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Top 10 Favorite Books and Why by Janice Wills Kingsbury

Books are like songs in some ways.  Each one reminds of a place and time that you were when you read the book or heard the song. Each of my favorite books have a commonality; I took something away from the reading that stayed with me, something I needed at the time.  The books were my friends that I remember fondly. My favorite books have never left my bookshelves for library donations or garage sales because I just couldn’t part with them. Here are my top 10 pics (with a few runner-ups) :

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
Little Women was my first “coming of age” book.  It was a Christmas gift from my mother.  I read it 5 times.  I was 11 years old and loved books.  I loved the four sisters who took care of each other with their mother’s guidance while their father fought the Civil War.  My favorite character was Jo who is strong and devoted to her sister Amy, who battles Scarlet Fever.  Jo abandons the promise of a better life with the boy next door in favor of new adventures and moves to New York.  Her suitor then marries Amy, one of Jo’s sisters.   Full of adventure; and drama, and tales of an ordinary family’s struggles with life’s challenges.

Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
I read this book when I was 20 years old.  What an eye-opener.  I was interested in Philosophy at the time and happened to be dating a Philosophy major who introduced me to the book.  Ahead of her time with an ingenious mind, she writes about a near-future U.S.A whose economy is collapsing as a result of the disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists.  Her characters are like none other; her philosophy, objectivism.  Her famous opening line:  “Who is John Gaul?” 1,000+ pages, but I couldn’t put it down.

The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran)
Philosophical, spiritual, and inspirational.  His writings are timeless and I always found comfort when reading them.  Read as a young adult and have carried them with me.  Who can forget, “This too shall pass?”

She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)  
A great book that reminded me of my teens and my teenage friend.  A great read and character development.  My greatest disappointment was that there were no more books from this author published at the time.

One for the Money and all the Stefanie Plum series (Janet Evonovich)
These books provided endless laughter and entertainment.  They cheered me when I really needed it, and I always love them.

The Loved Dog (Tamar Geller)
I rescued my best buddy, Beau, from a puppy mill.  He was totally unsocialized with humans or animals and I was over my head trying to train him.  Although some things from Caesar were helpful, Beau was much to frightened to use many of his techniques.  People were coming up to Beau trying to help using Caesar’s methods and were scaring him to death.  Then I found this book, which is the best dog book on training that I have ever read.  It literally transformed Beau as a dog and of course my life as well.  I’ve lent it to many people, but always made sure it was returned.

Animals in Translation (Temple Grandin)
I learned a lot about how animals think, how autistic people think, and enjoyed the comparisons from her perspective.  At the time I worked as a School Psychologist and many of the children were autistic.  Additionally, I ‘m involved in animal rescue.

Dead Ringer (Lisa Scottoline)
Love all of her books and can always count on a good read packed with adventure, crime, and mystery, but one that doesn’t give nightmares and sleepless nights.

The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
Loved the spiritual and inspirational content and have taken with me the power of positive thinking.

The Garden of Good and Evil (John Berendt)
Great characters and this book had it all.  Good vs. evil, perfect southern life and setting, great town!  Felt like you were there.  Keeps you spellbound until the end.

Runners Up
The Good Good Pig (Sy Montgomery)
An adorable story about saving a pig.  Who knew how smart pigs are?  Had to repress the urge to go out and adopt one!

The Old Man and the Sea (Hemmingway)
“Every day is a new day.  It is better to be lucky.  But I would rather be exact.  Then when luck come you are ready.” “But man is not made for defeat.” He said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”   Says it all!

Sticks & Scones and the Diane Mott Davidson series
Light hearted mysteries combined with chef’s favorite recipes, which I have used.

The Portable Steinbeck –great writing and I love Travels with Charlie.

About Janice Wills Kingsbury

Janice Wills Kingsbury grew up in New Jersey.  She worked as a teacher and later as a School Psychologist for 18 years.  Janice also taught reading and has a love of children's literature.  Janice is also involved in animal rescue. Her children's books are written from the heart and portray her love of and knowledge about children and animals. The stories will capture children's interest and imagination.  Age 6-12, but suitable for all ages, even adults.

You can connect with Janice via: Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Lexi Goes on Vacation to the Outer Banks

Ms. Janice and Mr. Rob have vacationed in the seashore town of Duck in North Carolina for 10 years. Duck is a friendly place with sandy beaches where children and dogs romp to their hearts content. This year Lexi, a new addition to their dog family, will come too. But the vacation will be like no other and as the sun sets on the beach it promises to be a long night, one the family will never forget!

Full color illustrations appeal to children and make the book come alive. The action and adventure encourage children to read to the end and learn new vocabulary. Even reluctant readers will want to finish the story.

46 pages
Publisher: Create Space (October 22, 2014)

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