Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Christmas List” as Want to Read:
The Christmas List
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Christmas List

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,921 Ratings  ·  840 Reviews
A heartwarming and inspirational Christmas novel in the tradition of The Christmas Box, Grace, The Gift, and Finding Noel. The New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box and The Walk series returns with a holiday novel of hope, love, and redemption.

Dear Reader,

When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, gave our class the intriguing (if some
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Christmas List, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Christmas List

A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Best Christmas Holiday Books
28th out of 360 books — 487 voters
A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
82nd out of 797 books — 1,105 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 22, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok
Recommended to K.D. by: Jinky
Shelves: christmas, populist
James Kier is a ruthless businessman. Ruthless in the sense that what he wants is only to make money and he does not care about the feelings of his employees and their families. He also does foul business practices and he enjoys seeing his competitors close their shops. There was a time when he drove one of his competitors to bankruptcy by clandestinely buying all the materials in the market so the poor winner (his competitor) in the bidding had to close shop so James Kier got the job for his co ...more
Apr 10, 2015 Shawna rated it did not like it
There are some spoilers in this review.

Having had first-hand experience with a relative that died of pancreatic cancer, I was disgusted with Evans' patently romanticized version of Sara Kier's death. One does not impart declarations of love and a pithy bon mot about how heaven-won't-be-heaven-if-you-are-not-there-my-love in the final stages of death by pancreatic cancer. In reality Sara Kier would have been comatose. And the schmaltz doesn't end there...Sara dies on Christmas Day...which was the
Jul 31, 2010 Judy rated it it was ok
Since some of my Christmas decorations are still up--hey, I think that once you reach June, you should just leave them up because December is right around the corner--I decided to read this as a "Christmas in July" treat. Not such a treat. This book is a retelling of A Christmas Carol without Jacob Marley dragging his chains and I missed that. James Kier reads his obituary in the newspaper while at a bed and breakfast several hours from home and when he logs onto the computer he finds out that h ...more
Dec 25, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
This is a modern day Ebenezer Scrooge story. Kiel is a very busy business man who has left his wife and son. He and his girlfriend have plans to steal away for the weekend at a quaint bed and breakfast in the mountains. He arrives early and waits...and waits...and waits. She never comes. The morning paper arrives and he sees his obituary. He supposedly died on the trip!

Comments are pouring in from all over the world about him. Comments that you don't want to read about yourself. The only nice o
Dec 24, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Shelves: christmas
This book was inspired in part by Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and reading it, I can certainly see the parallels. However, while Scrooge's sin was indifference to others' suffering, the miser in this story, a business exec named James Kier, is guilty of causing suffering. Instead of being visited by a ghost, as Scrooge was, his change of heart comes after his identity is mixed up with that of a car accident victim: he reads his own obituary and finds out what people really think of him.

All in all
Dec 29, 2011 Jill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This book was a Christmas present two years ago. At the time I really wanted to read it and I was reading a lot of Christmas books, and then the holiday passed and I guess it ended up on the shelf for longer than I was planning. I think though that sometimes books come to you when you need them or are ready for them, so it wasn't really forgotten there on the shelf, it was just biding it's time until it was the right read for me for right now. Maybe that sounds silly, but I know I buy books thin ...more
Nov 13, 2009 Nancy rated it did not like it
This book has the subtlety of a sledgehammer. After an unbelievable epiphany, the main character goes from being the most heartless man on earth to being the most loving. What upset me the most is that the character couldn't even make his own list. He destroyed countless lives with his greed, but looked to his secretary to define his redemption.

We all need to live the best lives we can. However, his need for external validation represents one of the main deficiencies in our society. Searching f
Nov 29, 2009 JoAnn/QuAppelle rated it it was ok
I did finish this book, or would have given it one star, but this was a stretch for me.

What is the appeal of this author? The writing is amateurish, the theme is overused, and the whole "story" is manipulative. After hearing for years how awful he was, all of a sudden this guy has a "revelation" after reading some things written about him on a website.

Worst of all, he had to ask his secretary to come up with the list of people he had damaged!!! He could not even do this himself?

Book Concierge
Dec 12, 2012 Book Concierge rated it did not like it
Audio book read by John Dossett

I know that Evans’ works are hugely popular, and I feel as if I’m dissing a saint. But really … this is so maudlin and formulaic. Rich, ruthless businessman is reformed just in time for Christmas with the help of his trusty assistant. Oh, and I really hate how he strings people along as he prepares to give them a great gift. What a jerk!
Nancy Brady
James Kier reads his own accidental obituary (and the comments people make about him), and after meeting the family and friends of the real James Kier that died, decides to change.

Asking for help from his secretary Linda, he approaches five people whom he hurt (destroyed their lives) in various ways. He gets varied responses from them, but continues on his quest to change.

Will people accept the new James? Especially the woman he is divorcing? His son?

This is a real tearjerker and not unlike Di
Dec 20, 2009 Shonda rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009
James Kier is reading his morning paper when he reads an obituary. His obituary. Puzzled by the false report, he searches the internet and finds a story explaining his death. Even though he knows he’s very much alive, it’s the anonymous, (and not so anonymous) unsympathetic comments he reads, that cause him to re-evaluate his life.

James Kier is a shrewd real state investor. He’s richer than rich and will be the first to admit he’s taken advantage of many individuals to reach the top spot. Does h
Oct 23, 2009 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 14, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 26, 2012 D rated it liked it
This book is a kind of modern retelling of Dickens' Christmas Carol but without the ghosts and time travel. I read this book to get in the holiday spirit. It is did not get me in the holiday spirit. It was one of the most depressing books I have read in a long time. Set in areas of Salt Lake City I am well famliar with, this is the story of a man who totally messes up his life and then decides one day, after mistakenly being reported as dead, to put things back together and change. The problem i ...more
Nov 15, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, reviewed
The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans was a wonderful, quick read. It’s a modern retelling of Scrooge about a guy, James Kier, a money hungry, selfish businessman, stomping on people left and right to benefit himself and make more money. He’s even left his wife, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. One day, he reads his obituary in the newspaper after a mix-up, and sees all the spiteful comments people left about him online after they believe he is dead, and he has a change of heart. He ma ...more
Dec 27, 2011 Mayda rated it did not like it
Shelves: christmas
Think of this book as A Christmas Carol Wannabe Collides with Love Story and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what it is about. If you like sad and sappy Christmas stories in which the stereotypical bad guy has a miraculous and rapid change of heart, tries to make amends only find out it is too late for some, add in his estranged wife who is, of course, dying of cancer, and, for good measure, tries for a reconciliation with his soon-to-be-married son, then this is the book for you. On a more s ...more
Apr 10, 2015 Melissa rated it liked it
This book was entirely too syrupy for me. Maybe I'm a cynic, maybe not. Richard Paul Evans always seems to straddle that syrup fence in all of his novels, but he never completely went over the edge. That kept me coming back to read more. (I loved the Walk series. Good stuff.) But poor Richard took a nose dive into the syrup side with this one. To call it unrealistic would be putting it mildly. I can see how some would like this kind of story, but it is just my personal preference that everything ...more
Kayrene Smither
Oct 25, 2015 Kayrene Smither rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas-novels
Never disappoints: another great RPE book, based along with the Christmas Carol theme. Loved this book so much!
Dec 13, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
Again, looking for a Christmas story and because I just read another Christmas book by this author, I picked this up at the library. It is a modern take on Dicken's The Christmas Carol. It is an easy read and reminded me how the bad treatment of others can follow and haunt us for a lifetime. There is some bad behavior that can never be made right. You can say I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry and it is forever too late. On the positive side, realizing mistakes and trying to recompense is the right ...more
Jul 22, 2015 erica rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
an interesting twist on the christmas carol story, not too preachy either!
Dec 29, 2015 Maritza rated it really liked it
Firmly believing in the power of human beings to become better (if they wish to) & loving stories of redemption, I enjoyed this book. If I were to review it "critically", I could write that the main character's, James Kier's, startling transformation & the catalyst for it was contrived but I won't go there because I believe the author merely used this vehicle to get his story to the desired destination--acknowledgement of the power of our inner conscience & the fact that if we each t ...more
Marty Qualls
Dec 24, 2009 Marty Qualls rated it it was amazing
This book truly changed my life. A handful of books have a message as important as this one. Through the story I was able to see the difference I can make by how I act, react, and interact with people in my personal and professional life. I will be a better person because of Richard Paul Evans and his wonderful book. If there is one book to read this Holiday Season, or anytime for that matter, this is a "Must Read" recommendation for everyone!
Caroline Heeb Hicks
Dec 26, 2015 Caroline Heeb Hicks rated it really liked it
We had a nice quite Christmas, just the 3 of us at home this year so I had the day to read as well. I read the entire book on Christmas day and it was a just a perfect, feel good story to go with the peaceful day. The book is inspired by Charles Dickens, The Christmas Carol. The main character, James Kier, is basically Scrooge and sees the wrongs he's done in his life and is on a journey to change. The author's writing is so easy to read and follow and paints such easy scenes to picture. All of ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Joyce rated it it was amazing
James Kier is an extremely successful Real Estate developer but to achieve his success he ruined several individuals and their families. Three weeks before Christmas, the divorce papers with his wife are ready for him to sign and he is headed for a weekend with his current female friend. But as the phrase goes "life can get in the way of our plans."
James gets snowed in; his girlfriend can't get there; his cell phone is dead beyond repair. At breakfast the next morning he is handed a newspaper re
Nov 08, 2009 Karla rated it really liked it
Was a perfect Christmas read I was a blubbering mess by the end. This was a great read to get you in the giving, loving mood for Christmas. The main character of the story reminded me in some ways of Scrooge with a modern twist. This would be a good read to take on a journey or trip home to see the in-laws. Make sure to take your tissue along. Great book about love, family, loss, redemption, giving, and forgivness.
Jan 12, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-editions
I had bought this on a whim at The Works - it was a festive-looking jacket on a hardcover book, and it was only 50p. I had very low expectations so I was pleasantly surprised at its unique take on A Christmas Carol. The 'ghosts' in this novel is an incorrectly published obituary and redemption comes in the guise of attempts by the protagonist undo and make the lives that he ruined better. Really liked it.
Jan 29, 2015 Dad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is an excellent book with a familiar pattern in which someone is trying to rectify the wrongs they have committed. This is universal to all who have truly repented of sins and misdeeds thus the universal appeal of this book.
I was drawn on to read how Kier came out with his list and with his wife and son. There was the feeling that he would never have time enough and he didn't. With Rossi who had committed suicide, it was too late. He did reconcile with his wife Sara but he missed so much s
Vicki Gooding
Feb 09, 2014 Vicki Gooding rated it really liked it
Modern Day Scrooge of sorts. A money hungry, mean and thoughtless individual is caught in a snow storm and wakes up to find his obituary in the paper. First thing he wants to do is take the paper to court for not getting their facts straight. When he goes online, a website has been set up where individuals who had brown nosed him, but despised his actions were on there. People whom he hurt that wanted him to rot in hell. There was only one person who defended him. The one he hurt the most. He go ...more
Apr 08, 2013 Joan rated it really liked it
This book's story really touched my heart. I admit, I don't really forgive people quite easily but this book really made me realize the importance of forgiveness. I recommend this book to people who, somehow, have lost their faith in humanity, for the story will certainly make you believe in the best of people. Definitely a must-read even if it isn't Christmas! :D
Dec 31, 2014 EThayer3 rated it liked it
Because of a newspaper error James Kier reads his obituary one morning (someone else with the same name dies, the newspaper gets it wrong). He then goes online and reads what people have written about him, most of it unkind. James was once a nice guy but greed got the best of him and now he looks out for himself only. This wrong obituary thing gives him a chance to redeem himself. He becomes a changed man and seeks out the 5 people he hurt most. Along the way he attempts to make amends with his ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Nooks of Books: The Christmas List 1 1 Jan 28, 2015 06:36PM  
Cafe Libri: Holiday Read: The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans 2 3 Nov 23, 2013 02:20PM  
a man learns that it's never too late to make things right with the world 3 18 Sep 24, 2013 05:40PM  
Give Away for this book!! 1 26 Oct 03, 2009 08:09AM  
  • The Christmas Secret (Christmas Hope, #5)
  • The 13th Day of Christmas
  • The Christmas Clock
  • A Dog Named Christmas (A Dog Named Christmas #1)
  • The Paper Bag Christmas
  • The Christmas Tree
  • The Christmas Sweater
  • The Christmas Wish
  • The Christmas Basket
  • The Snow Globe
  • Finding Father Christmas (Father Christmas, #1)
  • The Christmas Candle
  • A Stranger for Christmas
  • The Christmas Pearl
  • The Unfinished Gift
  • The Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa Claus
When Richard Paul Evans wrote the #1 best-seller, The Christmas Box, he never intended on becoming an internationally known author. His quiet story of parental love and the true meaning of Christmas made history when it became simultaneously the #1 hardcover and paperback book in the nation. Since then, more than eight million copies of The Christmas Box have been printed. He has since written ele ...more
More about Richard Paul Evans...

Share This Book

“We humans...are seriously flawed. The things that are the most necessary, the most critical to us, are the things we take most for granted. Air. Water. Love.

If you have someone to love, you are lucky. If they love you back, you're blessed. And if you waste the time you have to love them, you're a fool.”
“Can you ever forgive me?
I already have.
How could you? I don't deserve it.
That's what makes it love.”
More quotes…