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16 Best Books Set on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

Posted on Last updated: March 15, 2023

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10 best books set on new years

If you’re looking to get cozy with a book when the clock strikes midnight this December 31, these are the best books set on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

new years eve books

This is a post I have always wanted to write, both because some of the best books set on New Year’s Eve and Day have made such a mark on me personally, and because this genre is often overlooked in holiday reading .

December 31 makes a great literary timeframe for nostalgic stories, and January 1 makes a great time for stories about change.

Below are my top 3 personal favorite books set on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, followed by 7 more amazing picks for festive, non-Christmas December reading.

Table of Contents

Top 3 Best Books Set on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

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A national indie bestseller

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk takes place on one New Year’s Eve in 1984 and draws upon the nostalgia of times past that can be associated with the holiday.

Eighty-five-year-old Lillian Boxfish is on her way to a party. She’s a woman who worked her way up in 1930s New York to become the highest-paid advertising woman in the country.

As she walks along a grittier Manhattan, she meets everyone from bartenders to bodega clerks, security guards, and even criminals. And she reminisces the highs and lows of her life, as well as how New York has changed and stayed the same throughout eras of the Jazz Age, the AIDS epidemic, and the Great Depression.

It’s quintessential New Year’s Eve in book format, and it’s a book I think about each and every late December.

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

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Rules of Civility only begins on New Year’s Eve, but it encapsulates the holiday so perfectly and sets into sequence the entire storyline, so it always feels like a New Year’s book to me.

On New Year’s Eve 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is celebrating in a Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, sits at the table next to hers.

This chance encounter and its long-lasting consequences set Katey on a year-long adventure into the upper echelons of New York society—for better or for worse.

This book set on New Year’s Eve is beloved by readers for a reason — it’s exquisite.

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This Time Next Year is the new kid on the block, and it’s a great one at that!

Minnie believes her New Year’s birthday is unlucky, all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she’s never met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital on New Year’s Day, but Quinn was awarded the cash prize for being the first baby born in London that year. Each of Minnie’s birthdays since then has been a disaster.

When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s celebration on their thirtieth birthday, she finds him to be a gorgeous and charming business owner whose streak of luck has continued, all Minnie is about to lose both her pie-making company and her home.

But they keep bumping into each other, and each encounter leaves them both wanting more. It’s a unique and engaging story about fate around the New Year.

More of the Best Books Set on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

Although the prior three books are my personal favorites from this list, below are even more of the best books set on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to help you find the best book to fit your own seasonal reading.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

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The infamous Bridget Jones’s Diary begins on New Year’s and catapults the reader into the laugh-out-loud life (and love life) of the notorious singleton throughout a year in which she compulsively tracks her New Year’s resolutions (with lots of calorie and weight counting) on a daily basis, while also balancing two different love interests.

It’s quick, quirky, and unlike any other book I have ever read.

A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier

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A Castle in the Clouds is a Young Adult book that takes place at a grand old hotel in the Swiss mountains in the week leading up to New Year’s Eve at the famous ball. Hotel intern Sophie is hard at work when she finds herself in the middle of a thrilling adventure that places both her job and her heart at risk.

Not everyone is who they seem, and it’s an atmospheric and suspenseful tale of laundering, kidnapping, jewelry theft, and even a love triangle in which people of all ages will enjoy indulging.

A Doll’s House by Henrik Isben

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A Doll’s House is the classic pre-1900 play in which a married woman with little opportunity is destined to change her life come New Year’s Day.

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

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A Long Way Down is one of the more memorable books I’ve read, yet I can’t tell you too much about it, or I’ll spoil the plot! This provocative and sad, yet oddly funny, novel brings together four unlikely people on New Year’s Eve: a former TV talk show host that did something scandalous, a struggling musician delivering pizzas, an unstable and emotional teenage girl, and a single mother of a child with severe disabilities. They meet on a London rooftop known for being the place for those ready to end their lives, and they intend to do just the same.

The remainder of the novel follows the 90 days thereafter and is a moving, quirky slice of real life.

Middlemarch by George Eliot

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Middlemarch is a classic book that begins on New Year’s Eve and dives into epic depth about the intersecting lives of the citizens of Middlemarch, as they encounter issues of the status of women, the nature of marriage, politics, religion, and education in the 19th century. 

Midnight Kiss by Robyn Carr

new years books

Fans of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River book series and/or Netflix adaptation will love Midnight Kiss , which begins at the inaugural New Year’s Eve party at a bar, where two lonely partygoers find that the best way to mend their broken hearts might just be with each other.

New Year’s Eve Murder by Leslie Meier

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Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimor

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Oona Out of Order is a Good Morning America b ook club pick that begins on New Year’s Eve 1982, the day before Oona’s 19th birthday. She struggles with the decision to commit to either her band and her boyfriend or her education and her best friend, but when she wakes up it’s New Year’s Day 2014. Each New Year she time travels to a completely different year, and it’s quite an emotional ride.

The Rewind by Alison Winn Scotch

new years books

In The Rewind , ten years after Frankie and Ezra broke up, on the eve of the new millennium in 1999, they find themselves back at their snowy New England campus for a wedding.

They are doing well, separately, until they wake up in bed together the next morning with Ezra’s grandmother’s diamond on Frankie’s finger and no memory of how they got there.

In this new year, they must figure out how they got there and whether they got it wrong the first time.

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

new years books

Royal Holiday is the most delightful middle-aged diverse Christmas romance books set amidst English royalty, where Vivian has traveled with her daughter for work and meets one of the Queen’s workers, with whom she bonds over the holiday and swears must end by New Year’s Day. This story is all about what may or may not happen once the clock strikes midnight and a New Year begins.

Same Time, Next Year by Debbie Macomber

new years books

From the bestselling author, this novel is, you guessed it, a “ Same Time, Next Year ” trope. James almost married one of the Manning sisters, but after a broken engagement, he travels to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve, where he meets Summer, who is reeling from a betrayal. They agree to correspond and meet at the same place in one year to see what has become of their lives.

Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli

new years books

Someday, Maybe is an exquisitely written and thought-provoking GMA book club book about love and loss, as a Nigerian woman copes with the New Year’s Eve suicide of her husband, who she thought was happy, leaving her in a state of grief.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

new years books

White Teeth begins on New Year’s Day 1975, when Archie Jones, a 47-year-old whose disturbed wife has just walked out on him, is attempting suicide by gassing himself in his car, when a chance interruption changes his mind. Ultimately, this is the story of two hapless veterans of World War II, and their families, as they become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation.

Those are all the best books set on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. To recap and help you decide what to read first or next, my top 3 picks are:

Want something to read after the New Year’s ball has dropped? Check out these books about New Year’s resolutions .

Happy New Year!


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16 Inspiring Books to Help You Start Fresh in the New Year

The new year is the perfect time for reinvention—and more reading.

Rebecca Renner is a lifestyle and travel writer with nearly a decade of experience in print and digital media. Highlights: * Book reviewer at Publishers Weekly * Senior web editor at Aiport Revenue News * Founder of Renner/Barnes, a marketing and design company * Content writer at Leaf Group * Writer for Real Simple, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Outside Magazine, and National Geographic, among other publications

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Highlights: * Has worked as a fact checker for Real Simple since 2022 * Worked as a staff writer for Mochi Magazine * Currently runs and operates the United States blog for Student Beans

new years books

The new year is the perfect time to start over, create a healthy habit , or keep the good things going. That isn't to say you absolutely have to make a New Year's resolution . If you make one and you don't stick to it, that's OK, too. Changing the calendar doesn't mean you have to change everything.

No matter your goals for this new year, there are many science-backed benefits of reading inspiring books . The right book at the right time can help you set your priorities and intentions. For starters, you can read inspiring memoirs or pop psychology books that blend science and narrative.

However, books for the new year come in many genres. Find the kind of book you love, or try something new. (It is that time of year!) Regardless, there are motivating books out there for you. Even if you're a fiction-lover, some non-fiction books can satiate your appetite for a story and spark the change you've been hoping for. Choose one of these "new year, new you" books, and prepare to start your journey (whatever it is).

Survival of the Thickest: Essays by Michelle Buteau

new years books

This collection of essays from Michelle Buteau touches on the ridiculously funny comedian's rise to fame, her experiences growing up as a Caribbean girl in New Jersey, the journey to motherhood, and more.

Buteau is honest and heartfelt as she reflects on her body image and interracial marriage, among other things. Her insights will both make you laugh (hard) and encourage you to be a little braver in your own life and journey to self-love.

Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes) by Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling's 2020 collection of essays is definitely worth a read: The hilarious writer, actress, and mother (among many other things) explores single mom-hood, social anxiety , and the quest to have it all with her signature humor and wit.

If you're looking for a little self-insight and some big laughs, this collection is just the thing. The essays—including "Please Like Me (But Keep Away)," pictured—are available for individual purchase, or you can pick up the full collection. Once you're done, read about Kaling's self-care routine and how she envisions the future of mental health.

This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me) by Marisa Meltzer

Instead of starting a new diet (please don't), try reading this emotional exploration of weight and weight loss—it might just help you figure out the best path to acceptance for you and your body.

Written by a woman who has struggled with her weight since childhood, it follows her journey and chronicles the life of Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watchers. The book draws plenty of parallels between each woman's weight loss struggle. Funny and genuine, this book will have you thinking about much more than a number on a scale.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

With all its accolades, the Netflix documentary, and the status of an Oprah's Book Club pick, you've likely already heard about this emotional, poignant memoir from former First Lady Michelle Obama—you might have already read it, too.

But if you haven't, the start of the new year is as good a time as any. Becoming has a powerful, uplifting message about perseverance and defying expectations, things we can all benefit from practicing.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Therapy is for everyone—even therapists. Lori Gottlieb did so many things before she became a therapist. Before a drastic midlife career change, Gottlieb had been a writer for the hit TV show, ER. While researching for her work on the show, she discovered a passion for helping people and for listening.

Gottlieb's memoir isn't self-help, but when you're reading it, you'll end up working through your own problems while Gottlieb works through hers and finds self-compassion along the way.

Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come by Jessica Pan

From the title alone, you know you're in for a hilarious and totally relatable ride. Many of us are guilty of shrinking into the background. Jessica Pan saw this in herself a little too often, so she decided on a year of living dangerously (or at least that's how she felt pretending to be an extrovert).

Under the tutelage of extroverted mentors, Pan put herself in a series of situations that filled her introverted soul with dread: performing stand-up comedy, hosting a dinner party, traveling alone, and more. After a year of living on the edge, Pan discovered more about herself than she ever thought possible.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

If you want to get your life together, step one is to create good habits. But if you're like most, that's easier said than done. You've bought the running shoes or signed up for the fancy new gym, but after a strong start, you fizzle out.

That's because creating new habits is hard without understanding the science behind the process. Atomic Habits not only explains the psychology of habit formation and why so many good intentions fail. James Clear also gives step-by-step instructions on how to make healthy habits stick.

Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

A book that both Cheryl Stayed and Elizabeth Gilbert like? Count us in. Marie Forleo has the answers to all your life's problems. If you want to face your fears, fulfill your dreams, and finally figure out the seemingly unsolvable puzzle that is your life, try Everything Is Figureoutable .

Within those pages, Forleo will set you up with everything you need to change your way of thinking. She'll help you go from beating yourself up to lifting yourself up, even when life gets rough. This light, inspiring book will pump you up with optimism, so even if you're staring down the hardest year of your life, you'll be able to take everything that comes your way and make something from it.

The Friendship Formula by Caroline Millington

The older we get, the more difficult finding and keeping friends becomes. Even maintaining friendships we've had for a lifetime can feel like a lot of work. Luckily, most of us know that the best things in life don't come easy. A positive addition to your new year will be to take time to cultivate meaningful relationships and nix the toxic ones in your life.

Caroline Millington's book is here to help. The Friendship Formula will show you how to improve the relationships you already have by setting boundaries. Millington also offers advice for those trying times, like helping a friend through grief when you might not know what to say.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Reinvention doesn't always have to involve devastating loss or birds of prey. Mindy Kaling's second memoir, Why Not Me? is a delightful ode to finding your own self-confidence without the impetus of tragedy. Kaling shares insights on her successful career as a TV writer, as well as plenty of juicy gossip and polarizing opinions on romantic comedies.

Her wit and humor are infectious, like staying up all night to talk to your very best friend. By the end of the book, you'll stop saying, "I'm not good enough," and start saying, "Well…why not me?"

Hope in the Dark, by Rebecca Solnit

If you're trying to go into the new year with optimism, read Hope in the Dark . Rebecca Solnit makes a case for radical hope in the face of despair. Solnit isn't suggesting that we all shove down our fears and pretend to be happy , but she does encourage everyone to celebrate small victories and to avoid giving up, even when the future looks grim. After all, the positive effects of our actions are not always seen right away.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes

Whether you're already a huge Shondaland fan or only vaguely aware that Shonda Rhimes makes some kind of TV show, you should pick up Year of Yes . This book is an account of a year-long challenge that Rhimes took on: She would start saying "yes" to everything.

For one year, at her sister's request, she reluctantly agreed to accept all invitations and take on all unexpected projects. The result was transformative. Even if this book doesn't inspire you to set off on your own "year of yes," you'll certainly be tempted to try out some new experiences.

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Santiago is an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of greater things. He's off on a quest to find worldly treasure, but of course, his travels don't go quite as expected. The Alchemist is already a modern classic for dreamers of every kind.

The book is somewhere between The Little Prince and a self-help book: a fable that will resonate with everyone who's ever wanted something more out of life. It's a fantasy novel that will inspire you to achieve your goals in the real world with unforgettable characters and simply beautiful prose.

Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With The Universe, by Yumi Sakugawa

Many of us go into the new year with high expectations of ourselves: This is the year that we're all going to be wildly productive, athletic, and lucky in love. But before you start trying to hit all those ambitious goals, take a moment to breathe.

Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With The Universe is an excellent book to read if you're feeling stressed or overburdened. Yumi Sakugawa employs beautiful ink drawings and calming text to help you breathe deeper , let go of stress, and just allow yourself to exist as a being in the universe. We could all use this book to stay centered in the new year.

H is for Hawk, by Helen MacDonald

When Helen MacDonald's father died suddenly, she found herself completely at sea. Not sure how to process her overwhelming grief, MacDonald turned to her old love: falconry. Ordinary falcons wouldn't do this time, though, so MacDonald resolved to raise and train a goshawk, one of the fiercest predators that nature has to offer.

H is for Hawk is a poignant and humorous memoir about dealing with grief, hawks, and self-discovery. It's also the perfect read for anyone looking to give themselves a bold new challenge this January.

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a friend a few years ago asking how to raise her baby daughter to be a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is her answer. Equal parts fierce and funny, this essay is a powerful reminder that we can all do more to treat everyone in our lives with respect.

Adichie reminds us of simple realities, like the fact that everyone matters and no one gender is inherently better at cooking. Most of these 15 suggestions are just as helpful for Americans and Nigerians alike. You'll read this book in about a day, but its lessons will stay with you all year.

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Festive Books about New Year's for Children!

When you want to celebrate ringing in the New Year with children, there's no better way than reading a good picture book about New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and its diverse traditions around the world.

The New Year books on this book list will inspire kids to look forward to a fresh start, perhaps make a resolution or two, and perhaps even start a New Year's tradition of their own.

New Year's Picture Books for Kids

So whether you stay up all night, counting down the hours until January first, or if you all head off to bed early for a good night's sleep make it your New Year Resolution to read all of these books and continue in the same way throughout the year.  (Note: Book covers and titles are affiliate links that may earn commission.)

Books about New Year's Day Celebrations

Freedom Soup book for New Year celebrations

Felíz New Year, Ava Gabriela! by Alexandra Alessandri, illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda. Ava is celebrating New Year's with her family in Colombia, but she is feeling shy. Her mother reassures her that her feelings are normal and slowly, Ava starts to gain self-confidence. I love how the story gives us a taste of Colombian New Year's traditions. Includes a glossary of Spanish words and phrases used in the text.

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Snow Horses: A First Night Story by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Micha Archer. This is a wonderfully peaceful book that celebrates the spirit of community at year's end. It's perfect to read when you want the kids to wind down from all the New Year festivities. On a snowy New Year, a young girl takes out two black horses and a sled into the night. Along the way they collect revelers and neighbors for a celebratory sleigh ride.

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MORE: New Year's poems for kids and families

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MORE: Picture books about new beginnings

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More books you will love:

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Reader Interactions

Tracey M. says

December 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I never thought about getting special books to read for the New Year. What a nice idea. Thanks for stopping over at my blog too! Have a great holiday.

Joyful Learner says

December 20, 2010 at 2:31 am

I agree with you, Natalie is the most dedicated commenter! Love the list of New Year's books as well as your math books, chapter books, etc.!

Raising a Happy Child says

December 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Thanks for all the blogging love and for joining WMCIR again 🙂 We have only read one book for New Year so far - a picture book Squirrel's New Year Resolutions (or something like this). By the way, I wanted to give you heads up about Santa's Snow Cat for your Storied Cities - it's set in New York 🙂 Oh - and we are focusing on Christmas in Russia for New Year, because I used to get presents from Grandfather Frost on New Year's Eve.

Fanny Harville says

December 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Oooh, thanks for linking to this Blog Hop -- introduced me to lots of fun blogs!

Alison at NOVA Frugal Family says

December 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm

This is a great idea. I didn't even think about picking out books for New Years!! I am going to have to head to the library and try to get some tomorrow. I wonder if I have any that I didn't realize around the house 🙂

Erica MomandKiddo says

December 30, 2013 at 6:55 am

There are surprisingly few books about New Years! There are some nonfiction ones, but not too many picture books.

Theres Just One Mommy says

December 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

I never thought to look for New Year's books.... It sounds like some great titles here!

Even in Australia says

May 07, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Do you have any nonfiction ones to recommend?

May 07, 2015 at 1:24 pm

I never found one I really liked. They were all pretty much the typical dry stuff. Hopefully you will have better luck.

Rachel says

December 26, 2018 at 7:34 pm

I always figured the dearth of New Year's books is because it is really an adult holiday, focused on staying up late and drinking!

December 27, 2018 at 10:36 am

That may be true!

Ruby Zhang says

January 18, 2019 at 8:38 am

For me, New Year means family reunion and a good blessing for the coming year. In our hometown, there are also some new year traditions, such as visiting the elders of the family to show respect, having a feast with all the family members on new year's eve, putting up Spring Festival cuplets... I will read these books with my kid and get him to know about some traditions of other countries during the holiday.

debra luger says

December 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm

P. Bear book is not really available to buy.... > $50-$100 on amazon! not easily available from library either 🙁

January 12, 2021 at 10:21 pm

Such a shame when books go out of print!

Natasha Wing says

September 22, 2021 at 2:44 pm

Thank you for including my book, The Night Before New Year's. Just wanted to note that my name is Natasha Wing (not Natalie) just in case people want to look up my other holiday books.

September 23, 2021 at 10:46 am

Thanks for the correction. I'll update right away.

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Beyond the Bookends

A Book Blog for Women and Moms who Love to Read

10 New Year’s Eve Books to Bring in a Happy New Year

9 New Year's Eve Books to Bring in a Happy new Year!

These ten New Year’s Eve books are uplifting, fun, and sure to ring in some joy with the new year. We were so excited to do this post because we wanted to think about a fresh start.

We do not have any resolutions here but, it feels good to start the new year in a positive way. Every one of these books made us smile and we hope they do the same for you.

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

Table of Contents

**Updated 10/31/2022**

Books set on new year’s eve.

Rules of Civility

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Amor Towles can do no wrong! I loved this story set in 1938 that follows a year in working girl Katey Kontent’s life in NYC. Starting and ending on NYE, we get to see the many twists and turns of Katey’s life that year.

Romances, career changes, and discovered secrets pepper the year of entering womanhood for Miss Kontent. Towles’s writing was captivating as always. His characters were expertly crafted and I felt an emotional connection to each of them.

This one will have to go on our list of the best books about NYE !

Oona Out of Order and more New Year's Eve Books

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

I absolutely loved this story about Oona who at the stroke of midnight on her 19th birthday, finds herself in her 51-year-old body. She is greeted by a stranger who is waiting for her in her home and tells her that every year, at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve (her birthday), she will jump to another point in her life- she will live her life out of order. ⁣

This is an emotional, well written story that will not only keep you quickly turning pages but make you think about the small things in life that we take for granted. ⁣There is a reason this book was a GMA book club pick.

If you love celebrity book club picks, we have complete list of the GMA book clubs picks ranked.

This Time Next Year and more New Year's Eve Books

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

This romance is perfect for a list of New Year’s Eve books because it’s about two people born on New Year’s Eve minutes apart. Quinn was given a cash prize for being born first, and that is where his luck started. Minnie Cooper’s bad luck also started the same day.

Thirty years later they meet and become friends at, you guessed it, NYE party. Their friendship becomes something more in a natural and cute way. This is the perfect book to bring in the New Year.

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and more New Year's Eve Books

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

This book could be an amazing movie.  It is not the type of book that you “can’t put down” because it takes place in New Year’s Eve 1984 with flash backs to the past. But, it is an incredibly interesting and very well written book.

Lillian Boxfish takes the reader with her through a look at New York city through the ages.  I really enjoyed this book.

Bridget Joness Diary

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

I remember reading this book shortly before it was turned into the hit movie starring Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger. This modern retelling of Emma is told in diary form over the course of one year.

Hysterical and silly, Bridget’s antics are quite something. Mark and Daniel are deliciously brought to life via Bridget’s inner monologue. If you love the movie, try the book.

A Castle in the Clouds and more New Year's Eve Books

A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Geir

This cute story takes place at a dated luxury hotel where they hold a New Year’s Eve Ball every year.

There is an abundance of antics afoot. Jewel thieves, ghosts, kid-nappers, back-door dealings, and teenage drama fill this tome. This is one of the YA choices on our list of New Year’s Eve books. It is a charming and quick read that is a perfect book to celebrate the new year.

New Year’s Eve Books: Romances

The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch

The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch

Frankie and Ezra were inseparable during college and it all ended in an epic breakup a decade ago. Now, they are seeing each other for the first time since at their friends’ New Year’s Eve of Y2K wedding.

When they wake up in bed together with wedding rings on their fingers and NO memory of what happened, they find themselves in search of answers. And all this has to happen before Ezra’s girlfriend shows up at the wedding because Ezra is planning on proposing.

This romance is a hilarious glimpse into the past and an adorable romance on this list of New Year’s Eve books as well.

Royal Holiday and and more New Year's Eve Books

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Looking for a last-minute holiday read or the perfect read for New Year’s Eve? Royal Holiday was the perfect first read for winter break. When Maddie gets Kirsten’s dream gig (styling a Royal or let’s face it, hanging out with a Royal), she brings her mom, Vivian, with her to England. ⁣

Vivian meets a very handsome gentleman who happens to be the Queen’s private secretary. Sparks fly but will this be more than just a holiday romance? Will their love affair end on New Year’s Day? This adorable read is a perfect holiday/vacation read especially for those who love anything Royal.

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One Day in December by Josie Silver

Another book I absolutely adored. This second chance love story takes place over 10 years and you’ll be rooting for this couple the entire time. 

The perfect winter romance – this one is a bit steamy – that will have you smiling from ear to ear. I listened to this one from my local library, but it would be just as good in print. This is one of the New Year’s Eve books that are perfect to ring in the new year.

Red, White and Royal Blue and more New Year's Eve Books

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

We don’t think about royals and the LGBTQ community because we don’t usually see openly gay royals, which is so sad in today’s society.

This charming romance was absolutely adorable. I crushed hard for their romance and found myself smiling the entire time. (Also love the nod to a female president…where do I sign up for one of those?). With a New Year’s Eve party thrown into the mix, we had to include this book as one of our favorite New Year’s Eve books.

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A Dab of Glue Will Do

Little Learners, Big Ideas

PS PK K 1 2

12 New Year’s Picks For Your Book List for Little Kids

I'd love it if you shared!

I love teaching New Year’s Eve and Day traditions to my students. It is always fun to reflect on the previous year while thinking ahead to the new year. Creating a Book List is a great way to engage your children!

These New Year’s books are the perfect way to talk about this special time and discuss different ways people celebrate. Here are my 12 favorite New Year’s books.

12 book covers of New Year's Read alouds

This book list is one of my favorites to share for reading with your students.  With so many fun ideas to go over with your students or your children about the past year and the new year ahead, this book list is perfect to begin with in your classroom!

The Night Before New Years by Natasha Wing

Natasha Wing’s “Night Before” series is a favorite with young readers.  The Night Before New Years is a fun story about how a family celebrates this special evening.

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin

This bright story follows a Chinese American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year. A perfect introduction to this holiday for young readers.

Happy New Year, Spot! by Eric Hill

Ring in the new year with this festive board book featuring everyone’s favorite puppy! Spot isn’t old enough to stay up until midnight, but he finds a way to celebrate the New Year early with his family.

Squirrel’s New Year Resolution by Pat Miller

With the help of her friends, Squirrel learns about what it means to make a New Year’s resolution. An excellent read for the beginning of the calendar year or the beginning of the school year!

New Year’s Day by Lynn Peppas

People around the world have different customs to welcome in the new year. Learn the history of New Year’s Day, and read about all of the different traditions that make it fun!  This is definitely a must for your New Year’s book list if you are teaching students about traditions and customs!

Happy New Year by Dee Smith

It is New Year’s Day! This book is a simple tale that captures the wonderful things children can look forward to in the New Year.

Shante Keys and the New Years Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport

In her quest to find some black-eyed peas, Shante discovers the different ways that her neighbors celebrate the New Year. A story of diversity and traditions that children will really enjoy.

The Stars Will Still Shine by Cynthia Rylant

A soothing book that is fantastic to read at the end of a tough day. Cynthia Rylant’s story let’s us know that everything will be ok.  An encouraging read like this is always a must on any book list for children. 

Happy New Year Everywhere! by Arlene Erlbach

Elementary children will love learning about New Year’s customs in twenty different countries.  A great way to learn about world customs.

P. Bear’s New Year Party: A Counting Book by Paul Owen Lewis

This book counts down to New Year’s Eve, while teaching numbers, counting, and telling time! This book is popular with teachers, and students will enjoy the story and the simple illustrations.  

Happy New Year by Amy Ackelsberg

Ring in the new year with Strawberry Shortcake and her friends! This book also comes with a sheet of stickers to play with.

Happy New Year Around the World by Sylvia Walker

Our 12 favorite new year's books are perfect for your January lesson plans or at home with your children. These are great for preschool, kindergarten, or first grade students.

Discover the holiday customs of nations around the world with 30 festive full-page illustrations that are ready for your children to color.  This book is another great addition to any book list! 

Can you not find a resource that you would LOVE to have for your classroom? Contact me and I would be happy to make it for you.

Are you looking for more New Year’s ideas, activities, and printables to do at home or in the classroom? If so, don’t miss out on more great New Year’s lessons for your classroom!  To see all book lists featured on A Dab of Glue Will Do, click on our book lists resources .  Do you have any favorite New Year’s books that are not on the list? If so, please share in the comments below.

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July 17, 2017 at 9:45 am

Thank you for your blog! Helpful in planning my preschool curriculum!

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Amazing Blessings blog for your New year at New year Ideas for friends . you will love it.

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April 24, 2022 at 5:02 pm

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The 15 best books for your new year’s resolutions.

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new years books

It’s still the season for self-invention. The beginning of January means making new promises to ourselves, letting go of the past year, and, most importantly, reflecting on what we want out of the year ahead. And the best way to keep resolutions (instead of letting them trickle out by Jan. 28 like most years)? Go all in by indulging in a good book that offers concrete advice to reach your goals and become your best self . So to help you make resolutions that will stick (because we all deserve a win in 2023), we’ve rounded up the best books that will give you a much-needed dose of inspiration, optimism, and motivation. Whether your 2023 resolution looks more like running a marathon or just getting off the couch every once in a while (no judgment), these books will help you get there. 

new years books

Embrace Your Almost: Find Clarity and Contentment in the In-Betweens, Not-Quites, and Unknowns

Because sometimes resolutions aren't about changing your life, they're about changing your mindset. Use this book as your guide to aligning your dreams and goals with what matters most even among unmet expectations, disrupted dreams, uncertainty, and in-between seasons.

Read if: you're done thinking about what your life could be and instead want to appreciate where you are now.

new years books

When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn from Them

This is basically the #1 career playbook for 2023. No matter your industry or where you're at in your career, When Women Lead explores the key commonalities and characteristics that help top female leaders thrive.

Read if: your resolutions are career-focused.

new years books

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Since we'd take advice from Brené Brown on basically any subject, consider Dare to Lead your comprehensive guide to getting honest with yourself, asking the hard questions, and leaning into vulnerability so you can realize the potential in yourself and in others.

Read if: you want to kick things up a notch in your life or your career.

new years books

Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life

In this practical and helpful read, Gretchen Rubin (a true positive psychology guru) identifies every approach that works when building new habits and letting go of bad ones. Infused with extensive research, compelling voice, and a touch of humor, Better Than Before will truly make your 2023 better.

Read if: your resolution is to form certain habits (or ditch old ones).

new years books

Are You Fully Charged?: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life

Never feel like you have enough energy or time to accomplish all you want? Maybe your to-do list feels impossible to finish or you give up on your goals because you don't have the time. Drawing on practical advice from the latest in business, psychology, and economics, this book proves you can accomplish everything you want.

Read if: you feel like you're always lacking time or energy.

new years books

How to Just Eat It: A Step-by-Step Guide to Escaping Diets and Finding Food Freedom

Whether your nutrition resolution is to stop eating late-night pizza (right, like that's going to happen!) or to get rid of outdated food rules, intuitive eating is the way to finally eat nourishing foods and achieve food freedom. How to Just Eat It is a life-changing guide to freeing yourself from restrictive dieting, punishing exercise, and food anxiety

Read if: you're sick of struggling with your relationship with food.

new years books

Because we would be remiss if we didn't include our queen, Michelle Obama, on any list of life-changing books. Becoming is the inspirational memoir you've been looking for to motivate you to chase your dreams.

Read if: you want to focus on New Year's resolutions, but self-help books aren't typically your thing.

new years books

Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection

This isn't your average relationship book. Whether or not your resolutions have to do with your love life, Barbara Fredrickson argues that love is the secret to improving our physical and mental health. Oh, and FYI, she also argues that love is not about a romantic relationship (though it can be!). It's about connection between all people, including strangers, coworkers, friends, and family members, so this book is for anyone (regardless of relationship status).

Read if: you're looking for a new perspective to change your health.

new years books

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

No matter how big your resolutions or goals are, the secret to achieving them is in small changes. BJ Fogg breaks down how exactly to achieve anything you want by starting small. For example, try two push-ups a day instead of aiming for a 60-minute workout or take a deep breath whenever you get in your car instead of starting with a full meditation practice.

Read if: you have some lofty resolutions you're not sure how to achieve.

new years books

You're Not Lost: An Inspired Action Plan for Finding Your Own Way

With step-by-step advice, thoughtful exercises, and real-life stories from Maxie McCoy and other inspirational women, You're Not Lost is an inspiring action plan to get the life you want (and deserve!).

Read if: you're feeling a little lost, hopeless, or confused in any area of your life.

new years books

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

No matter your 2023 resolutions, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for changing your life by forming good habits, breaking bad ones, and mastering small behaviors that lead to massive transformation. Learn how to overcome a lack of motivation or willpower, get back on track when you fall off course, and design your schedule for success.

Read if: your New Year's resolutions typically don't last past January.

new years books

I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working

This New York Times bestseller will give you a clear-eyed look at how to move forward among the challenges in your life. Throughout this book, you will follow Shauna Niequist as she learns to understand grief, reshape her faith, and practice courage when it feels impossible.

Read if: your resolution is to let go of what no longer serves you.

new years books

How We Heal: Uncover Your Power and Set Yourself Free

In the instant New York Times bestseller How We Heal , Alexandra Elle guides readers through a practical and empowering guide to self-healing with restorative meditations, journaling rituals, and essential techniques alongside powerful insights and inspiring stories from her own experiences.

Read if: you want to unlock your power and confidence.

new years books

Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace

New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein is sharing the ultimate plan for transforming the pain of your past traumas into newfound strength and freedom. Gabby claims that through this book, "you will become the best version of yourself".

Read if: your resolutions include unlearning fear and experiencing inner peace.

new years books

10% Happier

Dan Harris experienced a nationally televised panic attack that acted as a wake-up call to prioritize mental health and make some major changes in his life. Follow Harris on his quest for happiness as he explores spiritual practices, studies scientific research, and explains his own experiences to help you get 10% happier (and maybe a lot more).

Read if: anxiety or stress levels are affecting your life.

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7 Children’s Books About the New Year

My kids are fascinated by the idea of a new year. “You mean, one day it is one year, and the next day it is another one?” Yep! It’s pretty amazing. I love a the new year, as well. It always feels great to have a fresh start, with new goals to achieve. I am setting a goal to read 100 books in 2021!

You may also enjoy these 15 Diverse Winter Picture Books!

Book links are referral links. We may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

The Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing

new years books

I first discovered this series when putting together our Hanukkah book list , and I enjoyed the New Year’s Eve book just as much! The entire family is determined to stay up and ring in the new year, but that gets harder to do as the clock creeps closer to midnight.

Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport

new years books

Eating black-eyed peas on January 1 was one of my family’s traditions growing up, so I was very excited to see it in a book! Shanté’s grandmother is cooking up a delicious meal for New Year’s Day, but she forgot the black-eyed peas. Shanté goes out in search of some, because she knows it’s bad luck to skip this tasty ritual.

New Year’s Eve Thieves   by Ron Roy

new years books

The Calendar Mysteries follow the younger siblings of the A to Z Mysteries kids, and this series is one of the first my oldest son got into. In this book, the kids are excited for a New Year’s Eve party, but they start to see clues that something suspicious might be going on. This is the perfect choice for early chapter book readers.

P. Bear’s New Year’s Party by Paul Owen Lewis

new years books

The first thing that drew me to this book was the gorgeous black, white, and red illustrations. However it’s also a fun story for young children that teaches counting and telling time. It’s a great book for preschoolers and early elementary-aged kids.

Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller

new years books

Squirrel has heard about New Year’s resolutions, but she’s not quite sure  what a resolution is. Squirrel helps her friends with their own resolutions, but she has a hard time choosing her own. Will Squirrel find the right New Year’s resolution to start her year?

Just in Time for New Year’s   by Karen Gray Ruelle

new years books

The New Year’s Eve Sleepover From the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler

new years books

Hubie has been invited to a New Year’s Eve sleepover, but he’s more nervous than excited. He’s never spent the night in a strange place, and he’s worried about what could happen. An excellent choice for kids reading early chapter books!

Crystal is an activist, feminist, and mom of three. She loves reading, crochet, and enjoying her family and friends. She lives with her family in Indianapolis.

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8 New Year’s Children’s Books

It’s almost the new year, so it’s time for some New Year’s children’s books! These books will help young readers get excited to celebrate the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. New Year’s children’s books also can teach kids about many different familial and cultural traditions. From making black-eyed peas for luck (which my family does every year) to eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight to wearing funny hats and creating a parade, these picture books describe a plethora of ways to celebrate the new year. Other books on the list are perfect to read on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to pump everyone up for what to expect in January or the holidays throughout the year. Some even explain how while many people celebrate New Year’s on January first, that isn’t the same for every culture.

I’m actually surprised that there aren’t more New Year’s children’s books. But the ones I found for this list are real gems. A few are out of print though, so you might have to hunt them down in the library or at a used bookstore. And I certainly hope that more books about New Year’s are published soon, because it’s such an amazing holiday. It’s time to break out the confetti and sparkling cider, read some New Year’s children’s books, and get ready for the amazing year ahead!

Shante Keys and the New Year's Peas Book Cover

Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport, Illustrated by Marion Eldridge

This rhyming picture book explains different New Year’s traditions through the eyes of young Shante Keys. When her grandmother forgets the black-eyed peas that her family eats on New Year’s Day for luck, Shante visits all her neighbors to see if she can borrow some. Instead, she learns about all the different ways people in her neighborhood celebrate the new year. Like her Mexican neighbor Señor Ortiz who eats grapes. Or her Chinese American neighbor who celebrates in an entirely different month. The book also offers a black-eyed pea recipe for readers who want to join in this New Year’s ritual.

the lucky grapes book cover

The Lucky Grapes by Tracey Kyle, Illustrated by Marina Astudillo

Rafa lives in Spain and is excited to be staying up until midnight for the first time. He knows there will be fireworks, delicious food, and music. But he learns about a New Year’s Eve tradition that he didn’t know about: eating 12 grapes right at the chime of midnight. Now he just has to figure out how to stay up late enough to participate. Told in a mixture of English and Spanish, this rhyming book is a delight!

First Night Book Cover

First Night by Harriet Ziefert, Illustrated by S.D. Schindler 

This rhyming picture books introduces the character Amanda Dade, who gets to lead the New Year’s Eve Parade this in her tutu and feather crown. Behind her are a cast of unique and memorable characters ranging from her grandma riding a scooter to the fire chief in his truck. It’s a simple story, but one that kids will have a fun to reading along with because of the repetition and colorful illustrations.

Cover of Freedom Soup by Charles

Freedom Soup by Tami Charles, Illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara

On New Year’s Day, Ti Gran teaches Belle how to make their family’s traditional Freedom Soup and tells her the history of the Haiti and the Haitian Revolution. This story is about celebrating a new year, but also the heritage of a family and nation. There is even a recipe in the back of the book!

The Night Before New Year's Book Cover

The Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing, Illustrated by Amy Wummer 

It’s New Year’s Eve and the whole family is determined to stay up until midnight. They are stocked up with streamers, noise makers, cupcakes, and party hats. But as they get closer and closer to 12 a.m., some of the family members start getting sleepy. Will they all make it to midnight awake? You have to read this cute book from Natasha Wing’s Night Before Series to find out!

It's New Year's Day Book Cover

It’s New Year’s Day! by Richard Sebra

This nonfiction book prepares young readers for the ins and outs of different New Year’s celebrations. It explains different ways people celebrate the holiday and what a New Year’s resolution is. And it helps young readers build excitement for the holiday while knowing what to expect. There isn’t a lot of plot or story with this book. But it is a very straightforward description of the New Year’s for children.

Meet January Book Cover

Meet January by April Martin

The story personifies the month into the character of January, who loves coziness and hates feeling cold. There are several clever details about the month of January worked into the story. While this book isn’t solely about the New Year’s holiday, it’s a great book to read on January 1 to prepare young readers for the month ahead.

Our Favorite Day of the Year by A. E. Ali, illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell cover

Our Favorite Day of the Year by A.E. Ali, Illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell 

Musa isn’t sure if he will like the other kids on his first day of school. They are all so different. But then the teacher asks each of them to describe their favorite days of the year. The answers vary from Christmas to Black History Month to Pi Day. And, of course, the New Year (in many different cultural iterations) is mentioned. Not only does this book celebrate New Year’s Day, but it provides a calendar of diverse holidays throughout the year for young readers to get excited about.

Happy reading and happy New Year’s everyone! To learn more about other New Year’s Celebrations check out 11 Rosh Hashanah Books , Chinese New Year Books for Children , Persian New Year Children’s Books , and Lunar New Year Books for Every Family.

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Books That Will Help You Start the New Year Off Right

new years books

Ready to make some life changes in the new year? Want to change your life for the better? Today I’m sharing some of my favorite reads that will inspire you as you embark on a new year of goal setting and goal getting. These books are going to help you start the new year off right !  This post contains some affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

What is it about the new year that gets us motivated to change our lives? It’s like we’ve been in hibernation, dreaming with no action all year long. Then all of a sudden when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve we’re reminded that we haven’t achieved what we wanted to in life. We awake with a start and start setting goals for the new year in hopes to do better this time. Sometimes we do, but not always.

While I’m not one to make resolutions for myself in the new year, I do choose a word to inspire me.  I also am a big goal setter and look forward to working on them throughout the year. Since I’ve been busy creating my goals for next year I thought I’d share some of the books that have motivated me to start the new year off right. They’ve helped me dream bigger dreams, create intentional goals, be more productive and live a fuller life. Here are some of my favorites…

Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington

new years books

Make It Happen by Lara Casey

new years books

Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want by Rachel Cruze

new years books

The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner

new years books

Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul by Ruth Soukup

new years books

Design Your Day by Claire Diaz-Ortiz

new years books

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

new years books

The Happiness Dare: Pursuing Your Heart’s Deepest, Holiest, and Most Vulnerable Desire by Jennifer Dukes Lee

new years books

The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa Terkeurst

new years books

Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy by Emily Ley

new years books

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