I have read a significant number of Christmas books this year. I read my usual, plus whatever new one Karen Swan puts out and then three others.

So, This is Christmas

This book feels so much different from what I usually read. I found it a little slow to start, but once I got to the reindeer part, it got better – and funnier.

Finley decides to go home to Christmas, Oklahoma, to spend the holidays with her family and to pluck up her courage to tell her parents that she no longer wants to attend her New England prep school where she isn’t fitting – not academically or socially.

Working at her Grandma Jo’s Hoyden Inn, she is surprised to find her classmate, Arthur Chakrabarti Watercress and his aunt Esha have decided to spend the holidays at the inn.

“And if the greatly enhanced website for the town – created by Finely to impress her snobbish classmates – is to blame, how can she produce the perfect American Christmas experience their guest expect.”

There was a significant amount of stuff going on in this book – parent news, ex-boyfriend and best friend, and a host of other colourful characters. I laughed out loud in a number of points, and I love how everything came together.

So, This is Christmas is by Tracy Andreen and Viking Books and retails for $23.99.

The Christmas Dress

I wasn’t sure at first about The Christmas Dress by Courtney Cole. I wasn’t loving the writing at the beginning, but I am glad I continued reading it because it was a fun.

Meg Julliard returns to Chicago after the death of her father, leaving her without family and without a job having left here high-stress job in the fashion industry. Her father owns a historic, albeit rundown apartment building, filled with interesting older people with nowhere else to go and who need her attention immediately. One tenant, Ellie Wade isn’t feeling the Christmas joy because she is packing up her belongings as her daughter insists she move to a nursing home. As she packs up her items, she hesitates to put away a dress that “represents both the best and worst night of her life.” Instead, she offers it to Meg if she promises to wear I to the building’s Christmas party.

“The dress magically fits, and while it eventually leads to the best night of Meg’s life, it also inspires Meg to follow a lifelong dream of her own – a dream that will help save the crumbling Parkview West, restore it to its former glory, and keep it as a safe home for all the current tenants.”

There were some truly laugh out loud moments, particularly with drunk texting. I loved all the characters, including the eccentric tenants who look out for each other and always know best.

The Christmas Bookshop

I love books about bookstores and book lovers. They get me. I really enjoyed this one by Jenny Colgan and it looks like bookstores may be a favourite of the writer’s as well. In this book Carmen, who gets laid off, begrudgingly goes to live with her “perfect” older sister, Sofia, who has found her a job with one of her clients, Mr. McCredie, whose ancient bookshop on street in Edinburgh, needs to make a profit so it can be sold.

“The store is dusty and disorganized but undeniably charming. Can she breathe some new life into it in time for Christmas shopping?”

I want to be in this bookstore. It sounds amazing as does Scotland itself. The book started off fast, was a bit slow in the middle, but turned out just how I wanted it to.

Sofia and Carmen’s relationship shows, once again, why I am grateful I didn’t grow up with sisters: so much jealousy and hard feelings. It seems like such an energy drainer. I loved how their relationship changed, and Carmen herself changed as she grew up a bit. I also really liked the secondary characters, particularly those who had minor roles, but who were more amazing than those who had bigger roles.

As a note, Colgan lives in a genuine castle in Scotland. How cool is that?

A copy of So, This is Christmas was courtesy of Viking Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.