There’s no shortage of Christmas-themed books available during the holiday period, but it’s tough knowing what’s really going to shine, and what will prove to be a let-down come Christmas morning…

Walking into a bookshop at this time of year is more bamboozling than ever. The shelves are full and you’re utterly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choice!

To help you out, we’ve put together the Ultimate Christmas Book List, inspiring you with the perfect choices for friends and family, and giving you chance to select a few knockout items for yourself too!

The only question remaining is, have you been naughty or nice?

The books on this list are a little of both. Each and every one has been carefully selected to provide a compelling, thrilling, delightful, or informative read. From indulgent fiction, to beautiful illustrations and lavish covers, these books are all incredibly nice, and just decadent enough to be a little bit naughty…

Non-fiction books for Christmas


A Poem for Every Night of the Year by Allie Esiri

This stunning collection of 366 magical poems is a veritable cornucopia of daily delight. Read it all at once, or ration yourself to one a day for a whole year. The book is beautifully presented and the compilation of poems exquisite. A definite must for all poetry lovers.

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson

A quirky take on the Twelve Days of Christmas, Jeanette Winterson offers up a dozen delightful stories, each accompanied by a deliciously festive recipe to enjoy while you read. A great gift to encourage some enjoyable, quality ‘family time’ over the Christmas break.

Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook by Jamie Oliver

The Naked Chef offers a seasonal treasure trove of treats. Stuffed with all manner of yummy morsels for Christmas Dinner, Boxing Day and beyond, this book also boasts an impressive number of edible gift ideas and party favours. Ideal for foodies and those who love cooking up a seasonal storm.

The Art of Hygge: How to Bring Danish Cosiness Into Your Life by Johnny Jackson

An unusual cosy comfort comes in the form of Hygge, a Danish word used for feeling comfortable, warm and at peace. We don’t have an equivalent word in English and it’s impossible to properly translate the term, but it’s big in Denmark and may explain why the Danes are among the happiest people in the world! The book is a mash up of recipes, crafty projects, decorating inspiration, and endless ways of enjoying the simple pleasures of the everyday. Read our review here.

Don’t Miss: 5 fab ways to invite more hygge into your life

Yoga Cats – The Purrfect Workout and Yoga Dogs – Get in Touch With Your Inner Pup both by Dan Borris

An unusually whimsical collection of images by award-winning photographer Dan Borris. Yoga Cats has to be seen to be appreciated, a hilarious combination of cute feline friends engaging in one of our favourite activities – yoga! Using a little computer magic and compilations of his own beautiful cat photography, Borris creates the illusion that our favourite familiars are happily engaged in a little relaxation. For the dog lovers out there, don’t despair, there is an equally enigmatic version available featuring faithful hounds!

These are fantastic and unusual gifts for animal lovers and yoga enthusiasts!

Fiction books for Christmas

A Year Full of Stories: 52 folk tales and legends from around the world by Angela McAllister and Christopher Corr

A wonderfully rich collection of tales from across the globe, this is a literary treat to enjoy for the whole year ahead. Offering a truly multi-cultural collection of stories and superb illustrations, it’s something you will eagerly open every day. Tied to the days of the year, the stories carry you through festivals, cultural events, and seasonal changes from New Year’s Day to Christmas Eve.

Midwinter by Fiona Melrose

This is a beautiful tale of two farmers, Landyn and Vale Midwinter, a father and son working their family land in Suffolk. The death of their beloved wife and mother has been weighing heavily on both men as their grief forms an unacknowledged barrier between them. As a bitter winter plunges the farm into difficulties, their relationship grows increasingly strained and the situation progressively desperate. With no choice but to deal with each other until the weather thaws and their fortunes improve, Midwinter is a surprisingly gentle, lyrical story, rich in language and meaning, telling a touching tale of the enduring power of love and the lengths to which we go in order to find a way home.

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Peal Didierlaurent

Add a little humour and sparkle to the holidays with a gorgeous Christmas edition of the international best-seller from French author Jean-Paul Didierlaurent. The tale follows Guylain Vignolles as he struggles to retain his reason while working in a job he despises at a book pulping factory. An avid reader and lover of books, he finds his work soul destroying, and saves as many precious pages as he can, reading them aloud during his journeys on the 6.27 train. These brief periods are his only pleasure in life, but when he stumbles upon a journal by an enigmatic but lonely woman, just as lost as he is, the real journey begins…

 Leather-bound classics for Christmas

Christmas is one of those rare times when you can buy people unusual gifts, things they wouldn’t normally think to get themselves, things that are far more luxurious than the ‘norm’. Barnes and Noble are somewhat legendary in the book world for their exquisite collection of divinely illustrated leather bound classics. There are stories we know well, and have read many times before, alongside others that are lesser known but should never be forgotten.

These editions are not your normal gifts.

They utterly surpass the majority of books in terms of quality. They are simply exquisite. They make perfect keepsakes for children, and wonderful gifts for friends who treasure particular books but only own a beaten up paperback. Alternatively they are an unusual way to introduce people to the Classics, and get them interested in something they wouldn’t normally read.

We’ve rounded up the best of the best to grace the foot of your Christmas tree…

Bronte Sisters: Three Novels, by Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë & Anne Brontë

Few literary families achieved as much as the Brontë sisters. They were trail blazers for women’s literature and their influence is still felt in modern literary works today. This magnificent collection includes Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and Agnes Grey, and is a must-have for fans of Classical Literature, emotive writing, and powerful women.

Charles Dickens: Five Novels by Charles Dickens

A wonderful collection of Dickens’ seminal works, this edition collects Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and, of course, A Christmas Carol.

Hans Christian Andersen: Classic Fairy Tales

This exhaustive collection of works by the man who wrote The Little Mermaid, and many other classics, showcases his most well-known tales and a lot you probably haven’t read before. This is a great gift for adults and children alike, each and every page is absolutely captivating.

Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm and Arthur Rackham

A treasure chest of true Germanic folklore, the Grimm’s fairytales include many timeless classics preserved in their original format. Cinderella’s nasty step-sisters get their comeuppance in bloody fashion, whilst Snow White’s stepmother is her actual mother, and far more sadistic than the Disney version would have us believe. These are the perfect tales for adults who appreciate the darker side of fairytales, and for introducing children to some difficult concepts in a way they can understand.

Jane Austen: Seven Novels by Jane Austen

Austen needs little introduction. This volume collects her seminal works, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Lady Susan, in one gorgeous book.

Jules Verne: Seven Novels by Jules Verne

Travel Around the World in Eighty Days, explore the depths of the ocean Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, discover what lies beneath our feet in A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and blast off From the Earth to the Moon. Jules Verne was lightyears ahead of his time in the world of science fiction and his works continue to influence modern storytelling. This volume collects his most famous novels as well as some of the lesser-known but delightful stories, including Five Weeks in a Balloon, Round the Moon and The Mysterious Island.

Divine Comedy by Dante

The Divine Comedy was a landmark in world literature. It’s poetry of epic proportion detailing Dante’s search for salvation and journey through the various circles of Hell, to Purgatory, before finally arriving in Paradise, where he is ultimately redeemed by love. He learns a great deal about the human condition and the fundamental truths of life along the way.

This is one book that everyone should read at least once in their lives – why not read it in real style?

Iliad & The Odyssey by Homer

Homer’s poems are among the oldest stories ever written. The epic tales of The Iliad and The Odyssey include a phenomenal amount of iconic imagery and mythology, much of which runs strong throughout our culture. For many, its origins are well known, but for those who haven’t studied Classical Greek literature it often comes as a shock to realise just how much started with Homer. This beautiful edition collects both of the Greek literary giant’s masterpieces in one beautiful volume.

Beautiful books for children this Christmas

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

A delightful tale of impossible things, perfect for the winter season and bedtime reading for both children and adults! Haig’s impressive storytelling abilities are only enhanced by his wit and humour, and the quirky illustrations of Chris Mould. This is a great little stocking filler that’s sure to be read year after year.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Illustrated Edition and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay

J.K. Rowling’s classic tale of the boy who lived and the magical world he inhabits has been released in luxurious illustrated form. For those who adore Harry Potter, these special editions are a must-have, and for anyone whose children have yet to dive into the world of witchcraft and wizardry, they’re a beautiful keepsake that will be treasured forever.

Mistletoe and Murder: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery by Robin Stevens

Robin Stevens, award-winning author of the fantastic A Most Unladylike Mystery series has unleashed a gripping and adorable Christmas special this year. As deadly young duo Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong head to Cambridge for the festive season, a peculiar accident sparks a new investigation. Tangling at every turn with meddlesome grownups and competition from a rival Detective Agency, the girls are determined to catch the killer before Christmas. A brilliant and mysterious romp of a book for children and early teens.

Silhouette Theatre – Sleeping Beauty by Simon & Schuster UK

If you’re looking for an unusual, magnificent gift, this is book is definitely for you. A collection of eight intricately rendered silhouette pops telling the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty in the most enchanting way imaginable. It’s a magical book that’s truly unique and will be the envy of everyone who loves fairytales and pretty things.

That’s Not My Elf by Fiona Watt

The phenomenally popular ‘That’s not my…’ series have a Christmas treat in store for the little ones, in the form of a happy little elf and a wonderfully tactile, bright, and colourful book, packed with illustrations and the repetitive rhyming hunt for a beloved and lost elf. The perfect stocking filler for babies and toddlers.

This year saw the release of Roald Dahl’s The BFG as a highly successful film, and children the world over are clamouring for the book. This exclusive special edition by Waterstones is really very special, featuring all the original illustrations and presented in a beautifully laid out hardback volume that can be treasured for many years to come.

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

Tom Fletcher delivers an energetic, unique and charming frolic around the North Pole with a boy named William Trundle and a most unusual dinosaur. Already a runaway bestseller this is a guaranteed child-pleaser that’s likely to entertain parents just as much!

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