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October 2022

MsWas's Message Corner

As the year is turning towards its close, I’m looking forward to next year and Cannonball Read FIFTEEN! What a milestone! We’ve got some great things planned already for next year, but I’d like to hear from you! Please drop me a line any time via the contact form with any suggestions, complaints, or tips about the website and the things we do for CBR. Or contact me about anything else! I do love to hear from you all, even if it is with a problem or question. I really do!

--Bonnie (aka "MsWas")

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx

Quick Questions with a Cannonballer: tiny_bookbot

What’s your favorite piece of literature (or theory, technique, etc.) to teach to your college students? 

My favorite authors to teach are probably Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf. Jane Eyre is of course a book with some plot elements that really raise our eyebrows (Edward Fairfax Rochester what ARE you doing?!) but those same elements are what help it to teach well, because it gives us real stuff to dig into and discuss. Also, Brontë burns through loads of plot, which hooks my students, while also having real religious and ethical concerns at stake, too. Woolf, meanwhile, seduces so many of my upper-level students who encounter her for the first time: the prose is so lyrical and lovely, and she has such a deep love of the everyday and quotidian: Mrs Ramsay’s dinner scene in To the Lighthouse brings them joy every time.

See what else tiny_bookbot has to say »

Quick Questions Flashback: Six years ago, faintingviolet had been a CBR participant for five years. Now we don't know what we'd do without her!


New Cannonball Read Discord Channel 


Cannonball Read now has a Discord channel! Sometimes it's tricky to gush/rant/obsess over books in the comment section due to spoilers. Discord will be a way to get into the nitty-gritty details of a book without totally derailing one book review. Right now, we're starting out with two channels for talking about Tamsyn Muir’s The Locked Tomb. One channel is all spoilers all the time and the other is spoiler free. There's also a channel for all things Murderbot! Check it out here, and let Emmalita know what other channels you'd like to see.


Bingo Check-in: Two Weeks to Go! 


Our fifth Book Bingo Reading Challenge ends at midnight, 12pm EST, on November 14. Until then, check in and see how things are going!


Coming Soon


Unbelievably, we're coming to the end of CBR14 already. Start gathering your three best and one worst books of 2022 - MsWas will be asking soon!

Also, the annual Holiday Book Exchange will be sending out sign-up information soon, so start thinking about participating in that. If you've never participated before, it's low pressure and a lot of fun! 

Registration for CBR15 (our quinceañera!) will open in early December, so we'll see you back here next year. Same book time, same book channel! 

Facebook Fundraisers and Other Donation Ideas


If you're are on Facebook, you probably get fundraiser notices for birthdays, holidays, etc. LinkedIn has something similar with survey participation, where you can earn $5 or so for participating. Did you know you can add Cannonball Read as the recipient for those fundraisers? Just another way to throw another donation our way!


CBR Diversion: Spooky Books!

Do you read specific books for Halloween/fall? Are you more of a straight horror fan, or do you look for a cozy mystery with witches? Or do you land somewhere in between?

Visit the latest CBR Diversion and tell us about your favorite scary, creepy, or seasonal books and why you like them.


Style Tip: Custom Excerpt 


An excerpt is the short snippet of text from the beginning of your review that displays in the list of reviews on the home page or any category or author page.  A custom excerpt can be useful if your review has a spoiler or something else you don't want to reveal before users click. uses the first 100 words of your review, and according to WordPress, "...the auto-generated excerpt will begin with whatever text is at the start of your post." So if you start your book review with, "Can y'all BELIEVE they killed Charlotte in Charlotte's Web???? I mean, her name is in the title! How can she die?!?" That's what's going to show up on the website and our RSS feed. (Using a spoiler bar in the post unfortunately does not outwit the excerpt function.)

So if you'd like to test your Twitter-writing skills (excerpts are limited to 100 characters), or be nice and hide spoilers, or just become even more of a WordPress master, check out all the no-code-necessary changes you can make with excerpts.

ARC Giveaway: Children's Book Edition

Timmy is Resilient, Patti Demma 

Timmy hears a loud noise that scared him, and now he can't stop thinking about it. The next day at school, Timmy's friends help him remember some tips the teacher taught them to feel resilient, and he learns how to bounce back in tough times.

This story about Timmy's journey towards resiliency includes examples of self-calming tools for children and adults.

To take advantage of this offer, please contact MsWas

This Month's Fan Mail

Author Maud Newton gave a Twitter thanks to Booktrovert for her five-star review of Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and A Reconciliation.

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

The Dinner: Zirza's review of The Dinner

Oct 31, 2022 01:20 pm
An unremarkable couple stand in an unremarkable pub drinking unremarkable beer. Their names are Paul and Claire. They’re bracing themselves, for they are about to go to dinner with Paul’s brother Serge and his wife Babette. Serge is a rising star in national politics, primed for the position of PM after the elections, which are only six months away. Paul has picked the restaurant (mere mortals will need to book months in advance but they keep a table back for ‘people like me’), for they […]
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You know, it is okay to say fat: BlackRaven's review of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

Oct 31, 2022 11:07 am
When I started reading Fat Chance, Charlie Vega I was okay. This is a thing. It is a little slow, but I can work with that. Then I started thinking I had read it before. I have concluded that I either have read the first few chapters or the two scenes that were really making me think I read before are “subject word for word” to other things read. Perhaps that is because the teen romance troupe is something we know and the author “went […]
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Whiteout: Classic's review of Whiteout

Oct 31, 2022 09:02 am
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. This sadly was not as good as Blackout was. Probably because the main couple we follow in this one didn’t read as romantic to me at all. They (Sola and Stevie) read as very immature and honestly I got really tired of Stevie mighty quick. I didn’t find that whole dinner party thing realistic at all because Stevie is supposed to be really smart, but takes something that […]
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Very Sweet Book: ASKReviews's review of Is It Just Me?

Oct 31, 2022 08:58 am
Best for: People looking for a gentle, sweet, memoir with some nice little life lessons and a few chuckles. In a nutshell: Actress and comedian Hart shares stories and lessons of her life through the mechanism of talking to her younger self. Worth quoting: N/A (Audiobook) Why I chose it: Hart always struck me as a kind and fun woman. Plus, as a fellow very tall woman, I appreciate that she’s been able to make a career in film and television. Review: I first became […]
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The Dead Romantics: Classic's review of The Dead Romantics

Oct 31, 2022 08:33 am
Not much to say besides I really enjoyed this. Have some tissues nearby though cause parts are going to make you cry. Who knew you could write a romance novel involving ghosts and death and have it not turn into a Nicholas Sparks novel where you want to fight people in the end? “The Dead Romantics” follows ghost writer Florence Day. Florence tried to publish her own book years earlier and it “flopped.” Now she writes for an uber famous romance novelist. Problem is that […]
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