Books on my Virtual Nightstand


This week’s topic: What genres do you read? Why?

35986234 - young woman reading a magazine while riding the trainI normally read at least one book a week. Usually, I’m reading in the evening, as it’s my way to relax at the end of the day. But I also hate to just sit, so if I’m waiting for an appointment (I no longer have to wait for children in music lessons, rehearsals, or sports) I’ll read in my car or waiting room. I normally have one book on my iPad, another one on my phone, and now and then I’ll have a third one on my laptop. But every now and then I’ll change things up by reading a print book, either to give my eyes a break, because it’s been taking up space on my shelf, or because I won it somewhere. But I’m always reading. I think part of the problem is that so many things interest me, that I’m often sidetracked while researching online or even browsing through my social media outlets. I’ll see a blog post or news article that catches my eye and I’m off. An hour or two later I’m asking myself why I sat down in front of my laptop.

54094172 - woman resting with cup of hot drink and book near fireplaceWhen it comes to books, my choice of reading material depends on when and where I’m reading. If I’m reading at the end of the day, then my purpose is to relax. And if I’m using this time to de-stress, I find my tastes run more toward light romances and cozy mysteries. Some might say the choice of romances is actually a form of research. I’ve heard more than one successful writer recommend reading heavily in your genre. I guess that’s sound advice. I read a lot of books before I could pinpoint what I liked and what I disliked – and that helped me decide what to write. It was romance that got me through a stressful time in my life, and I devoured them. So then I decided to write them. My favorites at the moment are Robyn Carr and Debbie Macomber, but most of the time I’m reading books by people I have a personal connection with. About five years ago, we discussed our feelings about Happily-Ever-After (HEA), Happily-For-Now (HFN), or tragic endings, and I shared my thoughts in this post.

I also love to read cozy mysteries. I think this is partly because I love to solve puzzles – word puzzles, number puzzles, and of course jigsaw puzzles – and solving a mystery is like piecing a puzzle together. I’ve reviewed several books by Donna Andrews and Jana DeLeon (my current favorite), as well as Joanne Fluke and Janet Evanovich. When I need a challenge, I’ll pick up one of their books. I doubt that I’ll ever write a cozy, because that involves thinking backward – you start with the solution and work your way back through all the red herrings and motivations back to the original mystery. My mind doesn’t like to go backward! But I sure enjoy reading these.

Another type of book I enjoy (although I don’t know if this is a genre) are the Chicken Soup books and others like them, in which several short personal stories appear in a single volume. These are nice for when I have limited time to read. I can open it up and read one, and set it aside because I’m not in the middle of a scene or story. This is the type of book I usually read on my phone.

So, there’s a look at what’s on my reading list! What’s on yours?

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 author's life, Books, cozy mystery, e-books, Mystery stories, Patricia Kiyono, reading, reading preferences, romance, short stories, TBR List. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Books on my Virtual Nightstand

  1. My preference in reading is usually Christian Romance Suspense, the same thing I write. But I also love a good Historical Romance that includes a mystery and/or some drama, usually set in the Victorian era or earlier somewhere in the British Empire. Reading these types of genres are also a teaching method for me. I learn how to write what I write better or how I don’t want to do it. 🙂

    Like you, Patricia, I generally read while I’m waiting for an appointment, for Arnie’s appointment, or when he’s in the “man-store.” LOL Evenings are reserved for our time together since I write all day.

    It’s amazing what you can learn from other author’s writing while you’re enjoying some down time from your own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I agree, one learns a lot from reading works by others. I’ve learned to spot inaccuracies in historical novels, and other weaknesses, which makes me work harder to avoid them in my own writing. Thanks for weighing in!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    I finally got around to reading one of the Jana DeLeon novels — the first in her bayou set.
    Very enjoyable.
    My wife used to read the Janet Evanovich books and often would be doubled over in laughter. So much so, that — if she could compose herself — she’d read passages out loud to me.
    But I never got caught up in the humor sufficiently because I’d not been exposed to the build-up and context. Maybe if I read one from start to finish…
    As to the genres I read, I guess I’ll have to put on my thinking cap between now and Hound Day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      From your book reviews, I’m sure I can guess at least one genre favorite! Glad you enjoyed the first in the Miss Fortune (DeLeon) series. I just finished book seven – at 2:00 this morning! I’ve already downloaded book eight. This series has given me almost as many laugh-out-loud moments as the Stephanie Plum (Evanovich) books!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. trishafaye says:

    I also read mostly in the late evening before bed, and an in ‘down’ times like at appointments or sitting at the laundromat.
    I read a variety of genres also – usually whatever catches my eye at the moment – although historical fiction and contemporary fiction are probably my favorites. Interspersed with non-fiction for learning, occasional romance (used to be more, at a time in my life when I needed that escape!), and I used to devour cozy mysteries, though not as much the past 5-10 years. I think the only things I don’t read are sci-fi, fantasy, or horror.
    Fun post!


  4. I used to say that the only genre that I didn’t read was Romance, but my friends convinced me to dive in and here I have written it!
    If you like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, please do yourself a favor and try Gretchen Archer’s Davos Way series.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve only got fifteen more books to go in Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune series, and then I’ll be ready for a new favorite!


  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I always have a book on my phone when I have an appointment. It’s a good way to find reading time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never read a cozy mystery. Though I have seen several and thought they sounded interesting. I enjoy puzzles and riddles so maybe I will give that genre a try.


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