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The Christmas List: A Novel

The Christmas List: A Novel

4.2 109
by Richard Paul Evans

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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


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 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: in first place on the final lap of the Daytona 500. At the time, I hadn't considered writing as an occupation, a field with a remarkably low on-the-job casualty rate.

What intrigues me most about Mrs. Johnson's assignment is the opportunity she gave us to confront our own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? That question has motivated our species since the beginning of time: from building pyramids to putting our names on skyscrapers.

As I began to write this book, I had two objectives: First, I wanted to explore what could happen if someone read their obituary before they died and saw, firsthand, what the world really thought of them. Their legacy.

Second, I wanted to write a Christmas story of true redemption. One of my family's holiday traditions is to see a local production of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. I don't know how many times I've seen it (perhaps a dozen), but it still thrills me to see the change that comes over Ebenezer Scrooge as he transforms from a dull, tight-fisted miser into a penitent, "giddy-as-aschoolboy" man with love in his heart. I always leave the show with a smile on my face and a resolve to be a better person. That's what I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, this Christmas -- a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts.

Merry Christmas

Editorial Reviews

Like his 2008 bestseller The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans's novel exudes true holiday spirit. Evans got the idea for the fiction while watching a local theater production of Dickens's Christmas Carol. Almost instantly, Evans realized that is the story he wanted to write: the transformation of a present-day Scrooge into a caring human being. The list in the title isn't a conventional reminder for gifts; it's a roster of the people whom protagonist James Kier has most wronged. Unabashedly heartfelt and sentimental, The Christmas List has all the best elements of a redemptive Yuletide tale.
Library Journal
It's possible that Santa just won't come if there isn't a new Evans (A Christmas Box) holiday tale in his bag. This year, it's the story of real-estate mogul James Kier, who gets the chance to read his obituary—before he dies. What he discovers unnerves him as the death notice portrays a ruthless, friendless man. James decides to make amends to the many people he's hurt over the years. Sure to be a best seller, so buy accordingly. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/09.]

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Simon & Schuster
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

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 Tshirt for the photo session, the corner of an ebony silk handkerchief peeked strategically from the breast pocket. The black and white photograph was carefully posed and lighted to leave half his face in shadow. The photographer, a black-clad young Japanese man with a shock of bright pink hair, chose to shoot in black and white because, in the photographer's words, he was "going for a yin-yang effect — to fully capture Kier's inner complexities." The photographer was good at his craft. Kier's expression revealed a leaky confidence.

While the photograph was the same, the headline could not have been more different. Not many people get to read their own obituary.

Local real estate mogul dies in automobile crash

Utah real estate developer James Kier was pronounced dead after his car collided with a concrete pylon on southbound I80. Rescue workers labored for more than an hour to remove the Salt Lake man's body from the wreckage. Authorities believe Kier may have had a heart attack prior to swerving off the road.

Kier was the president of Kier Company, one of the West's largest real estate development firms. He was known as a fierce,oftentimes ruthless, businessman. He once said, "If you want to make friends, join a book club. If you want to make money, go into business. Only a fool confuses the two."

Kier is survived by his son, James Kier II, and his wife, Sara. See page 1 of the business section for more on James Kier.

Kier put the paper down. Some idiot's going to lose his job over this, he thought.

He had no idea what the article was about to set in motion.

Copyright © 2009 by Richard Paul Evans

Meet the Author

Richard Paul Evans is the #1 bestselling author of The Christmas Box. Each of his more than thirty novels has been a New York Times bestseller. There are more than thirty million copies of his books in print worldwide, translated into more than twenty-four languages. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Mothers Book Award, the Romantic Times Best Women’s Novel of the Year Award, the German Audience Gold Award for Romance, two Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Awards, the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children. You can learn more about Richard on Facebook at Facebook.com/RPEFans, or visit his website, RichardPaulEvans.com.

Brief Biography

Salt Lake City, Utah
Date of Birth:
October 11, 1962
Place of Birth:
Salt Lake City, Utah
B.A., University of Utah, 1984

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Christmas List 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 109 reviews.
LynW More than 1 year ago
The Christmas List is one of those books that you end up reading in one sitting and then re-reading (and re-reading and re-reading...). I found myself laughing, crying, fuming--everything that makes a good story. I've already read the book more than once and (after crying every time) am planning on giving it to a friend for her upcoming wedding (there's a wonderful love story between husband and wife) as well as for Christmas gifts. The book is beautiful and will be a wonderful gift for my friends and family. Humor was great, characters were great, story line was clever and Evans' writing continues to get better and better. Here's my six star rating: ****** :)
Karen_from_NC More than 1 year ago
I wait impatiently every fall for Richard's new book and then I devour it. But The Christmas List was different for me. I almost hated to read another page because I truly despised Jame Kier. Wanted to hurt him! But the more I read, the more the story revealed. I think these are some of the strongest and most compelling of Richard's characters, taking me back to the feelings I felt when I first read The Christmas Box, especially the bittersweet ending. It may seem trite, but it did, indeed, make me want to write my own Christmas list. I loved it, Richard. Can't wait for the next book.
RoniH More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one sitting. Loved it and it will be a permnanent member of my library together with the rest of Evan's books.,
tonni6263 More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Richard Paul Evans book and this is number 2, behind the Christmas Box. Very touching story and very powerful. Many lessons to be learned from it as well. Highly recommended!!
arleah More than 1 year ago
This book is a modern day Scrooge, even better if possible! I loved it from cover to cover to cover and dreaded the end to come. I have passed it around and everyone else has also loved. It will become a Holiday Classic in my house.
MNicole More than 1 year ago
This book interested me ever since I heard the concept but what I wasn't prepared for were all the different emotions I would encounter while reading. I read this book in one sitting and was absolutely satisfied at the end- in tears! I love books that focus on bettering friendships, family relationships and becoming a better person. I cried, I laughed, I smiled, and I just loved how the author gave me such a satisfying Christmas story! Thank you Richard- I dare say this is my favorite since The Christmas Box!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great book for anyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book that is hard to put down. It is a book everyone should read, especially at Christmas time. It reminds the reader to look at the effect that they have on others and what is important in our lives. It also makes the point that all damage cannot be undone, our actions have a permanent impact. But in the end there is forgiveness and a self serving way of life can be changed to good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful and touching story. Has Richard ever written a bad one?? I think not. This book will become another favorite to share during the Holiday Season.
love2readDA More than 1 year ago
loved this book.... a great story that really makes you stop and think!
clo30 More than 1 year ago
Read this book in an afternoon and it was fantastic! It was the perfect book to get the holiday season started. Great for uplifting your spirit, great Christmas gift for anyone on your list, and makes you want more of that "holiday warmth" it leaves with you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a terrific inspiring book. I loved it and highly recommend it for the holiday season. A book to read every year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found that this was a eye opener and it makes me think twice on how I treat people. I found myself searching my conscience. Have I been over critical or mean to others that I encounter? Have I altered the future of someone life by my actions? I know that we can all take something away from this book that will make us a better friends,siblings and spouses. Richards writings come out every year at the same time and it is a time that my family looks forward to. Thank you Richard for your values and your feel good writing. Its much needed, God Bless
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Christmas List really made me evaluate my own life. How do I want to be remembered? The story of The Christmas List encouraged me to consider what is important in my life and what relationships I need to improve. It made me think about my life and that I need to stop and realize what really is important. The character that touched me most in this book is Sara. She represents unconditional love. She reminds me that love endures all things and is a hope for things that seem impossible. She never gave up hope and never stopped loving. I want to live my life in the way that Sara lives her life. The main character, James, reminds me that there is always the possibility of making positive changes in our lives. He shows us that there is still time to recognize our mistakes, make restitution and seek forgiveness. Like Evans most popular book "The Christmas Box", this book will touch you in your own unique personal way. This latest novel by Evans, reminds me that the true meaning and spirit of Christmas is unconditional love and the peace that comes from seeking forgiveness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down even though I knew what would happen next. I'm thankful for the reminder of how important true love is as we go through our journeys on earth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
A nice warming Christmas read! A good lesson for each of us ---James Kier is a man driven by money, he never cared about whom he had to step on to get it, and even left his wife with cancer. He has lost himself in the business world until one day when he reads his own obituary (mistaken identity)—forcing him to rethink his life and make amends with all his enemies (lots of them) and make it right for each of them. Not easy endeavors as he encounters many issues, as most of his enemies are not so inclined to forgive and forget. He has his secretary make a list of the people that he has wronged. Every person brings to light something inside of him. James' growth unfolds with each meeting, and he learns the true meaning of a life lived. A wonderful story and an answer to one special little boy’s Christmas
Mel-Jan More than 1 year ago
We laughed, we cried, we said, "Serves you right!", and we felt his pain. We are very fond of Richard Paul Evans and feel this was one of his better books. As always high moral values are presented in a way that one wants to make them part of his life. We would recommend this book for older teens and adults.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great holiday read which gives you hope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Super fast read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good book. similiar to a Scrooge christmas story