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September 2022

MsWas's Message Corner: Guest Starring Emmalita


Hello everyone, 

Fall officially starts on Thursday, so I hope everyone has their hoodies and spices ready to go. I have a lot to share with you, so MsWas offered me the newsletter opening this month. 

Big thank you to everyone who participated in this past weekend’s Cannon Book Club discussions. Faintingviolet did a great job with questions for all three books, and as always, yesknopemaybe delivered with the graphics. It is Banned Books Week, so this week is a good week to pick up a banned book, or check one out from your local library. Unfortunately, this year, there are so many books being challenged to choose from. Check out the Banned Books Week event page for events, many of them virtual, every day this week. 

My friends at HEAs for Trans Kids are in the middle of their fourth fundraiser for organizations that provide support and assistance to trans kids and their families. Between now and Monday, October 3 donate a minimum of $25 and receive a bundle of 13 romances from Courtney Milan, Jackie Lau, Rebekah Weatherspoon and others. I have read all 13 books now and there is definitely something for everyone. If you are not a romance reader, but know someone who is, please consider letting them know about the fundraiser.  

Many of the same states trying to outlaw books that reflect the diversity of our world are also trying to outlaw trans people. As with the books, they are targeting children and teens. 

I wish you great books that expand your world, comfort your soul and fire up your imagination.

Rochelle (Emmalita) 
 

“We need diverse representation not *only* so every kid can see themselves as the hero of the story, but also so that every kid can understand that *other* kinds of kids are *also* the heroes of the story.” – Rabbi Danya Ruttenburg
 



#CannonBookClub Recap: Banned Books 


  

We had some great discussion about our three options for the Banned Books #CannonBookClub (click the links to read the comments or continue the conversation): 

We also had a good turnout for the Saturday Zoom call. Thank you all for your thoughtful participation. There were some tough questions and thorny topics, and it was great to read/hear all the discussion! And as always, a big shout-out to faintingviolet for pulling it all together.
 
 

Bingo Check-in


 

Our fifth Book Bingo Reading Challenge has just passed the halfway point. It runs through November 15, so if you haven’t started playing, there is plenty of time to join the 34 Cannonballers who are playing this year. 

The week's Bingo discussion post stayed on the theme of #bannedbooksweek, along with the usual roundup of bingos and participation numbers. Looking good, bingoers! 

  


A Thank You for a Special Donor

 

CBR appreciates all sorts of support: reading, reviewing, donating, Redbubbling, commenting, volunteering, and on and on! And we always appreciate recurring monthly donations, like the one that our very own esmemoria has set up. Thank you, esmemoria!

Another option for support: now that CBR is an official 501(c)(3), we can be a beneficiary of corporate donation matching incentives. If your employer is able to contribute matching funds and you'd like more info on how to turn your dollar into two, please contact us.
 



Volunteer Book Recommendation


 
 

Our volunteers are happy to share not only their time and expertise, but also their recommendations. Though Nart (our Goodreads wrangler) acknowledges it's a terrible title, she highly recommends Better at Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra. "If you love a good contemporary romance, you can’t go wrong with this one."

Sticking with an accidental wedding theme, book club maven Faintingviolet says "Jackie Lau's next trad pub (The Stand-up Groomsman) comes out next month and I thought it was great!"

 


Style Tip: Check Your Thumbnails

 



When you put a photo in your review, WordPress will make the first photo you upload the featured image automatically. If you only upload one photo, sometimes that doesn’t work as a featured image, so you can replace it or re-crop it so it works as a thumbnail. 

After you publish something, you can look at your author page and then you can see the featured image. If it’s cropped weirdly you can upload a new one. In the example above, Cat #2 is rudely cut off, but if you look at the review, you see the full picture.

(Editor's note: I learned something new, and I got an excuse to post more cat pictures! These Style Tips are so handy.)
 



Interested in an ARC?

 

Wyldwood, Tava Baird

Pajiban Tava Baird (not her Pajibanym), is offering to send a paperback copy of the first book in her series, Wyldwood, in exchange for an honest review. Set in Scotland in 1746, Wyldwood is part romance and part adventure with a supernatural secret. For fans of Outlander or Discovery of Witches. She will ship to up to 10 Cannonballers, open internationally. 

Vicious is My Middle Name, Kevin Dunn

With a partially-shaved head, purple Doc Marten boots, and the sinking realization that no one in a fifty-mile radius has ever heard of her favorite all-female punk band Lite Brite, 13-year-old Sydney Vicious Talcott wants to be anywhere but her new home of Beaver Dam, NC, especially when mean girl Brittany Winters treats her like the punch-line to every joke. But just as life begins to seem more tolerable with her two new book-nerd friends and a growing appreciation for the beauty of the Appalachian mountains, Sydney discovers that a shady corporation is planning to build an environmentally-damaging asphalt plant right next to the school. Her attempts to work through the system to stop the plant’s construction fail, so it’s up to Sydney to fight the corporation and their political lackeys the only way she can, using the do-it-yourself tools she has learned from punk rock. But before she can triumph, Sydney, her family, and friends must endure bullying, harassment, immigration raids, and more.

The Key to My Heart, Lia Louis (digital ARC)

Sparkly and charming Natalie Fincher has it all—a handsome new husband, a fixer-upper cottage of her dreams, and the opportunity to tour with the musical she’s spent years writing. But when her husband suddenly dies, all her hopes and dreams instantly disappear.

When someone begins to mysteriously leave the sheet music for her husband’s favorite songs at the station’s piano, Natalie begins to feel a sense of hope and excitement for the first time. As she investigates just who could be doing this, Natalie finds herself on an unexpected journey toward newfound love for herself, for life, and maybe, for a special someone.

To take advantage of one of these offers, please contact Emmalita
 



This Month's Fan Mail




NTE’s review of the adorably-named Baby Squeaks got an enthusiastic thank-you from author Anne Hunter in the comments.

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

A collection that never really comes together: Mobius_Walker's review of Time is a Mother

Sep 21, 2022 09:05 am
BINGO – Verse In this collection of poetry, Ocean Vuong, according to the summary on Goodreads, “Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it.” Here’s the thing, though. I didn’t experience any of that. The entire collection feels like Vuong had poems that he had lying around that hadn’t been published yet that sold as a meditation on grief, hoping no one would look too closely. “The […]
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Deeper Than Expected (And That’s Not a Dig at the Author): ASKReviews's review of Managing Expectations

Sep 21, 2022 07:24 am
Best for: Fans of well-written and insightful autobiographies of public figures. In a nutshell: Actress and author Driver shares the details of a few stories that provide the reader with real insight into her life. Worth quoting: I listened so didn’t take down any particular phrases, but there were definitely multiple times I had a strong positive reaction to something she shared. Why I chose it: On one level, I’m a bit of a fan in that I think she is fantastic in Grosse Pointe […]
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“We’re centaurs. We’re amazing.”: Nart's review of The Blacksmith Queen

Sep 20, 2022 10:57 pm
Your basic B material fantasy story. Plot: Keeley is a gentle giant who loves only family, animals, and her forge. Then the Old King, liked by no one, dies, and the whole country is thrown into turmoil as his sons fight for the crown. While the crown does technically pass by blood, there is also a coven of witches who sometimes announce the name of the new ruler. And in this case, the witches have named Keeley’s introverted sister Beatrice. A small gang of centaur […]
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“You have to be quiet when you’re eavesdropping. Otherwise it’s just a logistically difficult conversation.”: Nart's review of A Lady for a Duke

Sep 20, 2022 10:54 pm
Plot: Viola has had to make some very hard choices. Born a Viscount with oodles of money, land, and power, she nevertheless felt utterly miserable, until a near fatal injury on the battlefield in Waterloo gave her an opportunity to reinvent herself. Sure, she’s a penniless lady’s companion to her brother’s abrasive wife, but at least she gets to be herself. Also his wife (and her brother for that matter) is actually pretty wonderful and supportive and loving so all in all, not bad at all. Really, […]
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share on Twitter Like “You have to be quiet when you’re eavesdropping. Otherwise it’s just a logistically difficult conversation.”: Nart's review of A Lady for a Duke on Facebook

“In some ways, Richard’s argument about OxyContin mirrored the libertarian position of a firearms manufacturer who insists that he bears no responsibility for gun deaths. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”: RaRaGabor's review of Empire of Pain

Sep 20, 2022 12:39 pm
This is an absolutely fascinating work of family history, that just happens to also be a searing indictment of that family’s contribution to the opioid crisis. The first chunk of this book details the origins of the Sackler family. In some ways, it’s a truly American success story: the three brothers, Arthur, Mortimer, and Raymond, were the children of immigrants. All became doctors. The three brothers purchased a small pharmaceutical company in the early 1950’s (Purdue Pharma), which Mortimer and Raymond mostly ran while Arthur […]
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share on Twitter Like “In some ways, Richard’s argument about OxyContin mirrored the libertarian position of a firearms manufacturer who insists that he bears no responsibility for gun deaths. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”: RaRaGabor's review of Empire of Pain on Facebook


 

 


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