Tag Archives: reading

My Shameful Secret

If you read the title of this post, you are probably dying to know what my shameful secret is. Have I committed some crime? Did I rob a bank? Am I a double-agent? Do I moonlight as a real housewife on a reality show? The what-ifs could go on and on.

But here it is. My shameful secret…Kerri Carpenter

Are you ready?

Are you sure?

I’m a slow reader!!!

*Hangs head*

A really, really slow reader. I pick up a book. I begin reading. Flowers begin to bloom. Babies are born. The Earth completes countless rotations. And I’m flipping to page 20. Page 20 out of 220.

It’s shameful for me because I’m a freaking writer. And because I read every single night and have been reading every single night since I was a child. I even read when I’ve had a couple glasses of wine and am somewhat tipsy. That might actually help with my speed, come to think of it…

For years, it’s killed my soul every time I hear someone say they just LOVED a book and finished it in one night. One night? I’m lucky if I can finish one chapter in a night.

Maybe part of this has to do with the fact that I’m reading/simultaneously studying the way the author puts the words together. I like seeing what conflict she picks or where she sets her story. Sometimes I read a paragraph and it makes my own writer-brain run off to the creativity forest and immediately start coming up with my own plot lines and ideas.

But now, it’s time to finally come clean. I’ve kept this shameful secret to myself for years. Finally, I’m ready to step out of the shadows and acknowledge my imperfections.

Hello, my name is Kerri, and I’m a slow reader.

Tell me in the comments: Fast reader or slow? I promise to read every answer. Which, of course, will take me three days.

Late Assignment: Summer Reading Log


With several technology-related problems combining like the perfect storm last month, I wasn’t able to post about my summer reading adventure.

When I was a kid, I would take books up into the woods where I made myself a private place to read. It included a blanket and snacks and the book I was reading that day.

As I turned into a teen, my escape into the woods came to an abrupt end. I was way more comfortable snacking on the couch, and the potential for coming into contact with bugs gave me pause. Plus, I loved staying up late into the night and reading scary stories, and the woods were definitely NOT the place to be.

Now that I’m an adult, I still read just as much. I still get that thrill when I buy a new book. I still get that excited energy when I flip to that first page.

When a reader is born, he or she will never give up that luxury. Ever.

I started volunteering in the elementary school for something called The Book Café—a book club for kids. I was privileged to lead a book discussion with five kids who read the same book I did—Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. (That’s a whole other blog post.)

It got me thinking about instilling that love of reading into children at the earliest ages. I read non-stop with my oldest when she was little. Even though she loved the books, she’s never been my reader. Out of my five kids, two are more like me. I have to beg them to turn the lights off and go to bed. They plead for five more minutes. I shut the door, pretending to be annoyed, but secretly I’m so happy.

They’re like me! ☺

Every summer there are a ton of reading programs for kids. There are even some for adults. My local library was asking adults to read five books during the summer months. I think I covered that. I haven’t given each book a certain amount of stars or rated them in any way. I loved so many of them, but there was only one I didn’t like. But as we well know as readers and writers, books are a personal thing. What one person loves, another hates. What resonates with someone can completely turn another off. So, I won’t judge these books by their covers. I won’t even judge them by their words because words strike different feelings in different readers.

Without further ado, here’s my reading log from this summer:

Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins
The Lonesome Young by Lucy Connors
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Six Months Later by Natalie Richards
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

I started the third Outlander book, Voyager, but I’m currently using it as the reward for finishing my own revisions. That plan almost never works, as I was using Darynda’s Sixth Grave as my carrot, and I ate the carrot in one day. The day it arrived. It sat for approximately forty-two minutes on my kitchen table before I decided to read the first chapter as a reward for doing something like fixing one page of dialogue in my WIP. Then I made myself a cup of tea, grabbed a snack and settled in to finish the book.

Of course, that was way more comfortable than trudging through the woods to set up my reading nook.

I’m so glad to be an adult reader…who still continues to keep a summer reading log.  🙂

Anyone have some recommendations for my winter reading log?

GH 2014 photo

Happy Birthday to Me!

I’m in a great mood this week. I leave for my annual vacation on Friday. Plus, my birthday is next week. (I’m actually not excited about turning another year older but let’s all ignore that, shall we?)

I’ve been a very sparkly busy bee packing all the books I want to take to the beach with me this year. Since this post is all about me – because, you know, I’m the one writing it – I thought I would take this opportunity to give you all a short history of my beach reading interests. Continue reading

My Bucket List Challenge – What’s Your Top Five?

I’ve got three things on my mind and want to blog about all of them, but, well, no, I can’t because it’s late, and I’ve got to return to the writer’s cave! So I decided to narrow the playing field and focus on one topic (or maybe two).

So keep reading for a tease about what’s coming up in October here in the pond…of the Waterworld Mermaids!

My Bucket List – For Lovers of Books with Strong Romantic Elements (catchy title, huh? and yeah, I went there writers world!)…

The rules of my bucket list game are that you can’t list anything about your own writing or books…I know, jeez, but it’s my game!

Here’s my top five! Continue reading


I like to read in the bathtub.

In fact, reading a good book in a nice, warm bubble bath is on my list of favorite things to do. Sure, I’m a writer, but I was a reader first. And trust me, there is no better place to read than in the bathtub. (Except for maybe the beach. Hmmm….)

But reading in the bathtub is not a simple process. Many years of plotting and field research have contributed to my idea of a perfect evening. So here are my thoughts on this sacred ritual.

What to Read
Now, I don’t have to read a Nora Roberts (swoon) novel, although it is preferred. However, since I have pretty much read all of Nora’s books at this point, I’ve had to branch out.

Hard covers? I don’t think so. Hard covers are for bubble bath virgins. Unless you have impressive arm strength, or are some kind of martyr, this is just not going to work. I suggest sticking to bath-friendly paperback options.

While I prefer romance novels and other works of fiction, I do sometimes include magazines during bath time. People magazine is one of the best due to its light weight and short articles. I adore Glamour magazine but sometimes it’s just a tad too heavy and the bottom of the pages edge dangerously close to the water. I would also think long and hard before bringing In Style or Vogue in the water with you.

E-reader folks ? Don’t even consider it!

Bath Accessories
I like to keep it simple. Sure, I’ve purchased a bath pillow in the past but honestly, a washcloth strategically placed behind my neck can offer the same support. And I like to keep a dry hand towel nearby… just in case.

Next, find your bubbles. This is kind of like finding your signature drink at a bar or favorite coffee beverage at Starbucks. I prefer lavender-scented bubbles myself.

Some people go for bath salts. This is a personal choice. If I use bath salts, I like to mix them with my bubbles. Bath salts by themselves might smell wonderful, but I like the look of frothy bubbles.

Candles add a certain ambiance I enjoy. However, please be mindful of how you hold that paperback or People magazine when a lighted flame is involved. And find the right scent. Bath time might not be the ideal time to spark up that pine tree or Christmas cookie-scented candle. I enjoy matching my candle aroma with my bubbles.

Again, this is a personal choice. I love to play music while I write. In fact, I don’t know if I could write in total silence. But reading is a different matter. In my humble opinion, Nora does not need accompanying sound. But if reading to music is your thing, go for it. Just keep any electronics far from the water.

I hope I’ve given some good bath time suggestions. If you’ve had an unproductive day of writing or just a lousy time at whatever you do, think about running an indulgent, luxurious bubble bath tonight with a book in hand. I promise it will make you feel better.

So now you all know what I’ll be doing later. Reading, relaxing and dreaming of the day someone can’t wait to read a book written by moi in their very own bathtub. (Paperback version, of course.)