The best heartwarming Christmas books

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by the role that love plays in a satisfying life—from romantic love, to brotherly love, to friendship. Compassion and caring affect not only the recipient, but also profoundly change the life of the giver as well. That’s why I’m drawn to redemptive character arcs. I write women’s fiction, sweet Christmas stories, and literary fiction that revolve around these themes—sometimes with a hint of mystery/thriller/suspense for fun! My novella, The Christmas Club, was adapted for the screen in 2019 as a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie of the same name.


I wrote...

The Christmas Club

By Barbara Hinske,

Book cover of The Christmas Club

What is my book about?

Verna Lind expects Christmas of 1952 to be the best holiday she’s had since the war ended. But as she’s leaving the bank, a frigid wind off Lake Erie catches her hard-earned Christmas club savings, whisking the bills into the busy streets of downtown Cleveland and devastating her plans. Strangers come to her aid, though no one anticipates the power of their chance encounter or the seeds of happiness Verna’s lost money will sow. 

From USA Today Bestselling Author Barbara Hinske comes this heartwarming Christmas tale celebrating the generosity of the human spirit and the irresistible pull of love—an instant holiday classic for admirers of It’s a Wonderful Life and The Gift of the Magi.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Barbara Hinske Why did I love this book?

The kindness of the human spirit has called to me—like a magnet seeking true north—since I was a small child. I grew up reading Heidi and Pollyanna. Throw in a strong redemptive character arc, and I’m all in. How the Grinch Stole Christmas has it all—plus an adorable dog. I’ve read this book at least once a year for almost my entire life. This book, more than any other, has inspired my work as a writer.

By Dr. Seuss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How the Grinch Stole Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Grow your heart three sizes and get in on all of the Grinch-mas cheer with this Christmas classic--the ultimate Dr. Seuss holiday book that no collection is complete without!

Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!

Not since "'Twas the night before Christmas" has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay…


Book cover of A Christmas Carol

Barbara Hinske Why did I love this book?

There’s a reason this novella has been a bestseller for decades. With exquisitely-drawn characters, perfectly-described settings, and the most artfully-crafted redemptive character arc in fiction, this is another classic that must be read year after year. What reader can stop themself from longing to make things all better for Tiny Tim and the Cratchits?

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked A Christmas Carol as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Tom Baker reads Charles Dickens' timeless seasonal story.

Charles Dickens' story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by the three ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, has become one of the timeless classics of English literature. First published in 1843, it introduces us not only to Scrooge himself, but also to the memorable characters of underpaid desk clerk Bob Cratchit and his poor family, the poorest amongst whom is the ailing and crippled Tiny Tim.

In this captivating recording, Tom Baker delivers a tour-de-force performance as he narrates the story. The listener…


Book cover of The Gift of the Magi

Barbara Hinske Why did I love this book?

This story shines a spotlight on selfless love. I cried buckets when I read this as a child. I also wondered if I’d ever be willing to cut my hair, as Della did, to raise the money to buy Jim that watch chain. I’m still not sure I would. The story beautifully articulates the parameters of selfless love. I’ve always been fascinated by this theme.

By O. Henry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Gift of the Magi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The Gift of the Magi" is a short story, about a young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. As a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving, it has been a popular one for adaptation, especially for presentation during the Christmas season.


Book cover of Madeline's Christmas

Barbara Hinske Why did I love this book?

Who doesn’t love the twelve little girls in two straight lines, whose mantra is: We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all, we love each other? Madeline is a resourceful, kind, and hard-working protagonist—even if she does occasionally get into a bit of harmless mischief. Every book in the Madeline series is uplifting. Yes, please.

By Ludwig Bemelmans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Madeline's Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"In an old house in Paris
that was covered with vines
lived twelve little girls
in two straight lines
the smallest one was Madeline."


Nothing frightens Madeline-not tigers, not even mice. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years!

It's the night before Christmas and everyone is sick in bed. All except brave Madeline, who is up and about and feeling just fine. Taking care of eleven little girls and Miss Clavel is hard work, but when Madeline finds help…


Book cover of Polar Express

Barbara Hinske Why did I love this book?

This recent addition to the list of classic holiday books is a joy to look at—full of gorgeous, atmospheric illustrations. If this book doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, nothing will. The profound message wrapped in this packaging is that seeing (or hearing) magical things requires belief in magical things. It’s a cautionary tale, warning against adult cynicism. That’s worth remembering, year after year. 

By Chris Van Allsburg,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Polar Express as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Discover The Polar Express, a true Christmas classic.
"Magical" Guardian
"Evocative and atmospheric" Sunday Times
"A thrilling tale" Independent
All aboard the Polar Express to the North Pole! Follow one boy's journey to receive a very special gift from Santa himself: a bell that only true believers in Father Christmas can hear ring. Discover the beloved Christmas classic that inspired the blockbuster family favourite movie starring Tom Hanks.


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Terra Blanca - Insurrection: Gaia Prequel

By Zoe Routh,

Book cover of Terra Blanca - Insurrection: Gaia Prequel

Zoe Routh Author Of The Olympus Project

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Leadership futurist Adventurist Former bellydancer Historical and speculative fiction nut Marathoner

Zoe's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

A test of leadership, loyalty, and legacy. Rylie Addison faces the greatest leadership challenge of her life. As climate change ravages the world, leaving millions displaced, Rylie is handpicked by the enigmatic Maja Garcia of Gaia Enterprises to govern Terra Blanca, an unprecedented man-made island community for climate refugees.

As the stakes rise and the fragile foundations of Terra Blanca begin to crumble, Rylie is forced to confront her own beliefs and faces a leadership decision that could change the course of history. Can she find the strength to make the right choice, or will her actions lead to the downfall of the very people she has vowed to protect?

Terra Blanca - Insurrection: Gaia Prequel

By Zoe Routh,

What is this book about?

Rylie Addison faces the greatest leadership challenge of her life. As climate change ravages the world, leaving millions displaced, Rylie is handpicked by the enigmatic Maja Garcia of Gaia Enterprises to govern Terra Blanca, an unprecedented man-made island community for climate refugees.


Thrust into a new world of power and responsibility, Rylie must navigate the treacherous waters of team dynamics and power struggles as she fights to make Terra Blanca a beacon of hope amidst the chaos. But her mission takes a sinister turn when a secret agent infiltrates the community, hell-bent on testing the innovative governance and social structures…


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