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theSkimm's Guide to Ho Ho Holiday Reads

Updated: Dec 18, 2018


Holidays are for family...and escaping your family with a book. Here are our top picks of the season...

For when you watch "Love Actually" on repeat in December... Get all the holiday feels in your reads too. "One Day in December" by Josie Silver is about a woman who locks eyes with 'the one' on a bus. After searching for him, she finds him...on the arm of her best friend. Happily ever complicated.

For when Thanksgiving dinner unleashed family drama… You’re not the only ones. In “Family Trust" by Kathy Wang, the passing of the Huang's patriarch does more than reveal a few problems — it throws an entire family into chaos. Think: "The Family Stone" meets "Crazy Rich Asians" meets your lap in front of the fireplace.

For when the winter days make you moody… Lighten up with "Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You" by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonny Sun. In it, Miranda curates his most-loved tweets slash poems. It’s the perfect book to thumb through after a rough day, or the perfect gift to give your passive-aggressive family member (passive-aggressively).

For when you'd rather socialize with book characters... Hang with the Vanderbilts. “A Well-Behaved Woman” by Therese Anne Fowler takes place during the Gilded Age of America (hint: the late-19th century). It follows Alva Smith, whose BFF sets her up to marry William Vanderbilt. Spoiler: the Vanderbilts don't treat her well. This one's like Gossip Girl minus more than a century.

For when you want a book for your niece or nephew... Give them big shoes to fill. "Juno Valentine" by Eva Chen (Instagram queen and mom) does just that. When Juno Valentine’s shoes go missing, she finds herself (literally) stepping into the shoes of strong role models. Think: Cleopatra, Lady Gaga, Frida Kahlo, Serena Williams and more.

For when this year felt long AF… Wrap it up with something short. The Best American Short Stories 2018 collection was edited by Roxane Gay. ICYMI: she’s the author of “Bad Feminist” and “Hunger”...and is a big deal.

For when you’re thinking of a winter getaway... Head to the mountains. “Killing Commendatore” by Haruki Murakami follows a painter who hides away in the mountain home of a famous artist after being abandoned by his wife. There, he finds a mysterious painting. Color us intrigued.

For when you binged Sharp Objects… Try and solve this mystery.“The Lies We Told” by Camilla Way has the makings of your perfect weekend read. Think: an obsession, a dysfunctional family, and a disappearance, with an unreliable narrator to top it all off. Page, turned.

For when your bath water gets a little too hot... Ahh to AHHH. “Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty (you know her because of “Big Little Lies”) surrounds a group of people gathered at a luxurious health resort. Each guest is there to get clean, but they’ve all got dirty little secrets. And the ‘health’ resort turns out to be, well, not so healthy.

For when you want to kick your New Years resolutions off strong… Get your game from Michelle Obama. The former First Lady’s memoir, “Becoming," takes readers from her upbringing on the South Side of Chicago, to her time in the White House. Consider your inspirational Instagram captions written.

For when you actually want a Nightmare Before Christmas…Don’t sleep too deep. In “Daughters of the Lake” by Wendy Webb, dreams have the power to open the door between the dead and the living. The story follows a woman who discovers the body of a murdered woman and her infant baby in the shallows of the lake. The even creepier thing? She recognizes her...from her dreams.


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