9 Christmas Books to Avoid, Because There's Only So Much Cheer to Go Around

'Tis the season to read holiday books, right? You've been waiting all year to dive into your Christmas-themed books (because reading A Christmas Carol in August just doesn't seem right), but we've collected a list of books to avoid, so you can make the most of your reading time during this short, but precious, holiday season.

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'A Vampire for Christmas'

This book was published in 2011, during the peak of the Twilight-inspired vampire frenzy, but that’s not a trend we want to revisit this holiday season, with vamps having long jumped the shark. And besides, vampires are the domain of Halloween, not the more cheerful Christmas season.

'A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas'

A pirate-themed reimagining of the classic “Twelve Days of Christmas” story. Like I just said, when it comes to Christmas, keep things simple and traditional. No genre-fusion, please.

'Cozy Christmas (Love Inspired\The Heart of Main Street)'

In a small town in Kansas, a curious female reporter befriends a laconic man, and with a little love, he begins to open up to the world. Because the lively woman/reserved man narrative isn’t one we’ve heard before.

James Patterson's 'The Christmas Wedding'

A widow announces she’s getting married on Christmas, but there’s a twist to the usual matrimonial narrative: She’s keeping the identity of the groom a secret until the wedding. Uh huh. The Amazon reviewers aren’t even into this book, one calling it the worst James Patterson book she’s read. Better to stick to the suspense novels, Patterson, and leave the holiday cheer to others.

Sarah Palin's 'Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas'

Typically, as a critic, I wouldn’t take issue with a book based on its author. But this isn’t literature were talking about, it’s an extension of Palin’s campaign to force her cultural conservatism on everyone else. The book is, according to the Amazon summary, a call to bring back “the freedom to express the Christian values of the season” and stresses “the importance of preserving Jesus Christ in Christmas — in public displays, school concerts, pageants, and our expressions to one another other.” Save the politics for the other 364 days of the year, please.

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Glenn Beck's 'The Christmas Sweater'

Although not overtly political like Palin’s book, Beck’s The Christmas Sweater is a parable supporting the values the author espouses, making the book itself a ”weak attempt at a holiday classic in the vein of It’s a Wonderful Life,” according to Publisher’s Weekly.

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'The Christmas Sweater: A Picture Book'

And did you know Beck’s novel has an accompanying picture book for the kiddies?

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'Merry Christmas, Mouse!' ('If You Give' Series)

Speaking of children’s books, there is a Christmas spinoff of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.This book earns a place on our list because some things are just better left alone. The original is perfect as is. No need for a holiday version. (The moose and muffin book was okay.)

John Grisham's 'Skipping Christmas'

This book is about a couple, Luther and Nora Krank, that decides to skip Christmas. While we take issue with the notion of skipping the most wonderful of holidays, what earned this book a spot on our list was its legacy — the book is the inspiration for the awful Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis movie Christmas with the Kranks.