Hello, dear readers! What cheesy Christmas song is playing in the background as you’re reading this? Last year, I had my Christmas playlist on from 1 November, but this year I’m trying to be more reasonable, so I haven’t yet hit play on my wintery soundtrack.
While I wait (im)patiently to be able to blast some cheesy festive classics on repeat for a full month, I decided a TBR is a much more laid-back way to get into the Christmas spirit. After all, books take a while to complete, unlike a playlist which can be on loop several times in one day.
You can’t get bored of a Christmas TBR and it’s never too early to start it. Bonus points that you don’t annoy your neighbours. Reading is apartment-friendly, after all.
I’m not usually organised enough to adapt my TBRs to the changing seasons but even the queen of randomness gets a couple of festive books to read in time for 25 December. So here are three recommendations for any and all jolly bookworms out there.
‘The Christmas Murder Game’ by Alexandra Benedict
This has to be my all-time favourite festive thriller. Lily Armitage receives a letter from her late aunt inviting her to Endgame House, the old family manor where her mother died 21 years ago. The letter reveals that all of Lily’s estranged cousins will also take part in the game that will decide who inherits the house.
They have 12 days to solve 12 clues and find the keys that will get them to the deeds for the manor. And of course, Lily soon finds out that the Christmas game is particularly deadly this year.
I thoroughly enjoyed this intense and mysterious family drama that keeps you guessing at every stage. It’s fun, rhythmic, and addictive, dark enough to not be cheesy, but not gruesome enough to take away the festive spirit. The Christmas Murder Game is a real Christmas cracker of a book.
‘A German Christmas: Festive Tales From Berlin to Bavaria’
Nothing says Christmas quite like a collection of fairy tales. Personally, I prefer individual stories to entire novels around Christmas time. The memories associated with them are kept more vivid and closer to my heart, because they’re so easy to read and you can devour them in portions.
A German Christmas gathers timeless classics by the Brothers Grimm and Thomas Mann alongside more modern tales, for a perfect collection of festive treats all about the famous and enviable German Christmas.
Eine froehliche Weihnachten — A Merry Christmas — made all the more joyful with these literary treats redolent of candle-lit trees, St. Nikolaus, gingerbread, roast goose and red cabbage, tinsel and stollen cakes, accompanied by plenty of schnapps. — Waterstones
‘Kiss Her Once for Me’ by Alison Cochrun
And the third and final Christmas recommendation is also the hot new release of today’s column. Alison Cochrun, the master that wrote one of my favourite romances of all time, The Charm Offensive, is back with a sapphic Christmas romance that sounds enchanting and thrilling.
There had to be a romance on this list. Kiss Her Once for Me follows Ellie who, after a Christmas Eve meet-cute in a bookstore, is left heartbroken when her new love interest betrays her trust the next morning. Soon after, she loses her dream job, leaving her broke and desperate.
She agrees on a whim to a fake engagement which could be the solution to all her problems, but when her fiance’s sister turns out to be her runaway meet-cute, Jack, Ellie starts considering the reality of her feelings, and what pursuing the woman of her dreams could risk.
This sounds incredible and filled with enough angst to keep my distracted little mind interested. It’s already at the top of my festive TBR.
You can read my review of The Charm Offensive here:
And that’s it for today’s Coffee Time Tuesday. Have you started those festive books yet? What are some of your favourite Christmas reads? Let me know in the comments!