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Q&A with a Cannonballer: ElCicco up to bat

 

How many times have you participated in CBR?

I started with CBR4! So this is my 6th year, which is hard to believe. Time flies when you're reading. I used to see Pajiba posts in my FB feed and especially enjoyed the book reviews. I thought it would be good for me to write about the books I read because I'd seen an article about warding off dementia by keeping your brain active with reading and writing. So far so good!

Has being a participant changed the way you read? If so, how?

I think so. I've branched out more with genres. I read more sci-if and fantasy than I used to, and thanks to Cannonballers, I've been turned on to writers like Rainbow Rowell and classics like Three Men In a Boat.

See what else ElCicco has to say »


 

#CannonBookClub



On March 8, book clubbers came together to discuss Indra Das's The Devourers. Most of us didn't seem to love this one, but it led to some interesting discussion nonetheless. Up next: nonfiction. Voting will be April 12. Stay tuned!
 


 

Authors getting involved



Our fan mail page has been getting a workout lately, with authors commenting on reviews and responding on Twitter. In a new wrinkle, however, author Maria Murnane contacted MsWas about a review Classic wrote of a Sophia Kinsella book. Classic had given the book three stars and an eye roll, and Murnane wanted to send Classic an advanced reader copy (ARC) of one of her own works to see if she fared any better. The prolific Classic, however (89 reviews already), was already a fan of Murnane's and had read all of her works. Her gamble panned out: four stars!

You may have noticed CBR reviews with a disclaimer that the reader received an ARC in exchange for a review, which is not a guarantee that it'll be a favorable review. Goodreads and NetGalley have some information about becoming an ARC reader, if you're interested.

Interesting to find out that authors are not only checking up on our opinions about their books but scoping out the competition as well! It's all connected.
 



Reading can be #social



The Cannonball Read Instagram page is becoming more and more robust, thanks to creative efforts to include photos in so many reviews. There are featured photos and links and comments, so feel free to join in the conversation, visually or otherwise. If you need help adding a picture to a review, check out the handy-dandy FAQ

 
 

CBR Style Tips: indenting



Rules we learned as wee nerds are so hard to unlearn, aren't they? It took me eons before I fully embraced the single space between sentences; it just felt wrong. Another tough habit to break is indenting. What was once a hard and fast word processing rule is now a dinosaur, replaced by a space between paragraphs.

According to Practical Typography, "First-line indents and space between paragraphs have the same relationship as belts and suspenders. You only need one to get the job done. Using both is a mistake." So come, join us in rampantly neglecting our Tab keys, and leave the indenting to the typewriters.
 


 

Pick the five weirdest objects on your desk...



Which would be the most creative bookmarks? This Ask a Librarian post asks "What’s the most interesting, memorable, or just plain weird thing you’ve found in a library book?" I'm sure there are numerous used bookstore-devotees in the Cannon Fodder audience - what's the weirdest thing you've found (or left yourself) in a book? Let us know! #CannonballBookmark

 



Stuff We're Reading

When Nothing Else Matters: Jake's review of The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Mar 05, 2021 06:30 pm
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is fairly easy to describe: an alternate history mystery tale set in a Jewish colony in Alaska that’s about to be handed over to the United States. But it’s so much more. This book pays homage to the great hardboiled traditions of the past but has a big beating heart in the middle. And it also functions as a hilarious and sad commentary on Jewish life post-World War II. I’m aware of how acclaimed Michael Chabon is but I’ve not had much […]
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A romance trope hidden in a fantasy novel: Bothari43's review of Troubled Waters

Mar 05, 2021 03:47 pm
Sharon Shinn is always dependable. I know that doesn’t sound like high praise, but sometimes you just need something solid that you know you’ll enjoy, and this fit the bill. She’s got good characters, interesting (if sometimes a little unoriginal) plots, and happy endings (and terrible covers, good god!). Zoe lives with her father in a tiny town far from the capital city. Her father used to be advisor to the king, but after a disagreement and falling out, he was exiled and ran away […]
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Sheep trying to take control of things, tricksters, talking dogs and a few other things: BlackRaven's review of Aster and the Mixed-Up Magic

Mar 05, 2021 03:23 pm
Aster and the Mixed-Up Magic is a cute and fun graphic novel. However, it is definitely the sequel to Aster and the Accidental Magic. To help you understanding the pieces of this puzzle, you really should read the first book to understand the twists and turns of this section one. Thom Pico is continuing the misadventures of one gal named Aster. Forced to move to the middle of nowhere for her mother’s work, Aster learns that there is magic in dem darn hills…and dogs and […]
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Dresden’s very long list of things to do and the best quote, “Home is where you embrace the present and plan the future.  It’s where the books are.”: Dome'Loki's review of Peace Talks

Mar 05, 2021 12:04 pm
For the first time I’m going to attempt to work on my review while still reading the book.  Let’s see what happens! 2/23 : I haven’t touched a Dresden novel since the release of the previous volume in 2014, so before cracking open Peace Talks had to look up recaps for Skin Game and Cold Days to refresh my memory.  As it’s been several years, I had forgotten how quickly the stakes are introduced and Harry is thrown into the fire but this book seems to have […]
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“The craft of writing as the art of thinking”: dsbs42's review of Between the World and Me

Mar 05, 2021 11:30 am
I did not want to finish this book, because I knew I’d then have to write a review, and I don’t know if I can do Between the World and Me justice. This short National Book Award winner from 2015 by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a three-part letter to the author’s (then) 15-year-old son, Samori Coates. It was written shortly after the killer of Michael Brown was acquitted, inspired by his son’s reaction to the injustice, and is a Coates’s paean and lament about the truths […]
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Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Nerd
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