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The Christmas List

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  8,785 ratings  ·  778 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)
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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
24th out of 317 books — 413 voters
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
81st out of 694 books — 945 voters

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Community Reviews

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K.D. Absolutely
Dec 22, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
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
Dec 25, 2010 Julie rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 14, 2009 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Stephanie (StephTheBookworm)
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
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
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
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?

Marty Qualls
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!
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
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.
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 5 of 5 stars
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
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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!
Vicki Gooding
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
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
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
Melissa Richardson
I read this book in one evening the night before Christmas Eve. I couldn't put it down. The story of grace was amazing and a wonderful reminder that we don't need to be perfect, and we can be forgiven. To me, this is another story of the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Caitriona Maguire
I think this book was very simplistic, an easy read and a bit of escapism. I felt the characters especially Kerr was somewhat shallow and unbelievable. How he suddenly transformed from horrible hard nosed business man to being a softie over a very short length of time was less than credible.
Moving. It was a quick read. "A Christmas Carol"-esque with a business man having a rude awakening which helps him to see himself more clearly and therefore want to change. I liked how real a lot of the reactions seemed. Great book! Well written.
Richard Paul Evans' Christmas stories are perfect for this time of year. They are quick, easy reads. It's almost as effortless as watching a Christmas movie. This one is no exception. Successful businessman, James Kier, reads his obituary in the local newspaper. It is obviously a case of mistaken identity but it allows him to see what people really think of him. It isn't a pleasant picture. His secretary helps him to make a list of people he needs to whom he needs to apologize and/or make restit ...more
Christmas List / by Richard Paul Evans

Author’s inspiration came from a seventh grade writing assignment of writing their own obituaries. The most intriguing thing about the assignment was the opportunity to confront our own legacies – How do we want to be remembered? Thus the premise of this story that takes on the spirit of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

James Kier reads his obituary in the newspaper and had no idea the impact that story would have on his life. Thinking Kier is dead his family and
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
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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 17 Sep 24, 2013 05:40PM  
Give Away for this book!! 1 25 Oct 03, 2009 08:09AM  
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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
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“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…