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January 2020

MsWas's Message Corner

Greetings to all of our veteran and new Cannonballers, and all of our friends,

Happy New Year! I’m always excited for the beginning of a new CBR, and one of the reasons is that we get to read reviews from new participants. Don’t get me wrong, veteran Cannonballers are some of the best writers I know, and I’m continually impressed by their thoughtful, funny, and pointed reviews. But there’s nothing like reading CBR12 review #1 from someone new, someone who may have divulged how nervous they were to post the review, and realizing that this writer is a true gem. There may even be some kind of ratio as to how worried they are, compared to how excellent the review is. 

So for those of you who are just getting started, please continue on - you are excellent, and you are welcome. To those folks who have been here a while - remember posting your first review? How hard was it to click that “Publish” button? Remember that, and then take a minute to go take a look at some of those first reviews (check out the Leaderboard to find them), and send them some and encouragement. 

To all of you, please reach out to me with any questions or suggestions. I want to hear from you, I really do!

Take care and Happy Reading!

Bonnie (aka "MsWas")
 

 


Q&A with a Cannonballer: Beth Ellen

 

How long have you been helping out with the book club? What made you decide to become a CBR volunteer?

I started helping out with CBR in 2017? 2018? Ummm, yeah. My years have blurred tremendously. I decided to help out when MsWas asked because I love the community CBR has built. For the past year plus due to personal stuff I have taken a backseat, but it's wonderful to know everyone is still there. One of my goals for 2020 is to get back to reviewing/participating/volunteering. This year I read my requisite 52 books, but I just had to look up my number of reviews: 2. Ouch. Not my best showing. Thankfully! No one here judges when life gets in the way of fun and kicking cancer's *ss.

 

See what else Beth Ellen has to say »

 


#CannonBookClub

 


Way back in CBR7, we read Station Eleven for #CannonBookClub. In anticipation of Emily St. John Mandel's new book coming out this fall (The Glass Hotel - see Ale's review for a sneak peek), we're going to do a Station Eleven reread for the March book club, then we will read the new one later in the year. If you haven't read this post-apocalyptic treat, now's your chance! And if you already have, it'll be a perfect chance to revisit it. 

 



Website updates

 
 
 
What do you think of the new look? Mostly the changes are cosmetic (so pretty!), but there are some fun new features. You no longer have to tag the author for each review; that is now an automatic function. Our featured reviews of the week now appear on the homepage, and the FAQs are in a brand new set-up. To go along with these items, we have several new categories that are to only be used by MsWas and the admins. Several are at the bottom of the categories list, and begin with "Z-ADMIN-ONLY," but there's another important one we need to ask you NOT to use: the Feature category. This is for our featured reviews of the week. 

Thoughts/feedback/suggestions/questions? MsWas can point you in the right direction
 

 

Registration still open

 
 

If you haven't signed up yet for CBR12, you have until January 15. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, the servers at your favorite diner - the more the merrier! You get to read books and raise money to fight cancer - two great tastes that taste great together! 

And if you're new this year, welcome! Don't forget to check out our Merch page, the ever-helpful FAQ, and all the miscellaneous fun stuff like Fan Mail. If you'd like to join the crew of volunteers, we'd love to have you! Beth Ellen is part of a crack team of talented amateurs and eager professionals who help out for one specific event (like Book Bingo) or year-round (like social media). Have a talent you'd like to share? Let us know
 


Census 2020

 
 
Okay, this isn't book-related, but it's still important! The 2020 Census will be gearing up soon. This is the first year in history that you can fill it out online. Two of the most-missed groups of people are children under five and senior citizens. I know there are lots of Cannonballers with wee ones, and likely just as many with elderly parents. So, when you get your postcard, make sure you count everyone in your power to count, and encourage those who aren't in your household to fill out the census themselves.  
 

Stuff We're Reading

Morris is suffering from that affliction known as teetolalism.: vel veeter's review of Mr. Loverman

Jan 08, 2020 01:58 pm
This is a novel by the Booker Prize winning writer from this previous, whose winning book I have not read just yet, but am about to, but whose earlier book Girl With Blonde Roots I read last year and thought was very good. This book is also very good. We have two narrators, though it’s not an even split between. The book is about a 74 Antiguan-English man who is facing down old age, a very unhappy marriage, unhappily impending sobriety, and most importantly the prospect […]
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Let’s Talk About Death, Bay-Bee: andtheIToldYouSos's review of From Here to Eternity - Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

Jan 08, 2020 01:53 pm
Do you have a plan for what happens when you die? What do you want to happen to your mortal remains? My husband wants his ashes packed into a cannon and used to set off a controlled avalanche- preferably over a miniature village- so that he can “take something out with [him]” when he goes. I am not sold entirely on my end yet; I had an idea involving fireworks before I started reading this delightful book, but now the door has been opened to […]
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The book that reignited a genre: lowercasesee's review of Devil in the White City

Jan 08, 2020 12:57 pm
There was a time where it really felt like just everyone and their mother was reading this book and talking about this book. And there’s good reason – it’s absolutely fascinating  and Larson does an incredible job of making cold historical facts absolutely fascinating. I could be wrong, but the modern idea of narrative nonfiction really started here, carried through largely by Larson himself. Fifteen years later, the book doesn’t hold up quite as well as I remember. Larson leans hard into “this is all […]
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Oddly comforting book: BlackRaven's review of A Hug from Heaven

Jan 08, 2020 11:35 am
My cousin and I were texting a few days before the new year. She mentioned her youngest son was having issues dealing with the death of his father. Now, this is not unusual, but he passed a couple of years ago. You would think he would have been dealing with things then. But he is autistic and was young when his dad passed. Now he is starting to “mature” and realize the things that kids do about death, such as: Dad is not coming back […]
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Clinically proven? Maybe not just for me: BlackRaven's review of The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

Jan 08, 2020 11:31 am
I am not sure how to review The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams along with John Teasdale, Zindel V. Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn. I probably should back up and start with, I have not finished this book and I am assuming I might not finish it. I could not get past the fact that the introduction section is long. As well as repetitive and even a bit condescending at times. Had I started this book at the beginning […]
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Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Editor
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