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March 2020

MsWas's Message Corner

Hello CBR12 participants and friends of Cannonball Read,

Hope everyone is reading or re-reading Station Eleven for #CannonBookClub next week! It has been a far different experience reading it this time around, hasn’t it? Can't wait to hear what you all have to say about this lovely book. Remember you don’t have to be signed up for CBR12 to participate, everyone is welcome!

The other day, I chanced upon the latest in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, To the Land of Long Lost Friends, on the new book shelf at my library - what a treat! Some books’ publicaton dates are on my radar, like Deanna Raybourn’s A Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell #5) which just came out a couple of days ago, but some are a delightful surprise to find they’re available. I remember when Order of the Phoenix came out, our library’s computer system was down, so the hold list was out of commission. Finding that book just sitting there on the new book shelf was like finding hidden treasure. 

As far as other series, fingers crossed that Diana Gabaldon’s next book comes out this year, but we’ve all pretty much given up hope on George R. R. Martin, haven’t we? 

Take care and Happy Reading!
Bonnie (aka "MsWas")


Q&A with a Cannonballer: andtheIToldYouSos


How long have you been volunteering with CBR, and what is your area of expertise?

I just volunteered at the beginning of this year. My areas of expertise are mostly physical, if I am going to say that I'm an expert at all at anything, haha. I worked in theater for a long time - doing both props and set design- but it was a terribly stressful environment. For the last few years I have been teaching other adults behavioral and trauma informed interventions to help kids with neurological and emotional disabilities. Neither of those worlds really translate directly to CBR, so I kind of just waved my hand at MsWas with a "ooh ooh, pick me!" and now I'm wading my way through our Pinterest waters.


See what else andtheIToldYouSos has to say »




On March 20-21 (that's only 8 days away!), we’ll celebrate five years of #CannonBookClub and revisit our first book  – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. (We had no idea we’d be in the middle of a pandemic when we picked this reread as the choice for March!) Plus, this one led to a really interesting discussion back in the day.

#CannonBookClub will take place over two days on the group blog so folks from all time zones can jump in. If you're thirsty for even more discussion, you can also speak up in in the Cannonball Read Book Chat Facebook group. or our other social media. Whether you’ve read, reread, or even DNF, check out faintingviolet's suggested discussion topics, and plan to join us. All are welcome!


Where in the world are Cannonballers?

It's always fun to see where all our readers are and learn a little about them. Yesknopemaybe has once again provided us with a map of this year's Cannonballers on our CBR12 Participants page. All of this year's Cannonballers are listed there with a little bio - there's some sweet and funny stuff in there, just like in all of your reviews.

Want to see how this year compares to previous years? Check out our new participant map archive. You can also visit the final standings from previous years and see how everyone did over the years.



Helpful tips and tricks: Instagram


Have you been tapped for a featured review yet? When you are, MsWas will contact you for a CBR Instagram photo. A suggestion: submit a square photo. People tend to take vertical photos of books since that's pretty much the way books are shaped, but Instagram often cuts off the top and bottom of a photo if it's too vertical. 

Scroll back on our Instagram page and see pictures that worked and didn't work. As always, let us know if you have other questions.



Have you noticed all those little things at the bottom of your reviews, under your bio? Have you deciphered them all? If you need a hint, check out all the cool CBR badges you're racking up: yearly participation, level of achievement, and comments. To use narfna as an example, she joined Cannonball during CBR4 and hasn't missed a year since (rock star!), she's made more than 50 comments this year, and that adorable little cannonball shows that she's halfway to a full Cannonball. If you think your badges aren't reflecting your achievements properly, give us a shout

Fan mail

One of the most fun parts of Cannonball Read is when the authors notice a review. Usually they're happy about it and we hear about it on social media. This year, we've even been mentioned on an author podcast! You can keep track of who's mentioned us (it's not bragging, we just want to make sure everybody sees it - honest!) on our Fan Mail page. And don't forget to tag @cannonballread when you post so we can keep getting the word out!



Did you know that we have a Goodreads group with over 170 members? And this year, we'd like to make it into a space for more people to have broader discussions with a wider audience.

But don't let us tell you what this page should be. You tell us! What do you feel is missing from the conversation? How can we make our Goodreads page a better community space for you? Join Cannonball Readers and get in on the discussion about the future of the group.

Tell us what our Goodreads page should have. We'll do it. Pinky swear.  

Stuff We're Reading

Blonde Assassin: Jake's review of The Blonde

Nov 27, 2022 07:46 pm
The fun thing about this book is that few of the individual subplots work and yet, Anna Godbersen creates such a vivid re-imagination of Marilyn Monroe as a person that I really didn’t care. Monroe is often depicted—mostly by but not limited to men (looking at you, Joyce Carol Oates)—as a wide-eyed naifish mentally damaged sex doll. I have to imagine there is more to her life than going around speaking in innuendo and substance-induced rage but rarely have I seen this depicted. Blonde is the latest […]
Read More »
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I feel like a Jerk, but I didn’t like it: KimMiE"'s review of The Pleasure of My Company

Nov 27, 2022 04:53 pm
Steve Martin is a talented guy. He’s had a successful stand-up comedy and acting career since the 1970s; he’s written/co-written funny screenplays like The Jerk, Three Amigos, and L.A. Story; he’s published novels and written a Broadway musical; he’s an avid art collector and he plays a mean banjo; he’s won five Grammys, an Emmy, and a host of other awards. Throw in that stint performing magic on Main Street in Disneyland and you can say he’s lived a highly successful life. So, I feel kind […]
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Greek Myths: A Retelling: Classic's review of Greek Myths: A Retelling

Nov 27, 2022 02:02 pm
I thought this was so good. The cover was fantastic and I loved that as I read this one (I bought this in hardcover yesterday at a local bookstore) the cover sparkled. Higgins does a great job of following Greek myths through many of its famous women, but they are all linked by the loom and their weave depicting some of the terrible things the gods and goddesses have done. We start off with Gaia and Uranus and how their offspring where the Titans. And […]
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Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1): Classic's review of Six of Crows

Nov 27, 2022 01:29 pm
Original short review: DNF at 14 percent. After the first few pages there was just too much info dumping and names for me to even focus. I loved the idea behind some people who have special abilities, but think that there wasn’t a good build up and I still can’t tell you who anyone is after Anya. Longer review: Did Not Finish at 14 percent. I feel bad about this one. So many people recommended this book to me since they thought it be right […]
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The Haunting of Alejandra: Classic's review of The Haunting of Alejandra

Nov 27, 2022 01:23 pm
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. Well this book packed a punch. We follow 30 something year old Alejandra. Recently moved from Texas to Philadelphia with her husband and three children, she feels adrift. You initially think that maybe Alejandra is suffering from post-partum depression. However, the book quickly moves that something seems to be haunting Alejandra. Telling her that she’s a bad mother, that her children would be better off with her, and […]
Read More »
share on Twitter Like The Haunting of Alejandra: Classic's review of The Haunting of Alejandra on Facebook


Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Editor
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