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July 2019

MsWas's Message Corner
 

Greetings Cannonballers,

Hooray for Bingo! Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, and you all are so wonderfully careful about which squares you are selecting.  We did have two squares where our description wasn’t specific enough, so please see the note below about Classics and Remix.

We also have book club coming up next month, and I must admit that I don’t think I’ve ever read any original Sherlock Holmes stories. It’s hard to believe with all of the mystery series I usually read, so I’m psyched that you all selected A Study in Scarlet as our Classic. What I HAVE read - and highly recommend - is Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series. That starts with The Beekeeper's Apprentice, which was unbelievably published 25 years ago. I’ve seen a lot of great adaptation suggestions and reviews, so I don’t know if I’ll be rereading the Mary Russell series for the retelling discussion (Sept. 20-21) or moving on to a new one. What are you planning for your Holmes retelling?

Recently I also got back into reading science fiction/fantasy. Based on a LOT of wonderful reviews, I plowed through N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, which was just as worth it as you all have said. Now I’m reading the third book in the Wayfarers series, Record of a Spaceborn Few. Becky Chambers is such a great author. I’m really loving this series. Oh and in between, I tore through Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series. I do love a feisty heroine, and Veronica is sheer perfection. Looks like I need to wait till next year for book five, A Murderous Relation. Come on, authors - write faster! 

I hope you’re reading some great books whether you’re ensconced in front of your AC this summer or you’re reading on the beach.

Take care and Happy Reading!

MsWas



Q&A with a Cannonballer: Ale

 

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

This is my sixth year of cannonball and it's definitely changed how I read. I'm actually a much slower reader now since I'm reading to review instead of just to enjoy, but I was totally more prepared for close-reading during my MFA thanks to CBR. I also read much more widely now and am up for trying a book with a good review even if it's not a genre I'm normally into.


You’re an Adjunct in Creative Writing, which sounds awesome. Which is hardest to write: a one-star review, five-star review, or your own short story? 

Hands down my own short story. :) Reviewing other people's ideas is easy. Coming up with my own is tough!

 

See what else Ale has to say »


 

CBR Bingo

 


Bingo is underway, with reviews rolling in and reviewers desperately digging through their To Be Read piles to find things that fit categories. You've got until October 31 to complete your bingo card!

Note: Some of the categories have caused some confusion, especially about the Classics and Remix bingo squares. Each square's description mentioned the #CannonBookClub Classics and Retellings. However, the Classic square is only for a classic book, and the Remix square is only for a retelling/adaptation.

If you are crossing off these squares in conjunction with the #CannonBookClub Classics and Remix, then A Study in Scarlet would fit the Classic square; and something like Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca would fill the Remix square.

 If you already started a classic book for the Remix square, feel free to use the Reader's Choice free square. Any problems, drop Mswas a line!

We'll be running check-in posts again this year, to provide encouragement and more clarification if necessary. Look for the first one on August 1.
 

 

What counts for Cannonball

 
 
We occasionally get questions about 'what counts for Cannonball,' with readers asking about kids books, graphic novels, collections of short stories or essays, etc. If you've read something you want to write about and you're not sure if it's CBR appropriate, you have options:
  • Check the FAQ
  • Post your review and wait to see if we tease you in the comments ("wow, this sounds like a really in-depth cereal box!")
  • Ask MsWas

As a general rule, though, very few things are off limits! If you can read it and you can write at least 250 words about it, we want to hear about it.
 

 

#CannonBookClub

 


The #CannonBookClub will be discussing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet August 16-17, and then an adaptation/retelling of your choice September 20-21. As an added incentive, this introduction to Sherlock Holmes is free on Project Gutenberg. Look for the book club suggested discussion questions post soon, and check in on the book club page if you get antsy. 
 

Avoiding uncategorized entries

 


When posting a review, don't forget to select a category. This helps us with stats, and helps other readers find good stuff. How else is anyone supposed to track down a speculative fiction cookbook mystery? 

Also, if you hit Save or Preview and don't post your review right away, Wordpress will automatically select "uncategorized." When you go back in and publish your review, make sure that to not only select a category, but remember to DE-select "uncategorized." Don't let your review languish in uncategorized purgatory! Establishing boundaries and categories is a way to show your love - to the book itself and to your CBR compatriots and staff.  
 
 

Calling creative Cannonballers

 

Attention word people who are also visual arts people! CBR is looking for a graphic designer (and volunteer!) to create new T-shirt designs for Cannonball Read. The last T-shirt designs were CBR10-specific for the anniversary, but this time around we're aiming for something a little broader: a design about the love of books/reading that would appeal to our awesome constituency as well as Joe Reader out there on the interwebs. Feel free to 'sign' the piece and put in your portfolio! If you're interested, please let MsWas know
 
  

A happy book story


Libraries Without Borders: such a brilliant, simple, excellent concept. Bring the books to where kids are sitting and waiting, and encourage the magic to happen. Book corners are showing up in laundromats and barber shops, and new generations of readers are forming. We just wanted to share a bright spot, and who knows! This could be something to help support or start in your own communities. 

Stuff We're Reading

Back on my Bullshit: Professor Fluffy Kitten's review of Locked in Silence (Pelican Bay, book 1), Sanctuary Found (Pelican Bay, book 2), The Truth Within (Pelican Bay, book 3)

Feb 23, 2020 07:09 pm
This is usually the time of the year, where I suffer from major burnout, and this year is not that much different. That usually means that the only thing I can deal with is media that is relatively light and does not require me to pay too much attention. This often includes playing World of Warcraft, watching a lot of reality shows and reading romance books.  I managed to read this series in three days. While the books are not particularly deep and complex read, […]
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Welcome to the Treaty Stay at Gertrude Hunt: Malin's review of Sweep with Me

Feb 23, 2020 06:38 pm
Spoiler warning! This is the fifth story in the Innkeeper Chronicles series, and this review may contain spoilers for previous installments. If you want to start at the beginning, Clean Sweep is the first book. For Innkeepers, the biggest and most sacred holiday of the year is the Treaty Stay, which commemorates the ancient treaty between the first Inns, their intergalactic guests, and the agreement to keep humans safe and completely unaware of the presence of alien visits to Earth. During a Treaty Stay, Inns have to open the doors […]
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A pox on novella cliffhangers!: Bothari43's review of Binti: Home

Feb 23, 2020 06:13 pm
I listened to the first Binti story as an audio book without knowing that it wasn’t a full-length book, and then had looooots of road trip left when it was done. So I was prepared this time, but it still ended very abruptly and left me in the lurch! I like Binti a lot, though, and I am very interested to see how she gets out of this latest cliffhanger. Binti and her jellyfish alien friend Okwu have completed their first year at university, and […]
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Fake dating, friends to lovers and a hilarious game of pictionary: Malin's review of A Fake Girlfriend for Chinese New Year

Feb 23, 2020 06:02 pm
After the active interference of his parents and grandparents with the matchmaking extravaganza over Thanksgiving, Zack Wong is very worried that something similar will be repeated for Chinese New Year, especially since two of his brothers now have girlfriends, and the family seem determined that all four Wong children end up in happy couples. To make sure his family can’t meddle in his personal life a second time, he talks his good friend, Jo MacGregor, into posing as his fake girlfriend. They even go on a […]
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share on Twitter Like Fake dating, friends to lovers and a hilarious game of pictionary: Malin's review of A Fake Girlfriend for Chinese New Year on Facebook

“If you spy a naked man among the pines, you must run as if the Devil were after you.”: andtheIToldYouSos's review of The Bloody Chamber

Feb 23, 2020 05:55 pm
Never have truer words been spoken! This collection of short stories crept around my periphery for some time, and I am both overjoyed to have finally given in to it and disappointed in myself for not biting earlier. I came across it originally on a list of fairy-tale retellings on Autostraddle, and when it popped up again in the employee recommendations section of one of my favorite booksellers (Crow Bookshop in Burlington, what’s up!) I knew that it was meant to be. Still, it sat […]
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share on Twitter Like “If you spy a naked man among the pines, you must run as if the Devil were after you.”: andtheIToldYouSos's review of The Bloody Chamber on Facebook


 

Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Editor
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