If You Like It’s a Wonderful Life

“If You Like…” is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love. This week includes suggestions based on the 1946 Christmas movie classic It’s a Wonderful Life, in which a man questioning his will to live is shown what the lives of those around him would be like if he never existed.

If you like It’s a Wonderful Life, you might like…



  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: A girl gets a chance to redo her life the right way. George Bailey, take two! — Anna (Anna Reads)
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson: Follows the Herdman family, “absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world,” as they take over a church Christmas Pageant.  Laugh out loud moments but ultimately heartwarming and touching. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
  • Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb: Wally Lamb is tied with David Levithan as my favorite writer EVER.  The craft of his writing is so intricate without feeling intricate and it amazes me every time. This is a quick read that follows fifth grader Felix Funicello through the Christmas season of 1964 and through past and present. I know this has been popular with Baby Boomers- there are a lot of pop culture references of which younger readers may or may not be aware. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
  • Marly’s Ghost by David Levithan: A modern retelling of A Christmas Carol that is quite lovely. David Levithan has such a wonderful way of writing relationships that covers all the cliche moments without ever being cliche. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)


  • The Shop Around the Corner: This movie stars James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realizing that they’re falling in love through the post as each other’s anonymous pen pal. — Kate (Literary Explorations)
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol, It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas, Letters to Santa: I love the Muppets. And combining the Muppets with Christmas makes my brain almost explode. Most people know about The Muppet Christmas Carol – it follows the traditional Christmas Carol format with Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Gonzo as Charles Dickens. A Very Merry Muppet Christmas follows more of an It’s A Wonderful Life format where we find out what the world would be like if Kermit had never been born. Letters to Santa is the most recent and has the Muppet gang trying to get a very special letter to Santa. The Muppets are smart funny- kids find them silly and adults can laugh at clever wordplay and sight gags, and at the same time they have amazing sincerely heartfelt moments. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
  • Olive the Other Reindeer: This is one of the only cases where I enjoy the movie better than the book. It’s a lovely cartoon featuring Olive, a dog who doesn’t act much like a dog and worries about disappointing her owner. She then hears someone on the radio say “all of the other reindeer” and mistakes it for Olive the Other Reindeer and realizes that must be why she doesn’t act like a dog, so she heads to the North Pole to fulfill her reindeer duties. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
  • The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2, and The Santa Clause 3: One of Santa’s elves leaves the North Pole after making some mistakes and changes Christmas completely. Granted, the sequels aren’t AS good but they’re still fun. In the third we get sort of It’s A Wonderful Life-y when we see what the world would be like if Scott Calvin had never become Santa. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
  • Mixed Nuts: This is a not very well known Christmas movie with Steve Martin and Adam Sandler (and a lot of other big names). It follows a group of people working at a failing Suicide Hotline on Christmas.  The whole thing is really sweet and touching but also hilarious. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)

TV Shows

  • Classic Christmas Specials: Johnny Cash, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Sonny & Cher. — Ginger (G Reads)


Have you watched It’s a Wonderful Life? If so, do you have any of your own recommendations to share?

Next week, bloggers will be sharing recommendations based on the tv show 24. If you like 24 and want to share recommendations or get involved in future weeks of “If You Like…” please contact me for more information.


14 Responses to "If You Like It’s a Wonderful Life"

  • I hate to admit this, but I have yet to sit down & watch this movie in it’s entirety. I’ve always caught bits & pieces of it. My father loves this movie, so it’s always on at his house Christmas day. Maybe this year I’ll actually watch it 😉

    1 Ginger @ GReads! said this (December 20, 2010 at 8:31 AM)

    • You better watch this year! It’s not optional 🙂

      My dad and I usually watch it every year, but I’ll have to watch by myself this year.

      Also, when you hear the part about visiting Elmira (and it’s a really little part, so pay attention), you should think of me because that’s right about where I live. You now have an assignment. Watch closely 😉

      2 Melanie said this (December 20, 2010 at 9:03 AM)

  • I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I have never seen It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, etc. I know, you would think I was a Grinch or something but for some reason I have never seen these movies. Maybe I need to fix that over the next few days when I’m home…

    3 Tara said this (December 20, 2010 at 10:40 AM)

    • Truthfully I haven’t really seen any of the other Christmas classics either. I’m just an It’s a Wonderful Life fanatic. We should both work on fixing this!

      4 Melanie said this (December 20, 2010 at 11:30 AM)

  • Some of the other classics are well worth watching – even if only once. And, I think I’ve only seen It’s a Wonderful Life once! What a wonderful variety this week. Reading about all these books, movies, and music has boosted my Christmas spirit. Thanks everyone, especially Melanie – I know it’s a task to put this all together.

    5 Annette said this (December 20, 2010 at 2:08 PM)

    • Thank you Annette! I always love reading your recs 🙂

      6 Melanie said this (December 20, 2010 at 3:04 PM)

  • Oh, I LOVE It’s A Wonderful Life. Although, I honestly do question some of the recs — which only have Christmas in common with It’s A Wonderful Life.

    However, love the rec of Muppet Christmas Carol (which yes, has nothing to do with IaWL), but still one of my favorite Christmas movies ever.

    Ah, well lots of great movies on this list and books 🙂

    7 April (Books&Wine) said this (December 20, 2010 at 3:00 PM)

    • I understand that! I wondered for a bit if I should have just made this “Christmas edition.” I think that for many people, though, It’s a Wonderful Life really has become equivalent to Christmas as a whole. In that way, I didn’t really mind that many of these recs are just Christmas-related.

      8 Melanie said this (December 20, 2010 at 3:03 PM)

      • that was sort of the way (Christmas in general) i looked at it but i’m also going to go out on a limb and bring the connection. In It’s a Wonderful Life we have George Bailey getting a chance to see what the world is like had he never been a part of it. Granted with A Christmas Carol we don’t get that but we do see Scrooge get the chance to look at his life from a different and outside perspective. Both end with the men greatly changed from what they’ve been able to see when they were looking from a different standpoint. i hope that makes sense.

        9 tc said this (December 20, 2010 at 3:16 PM)

        • That does make a lot of sense to me. I have to admit that I’ve never read A Christmas Carol. I mean, I know the basic story just from hearing references to it my entire life, but that’s about it.

          It certainly sounds like there is more in common than Christmas-ness, though like I said, I’m not sure that it’s a problem to only have Christmas-ness as a similarity 🙂

          10 Melanie said this (December 20, 2010 at 3:22 PM)

          • I’m just realizing now in retrospect I probably came across as a jerk. Totes did not mean that.

            I really am very interested in checking out what I haven’t already read on here though.

            (I love the hell out of George Bailey AND A Christmas Carol)

            11 April (Books&Wine) said this (December 20, 2010 at 8:17 PM)

  • I can’t speak for anyone else, but I didn’t think you came off as a jerk. It was a valid point 🙂

    12 Melanie said this (December 20, 2010 at 9:56 PM)

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