With Hanukkah right around the corner, what better way to celebrate than with some Hanukkah-related books? Whether you’re looking for romance, self-discovery, or historical, there is a little something for everyone. Although, let’s be honest, there is at least a little romance in all of these!
1. Eight Dates and Nights by Betsy Aldredge
First up is Eight Dates and Nights by Betsy Aldredge. If the title doesn’t pull you in, I don’t know what will. The story follows Hannah Levin who ends up snowed in while visiting her grandmother in Texas. This completely ruins her Hanukkah plans…or so she thinks. Trying to find something to do when there is no Wi-Fi, she wanders into a deli where she meets the only other Jewish teen in town, Noah. Noah could not be more excited about the holiday season and is determined to make Hannah feel the same. As they get to know one another and play truth or dare dreidel, the two begin to fall for one another. Could this be any cuter?
2. B’Nai Mitzvah Mistake by Stacey Agdern
Stacey Agdern’s latest book is B’Nai Mitzvah Mistake. It came out earlier this year and follows Judith Nachman. There is nothing Judith loves more than working at the Mitzvah Alliance charity except for maybe the fact that she’s finally having her own bat mitzvah. What she doesn’t love is that she is possibly going to have to share her special day with retired hockey player Ash Mendel who completely ruined her sister’s career. They make a deal to exchange favors but as they get to know one another, they soon find out that they might like each other more than they originally thought.
3. Recommended For You by Laura Silverman
Recommended For You by Laura Silverman is a must-read any time of year, but especially during the Hanukkah season. Rivals at the bookstore they both work at, Shoshanna and new hire Jake start a competition to see who can sell the most books. But as they spend more time together at work and outside of it, Shoshanna discovers that maybe she doesn’t hate Jake as much as she once thought. I absolutely love this book. It always makes me smile (and cry).
4. Marry Me by Midnight by Felicia Grossman
Ready for some historical romance? It’s hard to go wrong with Felicia Grossman. Her latest book is Marry Me by Midnight. The story is a twist on Cinderella and takes place in London in the 1830s. It follows Isabelle Lira who is struggling after the death of her father. His former partners are trying to take her part of the business and the only way to stop them is…you guessed it…she has to get married.
To find a husband quickly, she hosts a series of festivals and invites every eligible Jewish man. Cut to Aaron Ellenberg. He is the custodian at the synagogue and simply wishes for a family of his own. He meets Isabelle and she presents him with an offer he can’t refuse. She wants him to help her find a suitable husband, and she’ll give him the money he needs to start a new life. But what if Aaron is exactly the man Isabelle is looking for?
5. I’ll Be Home For Hanukkah by KK Hendin
Looking for the Hanukkah version of a Hallmark movie? I’ll Be Home for Hanukkah needs to be your next read. The book follows Shayna Adler. She’s never watched a Hallmark movie in her life, but she’s pretty sure she’s living in one.
She’s a big city girl heading to a small town, there are lots of attractive single men in flannel, and there is lots of suspiciously-placed mistletoe. It screams Hallmark. She is falling for her coworker while the spirit of Christmas (or Hanukkah) is trying to make her learn more about herself.
6. Home for Hanukkah by Rebecca Crowley
Not to be mistaken for the book we just discussed, Home for Hanukkah by Rebecca Crowley has plenty of Hallmark vibes, but this story follows Zach Strauss. His biotech start-up just failed, he has no money, and he must move back to his hometown. Needing a job, he walks into the local thrift store-turned-boutique, Second Chance, which is run by Noa Jacob.
Noa is dealing with problems of her own. Noa only has ten days to save Second Chance. Together, Noa and Zach work to save the store, but instead of losing the business, they might lose their hearts to each other.
7. Color Me In by Natasha Diaz
This list (or any list of books) would not be complete without Color Me In. This is one of my favorite books of all time. Color Me In by Natasha Diaz tells the story of Nevaeh Levitz who is struggling to find her place in her family. Her dad is white and Jewish and her mom and the people she knows best are Black and go to church. But no matter what side of her family she’s with, she never feels like she really belongs. As she tries to find out who she is (and plan a bat mitzvah she’s not sure she wants), she discovers secrets from her mother’s past that open up her world to new possibilities.
As she finds her voice, she also falls in love, befriends a rabbi, and learns the many privileges she has from being white-passing.
8. A Kiss from the Past by Kelly Cain
A Kiss from the Past is the first book in Kelly Cain’s Secret Ties series. The book follows Nichelle Sampson who is living the dream life. She’s a political science professor, has amazing friends, and is in a leadership role in her sorority. What more could she want? But when a letter and a ring arrive in the mail, her world falls apart. She finds out she’s adopted, biracial, and Jewish.
Set on finding her birth parents, she takes the mysterious ring to a jewelry store that happens to be owned by Clark Lin-Lee. When he learns about the mystery she is trying to solve, he agrees to go along for the ride. As they discover more, both of their family histories come to light as does the not-so-great secret that Clark is hiding. Will their feelings for each other last after everything is revealed?