Updates from Cannonball Read
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March 2022

MsWas's Message Corner

Hi everyone,

Along with reading and reviewing from your own to-be-read list for CBR14, I hope you’re all checking out the reviews that your fellow Cannonballers have been posting. I love to see when an author takes off in CBR. All the love CBR has for Rainbow Rowell, Becky Chambers, and Tamsyn Muir, for example, started out with one enthusiastic review that caught fire and prompted others to go find that book. 

RSS IconRSS Icon

Thanks to several participants in 2021’s end of year survey who said they’d love to know when new reviews are posted, either overall or in specific categories, we’ve added a new feature to our Review Genres page. We’ve posted the RSS feed links to the entire site, and each category. With those, you can watch for new posts with an RSS feed reader/aggregator. 

About RSS feed reader/aggregators from 

An RSS aggregator checks websites for new content automatically. It immediately pulls that content over to your feed reader so you don’t have to go and check each website individually to find new content. 

The aggregator even keeps track of what you have and have not read by listing the number of articles or pieces of content for each website you are following that has not been seen. 

To subscribe to the RSS feed, you can download an RSS reader/aggregator app, or subscribe to an aggregator website. Here are the six feed readers/aggregate apps that lists:

  1. RSS Feed Reader Chrome Extension by

  2. Feedly

  3. Feeder

  4. NewsBlur

  5. Inoreader

  6. Feedreader Online

(Note: You can get a reader/aggregator for free, but some of these charge a fee based on usage. Please check pricing information and read reviews before making any commitments.)

If you don’t want to go down the RSS road, you can just keep an eye on our Review Genres page. The three most recent posts in each category are listed there automatically. We also change out our featured reviews regularly on the homepage, so there will be new content there on a weekly basis.

Hope you’re having a great CBR14, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions. Thanks!


--Bonnie (aka "MsWas")

“The first time I read an excellent book, it is to me just as if I had gained a new friend. When I read a book over I have perused before, it resembles the meeting with an old one.” - Irish writer Oliver Goldsmith 🍀 Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Quick Questions with a Cannonballer: Pooja


Did you grow up as a reader, or was there a particular book or story that sparked your love of reading?

I have been an avid reader since I was a little kid, but I do have an origin story for it! My school used to do a program where older kids would be partnered with younger ones as reading buddies, and I was a kindergartner forcing her fourth grade buddy to read picture books all year. Finally she got very fed up and sat me down with a chapter book of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. After Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, I was hooked and began seeking out more complex reads on my own.

See what else Pooja has to say »

Quick Questions Flashback: ElCicco A'd some Q's in March 2017 and talked about playing D&D with her 13 year old. Does the now-18 year old still play, EC? 

Cannonball Read is now a 501(c)(3)! 

What started as a way to raise money for OG Cannonballer AlabamaPink's son's college fund grew into a fundraising supporter of the American Cancer Society, and now, we're an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

This will open up a number of other fundraising opportunities and many employers will now be able to contribute to Cannonball Read via a matching gifts program. Plus, you can deduct CBR donations from your taxes! Watch for more details as CBR enrolls in these programs. 

This is an exciting next step that ensures our longevity and sets up a structure for the future of Cannonball Read. If you’ve participated in a fundraiser in your community that wasn’t terribly annoying or seems like a good fit for CBR, or if you’re interested in serving on the fundraising committee, please drop us a line



Note: Kindle edition is on sale for $2.99 at Amazon today 3/14!

Thank you to everyone who voted for the May #CannonBookClub selection! May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) in the United States. #CannonBookClub will be celebrating by reading The Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. Book club will be Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, with a Zoom meeting on May 21 (time to be determined).

In September, #CannonBookClub will be—well, "celebrating" seems like the wrong word, but maybe marking or acknowledging—Banned Books Week. There will be several choices of banned books from which to select for the discussion, and you can read one or more of them and chime in with thoughts/feelings/rants. If you have heard of a favorite book being challenged that you’d like Cannonball Read to take on, suggest it for this book club via our contact form.


Participants: Check out this year's map!

It's always fun to see where all our participants are. Thanks again to yesknopemaybe for putting together our map of Cannonballers! For a look at locations from previous years, check out our participants page.


Advanced Reader Copies (ARC) available

(Note: We pass these offers we receive on to you. We have no way of judging the quality or content. If you accept an ARC, we only ask that you review it honestly in a timely fashion, even if you do not finish it. —MsWas)

We have three free ebook offers for registered CBR14 participants. If you're interested in any of these, contact Emmalita. And you can always let us know if you're interested in signing up for CBR14.

For Butter or Worse, Erin La Rosa Fans of Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting, You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria, and On Location by Sarah Echavarre Smith will love what would happen if a younger Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood from The Great British Baking Show had to fake a relationship in order to save their careers.Nina and Leo go together like water and oil. Nina finally has a big shot to make it as a successful chef after being under-estimated in a male-dominated field by hosting a competitive cooking reality show… Unfortunately, she has to share the show with Hollywood jerk Leo, who continues to make Nina bristle while the cameras are rolling. When Nina quits on live TV after he takes a joke too far, everything is jeopardized – until the two are caught in what seems like a compromising situation. Fans love what they think they’re seeing, which inspires Leo and Nina to fake a romance to save their careers. It should be easy as pie to not kill each other and not actually catch feelings, right? Tom Boy, Shelley Blanton-Stroud It’s 1939. On the brink of World War II, Jane Benjamin wants to have it all. By day she hustles as a scruffy, tomboy cub reporter. By night she secretly struggles to raise her toddler sister, Elsie, and protect her from their mother. But Jane’s got a plan: she’ll become the San Francisco Prospect’s first gossip columnist and make enough money to care for Elsie. Jane finagles her way to the women’s championship at Wimbledon, starring her hometown’s tennis phenom and cover girl Tommie O’Rourke. She plans to write her first column there. But then she witnesses Edith “Coach” Carlson, Tommie’s closest companion, drop dead in the stands of apparent heart attack, and her plan is thrown off track. While sailing home on the RMS Queen Mary, Jane veers between competing instincts: Should she write a social bombshell column, personally damaging her new friend Tommie’s persona and career? Or should she work to uncover the truth of Coach’s death, which she now knows was a murder, and its connection to a larger conspiracy involving US participation in the coming war? Putting away her menswear and donning first-class ballgowns, Jane discovers what upper-class status hides, protects, and destroys. Ultimately—like nations around the globe in 1939—she must choose what she’ll give up in order to do what’s right.

Bedlam, Bobby Spears Jr.

For fans of Brain on Fire and Girl interruptedBedlam is a crackling, satirical debut based on a horrifying true story about what happens when an asylum owner becomes a patient.

Bedlam details the frustrating life of Earl Sedgwick, owner and operator of a mental institute. Earl grew up in the business and subsequently took it over despite his avowed hatred of how the business robbed him of his childhood. He runs on empty until he's triggered by a visit from his more successful friends, realizing his life has been placed in its own padded room since he took on the family business. The career that is providing everything he has and keeping him alive is ultimately killing him at the same time. The torture of watching people die and/or lose their minds is not a healthy existence, but it is all he has ever known, and like many people he yearns to do something else. Something more. But with his mental health failing and his addiction adding fuel to the fire, Earl is in no shape to change his life. Earl has to then decide what his next move will be. Bedlam takes us through a series of stories and anecdotes featuring the wild antics of patients, staff and their families, as Earl not only becomes an addict but is also losing his mind.

This Month's Fan Mail

The publisher of Katya Kazbek's Little Foxes Took Up Matches was so pleased with andtheIToldYouSo's review, they made a graphic of one of her quotes for Twitter and Instagram

Let us know if you have anything to submit to our Fan Mail page. Don't forget to tag @cannonballread when you post on social media - it helps others find us, and helps us find you to include you on the page! 


Stuff We're Reading

Dumb but Strong Gets Boring, or Enough with the Cream Puff Gags, or Why Harry Potter and Black Clover Don’t Mix: CoffeeShopReader's review of Mashle: Magic and Muscles, vols. 4-5

Mar 14, 2022 02:56 pm
Sometimes my curiosity gets the better of me and I pick up subsequent manga volumes from the library just to see if things get any better or interesting; sometimes this works out and sometimes not. With Mashle: Magic and Muscles, the first few volumes were essentially trope overload with a touch of the goof-ball. Volumes 4-5 don’t really get much better. Tropes include the clueless but good-hearted hero who has nothing but physical prowess to get by in a magic world, the girl he saves […]
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The Bridesmaids Union: Classic's review of The Bridesmaids Union

Mar 14, 2022 11:07 am
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.  So the only reason I am giving this two stars is that it is not as bad as Carnegie Hill. I knew this author sounded familiar to me, and I am annoyed I wasted a pick on this. The entire book was a slow moving train wreck that I was unable to look away from. The main character, Iris, is terrible. The other characters we get are awful. […]
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It’s not the years, its the mileage.: TylerDFC's review of The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman

Mar 14, 2022 10:47 am
You may not know his face but you know his characters. In his extraordinary career, Vic Armstrong has been Superman (doubling for the late Christopher Reeve), Indiana Jones (doubling for Harrison Ford in the original trilogy), and James Bond (doubling for George Lazenby, Roger Moore, and Sean Connery [Never Say Never Again]) among a host of others. When a stunt is too outrageous, or dangerous, for the star the stunt person steps in to get the job done. The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest […]
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Our Little World: Classic's review of Our Little World

Mar 14, 2022 09:56 am
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.  So this was a great book to end the week with. It was so good. I think the setting of New Jersey in 1985 played such an important role in the telling of this story. It really did take me back to a different time and place when I was growing up.  This book really does show the end of innocence for Bee, but also for the entire […]
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The Wedding Season: Classic's review of The Wedding Season

Mar 14, 2022 09:34 am
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.  So this was delightful. I am going to warn readers though, if you are expecting a lot of romantic scenes, they are not in this book. But I thought this was a very nice enemies to lovers book. I loved the main character of Freya, her two best friends, Ruby and Leo, and her dad and her brother. The whole book really spoke to me about the power […]
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Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Editor
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