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February 2018


Q&A with a Cannonballer: mathildehoeg


How many times have you participated in CBR? Has it changed the way you read? 

I first participated in CBR6, so this would be my 4th Cannonball Read. I first signed up to motivate myself to get back into reading and my first year was a smashing success. The second and third year...we don't speak of those. Last year I almost made my goal of 52 books, but fell short by one because Christmas and travel and other terrible excuses - I did actually read the book, just never got round to reviewing it.

See what else mathildehoeg has to say »


Fan mail


Occasionally, our awesome internet presence is so far-reaching and astounding that even the authors themselves can't fail to notice us. Sometimes, they even write back to us, and there is much rejoicing. Sometimes it's a quick thank-you, sometimes it's an actual conversation, but it's always exciting. If you miss author fan mail on our various social medias, don't worry - we keep them all in our brag book.  

A celebrity(ish) in our midst

Since CBR is kind of a spin-off of Pajiba, it's pretty exciting that Dustin Rowles himself has crossed the streams to play with us. The self-described "Head Cheese" of Pajiba is playing in OUR sandbox now, mwwaahahahaaha! But seriously, folks...let's all be extra nice and welcoming, at least for a little while. Welcome, Mr. Rowles!  


It's almost here! The first #CannonBookClub of 2018 will be Friday, February 23, 2018, through Saturday, February 24. Participate on the main website or on Facebook, or both. There are official discussion questions and everything, as if you need another excuse to ponder this delightful book (and hopefully delightful movie). 

Any Facebook experts out there?

Cannonballer ardaigle has been running our Facebook page for a while now, but life (and real jobs and stuff) happens, so we're putting out the call for volunteers. It would require a few scheduled posts and reminders, and then a lot of creative leeway. Please let MsWas know if you're interested! 


Where in the world are our readers

Speaking of Cannonball volunteers, yesknopemaybe has been our Map Maven the last few years. We've got folks reviewing from all over the world! A list of all CBR10 readers is also available on the main site. If you don't see your name on the list or your dot on the map, let MsWas know. Interested in setting up a meet-up in your area? Float the idea on our Facebook page



Did you notice we had two free book giveaways already by February 1? Did you know there would be so many perks to being a Cannonballer? Watch for timely, fair reviews from those lucky enough to get in on the freebies, and watch for future emails from MsWas to get your chance at possibly helping to discover the next big thing, or your next favorite thing. 

CBR Style Tip: Top three items to include in your review

From MsWas, "Please, please, pleaase fill in these three things in every review." Her tips below are very important for organizing the site and making it easy to navigate. The easier people can find our reviews, the more readers we get! You can put them in if you're starting a review from scratch, or if you need to go back in and edit an existing post. If you're logged in to the site and looking at your review, there should be an "Edit Post" link at the top.

  1. Add your own title for the review: This is the field above all the book info when you're at Edit Post. Wordpress will put the link to your review on this text, so it's really important to fill it in so people can easily click on it. Read a few other reviews to get a hang of how it's done, and then pick something descriptive of your review. Get clickbait-y - you want people to read your writing!
  2. Add a category (genre): Wordpress categories are where we put book genres, and they are below the "update/publish" button in Edit Post. Just check off what applies - and also deselect "Uncategorized." It's a Wordpress thing, if your post is saved with no categories, Wordpress selects "Uncategorized" so please uncheck that. 
  3. Tag the author name: If all of the authors are tagged, then people can easily click one to find all the other books by that author. Come on, who wouldn't want to read all of Richard Kadrey's books after reading Sandman Slim? Tags are found right below Categories in Edit Post. Just type or paste in "Richard Kadrey" and click "Add." Then your review will be found with all the other reviews of Kadrey's books.
After you've gotten all of those details entered in, either "Update" or "Publish," and see your post listed with all of the other books by your author, or in the genre(s) you chose.

Stuff We're Reading

She had me at Dolly Parton.: chatelaine reviews Dumplin'

Feb 12, 2018 10:00 am
Dumplin’, whose real name is Willowdean, is a smart, kind, capable, funny, and fat (her term) 16-year-old in small-town Texas. Being sixteen is sucky enough, am I right?!, but the “fat” part causes even more trouble than one would expect for Dumplin’ since her mom is the local pageant queen-turned-pageant director, still living on her own pageant days, staying thin to fit in a 30-year-old dress. She was herself once Miss Teen Blue Bonnet and you better believe that’s a big effin’ deal in Clover City. Dumplin’ is pretty bad-ass — she takes her mom in stride for the most […]
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A marriage is more than your heart, it’s your life. And we are not sharing ours.: vel veeter reviews An American Marriage

Feb 12, 2018 07:51 am
I’m claiming my “I’ve been reading Tayari Jones for years” privilege here! So take that Oprah! I think this is likely her best book in the combination of importance, story and execution, and audience concern. Leaving Atlanta is very good, but it’s kind of devastating in a way that leaves you pretty raw and cut open by the end. Silver Sparrow and The Unnaming are both very good, but less so than this one. There’s a very real and very relevant story here. It’s that combination that makes it so good. Celestial and Roy are in love and married, after a flirty and passionate […]
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What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: vel veeter reviews What We Talk When We Talk About Love

Feb 12, 2018 07:37 am
I will never not make that joke. I will also always give Raymond Carver books 5/5 stars, by default. Here: Also here: Here too:   I wasn’t planning on rereading this collection, which I have read several times before, but I signed up for Scribd, which if you use Overdrive or Aubidle, you should definitely do. It’s a paid Overdrive with tons more options (likely) than your library has and nothing is ever checked out. Because I found the audiobook versions of these stories, I might well reread his whole career. Anyway, you either love Raymond Carver or you don’t. […]
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New England Gothic done right: Aquillia reviews We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Feb 12, 2018 05:58 am
I seem to be on a roll the past few years with my first read of the year being top notch. This year, I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson. It had cropped up a few times in my periphery, on book blogs and the like, and my interest was piqued. My goal for this year is to read more from my library instead of spending a fortune on books (finishing the PhD and only working part time means I’m poor as heck). I downloaded a sample from Amazon–and couldn’t stop reading. As the ebook was […]
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Ramona Blue & Freddie Floaties: Caitlin_D reviews Ramona Blue

Feb 11, 2018 11:33 pm
I was worried about this one since a big plot point is a young lesbian falling in love with her male friend and I wasn’t sure I’d appreciate sexuality being treated as a plot point. It seems like a lot of other people had similar fears and, instead of reading the book like I chose to, flooded Goodreads with 1 Star reviews out of spite. I hope some of these people decide to pick Ramona Blue up anyway because I think Murphy did an excellent job of navigating what could potentially be a tricky subject by steering the narrative towards a general coming […]
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Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Editor
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