82 books like The 13th Gift

By Joanne Huist Smith,

Here are 82 books that The 13th Gift fans have personally recommended if you like The 13th Gift. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Night Before Christmas

Susan Grossey Author Of The Man in the Canary Waistcoat

From my list on the 1820s (officially the best decade ever).

Who am I?

If you ask people to name a book set in the Regency period, your money is safe if you bet on them picking a Jane Austen. But the Regency was about much more than manners and matrimony. In my own areas of interest – justice, money, and financial crime – everything was changing, with the widespread introduction of paper money and cheques, the recognition that those on trial should have a defence as well as a prosecution, and the creation of modern police in the form of the Metropolitan Police. Dickens made the Victorian era famous, but the decades before good Queen V ascended the throne are equally fascinating.

Susan's book list on the 1820s (officially the best decade ever)

Susan Grossey Why did Susan love this book?

This poem was published anonymously in 1823. It’s such a Christmas staple that it’s hard to imagine how ground-breaking it was, but the simple plot – a family sleeps on Christmas Eve while the father hears a noise outside and sees Santa Claus in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer – was the first to set that quintessential Christmas scene. A friend of the author was charmed by the poem and sent it anonymously to a New York newspaper. The author finally owned up to it in 1837, confessing that as a Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature, he had been uneasy about being associated with “unscholarly verse” that he had written only to amuse his children. But this “unscholarly verse” made his name and charms us still.

By Clement C. Moore, Christine Brallier (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Night Before Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's late night visit has a man and his curious kitty investigating. Did you know that Santa can play the guitar? Well, he can! Each page is filled with thoughtful details, luscious color, and a joyful whimsy. Mosaic artist Christine Brallier has created fifteen stained glass mosaic illustrations in her unique rendition of the classic The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. Reading the book with her family nearly five years ago, Christine was inspired to create her own version of the story and to put her family and their cat in it.…


Book cover of Little Owl and the Star: A Christmas Story

Bernice L. Rocque Author Of Until the Robin Walks on Snow

From my list on that touch our heart at Christmas.

Who am I?

I am someone who loves Christmas. My family’s Christmas Eve gatherings and a 5th-grade assignment inspired me to learn more about my heritage. This quest has outlived my eclectic career in libraries, teaching, and project management. In my fifties, I suddenly realized that who we are as people is forgotten within 100 years of our death. So, I started writing to preserve the ‘essence’ of those who came before me. A character from Until the Robin Walks on Snow tapped my shoulder to tell this survival story—one which embodies the love, traditions, and miracles of the holiday season. The recommended books lift hearts, too.

Bernice's book list on that touch our heart at Christmas

Bernice L. Rocque Why did Bernice love this book?

When I was little, I knew Christmas Eve was somehow more significant to our family than Christmas Day. In early evening, we would walk next door to my grandmother’s farmhouse for “Wigilia.” She greeted us with hugs and her double kisses. I remember warm light, voices conversing, and a table spread with delicious food, including fried smelts, my favorite. 

I wish I had understood better at a younger age, how Wigilia was a “vigil” of our family’s faith. Little Owl and the Star: A Christmas Story, with its endearingly simple story and gentle, yet striking illustrations, might prompt such a conversation about this. The little owl has a feeling of “waiting” and accepts an invitation from the star to witness the nativity scene.

By Mary Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Owl and the Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

A joyous version of the Nativity, by a bestselling author/illustrator. It is a silent night, and Little Owl is sitting in his tree with a waiting feeling when a star sparkles along. "Come with me" says the star and Little Owl follows, as do three men on camels and shepherds with their sheep, until all who have followed the star find themselves part of the happiest scene on earth.;Shortlisted for the Bisto Book of the Year Award.;With shiny and sparkly foil effect on the cover!


Book cover of A Dog Named Christmas

Bernice L. Rocque Author Of Until the Robin Walks on Snow

From my list on that touch our heart at Christmas.

Who am I?

I am someone who loves Christmas. My family’s Christmas Eve gatherings and a 5th-grade assignment inspired me to learn more about my heritage. This quest has outlived my eclectic career in libraries, teaching, and project management. In my fifties, I suddenly realized that who we are as people is forgotten within 100 years of our death. So, I started writing to preserve the ‘essence’ of those who came before me. A character from Until the Robin Walks on Snow tapped my shoulder to tell this survival story—one which embodies the love, traditions, and miracles of the holiday season. The recommended books lift hearts, too.

Bernice's book list on that touch our heart at Christmas

Bernice L. Rocque Why did Bernice love this book?

According to Nielson ratings, 18.7 million households viewed the 2009 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie debut of A Dog Named Christmas. It outperformed the NFL game and 60 Minutes broadcasts that Sunday evening. I was one of the movie’s ‘captives.’

The short novel equally touched my heart. I admire how the author eased in the backstories of the dog, father, mother, and son—all so crucial in the story path. Todd, an animal lover and developmentally challenged young man wants his family to participate in a program to foster a shelter dog over the holidays. Can you guess the inherent conflict? The mother’s quiet strength and influence reminded me of Mrs. Brown in the movie, National Velvet.

By Greg Kincaid,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Dog Named Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Todd, a developmentally challenged young man still living on his parents' Kansas farm, hears that a local animal shelter is seeking temporary homes for its dogs during the holiday week, he knows exactly what he wants for Christmas.

Animals are Todd's first love, and his persistence quickly overwhelms his father's objections to befriending a canine, a reluctance that proves to have a painful origin.

The family takes in a very special animal, and the shelter's Christmas adoption programme soon grows larger than anyone had hoped. By the story's end, Todd, with the help of a dog named Christmas, has…


Book cover of A Little House Christmas Treasury: Festive Holiday Stories

Bernice L. Rocque Author Of Until the Robin Walks on Snow

From my list on that touch our heart at Christmas.

Who am I?

I am someone who loves Christmas. My family’s Christmas Eve gatherings and a 5th-grade assignment inspired me to learn more about my heritage. This quest has outlived my eclectic career in libraries, teaching, and project management. In my fifties, I suddenly realized that who we are as people is forgotten within 100 years of our death. So, I started writing to preserve the ‘essence’ of those who came before me. A character from Until the Robin Walks on Snow tapped my shoulder to tell this survival story—one which embodies the love, traditions, and miracles of the holiday season. The recommended books lift hearts, too.

Bernice's book list on that touch our heart at Christmas

Bernice L. Rocque Why did Bernice love this book?

Each time the ‘Little House’ books cross my path, I am reminded of where and when I first discovered the series. My dad regularly took my sister and I to the (Otis) Children’s Library, then located atop the Church Street hill in downtown Norwich, CT. We devoured the Little House books and much of the library’s young reader collection, usually finishing the books before their due date, when Dad was happy to drive us again. 

I probably identified with the Ingalls family. Their experience in the American frontier echoed certain life patterns of my dad’s immigrant family (a half-century later). Self-sufficiency, frugality, gratitude for small blessings, and appreciation for Nature’s beauty and bounties were just a few. This “Treasury” brings together many of Laura’s wonderful Christmas memories.

By Laura Ingalls Wilder, Garth Williams (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Little House Christmas Treasury as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A gorgeous and festive collection of Christmas stories from the prairie!

Celebrate the season with holiday tales from the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the beloved Little House series. Featuring Garth Williams’ classic artwork in vibrant full color!


Book cover of A Christmas Treasury

Andi Brooks Author Of A Treasury of Christmas Stories: Classic Tales For The Festive Season

From my list on Christmas anthologies.

Who am I?

I am an Anglo-Irish writer and anthologist enjoying a life-long love affair with Christmas, which I have successfully transplanted to my home in Japan. I have edited three Christmas-themed anthologies, with many more to come. My own writing has been translated into French and Japanese. Determined to never grow up, in my sixtieth year, I still firmly believe in Father Christmas!

Andi's book list on Christmas anthologies

Andi Brooks Why did Andi love this book?

I love curling up in my favourite armchair by the tree with a mug of hot chocolate to read this heavy, bumper-sized anthology.

It takes me back to Christmas Days spent lying on the rug in front of the fire reading festive annuals left under the tree  by Father Christmas. Its twenty-eight stories are reassuringly familiar, ensuring satisfaction wherever I randomly choose to dip in. I really can’t imagine Christmas without it.

By Various,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Christmas Treasury as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of A Christmas Reader: A Collection of Family Favorites for the Holiday Season

Andi Brooks Author Of A Treasury of Christmas Stories: Classic Tales For The Festive Season

From my list on Christmas anthologies.

Who am I?

I am an Anglo-Irish writer and anthologist enjoying a life-long love affair with Christmas, which I have successfully transplanted to my home in Japan. I have edited three Christmas-themed anthologies, with many more to come. My own writing has been translated into French and Japanese. Determined to never grow up, in my sixtieth year, I still firmly believe in Father Christmas!

Andi's book list on Christmas anthologies

Andi Brooks Why did Andi love this book?

I love this book because its slim size makes it ideal to carry and read on the move.

I often read it on the train, in cafes, or in the park when I take a break during my busy workday. The twelve stories it contains are all well-loved classics that have been anthologised many times, but it is that familiarity that I like about this anthology. I never tire of reading these stories, many of which were read to me as a child.

Christmas is a time of warmth, and this selection fills me with festive warmth even on the coldest of park benches.

By Gail Harvey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Christmas Reader as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Poems, stories, and excerpts from novels, including O. Henry's "Gift of the magi," Clement C. Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas," and works by Willa Cather, Louisa May Alcott, and Charles Dickens, offer a look at the holiday season


Book cover of Santa Mouse, Where Are You?

Colleen Driscoll Author Of Piper the Elf Rides a Reindeer

From my list on Christmas tales showing kindness and helping others.

Who am I?

I am a writer, educator, and mother. Finding books in local libraries or bookstores is necessary so children will read a diverse assortment of stories that teach a lesson and engage their interest. I’ve found that all young children at home and in schools like books with interesting pictures that they can follow along. Children want to share stories and have time to read and absorb the content. Sometimes children see details in illustrations that adults might not notice. Kids learn in different ways. These books will capture the child’s attention and teach about kindness, friendship, and determination.

Colleen's book list on Christmas tales showing kindness and helping others

Colleen Driscoll Why did Colleen love this book?

I like how Santa Mouse, Santa’s little mouse friend, wrapped a special present and took good care of it, despite falling from Santa’s sleigh and getting lost. Santa Mouse wouldn’t let the present out of his grip until he found a special Christmas tree inside a house with a special light to set the present on. The book shows the reader the importance of using care to protect something treasured. Santa Mouse’s determination pays off. This is a great message for kids.

By Michael Brown, Elfrieda De Witt (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Santa Mouse, Where Are You? 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?

Santa's littlest helper gets lost and must find his way back to Santa's sleigh in time to save Christmas in this delightful holiday picture book.

Every Christmas, Santa Mouse becomes Santa's little helper. This year, when Santa's ready to take off in his sleigh, Santa Mouse scurries onto his shoulder-only to fall off into the deep, dark snowy ground below. How will he ever find Santa and help him deliver presents to the children?


Book cover of A Celebration of Christmas

Andi Brooks Author Of A Treasury of Christmas Stories: Classic Tales For The Festive Season

From my list on Christmas anthologies.

Who am I?

I am an Anglo-Irish writer and anthologist enjoying a life-long love affair with Christmas, which I have successfully transplanted to my home in Japan. I have edited three Christmas-themed anthologies, with many more to come. My own writing has been translated into French and Japanese. Determined to never grow up, in my sixtieth year, I still firmly believe in Father Christmas!

Andi's book list on Christmas anthologies

Andi Brooks Why did Andi love this book?

This large-format book has been my firm favourite for over forty years. I love it because it encompasses every aspect of the Christmas season.

It is my handbook on how to enjoy the season. Bookended with festive boardgames, it is wonderfully illustrated with many full-page original illustrations highlighting the text. It includes classic stories alongside explanations and histories of the many Christmas traditions, carol lyrics, poetry, craft ideas, recipes, and much more.

I can’t imagine celebrating Christmas without it. It truly is Christmas in a book.

Book cover of Lie With Me

Julia Stone Author Of The Accident

From my list on a character pretending to be someone they’re not.

Who am I?

I’m a psychologist by profession and I’m fascinated by the way personalities develop and change with life events. In novels, I’m drawn towards wounded characters who are searching for something to make them feel whole. Common issues I see in my psychotherapy work include imposter syndrome, low self-esteem, feelings of not being good enough. Many people try to hide their vulnerability behind a mask, faking confidence or bravado, or pretending to be something they’re not. But these fictional characters take it up a level, one small step at a time, until the lies build and they end up in a web of deceit with no way out.

Julia's book list on a character pretending to be someone they’re not

Julia Stone Why did Julia love this book?

From the opening sentence I was hooked. What might have started earlier? Why was the protagonist scratching on his forearm rather than using pen and paper? From the first page we are deep inside the head of the lead character, Paul Morris, and it’s not always a pretty place. He is a cynical manipulative liar, a deeply unpleasant man, but I was intrigued by how far he would go and whether he would get caught out.

It’s a slow burn as we watch the deceit unfold. We experience the lead character’s tension as he realises the mess he’s got himself into with his lies, then witness his struggle to backtrack and make things good. By the end I felt quite sorry for him. It had me gripped!

By Sabine Durrant,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lie With Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The truth is, we all tell lies... take a deep breath and dive into the book everyone's raving about.

'If you've had a hole in your literary life since finishing Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, this is the book to fill it' Grazia

It starts with a lie. The kind we've all told - to a former acquaintance we can't quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The story of our life, embellished for the benefit of the happily married lawyer with the kids and the lovely home.

And the next thing…


Book cover of The Marquess is Mine

Emmanuelle de Maupassant Author Of The Lady's Guide to Mistletoe and Mayhem

From my list on Christmas romances set at country houses.

Who am I?

Historical romance author Emmanuelle lives on the bonny banks of Loch Fyne with her husband and beloved haggis pudding Archie McFloof—connoisseur of bacon treats and squeaky toys.
While waiting on her own country house party invitation [sending a wink to Inveraray Castle—which is just down the road, and boasts a duke!] she makes do by serving up imaginary shenanigans.  

Emmanuelle's book list on Christmas romances set at country houses

Emmanuelle de Maupassant Why did Emmanuelle love this book?

I have a super soft spot for ‘second chance’ romances. Here, our heroine’s long-broken heart skips several beats on being confronted by the dashingly handsome culprit at a Christmas Ball. Having forsaken the only woman he has ever loved, our hero has just one chance to make amends. How will he regain her trust, persuading her that he’ll never again let her down? You’ll be rooting for them both to find the happiness they deserve. 

By Tamara Gill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Marquess is Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She’ll never let anyone break her heart. Not again, anyway…

Lady Sarah Farley has learned many of life’s lessons the hard way. She now knows the ton will viciously turn on anyone, anytime. And love? That only brings devastation. But when a particularly handsome ghost from her past re-emerges, she can’t help but wonder if life is about to teach her poor wounded heart yet another painful, unwanted lesson.

Lord Giles Longe, Marques Gordan, never wanted to hurt Sarah. But he couldn’t have married her back then. His father wouldn’t have allowed it. Everything is different now, though. He will…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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