Merry Christmas 2016 from WhyToRead

Merry Christmas 2016 from WhyToRead


Merry Christmas from We’ll be back in the new year with lots more books lists on all your favorite topics. From Mystery and detective books to sci-fi to historical romance.

Non-fiction will not be forgotten either with lists on philosophy, sociology, ancient history underway.

If you have any requests, please contact us here and let us know what you’d like to see in a list.  If you join our mailing list (subscribe below) you’ll get an update once per week with links to lists published.

(P.S. We found these fun instructions to make this tree, and great ideas for Christmas with books here).

Christmas Mystery Books 2016

Christmas Mystery Books 2016

Is there the perfect Christmas Mystery?  Detective novels and crime fiction are one of the top genres.

Who doesn’t love to snuggle down in front of a burning fireplace,  hot drink in hand, with a good mystery book.  Lucky for us, they usually come in series, featuring the amateur or professional detective.   So this list of Christmas Mystery books will get you in the seasonal spirit.  Hopefully.

1. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie

Christmas Mystery Books - Hercule PoirotChristmas Mystery Books 2016
Multi-millionaire Simeon Lee invites his family for Christmas gathering. But there are high tensions between family members. So when Simeon Lee is found dead there is more than one suspect. Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate and using his famous little gray cells he untangles the complicated web of family relations. It features many very interesting characters; from the black sheep of the family to the role of illegitimate children. The plot is interesting and of course the killer is revealed at the very end. But the most shocking part is the reason the multi-millionaire is killed. Agatha Christie is a famous crime writer and with this story she proves yet again why she is called Queen of crime.

2. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle – Arthur Conan Doyle

Christmas Mystery Books - Sherlock HolmesChristmas Mystery Books 2016
This is one of the 56 short stories that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote featuring famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. John Watson. This story was first published in 1892 and it is a seventh out of twelve stories in the collection The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle is set on the Christmas Eve. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson deal with the question how the Countess of Morcar’s blue carbuncle finds his way down to the gullet of Dr Watson’s Christmas goose. This is a classic mystery novel featuring the famous Sherlock Holmes who uses his logic and deduction method in order to solve the mystery.

This edition by Lego is hilarious and is illustrated with Lego characters sure to appeal to the young at heart as well as the younger readers.

3. Plum Pudding Murder – Joanne Fluke

Christmas Mystery Books - Hannah SwensonChristmas Mystery Books 2016
This is a 12th book in the Hannah Swenson mystery series. Hannah Swenson is a pastry chef, but also an amateur sleuth. In the 12th installment the story happens during the 12 days before Christmas. It revolves around the murder of “Lunatic Larry” Jaeger. This is a cozy mystery without too much suspense, no serial killer or gruesome descriptions of murder. It has some light romantic elements, with very interesting love triangle that will definitely not be resolved in this episode. Which is why WhyToRead loves series.

Additional charm is added to this story through secondary characters; Hannah’s family and friends. Because what is a life in a small town without meddling family and friends. All in all, a charming mystery story full of nice and tasty christmas recipes. This is a perfect Christmas Mystery book for the office kris kringle.

4. Tied up in Tinsel – Ngaio Marsh

Christmas Mystery Book - Inspector AlleynChristmas Mystery Books 2016
Another well respected crime series. Tied up in Tinsel is 27th book in the Inspector Roderick Alleyn series. It is happening during Christmas season. Inspector Alleyn’s wife is visiting an estate for Christmas where she is to paint the owner’s portrait. But when one guest disappears she calls her husband to help her find the lost man. This is great mystery set in a classic country house. It contains a variety of mismatched guests and residents. On one side a group of very rich people, on the other paroled murderers who are hired as help.

This is a well plotted and written story with very interesting cast of characters. Suspenseful, It will definitely keep you guessing and turning the pages. Highly recommend for all who enjoy authors like Agatha Christie or Georgette Heyer’s mysteries.

5. A Christmas Grace – Anne Perry

Christmas Mystery Book - Charlotte PittChristmas Mystery Books 2016
Ann Perry is the most famous for her William Monk and Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series. She also writes a Christmas Stories series. Each book in the series feature characters taken from one of aforementioned series. A Christmas Grace is Book 6 in her Christmas Stories series. Set in Ireland during the Victorian era, the main character is Charlotte Pitt’s sister Emily Radley. Emily is summoned by her dying aunt to spend some time with her before her death. Upon Emily’s arrival a violent storm ravages the town and brings back the memories of an unsolved murder. Emily is asked by her dying aunt to solve the mystery.

This is another interesting mystery from Anne Perry that fans of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series will enjoy.

6. A Little Yuletide Murder – Jessica Fletcher

Christmas Mystery Book - Jessica FletcherChristmas Mystery Books 2016
Jessica Fletcher is a fictional heroine from the very popular TV show Murder She Wrote.  In this Christmas mystery book Jessica Fletcher is in Cabot Cove to spend Christmas with her family and friends. But unfortunately a murder occurs. The death of Rory Brent, a man who for years served as the Santa Claus in the town’s annual Christmas celebration, ruins Jessica’s plans of a nice and relaxing holiday. So she becomes determined to find the killer before Christmas.

This is a cozy, Christmas mystery set in a small town. A Little Yuletide Murder is a perfect story for holiday season. It is highly entertaining, and WhyToRead is sure that fans of TV show Murder She Wrote will highly enjoy it also.

7. Murder on St Nicholas Avenue – Victoria Thompson

Christmas Mystery Book - Gaslight MysteryChristmas Mystery Books 2016
The Gaslight Mysteries are series set in turn of the 20th century New York City featuring Sarah Brandt, a midwife and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy. This is an 18th book in the series. Newly weds Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy are on their honeymoon, so when a woman asking for help knocks on their door, Sarah’s old nursemaid Maeve jumps in to help her. Now Maeve has to solve the murder of seemingly wealthy Randolph Pollock who recently married a poor Irish girl Una O’Neill. The problem is that Una was found cradling Randolph’s dead body.

This is highly interesting murder mystery and entertaining story that does not feature the main characters of the Gaslight Mystery series. Wonderfully written, full of another set of interesting characters, Murder on St Nicholas Avenue is another good choice for the holiday season.

Best Book Quote gifts ever 2016

Best Book Quote gifts ever 2016

Readers love a good book quote from their favorite author or series.  Tap into this list for easy, simple, cheap Christmas presents in 2016.  From classics to slightly kitsch, there’s something for everyone.

Dont leave your orders too late, get in head of the last-last minute rush with these fun book quote gifts.  Hunt around and we expect you can find many many more.

  1. First lines of Literature MUG
    Book Quote Gifts - mugbook quote gifts
    Features famous lines such as “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.  24 awesome quotes to provide excellent distraction in the home or office.  You will need to go read all those books too….

2. The Little Prince iPhone 6 case
Book Quote Gifts - iPhone 6 caseHave an iPhone – then this is a beautiful case for you.  no iPhone… use it as a pen holder, coffee cup mat… whatever.  If you haven’t read The Little Prince, you need to.

3. Quote Throw Rug
Book Quote Gifts - Rugbook quote gifts Snuggle up with this 100% cotton throw rug to read your Christmas books.   No need for a special someone when you have your quote throw and a good book.  (Well, maybe a glass of wine too.)

4. You are Braver… Handmade typo print
Book Quote Gifts - Gold Foil plaqueGold foil, Winnie the Poo, how does it get better than that.  Fits any 8″ x 10″ frame to inspire your children; your boss; your mother.  Buy it  for someone, then accidentally forget and keep it for yourself.

5. The Book was Better – Tshirt
Book Quote Gifts - Tshirtbook quote giftsSo true, so true.  Heard this one so many times, now buy the t-shirt (in lots of colors). WhyToRead always read the book before seeing the movie. Sometimes the movie is good too (Lord of the Rings, The Martian) but rarely does a movie surpass the book.

6. Quote Cushion – Shakespeare
Book Quote Gifts - pillowbook quote giftsFor the ‘little’ lady in your life.  “And though she be but little, She is fierce.” by Shakespeare.  Not much more to say after this.  If she throws it at you, then she is definitely qualified to keep it so you better throw it back.

Leadership Books for 2017

Leadership Books for 2017

What Leadership Books are you expecting Santa to bring you this year?  What leadership skills would you like to nurture in 2017.  As the count down continues to not only Christmas, but the end of the year our thoughts turn to 2017.

Readers are leaders. Its an old saying but true. Reading books allows us to learn from others experiences, good and not-so-good.  We can fast track our skills by reading.  Fast track your leadership skills with these leadership books for 2017.

1. Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life – Susan David

Leadership Books 2017 - Emotional Agility
Life is full of unexpected situations, turns and events that sometime make us feel uncomfortable. Most of us struggle to deal with them and some will even do their best to try and avoid them. But to become a fulfilled person, you need all those challenges and a way to conquer them with success.

Susan David, a rewound psychologist with years of researching the field of behavioral science, proposes a new way to approach your leadership development: emotional agility. This new method will teach you to know and accept yourself, thus learning how to act in unexpected situations and how to deal with everyday stress. An excellent addition to your leadership books.

2. How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science, and Practical Wisdom – Jonathan Fields

Leadership Books 2017 - How To Live A Good Life
How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields is not a classical self-improvement book. Practical and well based with a touch of science, it starts from the idea that you might wander aimlessly through life. And sometimes running on autopilot doesn’t let you enjoy the experiences in your life.

For you to take over your path and destiny, Jonathan Fiends proposes a 30 Bucket System. You have to fill all your buckets throughout a 30 day session and while doing this you will discover the joys of life. He approaches a holistic self – improvement with spiritual, inspirational and also practical advice on how to reclaim your life.

3. Born For This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do – Chris Guillebeau

Leadership Books 2017 - Born For This
Even if you have a well-paid job that comes with benefits and status you might feel unhappy doing it. That happens when you don’t do something you love, that you were made to do. But sometimes it looks that there is no alternative for the chore that is your job now.

Born For This teaches you how to transform your actual job into what you dream of, how to find the ideal work place and also how to take calculated risks career wise. Chris Guillebeau proposes a set of exercises and scenarios for you to figure out what you were meant to have as a job. Also, the inspirational stories will give you perspective of what to do when you feel stuck in an unhappy work environment. says 2016’s Best Book for Entrepreneurs

4. First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You – Ann Demarais & Valerie White

Leadership Books 2017 - First Impressions
First impressions matter say two PhD holders. But we knew that – especially for aspiring leaders. We live in the era of speed and you might not be given a chance to prove yourself a second time. This is why you always need to make good impression, not only at job interviews but also in day to day life.

Ann Demarais and Valerie White break down the first impression in seven fundamentals for you get a better idea how to perfect the first image that others see in you. First Impressions will help you develop fully your personal charm and avoid poor first impressions while giving you the opportunity to know yourself better and improve your brand.

5. Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction – Elizabeth Vargas

Leadership Books 2017 - Between Breaths
This is perhaps an unusual choice for this list of leadership books. Elizabeth Vargas writes a powerful and brave memoir about her struggles with anxiety that begun at 6 years old, without finding a way out and how she turned to alcohol for a little pick me up. She talks about the shame of being an alcoholic and the guilt of never finding the right path in her life.

Between Breaths is an inspiring memoir for all people who struggle from anxiety or turn to alcohol or drugs for a momentary escape from the harsh reality. This book is also about getting to terms with not finding the magic “balance” everyone talks about, and just surviving. Leadership can bring enormous pressures, skills in this book may help you deal with your own challenges, or simply help you to help someone working for you.

Next we bring you a list of relaxing (or not so relaxing) of Christmas related mysteries to enjoy.