Updates from Cannonball Read
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January 2021


MsWas's Message Corner

Hello CBR13 participants and friends of Cannonball Read,

Welcome to our thirteenth Cannonball Read! I'm so pleased to see our registration list keep growing. I see some veteran names return who haven't been here in a while, and I am loving reading all of our new participants names and bios.

I’m even more psyched for our first Zoom check-in meeting. This will be a chance for you to meet other Cannonballers, find out some Wordpress tips and tricks, and get your questions answered. I’ll see you this Saturday, Jan. 23 at 3pm EST (GMT-5). That’s New York time, baby! Everyone registered for CBR13 will get the zoom link by email.

So if you’ve been thinking about signing up, today’s the day to do it. And if you’re already registered, why not share with a book-loving friend and see if they’ll come along for the ride. You can share this simple link:

Take care and happy reading!

--Bonnie (aka "MsWas")

"At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better. It’s an enormous force for good." – President Barack Obama


Q&A with a Cannonballer: Mobius_Walker


You read a wide range of different styles. If you had to pick a favorite genre, which would it be?

Fantasy. No question, no hesitation. Reading has always been an escape for me, and fantasy stories were the biggest escape possible. I also love the various ingenious systems of magic that authors construct and explore. Deep down, I've always hoped that magic were real, and fantasy novels, especially urban fantasy books, are a way to explore what that magic could look like in the real world. I'm hoping that if I read enough fantasy novels with enough magic in them, I can make magic real in the world.

See what else Mobius_Walker has to say »

Quick Questions Flashback: See what Ellesfena had to say in January 2019! "Reviewing books has encouraged a deeper reading experience."

Registration still open

If you're not registered yet but would like to be, there's still time! Registration will be open until January 31, so feel free to pass the word along to anyone you think would like to participate. 

And if you're new here, welcome! We're so glad you're joining us. Reading everyone's reviews is the best part, of course (and raising money to fight cancer is also the best part; and reading good stuff yourself is the's all good!), but we also have lots of good information on the About Us page, including FAQs, tips and instructions, a look back at previous Book Club discussions, fun fan mail, social media, and more!

Plus, you can always contact us with any questions or concerns. MsWas and the Cannonball Crew (watch for our upcoming album, soon to be topping all the charts) love to hear from you, and depend on you sharp-eyed readers to let us know when the site has a glitch. Questions, comments, suggestions, and feedback welcome!  



Let's chat

Our first Comment Diversion of 2021 is up, with with Cannonballers new and old (and very very old - hey there, Malin - here since CBR2!!!) chiming in to introduce themselves and talk about what they're looking forward to reading this year. 

And if you want to chat face-to-face, the first Zoom Check-in will be this coming Saturday, January 23 at 3pm EST (GMT-5). Our first ever Zoom holiday party was a lot of fun, and we're looking forward to having more regular Zoom hangouts with our CBR peeps. Saturday's call will be a great way to meet other participants, as well as some how-to tips for new Cannonballers. Registration details will be sent to those registered for CBR13.



Donations for 2020

Despite all the (various, myriad, incomprehensible) challenges 2020 brought, Cannonballers came through as always, and we ended the year with a donation of $1,650 for the American Cancer Society. That brings our CBR total (12 whole years!) to $8,575. 

Thank you very much to all of our donors and supporters. You can help Cannonball Read by making a donation, buying Cannonball Read merch, or just visiting the site with your adblocker turned off.

Volunteers always welcome 

Though MsWas is a terrible tyrant to work with (HA - I can't even type that with a straight face), we're always looking for volunteers to join us. Cannonball Read does take some behind-the-scenes work, and if you'd like to pitch in, just let us know if you have a special skill set you'd be interested in focusing on, or if you're up for whatever is needed. There will be a planning meeting soon to map out the year's #CannonBookClub themes, so there are lots of possibilities to help out. 

Care for some numbers with your words?

Stats whiz (established) and coding whiz (novice) ingres77 has pulled together another impressive stats post showing what Cannonballers read the most, how many reviews we've posted (going back almost to the beginning!) and all sorts of other fun number crunching. Thank you, ingres77! 

You! Yes, you! Check your badges! 

CBR tracks your participation, comments, and review levels with cute little badges under your bio. If you've participated before, you should have a badge for every year you have written a review. Please take a quick look at your badges and make sure they're correct. If you think your count seems off, let us know

2020 Wrap-up

Over on Pajiba, MsWas has a wrap-up post covering all the goodness of CBR12. Thank you to all who participated and helped make it a success even in the dumpster fire that was 2020. We're looking forward to another good year!

Stuff We're Reading

The Guest List….uh…sure?: Sarah's review of The Guest List

Jan 19, 2021 01:30 pm
This was recommended to me as a book I would love and would be unable to put down. It mostly made me annoyed. This book burns slow which is frustrating because a “can’t put down page turner” should definitely move with more haste in story telling. It is also hard to follow what is happening at times because the point of view shifts pretty rapidly and not in a way that suggests the intricacies of the storylines coming together. The book opens on a central […]
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share on Twitter Like The Guest List….uh…sure?: Sarah's review of The Guest List on Facebook

Roads – Larry McMurtry (2000): vel veeter's review of Roads

Jan 19, 2021 01:24 pm
Within this book, you would find a really stellar reading list of American fiction and nonfiction, something I might put together and add later. This would make this already a worthwhile book. One of my favorite articles from the last few years is a list of lists (of books, to read) pulled from within novels and memoirs not ostensibly about reading books. This includes things like Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman and Jo Walton’s Among Others, both of which list dozens of books read by […]
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share on Twitter Like Roads – Larry McMurtry (2000): vel veeter's review of Roads on Facebook

Paradise – Larry McMurtry (2001): vel veeter's review of Paradise

Jan 19, 2021 01:16 pm
Something about the early 2000s and about male writers born in the 1930s that wants to write a biography of one’s parents. I think about the John Williams novel Stoner, about a kid who grows up in rural Missouri on a farm, gets sent to college to learn about agronomy and economics, falls in love with Medieval literature and never looks back. There’s that kind of maybe guilt, maybe sense of responsibility built into these kinds of biographies. And I can think of quite a […]
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share on Twitter Like Paradise – Larry McMurtry (2001): vel veeter's review of Paradise on Facebook

Halloween Party – Agatha Christie (1969): vel veeter's review of Halloween Party

Jan 19, 2021 01:07 pm
A late, almost very late Hercule Poirot novel (the 39th! according to Goodreads) and while I don’t think the material is wearing down just yet, in that way that Agatha Christie’s last novels did, it raises some interesting questions. For one, while Halloween, like the other holidays are a part of our lives, they have this way of feeling in literature, and especially in movies, and ESPECIALLY in television of being part of a gimmicky holiday special kind of thing. So the fact that we […]
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share on Twitter Like Halloween Party – Agatha Christie (1969): vel veeter's review of Halloween Party on Facebook

Moved too slow for me: lowercasesee's review of The Dry

Jan 19, 2021 12:40 pm
I tend to be a speed reader to a fault – I know I miss stuff – but there are some audiobooks that really drive home why I am the way I am. Even at 1.25x speed, this one dragged. I did the last third or so at 1.5x which veered into chipmunk territory but it was necessary just to drag me to the finish line. It did not help matters that I google-spoiled the mystery for myself. Whoops? The book is set in drought-ridden, small-town Australia […]
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share on Twitter Like Moved too slow for me: lowercasesee's review of The Dry on Facebook


Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Editor
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