My Ten Favorite Books

I am so honored to be the new Monday Fox! I’ve been a fan of this blog for a long time. For those of you who don’t know me, I write sweet romance, both contemporary and historical. Two of my contemporary novels are co-written with the lovely Stephanie Michels. I’m a former elementary school teacher – for fifteen years I taught elementary music, and then I spent thirteen years teaching regular classrooms. I retired in 2005 and since then I’ve been an adjunct professor at GVSU in Allendale, Michigan, teaching future teachers. On days when I’m not teaching, I watch my two youngest grandkids, sew quilts and hats for a couple of charities, scrapbook, make greeting cards, and play oboe in a community orchestra and clarinet in a community band.

When I saw this week’s topic I was relieved. I’d recently been tagged for an activity on Facebook in which I was challenged to choose ten books that have stayed with me. As far as I’m concerned, staying with me is the same as favorite, so I figured my list from facebook would suffice. I’ll just add a little bit of annotation for each.

  1. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner: What I loved about this book is that four children survived on their own using their biggest resource—their brains, along with hard work. What better way to teach kids about empowerment?
  2. The BFG by Roald Dahl: Lots of wonderful humor, and a great lesson on diversity and acceptance.
  3. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough: a majestic setting and a swoon-worthy hero. Sigh.
  4. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: yeah, it doesn’t end well for the big romance, but Scarlett always manages to land on her feet, and I’m sure she’ll survive without Rhett.
  5. Bride of My Heart by Rebecca Winters: Rebecca Winters was the first romance author to consistently tug at my heart strings. Bride of My Heart is one of several that made me cry. I want to be like her when I grow up.
  6. Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Simpler times, strong families. ‘Nuff said.
  7. Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy by Nora Roberts: This is the stuff dreams are made of. I wonder if Nora has something directly connected to her brain so that when she wakes up the dreams are magically written out. I would love to invest in one of those, except I’m afraid the stories that come out may be a bit crazy.
  8. Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman: a great adventure in the far north. I loved the stoic way the heroine dealt with all her hardships. It was published and promoted as a true story, but lately I’ve read posts that claim this was all made up. Either way, it’s a wonderful tale.
  9. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. Whenever I have a bad day, I call myself Alexander. Nobody seems to get it. Yes, it’s a children’s book. But it’s a great one.
  10. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch: this book should be gifted to every new parent. It’s got a mother’s love down pat. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t let the repetition make you stop. The ending is a doozy.

So there you have it. My ten favorite books of all time. So far. If you’re wondering about the absence of major literary classics on my list, I apologize. I wasn’t much of a literature student. As a musician, when I hear the word classics I think of classical music. I chose books I enjoyed because they stayed with me. I worked with children, so a few are titles I read aloud to my classes. I’ve always loved romance, so I included some of those. And a few, like #1 and #6, are books I enjoyed when I was young. It’s a strange list, maybe, but it’s all mine.

Romance novels were a way for me to cope as an overwhelmed working mom. I’d pick up a romance, and within a couple of hours, whatever conflict appeared in the book was dealt with, the problems were solved, and all was right with the world. I could relax and go to sleep. And I think that’s why I chose to write them. I’d like to offer this kind of reassurance for others.

How do you choose your favorites?

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
This entry was posted in authors, Books, Life, Miscellaneous, Patricia Kiyono, protagonists, Random thoughts, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to My Ten Favorite Books

  1. Welcome, Patricia! We are so happy to have you with us!
    NEVER apologize for your extensive reading list! These lists are for what made an impression on you and sometimes the main-stream, go-with-the-flow doesn’t cut it!
    I find myself in a real quandary as to what to pick for mine on Friday, but it will also include a number of children’s books, as they have truly stayed with me.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I guess I don’t have a problem with my list, but sometimes I feel like I should be more knowledgeable about the literary classics. And I don’t keep up with the current best-sellers either. I’m anxious to see everyone else’s lists. Thanks for your support, Tonette!


      • I was very curious about the books that were required reading when my brother and sister were in high school and read many of them…I was sorely disappointed in most of them. Some called ‘classics’ are truly awful! Reading should be enjoyable, You sound pretty well-rounded to me.


  2. jeff7salter says:

    Delighted to welcome you here as our new Monday Fox, Patty.
    As for your list — only one have I read. Alexander and the horrible day.
    It’ll be interesting to see which books appear on my list.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      You never read Gone With the Wind, Jeff? It’s epic – but then, I think the movie follows it pretty well, unlike a lot of book-to-movie attempts. Thanks for the welcome – I am so excited!


      • I have not read “GWTW” either;actually, I have only also read ‘BFG”, many “Boxcar Children” and all of the “Little House” books, which I read with my kids. Maybe I’ll make”what and why” part of my post.


  3. pjharjo says:

    Welcome to 4f1h, Patricia! We’re excited to have you here! Top ten favorite books? My list of topics tells me my Tuesday post should be “What would be on my week’s shopping list, and why.” So that’s what I’ve got scheduled for tomorrow. “/ I hope there hasn’t been some confusion somewhere. I enjoyed your debut post! 🙂


  4. Hi, Patricia. I share a couple favorites with you: “The Little House on the Prairie” series (blizzard scenes convinced me to NEVER live on the plains), and “Mike” by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. It was the first time I’d ever heard of pleurisy…somehow that sticks out in my mind. (I’ve learned a lot by reading fiction!) I remember scouring the library for a long time afterward looking for other books by the Freedmans.I don’t think I ever found any, but I might go back and look for my Kindle now. 🙂


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks for visiting, Leah. Apparently the Freedmans wrote two sequels – more than 50 years after publishing Mrs. Mike! The Search for Joyful and Kathy Little Bird were published in 2003 and 2005 respectively. I haven’t read them yet, but they’re on my to-read list!


  5. Iris B says:

    Hi Patty …. what a great choice to have you as the Monday Fox … and what a great post to start … I know a few, but really only the movies …. Oops 🙂

    Look forward to reading your posts!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s