The best 26 Holiday Reading books

The holiday season is the perfect time to cozy up with a good book. Whether you're lounging on the beach or snuggled up by the fireside, our holiday reading list has something for everyone. From heartwarming novels to gripping thrillers, these books will transport you to different worlds and keep you entertained throughout your vacation. So grab a cup of hot cocoa, find a comfortable spot, and get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of holiday reading.

The best 26 Holiday Reading books
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Holiday Reading Books: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn
A Novel
4.6 (13 ratings)
Listen to the Intro

What's Gone Girl about?

Gone Girl (2012) is the story of Amy Dunne, who one day vanishes from her cozy midwestern home. Her sudden disappearance becomes a sensational nation-wide headline – and the biggest suspect is her husband, Nick. But what follows is a head-spinning plot that takes on the subjects of relationship dynamics, private and public identities, the influence of media, and the institution of marriage.

Who should read Gone Girl?

  • People who enjoy mysteries with surprising plot twists
  • Anyone who likes a good crime thriller
  • Fans of iconic female characters in fiction

What's The Perks of Being a Wallflower about?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a poignant coming-of-age story that follows Charlie, a shy and introspective teenager. Through a series of letters, Charlie shares his experiences as he navigates high school, friendship, love, and loss. The book delves into themes of mental health, identity, and the complexities of growing up.

Who should read The Perks of Being a Wallflower?

  • Teenagers and young adults navigating the ups and downs of adolescence
  • Individuals who appreciate introspective and emotionally resonant storytelling
  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age narratives with complex and relatable characters

What's Beneath a Scarlet Sky about?

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan is a gripping historical fiction novel set in World War II. It tells the incredible true story of Pino Lella, a young Italian man who becomes a spy for the Allies while working as a driver for a high-ranking Nazi official. Filled with suspense, romance, and bravery, this book offers a unique perspective on the war and the extraordinary individuals who fought against it.

Who should read Beneath a Scarlet Sky?

  • History enthusiasts who enjoy World War II era stories
  • Readers who appreciate tales of resilience and heroism
  • Those who are intrigued by real-life accounts of individuals facing extraordinary challenges

What's The Martian about?

The Martian by Andy Weir follows astronaut Mark Watney, who is mistakenly left behind on Mars after a dust storm forces his crew to evacuate. With limited supplies and ingenuity, Watney must find a way to survive on the desolate planet while NASA works tirelessly to bring him home. A thrilling tale of resilience, problem-solving, and the power of the human spirit.

Who should read The Martian?

  • Science enthusiasts and those curious about space exploration
  • Readers who enjoy a mix of humor and gripping survival stories
  • Individuals who appreciate detailed and realistic scientific explanations

What's The Pandarus File about?

The Pandarus File is a gripping thriller by Kyle Keyes that delves into the world of espionage and betrayal. When a young computer programmer stumbles upon a dangerous secret, he unwittingly becomes entangled in a web of lies and deceit. As he races against time to uncover the truth, the stakes are raised higher than he ever imagined.

Who should read The Pandarus File?

  • Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers with a dark and twisty storyline
  • Those who are fascinated by complex and morally ambiguous characters
  • Individuals who appreciate a well-crafted and suspenseful plot with unexpected plot twists

What's I Heard You Paint Houses about?

I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt is a gripping true crime book that tells the story of Frank Sheeran, a mob hitman who claims to have been involved in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Through extensive interviews with Sheeran, the author uncovers shocking details about organized crime and its ties to powerful political figures. This compelling and chilling account will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about the underworld.

Who should read I Heard You Paint Houses?

  • True crime enthusiasts interested in the inner workings of organized crime
  • Readers who enjoy biographies of individuals with a controversial and intriguing past
  • Those curious about the unsolved mysteries surrounding the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa

What's The Girl on the Train about?

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a gripping psychological thriller that follows the story of Rachel, an alcoholic who becomes obsessed with a seemingly perfect couple she sees from the train every day. When the woman goes missing, Rachel becomes entangled in the investigation and uncovers dark secrets about the people involved. Filled with twists and turns, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Who should read The Girl on the Train?

  • Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers with unreliable narrators
  • Those looking for a captivating and suspenseful story with unexpected twists
  • People who are interested in exploring the complexities of human relationships and the consequences of obsession

What's A Christmas Carol about?

A Christmas Carol is a timeless classic that tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Through these visits, Scrooge is forced to confront his own selfishness and lack of compassion, ultimately leading to his redemption. This heartwarming tale reminds us of the true spirit of Christmas and the power of kindness and generosity.

Who should read A Christmas Carol?

  • Readers who enjoy classic literature, particularly Victorian-era works
  • Those who appreciate stories with themes of redemption and generosity
  • People looking for a heartwarming holiday tale that still resonates today

What's The Shining about?

The Shining is a gripping novel by Stephen King that tells the story of the Torrance family, who move into the isolated Overlook Hotel for the winter. As the hotel becomes snowbound, terrifying supernatural forces start to take hold, driving the father, Jack, to madness and putting his wife and son in grave danger. This chilling tale explores themes of isolation, addiction, and the power of the supernatural.

Who should read The Shining?

  • Readers who enjoy psychological horror and supernatural phenomena
  • Fans of Stephen King's writing style and storytelling ability
  • Those interested in exploring themes of family dysfunction and the human psyche

What's The Glass Castle about?

The Glass Castle is a memoir by Jeannette Walls that delves into her unconventional and challenging childhood. Walls recounts her experiences growing up in a dysfunctional family, constantly on the move and living in poverty. Despite the hardships, the book also explores themes of resilience, determination, and the unbreakable bond within her family.

Who should read The Glass Castle?

  • Readers who enjoy memoirs and personal stories
  • People looking for inspiration and resilience in the face of adversity
  • Those interested in exploring themes of family dynamics, poverty, and personal growth

What's I Am Watching You about?

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll is a gripping psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. When a woman overhears a conversation on a train that sets off alarm bells, she becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. As the story unfolds, dark secrets and unexpected twists reveal the chilling reality of what can happen when someone is watching you.

Who should read I Am Watching You?

  • Anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers and suspenseful mysteries
  • Readers who like stories with multiple perspectives and unreliable narrators
  • People who are interested in exploring the consequences of not speaking up and taking action in critical situations

What's The Princess Bride about?

The Princess Bride is a classic fantasy novel filled with adventure, romance, and humor. Written by William Goldman, it tells the story of a young woman named Buttercup and her true love, Westley, as they navigate through a series of challenges, including a vengeful prince and a band of misfit companions. With its witty narration and memorable characters, this book is a timeless tale of love and perseverance.

Who should read The Princess Bride?

  • Readers who enjoy a mix of fantasy, romance, and adventure
  • Those who appreciate clever and humorous storytelling
  • People who love classic tales with a modern twist

What's All the Light We Cannot See about?

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a captivating novel set during World War II. It tells the story of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths eventually cross as they navigate the chaos and destruction of the war. Filled with beautiful prose and intricate storytelling, the book explores themes of survival, humanity, and the power of connection.

Who should read All the Light We Cannot See?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction, particularly World War II settings
  • Those looking for a beautifully written and emotionally engaging story
  • People who appreciate unique narrative structures and perspectives

What's Shot Down about?

Shot Down by Steve Snyder tells the incredible true story of a crew of American airmen shot down over Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. Through firsthand accounts and meticulous research, the book recounts their harrowing experiences while evading capture and the bravery of the resistance fighters who helped them. A compelling and gripping tale of survival against all odds.

Who should read Shot Down?

  • History enthusiasts, particularly those interested in World War II aviation
  • Readers who enjoy true stories of resilience and survival
  • Families of war veterans who want to gain a deeper understanding of their loved ones' experiences

What's Quantum Roots about?

Quantum Roots by Kyle Keyes is a thought-provoking science fiction novel that delves into the concept of parallel universes and alternate realities. When physicist Jack Thurber discovers a way to travel between different versions of Earth, he becomes embroiled in a dangerous power struggle that spans across multiple dimensions. Filled with mind-bending twists and turns, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Who should read Quantum Roots?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking science fiction with a touch of mystery
  • Individuals interested in quantum physics and its potential applications
  • Those who are open to exploring new ideas and expanding their perspective on reality

What's Eleanor & Park about?

Eleanor & Park is a young adult novel by Rainbow Rowell about two misfit teenagers who fall in love in 1986. Set over the course of a school year, it explores themes of love, friendship, and family, while addressing issues such as bullying and domestic abuse. It is a heartwarming and nostalgic story that will resonate with readers of all ages.

Who should read Eleanor & Park?

  • Readers who enjoy young adult romance novels with a touch of nostalgia
  • Those interested in exploring themes of love, friendship, and identity during adolescence
  • People who appreciate well-developed and relatable characters

What's A Man Called Ove about?

A Man Called Ove tells the story of a grumpy yet endearing widower who finds new purpose in life when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Fredrik Backman's heartwarming novel explores themes of friendship, love, and the impact one person can have on the lives of others.

Who should read A Man Called Ove?

  • Readers who enjoy heartwarming stories about unlikely friendships
  • People looking for a character-driven novel with a mix of humor and emotional depth
  • Those interested in exploring themes of loneliness, loss, and the power of human connection

What's Ready Player One about?

Ready Player One is a science fiction novel by Ernest Cline that takes place in a dystopian future where people escape their reality by immersing themselves in a virtual reality world called the OASIS. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of challenges that lead to an Easter egg hidden within the virtual world, and the one who finds it will inherit his fortune. The story follows teenage gamer Wade Watts as he embarks on a thrilling quest filled with 80s pop culture references, friendship, and adventure.

Who should read Ready Player One?

  • Potential readers who enjoy science fiction and gaming
  • Individuals looking for an immersive and imaginative story set in a virtual reality world
  • Those interested in exploring themes of technology, adventure, and the power of nostalgia

What's Quantum Roots II about?

'Quantum Roots II' by Kyle Keyes delves into the mind-bending concept of parallel universes and alternate realities. In this thought-provoking sci-fi novel, the protagonist, Joe, discovers a way to travel between different dimensions. As he navigates through these worlds, he uncovers shocking truths about his own existence and the nature of reality itself. Blending intricate scientific theories with exhilarating adventure, this book will leave readers questioning the very fabric of the universe.

Who should read Quantum Roots II?

  • Readers who are interested in the intersection of science and spirituality
  • Individuals who enjoy thought-provoking and mind-bending fiction
  • Those curious about exploring cutting-edge theories in quantum physics

What's Big Little Lies about?

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is a gripping novel that delves into the lives of three women whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to reveal dark secrets and lies. Set in a picturesque coastal town, the book explores themes of friendship, motherhood, and domestic violence, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Who should read Big Little Lies?

  • Readers who enjoy mystery and suspense
  • People interested in exploring the complexities of female friendships and relationships
  • Those looking for a thought-provoking novel that addresses societal issues such as domestic violence and bullying

What's A Gentleman in Moscow about?

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is a captivating novel set in 1922, Moscow. The story follows Count Alexander Rostov, who is sentenced to house arrest in the luxurious Metropol Hotel. Despite being confined to the hotel, Rostov experiences a life filled with charm, relationships, and unexpected twists, showcasing the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read A Gentleman in Moscow?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set in Russia
  • People who appreciate elegant writing and intricate character development
  • Those looking for a captivating and immersive story that explores themes of resilience and finding beauty in everyday life


What's Wonder about?

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a heartwarming and thought-provoking novel that follows the story of August Pullman, a young boy born with a facial deformity. It delves into the challenges he faces as he enters a mainstream school for the first time and the impact he has on those around him. The book touches on themes of kindness, acceptance, and the beauty of being different.

Who should read Wonder?

  • Readers who enjoy heartwarming and uplifting stories
  • Individuals looking for insights into empathy and kindness
  • Parents, educators, and children who want to understand and navigate the challenges of being different

What's Pachinko about?

'Pachinko' is a book written by Min Jin Lee. It tells the story of a Korean family living in Japan, spanning four generations and addressing themes such as identity, love, and resilience. Through vivid storytelling, the novel offers a poignant exploration of the experiences of Koreans in Japan during the 20th century.

Who should read Pachinko?

  • Readers who enjoy multi-generational family sagas
  • Those interested in exploring the historical and cultural complexities of Korea and Japan
  • People who appreciate richly developed characters and their personal journeys

What's Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine about?

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is a compelling novel that delves into the life of the quirky and solitary Eleanor Oliphant. As Eleanor navigates through everyday life with her unique perspective, her carefully constructed world begins to unravel. This heartwarming and thought-provoking story explores themes of loneliness, the power of human connection, and the possibility of healing.

Who should read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine?

  • Readers looking for a compelling and heartwarming story with well-developed characters
  • People who are interested in exploring themes of overcoming loneliness and trauma
  • Those who appreciate a mix of humor and poignant moments in a novel


What's Chirp about?

Chirp by Kate Messner is a middle-grade novel that follows Mia as she uncovers a mystery surrounding her grandmother's cricket farm. With themes of friendship, courage, and standing up for what's right, this book is a captivating and heartwarming story that will inspire young readers.

Who should read Chirp?

  • Readers who enjoy middle-grade fiction with strong female protagonists

  • Those interested in stories about friendship, family, and finding one's voice

  • People who appreciate books that tackle important issues in a sensitive and age-appropriate way

What's Three Times Lucky about?

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage is a captivating mystery novel set in the small town of Tupelo Landing. It follows the adventurous and spirited Mo LoBeau as she unravels the secrets of her past while trying to solve a murder mystery. With a colorful cast of characters and a touch of Southern charm, this book is a delightful and heartwarming read for both children and adults.

Who should read Three Times Lucky?

  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories with a strong sense of place

  • Those who appreciate quirky and memorable characters

  • People who like mysteries with a touch of humor and heart

Related Topics

Holiday Reading Books

What's the best Holiday Reading book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Gone Girl as the ultimate read on Holiday Reading.

What are the Top 10 Holiday Reading books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Who are the top Holiday Reading book authors?

When it comes to Holiday Reading, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Gillian Flynn