!” approach. It’s a great example of how a story can say so much without using a lot of words. The story has some delightful moments, and this author also has a knack for poignancy and aching but beautiful romance. And the poetry in this tale is a nice touch, too.

Our Last Christmas Together by Matt Mikalatos

Christian Fiction, Fantasy

★★★★★ from me

Young people in the Sunlit Lands set aside war to celebrate Christmas. As much as I enjoyed revisiting the diverse cast of characters here (especially Wu Song!), there’s still a lot to appreciate about this story of stories even if it’s your first time to the Sunlit Lands. So much about comradeship, family, life, and love comes together in these relatively few pages. It’s truly amazing. I was laughing toward the beginning and the middle, having no idea I’d be crying after while.

Desert Duet by Debra E. Marvin

Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery

★★★★ from me

Well! This is the first inspirational historical Western romantic mystery Christmas novella I’ve ever read. 😀 I appreciated the voice carrying the story, with a clever and upbeat but unpretentious and down-home kind of wit. The main characters, Thea and Eugene, come off as real and likable, and the romance is natural, without sappiness or melodrama. Hints of big-city glamour, Hollywood ambitions, 1930s popular culture, and the sting of the Great Depression are woven into the grit of country life and the danger lurking in the Arizona hills and desert. So much in a small Christmas package!

The Christmas Robe by Jennifer Lamont Leo

Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Short Story

★★★★★ from me

A department store clerk comes up with a scheme to snag a luxurious boudoir robe for herself after Christmas—but the cost may be too high. This short Roaring Twenties tale is my favorite from a collection called Songbird and Other Stories. It’s humorous, clever, and touching, and it got some chuckles out of me before it made me teary-eyed. You’ll want to read more of this author’s Roaring Twenties stories and novels!

The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke

Classic Christian Fiction, Biblical Fiction

★★★★ from me

Although Artaban misses the chance to join his three Magi companions, his way becomes profound in his quest to find the King. Having a good idea ahead of time about where such a tale would go didn’t stop this tale from being beautiful to me. Beautiful in its atmospheric detail as well as in its compelling message about what’s important to the King. Yes, the story has some old-fashioned quirks, like the fact that some of the characters speak in “King James” now and then, but the message itself is timeless. Not at all hard to see why this tale is a classic.

Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

Christian Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

★★★★ from me

Krista, a divorced mother, moves to Winter Hill for a new job, but not everyone here wants her around, and the biggest thing in this small town is a holiday season she doesn’t care for. This book has a comfortable Hallmark feel in a story that’s easy to digest. But even with its easiness, it touches on some serious issues, and the tale is absolutely wrapped and steeped in Christmas, which is precisely what I wanted. Many fans of quick and uplifting holiday reads with faith and a little romance woven in should enjoy this one.


Entries for 2019’s Christmas Book Picks giveaway are now closed, but comments on the post are remaining open.


You can get your reading started by picking up free Kindle copies of Tin Can Serenade, Our Last Christmas Together, and The Story of the Other Wise Man. Be sure to double-check the prices before downloading!


Check out a romantic comedy that ties right into the holidays: The “She” Stands Alone. It’s available as a 99¢ standalone and also as part of a collection, Inspiring Love: Three Romantic Reads.


Congratulations, authors, and thank you for writing your books! If I’ve selected yours as a Christmas Pick this year, you’re welcome to a complimentary medal to display on your website, blog, social media—wherever you wish. Click the image below and contact me to receive a full size PNG medal. (The lined watermark will be removed, and the medal will include the year on it, 2019.) Thanks again!


25 thoughts on “Christmas Book Picks 2019

  1. Kim Reinhardt says:

    Such a pretty list of Christmas books! I’d like to enter the giveaway for Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson. I’ve read some of her other books and enjoy her writing. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nadine C. Keels says:

      You’re welcome, Kim, and you’re entered! I believe this is the second Christmas novella I’ve read by Melody Carlson, and I’m finding that she’s a holiday staple in her own right. 😀


  2. janicemoore0629 says:

    Thank you for this exciting list and especially the ones that are free now! I would like to be on the giveaway list to be considered for the book “Winter in Christmas Hill.” Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shamekka S says:

    Thanks for the book reviews and for the link to the freebies. I have some serious holiday reading to do. I’m also entering for a chance to win the book by Melody Carlson Christmas in Winter Hill

    Liked by 1 person

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