Q&A with a Cannonballer: Ellesfena
How many times have you participated in CBR? Has it changed the way you read?
CBR11 will be my fourth go-round. My New Year's resolution in 2016 was to do more writing and I thought this would be a fun way to tackle that, and I was right! I finished a Cannonball in 8, 9, and 10, but this year I have a different resolution--well, two. I signed up for a half-Cannonball, because I want to work on the quality of my writing this year, instead of quantity. And my other resolution is to comment more--it's so fun to get comments on your reviews, and I'm ashamed to admit how often I skim past others' work because the book they reviewed doesn't catch my eye.
CBR has really changed the way I read. I am a huge fan of rereading, and before starting CBR I would say that at least half the books I read in a year were rereads. I do less of that now, because I've found that I prefer to review books that I've only read once or twice. I'm also a much more thoughtful reader. I never was the type to highlight passages or think too deeply about what I was reading, but reviewing books has encouraged a deeper reading experience. Now, I like to take a "brain vacation" once I finish my Cannonball and spend the rest of the year rereading.
It's not too late to register
CBR Tenth Anniversary a rousing success
All you wonderful readers and reviewers helped Cannonball Read donate $1,625 to the American Cancer Society
in 2018, bringing our total donations in AlabamaPink’s memory to $4,625. Well done, THANK YOU, and let's do it again this year!
If you'd still like to donate but aren't set for it financially, you can contribute time, effort, and/or expertise! If you're interested in volunteering
for Cannonball, drop us a line
and let us know your area of interest (social media, data compilation, whatever!).
Check out the wrap-up post on Pajiba to see the final standings and a review of CBR10 highlights.
One of the best parts of Cannonball Read is all the discussion and horizon-broadening that goes on in the book clubs. Stay tuned for more information, but the book club will definitely be reading Good Omens
later in the year, coinciding with the BBC show premiere (which is way too far away). If you want to read older discussion posts and see what kind of questions to consider as you're reading, check out the Book Club page
New for CBR11
Wordpress is easy to fool (zeroes in every field!) but for CBR11, you no longer have to figure out how. For CBR11, there's a button (default is Yes) that determines whether or not the post is a book review. The recent Book Exchange posts are a good example: if you posted a picture of the books you received, and a thank-you for the Cannonballer who sent them, that's not exactly a review, which confused Wordpress. Now, if you write a post that's not a book review, all you have to do is select No
to show that it's not a regular review post, but something that doesn't need to be counted toward your Leaderboard number
. For regular reviews, leave the button selected to "Yes."
Good reasons to get the word out
Cannonball Read is all over social media, and sometimes we even reach the authors we're writing about. To see if you can get an author shout out, follow us on whatever platform you're on (see the links at the bottom of this email), and tag @cannonballread and/or #cbr11 when you post your reviews. Also, make sure you update your profile
with your social media handle so we know how to follow you back.
When we hear back from an author (even CBR favorite Rainbow Rowell!!), it goes in the Fan Mail page
, and there is much rejoicing all over social media. But remember, be honest in your reviews. If you aren't sure if you should tag an author in a review or not, feel free to run it by MsWas and the Cannonball Crew
Cooking with Cannonballs
Books with recipes! Recipes inspired by books! Doesn't that just sound blissful? A new project for Cannonball Read 11 is the CBR Cookbook.
A Cannonball Read Community Cookbook
- Favorite snacks and beverages for reading
- Dishes inspired by books
- Favorite recipes
- Favorite recipes from cookbooks (with proper attribution and descriptions of how the submitter has personalized the recipe)
- Reviews of cookbooks
- Reviews of food related books
- In honor of our mission, recipes related to cancer - things you cooked for others or ate during treatment and recovery
If anything tickles your foodie fancy, share it with emmalita
, or check off the Cooking/Food
category in your review. We'll compile them throughout the year, and then do something fun with them later.
The Cannonball Read Book Bingo Reading Challenge
How much fun was #cbr10bingo last year? Newbies, the Book Bingo Reading Challenge
was a great way to stretch your reading muscles and get out of your comfort zone a little, with squares like "Not My Wheelhouse", "Award Winner", and "Cannonballer Says".
It's going to be back earlier this year, with all sorts of tweaks and improvements based on your feedback
. Bingo will start one month earlier and run July 1 to Oct 31. If these were awesome prizes
for the inaugural year, I can't wait to see what happens this year.
Jan 22, 2019 12:27 pm
Altered Carbon recently became a Netflix series, so I decided to do it the wrong way round – I watched and then read it. I know there’s more in the series, so I wanted to see if I liked the writing style so that I could explore further. In the world of Altered Carbon, people’s memories are stored in their “stacks”, in the back of their necks. People’s bodies are a “sleeve”, and those wealthy enough can rent sleeves, clone them, alter them, etc. Those who are poor don’t do so well – if they commit a crime, they might […]
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Jan 22, 2019 11:58 am
Dark Sacred Night is the first time Ballard and Bosch get together, but I’m not sure if they are greater together. At this point, Bosch is dealing with the ramifications of a previous case, where he met and became close to a drug addict who is haunted by her daughter’s death. Ballard is working solo for the whole book, as her partner is on leave. I’m not sure it would be possible to read this book out of sequence – knowing the background for both of these characters is pretty important. *Some spoilers – but not who the killer is!* […]
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Jan 21, 2019 11:01 pm
I follow a lot of authors on twitter. Every once in a while a bunch of writers will start talking about one book. A couple of months ago, that book was Jane Doe. Authors, all women but from several genres, were reveling in Jane’s darkness and her passion for revenge. Jane has diagnosed herself as a psychopath. She doesn’t feel emotions the way normal people feel them. It makes her good at business but bad at relationships, with one exception. Steven hurt the only person Jane cares about and now she is going to destroy him. It’s like Fatal Attraction, but […]
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Jan 21, 2019 10:32 pm
3.5 stars. At this point, my expectations for Jane Austen retellings are so very very low. There are about 2 that I can think of that I would recommend to anyone and considering I’ve read plenty? That’s not a great batting average. It’s like authors/publishers know fans will pick them up so they don’t feel like they have to try very hard. People LOVE Lizzie & Darcy so of course they’ll read. But in truth, you’re getting compared to one of the best writers of the last few centuries, so you should try harder. If an author manages to capture […]
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Jan 21, 2019 06:14 pm
I wanted to like this book. I haven’t seen the movie, but reviews of the film made it sound campy and fun. I’m usually too wimpy to watch thrillers but I do enjoy reading them, so I thought I’d try the book instead. I have never encountered a protagonist I found more off-putting than Stephanie. I know that the author was intending this to some extent, but the other narrative voices are not much better. I certainly don’t think that an unlikable narrator is such a bad thing, but to have three unlikable narrators – and to have two of […]
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Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")
The Cannonball Read Newsletter Editor
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