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The Christmas List

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  12,843 ratings  ·  1,096 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box 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 somewhat macabre) assignment of writing our own obituaries. Oddly, I don't remember much of what I wrote about my life, but I do remember how I died
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Simon Schuster (first published 2009)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  12,843 ratings  ·  1,096 reviews

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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Saturday - three weeks before Christmas

James Kier looked back and forth between the newspaper headline and the photograph of himself, not sure if he should laugh or call his attorney. It was the same photograph the Tribune had used a couple of years earlier when they featured him on the front page of the business section. He had worn a silver herringbone-weave Armani over a black silk t-shirt for the photo session, the corner of an ebony silk handkerchief peeked strategically from the
K.D. Absolutely
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommended to K.D. by: Jinky
Shelves: populist, christmas
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
Dec 07, 2009 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
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, read-2018
This was just the book I wanted for this Christmas season. A quick read with an inspirational message of forgiveness and that people can change their ways.
Ange H
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Christmas 2019 - Book 2 - NICE!

So far I'm on a roll with my 2019 Christmas reading. I really enjoyed this story, which was a modern retelling of A Christmas Carol without the supernatural overtones.

Jim Kier is a wealthy, ruthless businessman despised by everyone he knows, including his son. He has done truly terrible things and ruined lives. After he is declared dead in a case of mistaken identity, he gets a rare chance to find out what people really think of him (via on-line comments on his obi
Dec 23, 2010 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 29, 2011 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
Becky R.
Dec 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Richard Paul Evans is famous for his The Christmas Box series. I was one of those kids who received his books for many Christmases along the way, and have almost everything he's ever written. The funny thing is, all of them were gifts, and I might not have picked them up had someone not given them to me. Why? I can't really say, but I somehow thought these were too short to really have a story I could sink my teeth into. I'm happy to say, I was wrong.

In The Christmas List, we find a "what if" st
Kristin Lees
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
What a fast read! Those mini chapters kept me talking myself into reading another. I liked the tidy and good-feeling ending with such an unlikable character you think it’s impossible. Without Sara and Linda, it would all be impossible. Entertaining modern day Scrooge!
Dec 08, 2011 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
Jul 31, 2010 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
Nov 26, 2012 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 05, 2009 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.
I just listened to this book rather than reading it this year- my library had the audio and it helped me get through a few work days. Beautiful beautiful book. I got more out of it this year than I did last year. I think it will be a yearly read or listen for me.

This book was outstanding! I couldn't put it down! Thank you so much, Jennifer!
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I walked into this book blind. I didn't really read the blurb that closely. I found it very dickens like in it's portrayal of the character with a rebirth and cathartic outlook. I was touched and found an emotional connection to the story. I would recommend this one to those looking to feel something. i often find his work to be that way. RPE writes a story that might not have all the twists that some people claim to want. In the end though, I think about his story and feel with his characters. ...more
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, novel, christmas
A not-so-sweet man reads his own death obituary and all the mean comments from people in the community. He tries to make amends but not even his estranged wife wants to give him a second chance b/c they think he's not really sorry, but sorry he got 'caught'. He learns that some mistakes aren't fixable just cause he wants to change. He does try, tho. A little naively, thinking that an 'I'm sorry' would fix everything even tho he ruined their lives, and that on purpose. These were actions to swind ...more
Amy Ingalls
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This story is like a Hallmark movie-- cheesy and feel-good and predictable. Sometimes that is just what I am looking for!
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
Nov 13, 2009 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
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
Nov 29, 2009 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 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!
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I usually end up read one of Richard Paul Evans books around the holidays. The audio for his books is one of my favorites. In this book, the main character reads his own obituary and finds out what his legacy will be. He has the chance to redeem himself, and it’s in the spirit of A Christmas Carol. Many of Richard Paul Evans’ books make us confront difficult questions that we face. In this one, it’s what would we want our legacy to be? This one was another good story, and I’d recommend it on aud ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
James Kerr is a successful businessman. There is a sudden death and through a mistaken identity, he is presumed dead. When he reads his obituary, he is appalled at the poor opinion people have of him. People see him as a ruthless, heartless businessman. Also, his estranged wife, Sara, is dying. As James sets out to discover more, he tries to undo some of the grief he has caused. Can he and will he really change his ideas and beliefs.
Judith Teggelaar
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful and touching story in the tradition of Ebenezer Scrooge. A hard-hearted business man, after seeing his premature obituary, has a change of heart and seeks forgiveness from those he has wronged. It has you pulling for the bad guy.
Kim Ivins
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Grab a box of tissues..
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
Very very sweet Christmas book!
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a touching Christmas read. Reminded me a bit of a modern-day take on A Christmas Carol at first. I liked the characters with whom Kier interacted and grew attached to Linda and Sarah particularly.
Caroline Perez
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very sweet story of redemption and reconnecting during the Christmas season. I really enjoyed it!
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The Nooks of Books: The Christmas List 1 4 Jan 28, 2015 06:36PM  
Cafe Libri: Holiday Read: The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans 2 6 Nov 23, 2013 02:20PM  
a man learns that it's never too late to make things right with the world 3 21 Sep 24, 2013 05:40PM  
Give Away for this book!! 1 27 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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