What to read to get in the Thanksgiving mood!

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Google “books for Thanksgiving” and it’s easy to find children’s books that explain what Thanksgiving is, the history and traditions of it, etc. That’s great for the kids, but what about the adults? We need good books to read over Thanksgiving too! Who wants to deal with all that travel, family and general craziness that comes with the holidays without a book or two, and what better time to read some Thanksgiving classics!

The books we picked for our Thanksgiving reading recommendations are all set over the Thanksgiving weekend. They are the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit ahead of the…holidays. Or, if your Thanksgiving is as hectic as ours, these books are a great little break from the craziness of the holiday itself. 

strangers at the feast by jennifer vanderbes a thanksgiving novel

Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes

A family gathers for Thanksgiving, frayed relationships, marital strife and hidden secrets make this a Thanksgiving like no other. In Jennifer’s skillful hands this Thanksgiving tale about family dynamics is a thrilling read that you won’t be able to put down!

pumpkin muffin murder by livia washburn a thanksgiving novel

The Pumpkin Muffin Murder (Fresh-Baked Mystery) by Livia J. Washburn

This is the fifth in the Livia’s Fresh-Baked Mystery series, but it works well as a standalone and there’s no need to read any of the earlier books in order to understand what is going on. Although, once you’ve read one of Livia’s cosy series, you’ll probably want to go back and read some more! The Pumpkin Muffin Murder is a gentle murder-mystery that’s set over a Thanksgiving weekend. It’s the perfect book to keep you warm as you snuggle under the blankets on a cold November evening.

thanksgiving novel christmas memory by truman capote

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

Yeah, the title does not make this sound like a Thanksgiving book! But that’s because this is a book of three short stories, two of which are set at Christmas and the third at Thanksgiving. The acclaimed author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s brings us a heartwarming tale of Thanksgiving from his boyhood in rural Alabama. Then, after you finish reading the Thanksgiving story, you still have two short stories waiting for you to read when it closer to Christmas!


A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler

We’re big fans of Anne, she is so great at creating believable characters in an easy and subtle way that her characters start to become your friends because you simply know them so well. The way she writes is incredibly easy to read, but her stories stick with you for years. A Patchwork Planet is the perfect Thanksgiving pick as it features a potluck Thanksgiving dinner and the drama of a missing turkey.

thanksgiving romance ghost at the table by suzanne berne

The Ghost at the Table by Suzanne Bearne

This is tale of two sisters trying to put aside their differences to try and come together at Thanksgiving. The sisters squabble and hidden pains are slowly revealed at a climatic Thanksgiving dinner.


Model Behavior by Jay McInerney

This is not the traditional setting for a Thanksgiving book, it’s set in a fancy New York restaurant. However the familiar Thanksgiving theme of family coming together and drama ensues. Jay’s writing veers between humor and heartbreak.

ice storm by rick moody a thanksgiving novel

The Ice Storm by Rick Moody

This is a classic Thanksgiving tale that, in 1997, was made into a movie starring Sigourney Weaver, a young Elijah Wood and a whole host of other big Hollywood names. Set in 1970s New England, as an ice storm isolates two families over Thanksgiving. Secrets and lies are revealed and uncomfortable truths have unfortunate consequences.

The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford

This is actually the third book of a trilogy following our hero, Bascombe. However you don’t need to read the first two books to understand what’s going on here. Yes, this another story of a family coming together for Thanksgiving. Bascombe is spending the vacation with his two ex-wives, the disliked boyfriend of his daughter and his newly diagnosed cancer. However this is also book about the political climate in America in the early Bush years.

old fashioned thanksgiving short story

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott

Last, but by no means least, is an absolute classic. This is a very short story, only 30 pages long, telling the story of the Basset family’s Thanksgiving. It is heartwarming tale of a loving family simply enjoying spending Thanksgiving together. After all the more modern books on the stress and intrigue of family dynamics, this one is a nice change of pace!


That’s it. Hope you enjoyed our Thanksgiving reading recommendations! More than enough for anyone looking for a little reading escape over the holidays. As always, if you think we missed anything or have a book we should include, reach out to us at admin@bookspry.com or on Twitter.

the bookspry team