Top 2017 Holiday Reads

Happy Holidays everyone!

It’s finally heading towards the end of the year, and we all have so much to be grateful for. I’ve created blog posts leading up to New Years, as I’ll be busy reading in an attempt to finish my Goodreads Goal by December 31. So far I’ve read 60 books out of 100. 40 books to go!  I decided to put together a list of books that get me in the holiday spirit, and books that I’m going to read today for Christmas!

In this post, I’ll be giving you my top 5 holiday books to read over Christmas, and then sharing holiday or winter themed books that I will be reading during the holiday season. As someone who celebrates both Christmas and Chanukah, it was important that this list include books for both of those holidays. Due to Christmas being a holiday celebrated in larger scale compared to Chanukah, most of it however will be Christmas themed. There is definitely something in here for everyone: kids, teens and adults! The format will follow my usual system: the book title, photo and description (all from the publisher), and then a quick blurb from me on why you should read this book/why I’ll be reading this book!

  1. When Mindy Saved Hanukkah by Eric A. Kimmel
    2536013Little Mindy Klein lives with her tiny family behind the walls of the Eldridge Street Synagogue. When Mindy’s father sprains his ankle right before Hanukkah, he is unable to bring home a candle for the menorah. So Mindy decides to set out and find the candle herself. But first she has to face off with an enormous, frightening cat. With a lot of bravery (and a little help from grandpa) Mindy manages to save Hanukkah just in time…and learns the true meaning behind the Festival of Lights.

I absolutely love the story of Mindy and her family, and how Mindy had to persevere and save her families holiday party. This is a great book to read to all children, regardless of religion, as it teaches life lessons about overcoming obstacles and exposes children to faith’s other than their own.

2. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J. K. Rowling

72193.jpgTurning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter “H”.

Harry Potter has never heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

An incredible adventure is about to begin!

It may just be me, but I completely associate Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone with Christmas. I watch the movie every Christmas Day (I’m actually watching it right now). Whether its the magic of the first movie, or the fact they show Hogwarts in all of its Christmas splendour, I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas unless I watch or read this beauty.

3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


‘Merry Christmas!…every idiot who goes about with “Merry Christmas” on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding’

Dickens’ story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by a series of ghostly visitors, has proved one of his most well-loved works. Ever since it was published in 1843 it has had an enduring influence on the way we think about the traditions of Christmas.

This book is a timeless classic, with a beautiful underlying theme of loving and caring for all people no matter their situation in life or their upbringing. A very good read, indeed.

4. Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean

35792800.jpgChristmas has always been a special time at the Vinyl Cafe. For two decades, Stuart McLean travelled across the country every December with The Vinyl Cafe Christmas tour, bringing the gift of laughter and light during the darkest days of the year. The hilarious world of Dave and Morley was even more real–more vibrant–during the holidays. For many, the Vinyl Cafe Christmas stories became beloved family traditions. Now, for the first time, they have been brought together in this special collection–including the classic “Dave Cooks the Turkey,” as well as five new, never before published Christmas stories. From mishaps with the Turlingtons and the tale of a young Dave’s first holiday disaster to the surprising “Christmas Ferret” and the touching sign off in “The Christmas Card,” these wonderful new stories will delight for years to come.
Brimming with charm and humour (often at Dave’s expense), these twelve stories entertain on every page, reminding us what the holidays are all about.
This new release is so sentimental. Growing up, every Sunday morning in the car on the way to ballet class, my dad would put The Vinyl Cafe on the radio for my sister and I. I grew up listening to stories from Stuart McLean. When Stuart passed away this year, I had a full scale meltdown in my car, runny nose and all. In many ways, I associate Stuart McLean and The Vinyl Cafe not only with my childhood, but with being Canadian. This Christmas, I’ll be listening to his stories, and reading them all day.

5. The Christmas Secret by Karen Swan

34734391.jpgThey say that behind every great man, there’s a great woman, and behind London’s most powerful leaders, there stands only one—Alex Hyde, business coach par excellence. She’s the woman they turn to for advice and strategy when the pressure gets too much. So when Alex gets a call offering an unbelievable sum to discreetly manage a family member on the board of an esteemed Scottish whisky company, it’s business as usual. She can do this in her sleep. Only, she’s never met anyone like Lochlan Farqhuar before. CEO of Kentallen Distilleries, he’s also the son and heir of the company’s founder, and a man for whom there is no “no.” He’s a maverick, and Alex needs to get inside his head before he brings the company to its knees. But as she tasks herself with finding a way in, she finds that for once, she’s not the one in control. And when she stumbles across a chance discovery that changes everything, she’s suddenly not so sure she should be.

I actually haven’t read this book yet! I plan on reading it today, and loving it. Every Karen Swan book I read, I love. She writes such beautiful stories about connections between people. Her capture of human emotions makes you feel so fully about all of her characters, it’s astounding. I’m especially excited to read this book because it takes place in Scotland, a place that I love more than life itself.

I hope you all have a lovely holiday and a blessed, beautiful New Year!

xoxo JessysBookAdventure


One thought on “Top 2017 Holiday Reads

  1. Thank you for your great book review. I surely love the way you write.After i discovered your book review i started searching and found the book on https://evocativebookreviews.com/book/1037193578/harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone-enhanced-edition . Now i almost finished the book and i I think Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a awesome book and everyone should read it. Not sure if i am allowed to leave a link(forgive me if not) but anyway the book is awesome and also your top review.


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