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August 2019

MsWas's Message Corner

Greetings Cannonballers,

A big CBR congratulations to ingres77, who became the father of a little girl this spring! He surfaced out of baby-land recently to crunch some numbers and compile a stats post for us, and I'm so grateful he found the time. I'm not sure I could have counted anything with a 4-month old around except numbers of diapers. Check out the post to find out what books and authors have been the most popular this year, and who is crushing it in review count.

In other CBR news, Bingo is going strong as well, with over 250 reviews tagged with #cbr11bingo so far. I hope you're having fun with it, and it's never too late to join in and cross off a few squares. And we are gearing up for the first half of our Classics and Retellings #CannonBookClub on Friday. This is the first time I had ever read A Study in Scarlet, so I'm interested to hear what you all think.

I also lucked into a FABULOUS Holmes retelling on my library's new book shelf, that coincidently Leedock had just posted a review of the day before: The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall. What retelling are you planning to read? I know a lot of you love Sherry Thomas' A Study in Scarlet Women, and Sherry Thomas loves CBR too! She tweeted thanks to us for our recent feature of ElCicco's review. Hearing from authors one of my favorite things about CBR, besides all of you of course, so check out the CBR Fan Mail page to see who else has mentioned us.

Hope to “see” you all this Friday in our chat about the first appearance of the great detective and his trusty sidekick on the group blog and in the Facebook group.

Take care and Happy Reading!


Q&A with a Cannonballer: sistercoyote


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

So it looks like, from my profile page, I've participated in seven CBRs. Several of those years, though, I know I didn't meet my goal (I usually go for a quarter Cannonball and anything beyond that is gravy) and I think there was one year I signed up and then didn't do any reviews. I think that may have been the Year of Bad Health, so I'll try not to judge myself too hard.

It's difficult to say it's changed the way I read; I do tend to highlight more (in Kindle books, anyway) so that I don't forget things I want to include as pull quotes in my reviews. I'm certainly more aware of who I'm reading than I used to be, but I've never been super discriminating in my literary tastes.

I think the biggest difference in my reading between when I started and now is I'm more willing to stop reading a book that doesn't hold my interest rather than slogging my way through. Life's too short!


See what else sistercoyote has to say »


CBR Bingo


The Cannonball Read 11 Book Bingo Reading Challenge has been going for a month, and 43 of you have already written more than 250 reviews. Some books were great, and some not so much. For deets on the leaderboard, the prize drawing, joining the hive mind, and more, the first check-in post is available. 

And congratulations to Classic, the first to black out their bingo card!



The A Study in Scarlet #CannonBookClub is almost here! We'll discuss the original Sherlock Holmes tale 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. There are lots of reviews out there already under the Sherlock Holmes tag, and the suggested discussion topics are available now as well.


Back to school shopping

If you're shopping for school supplies on Amazon, don't forget to use our affiliate link! It doesn't have to be back to school shopping, of course. It can be 'I don't feel like leaving the house but I need socks' shopping, or 'holy shit Mother's Day was three months ago' shopping, or 'buying rude things to mess up your nemesis's birthday' shopping. It doesn't even have to be shopping - there are lots of ways to donate and help raise money to kick cancer's butt! 

New merch!


Did you know you can be stylish, literary, and let people know you are sticking it to cancer, all at the same time? We have new designs, designed by our very own Lisa Bee! The t-shirttote bag, and water bottle with the spiffy new design are up for raffle prizes for bingo, so keep those reviews coming! 


It's never too late for a first review

We've all been there: we procrastinated, and now that first, or fourteenth, or fortieth review is just looming on our to-do list. It's never too late! Your fellow Cannonballers appreciate the review no matter when it comes, and any level of participation is welcome. Sometimes, the perfect book comes along and provides the inspiration for a great review, however belated. Keep reading, keep writing, keep Cannonballing - at whatever speed is comfortable for you!

Statistically speaking


Ingres77 took time out from new parenthood (congratulations!!!) and teaching himself to code (you are mental and/or a rock star!) to bring us some stat goodness. The historical data is impressive - you guys have written almost 33,000 reviews since the inception of Cannonball Read! Thanks to ingres77 for doing all the complicated stuff with numbers and coding, and thanks to all the rest of you for working all your magic with the words.

CBR on Pinterest

Are you looking for even more ways to connect and Cannonball? Then good news! We're now on Pinterest. Follow us at to check out our Library Love, Book Club, Reading and CBR Review Boards and more. If you're interested in helping out the CBR volunteers as we pin our heart on our sleeves, please contact Mswas.

Helpful tip: Uploading images

We gave advice in June that if you're having trouble uploading an image, make it smaller and then re-upload. But for some people, that still doesn't work. Next step? Rename your image after resizing it, then re-upload. MsWas' theory is that the Wordpress database "remembers" the filenames of the failed images, and then they fail again, even if resized. If that still doesn't work, drop MsWas a line.

Stuff We're Reading

The graphic of the graphic novel: BlackRaven's review of Stitches: A Memoir

Aug 12, 2019 10:59 am
Stiches was part of my looking at the library shelves and coming home with three books. I lied when I had said I narrowed down the books from five, it was narrowed it down from seven. I had my eye on Watchmen and V is for Vendetta as well but when I saw a book by David Small (an illustrator I knew from children’s books) I figured, let’s go with that instead. Plus, the odd shape and the crazy zombies on the front just “spoke” to me. I am glad that I found Stiches now and not ten years ago […]
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Bon Appetit!: BlackRaven's review of Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child

Aug 12, 2019 10:33 am
Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland was a book I noticed in our sale section. I was looking for books to donate to my local library as an “In Memory” gift for a coworker from our sister store. She liked children’s books and had done a few reviews for cookbooks as well, therefore, I thought this was a perfect combination. I had known two things about Julia Child’s before this book: One she loved to cook (more butter the better) and she had been a spy in World War Two. This book starts with telling you a […]
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Sometimes you find a poem, sometimes it finds you: BlackRaven's review of Daniel Finds a Poem

Aug 12, 2019 10:22 am
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer is almost a poem itself. It has some great illustrations that pop off the page. The colors (especially on the very last page) tell the story boldly. The idea of what a poem is more modern, flowery and more based in nature. While any age can have it read to them, due to the fact Daniel’s story is just his adventure to find what a poem is, the older child might appreciate the fact that a poem can be found any place and can include anything. The animal friends of Daniel know what […]
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But the fire is so delightful: BlackRaven's review of Some Snow Is…

Aug 12, 2019 10:13 am
Due in November, Some Snow Is… has lyrical text about snow: the types of snow (the early snow, the snow days, the going away snow), when it snows (the early snow at the start where not sure if it is snow or rain and the end of snow when the whispers of bikes start calling your name), what not to do with snow (watch out for the yellow stuff) and the feelings and thoughts we have about snow (the cozy snow day, the grumbles of dad shoveling) plus things you can do with it (forts, sledding, snow angels, snowmen). It […]
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The bond between soldier and dog: BlackRaven's review of Dogs of War

Aug 12, 2019 10:07 am
There is always a story to how you found a book. Sometimes it is epic. And sometimes, you go into a library to donate a book in the memory of a former coworker, ask the librarian where the adult graphic novels are, then go into the young adult section and even though you work in a bookstore, you leave with three books (down from five since you know you can come back). Dogs of War was one of those three. A graphic novel about dogs of war? That seemed like an interesting task to take on. After all, how do […]
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When a Princess, a Knight and a Queen decide to fight a Dragon….: BlackRaven's review of Princess Scallywag and the Brave, Brave Knight

Aug 12, 2019 09:11 am
Princess Scallywag and the Brave, Brave Knight has an interesting twist ending. While you have a good idea that the Brave, Brave Knight is not going to be your stereotypical knight in shining armor, you probably will not see the real identity of said knight coming. Mark Sperring has made a modern fairytale with a very special kind of “damsel in distress.” Or more likely one that causes distress! Same as Claire Powell knows how to create some fantastically silly, fun and amazing illustrations. We see the lovely fashion sense that knight has. We see how they happily skip along the drawbridge […]
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Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Editor
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