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October/November 2020


MsWas's Message Corner

Hello CBR12 participants and friends of Cannonball Read,

Thank you all so much for sharing the best that happened to you in our Election Day diversion, it was a pretty sweet comment section day, and your stories warmed my heart. Thanks also to all of our November donors. You can still donate via PayPal, Venmo, or Google Pay and get a chance in our prize raffle!

As a special thank you to our donors, commenters, Cannonballers, friends and supporters, I’ll let you in on a little secret. In December, we’ll be having our very first ever Virtual CBR Holiday Party! We’re still working on finalizing the details, so keep an eye on your email and our social media for more info as we have it. 

Looking forward to seeing many of you real soon!

--Bonnie (aka "MsWas")

"Reading brings us unknown friends." – Honoré Balzac


Q&A with a Cannonballer: LittlePlat

You're one of our international Cannonballers. Is there a book written about or set in your hometown/local area that you think does it justice?


Haha, the Melways? It is the most Melbournian book I know of!

For some Very Melbourne books, go to pick the Murray Whelan series by Shane Maloney. They’re a set of crime novels set in the eighties where the protagonist is not a cop, or a detective, but a political fixer for the Australian Labor Party, and they display the character of Melbourne very well. Apart from having a very droll sense of humor, these books feature two things that Melbournians mightn’t want you to remember the city by, but are prominent features regardless: the amusingly petty political bullshit and the amusingly dumb criminal bullshit.

As for my current residence, Barcelona, The Shadow of the Wind (La Sombra del Viento), by the recently deceased Carlos Ruiz Zafón, is a good showcase of the city. I read it in English though. I don’t have the patience skill or the time to try otherwise.

See what else LittlePlat has to say »


Let's raise some funds!

As MsWas has said, we'd always rather discuss books than money, but no matter what's happening in the outside world, the mission of Cannonball Read is to raise money for the American Cancer Society. We appreciate your help and support (whether it's monetary, sharing on social media, clicking on reviews, volunteering, etc.) now and always. To show our appreciation, we've got a fun little bonus. All donors in 2020 will receive a link to a free, CBR-related, printable bookmark designed in-house by our very own yesknopemaybe. Our goal is to raise $1,300 to start CBR13 off with a bang.

All donors will also be entered for a raffle. Check out the cool prize options

Thank you for your continued support!



The End of Bingo

Congratulations to all our Bingo participants, and thank you to everyone who read, clicked, commented, and supported along the way. Thirty-seven Bingoers posted 495 reviews! There are some great recommendations out there (and a few hilarious anti-recommendations), so check out the cbr12bingo tag if you missed any of them.

Great work to Octothorp for being the first to complete a bingo card, and to BlackRaven for being the first to bingo. And a round of applause for yesknopemaybe for designing the beautiful bingo card, and for emmalita for running the bingo show.

Our raffle winner this year is andtheIToldYouSos! She won some CBR merch and a $25 gift certificate to a bookseller of her choosing. Congrats, ATITYS!

Holiday Book Exchange: Register by November 20

If you're a CBR participant, it's a safe bet that you're a recommender. If you like the careful choosing and then excited introducing of books to delighted readers, and if you like receiving books equally carefully chosen for you, then the Holiday Book Exchange is for you! Give books, get books, share joy, and start 2021 off to a good start. Check out the details on this completely voluntary book exchange, and if you'd like to participate, sign up by November 20


Our final #CannonBookClub of the year was October 16 and 17. We covered Emily St. John Mandel's Glass Hotel, which garnered some interesting discussion, even though it seems like this one wasn't as much of a hit as St. John Mandel's Station Eleven, which we discussed back in March, roughly eight thousand years ago. Thanks to all our book club participants this year, and and stay tuned for info about #CannonBookClub 13!


CBR Diversions

We've had three excellent Diversion discussions lately: your stories about banned books, your favorite quotes about reading and writing, and a marvelous riot of positivity about the best thing to happen to you in the previous week. It's been delightful to read everybody's stories and thoughts and get to know each other better. If you missed any, the Diversions are here.

A new Diversion is being posted tomorrow, asking for your thoughts on the best books to give as gifts. This one should be a good cheat sheet for those who want to sign up for the Book Exchange. You don't have to be registered for CBR12 to participate, so chime in if you'd like!

Y'all are a weird, wonderful, chatty bunch, and we love every minute of it.


Pre-wrap-up notes 

The end of CBR12 will be here before we know it! As always, the official ending will be noon EST on December 31. We look forward to seeing you back for CBR13. 

And while we're nearing the last month of reviewing, it's time to reflect on 2020's best and worst books. Start thinking about the three best books you read this year, and the one worst. In December, MsWas will post a submission form for the Best and Worst list, which will go into the year-end wrap-up post. (Last year's was so fun!) 


Style Tip: Images and accessibility

Here's an accessibility tip for your reviews: when uploading a picture, always put a brief description in the "Alt text" field. If there's something in that section, like "book cover featuring whiny teens" or "dog chewing on my kindle," screen readers can speak those words out loud to the visually disabled. The more accessible our reviews are, the more people can read them.



Stuff We're Reading

On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about halfway between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-colored hotel.: vel veeter's review of Tender is the Night

Nov 12, 2020 10:38 am
So there’s apparently two editions of this book out there and my copy is the originally published one, finished by Fitzgerald, and reviewed while he was still alive. He apparently left some notes about changes he could make, and Malcolm Cowley made those changes, and I am generally against such actions, so I am glad, I unwittingly read the original. The novel takes place on the eastern end of the French Riviera, near Cannes it seems, and involves two main storylines that come together initially […]
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Bremen left the hospital and his dying wife and drove east to the sea.: vel veeter's review of The Hollow Man, The Princess Bride, Art of Literature

Nov 12, 2020 10:31 am
The Hollow Man – 3/5 Stars This is not the basis of the Kevin Bacon movie, and we’re all the better for it. This book, which I think is filled with some issues throughout, is very compelling and interesting, even if I think the driving narrative behind it is relatively weak over all. Jeremy Bremen is a telepath and a mathematician, and we find him on the worst day of his life, as his wife has finally succumbed to the cancer that had been killing […]
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THOUGHTS: narfna's review of Battle Ground (The Dresden Files, #17)

Nov 11, 2020 07:45 pm
I am going to do the opposite of what I did for Peace Talks for this book, which is I’m not going to write hardly anything, and only one thing will be under spoiler tags. If you have read the book, you know what that thing is. So, bullet points! I do not think either of these books was really served well by being split in two. I think they should have been one big book, and maybe cut like 100 pages from both. Maybe […]
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Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Editor
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