Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Ellen_C

Ellen_C

Joined May 2016

review
Ellen_C
The Air You Breathe: A Novel | Frances de Pontes Peebles
post image
Pickpick

A story of friendship, jealousy and creativity against backdrop of political repression in Brasil 1930s/40s. Dores and Gracas are unlikely friends drawn together by circumstances & their love of music. Peebles shows us the slums of Rio and 1940s Hollywood as we see the girls fortunes rise and fall. https://cannonballread.com/2023/09/the-air-you-breathe-a-novel-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

1965 London, 007 is out of commission and N needs him to meet the Queen. Who ya gonna call? His sister Jane! Jane Bond is a lesbian whose drinking and womanizing could rival her brother‘s until she meets a beautiful secret agent. Silly fun. The bad guys are the Sons of Britain (SOBs) trying to restore Edward (and Wallis Simpson) to the throne. https://cannonballread.com/2023/08/kiss-the-girls-and-make-them-spy-an-original-...

review
Ellen_C
Peaces: A Novel | Helen Oyeyemi
post image
Pickpick

Strange but interesting, humorous tale of a train trip for honeymooners Xavier and Otto Shin. Only five people are on the train and they each have unusual pasts and surprising links to each other. A novel about breakups and “unfollowing” people. https://cannonballread.com/2023/08/peaces-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Thistlefoot | GennaRose Nethercott
post image
Pickpick

Combination of the history of pogroms vs. East European Jews and the fairy tale Baba Yaga. The Yaga siblings have inherited a house on chicken legs from their deceased great grandmother but a shadowy figure is intent on hunting it down and destroying it. Why? Themes: generational trauma, persecution, using fear to spur violence, importance of stories and remembering. https://cannonballread.com/2023/08/thistlefoot-a-novel-elcicco/

7 likes1 stack add
review
Ellen_C
Thistlefoot | GennaRose Nethercott
post image
Pickpick

Outstanding mix of history and fairytale. The Yaga siblings have inherited a house on chicken legs from their great-grandmother but a dangerous entity wants to find and destroy it. Combines the history of East Europe‘s pogroms with old folk tales. Themes: importance of stories and remembering. Brilliantly done. https://cannonballread.com/2023/08/thistlefoot-a-novel-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

Autobiographic graphic novel by a talented comic book artist who has struggled with depression and suicide since childhood. She depicts her various selves conversing about the book and about her past, and also shows the monster that constantly follows her and tries to drag her down. https://cannonballread.com/2023/08/its-lonely-at-the-centre-of-the-earth-an-auto...

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

It‘s a murder mystery, a treasure hunt, a vocab builder and has an important message about identity and self-definition. Shenanigan Swift wants to find the Swift family treasure but so do all the other Swifts in for the reunion. Will they all live up or down to their names? https://cannonballread.com/2023/08/the-swifts-a-dictionary-of-scoundrels-elcicco...

review
Ellen_C
The Complete Maus | Art Spiegelman
post image
Pickpick

It makes me sick that this important, brilliant graphic novel/history has been censored. Art Spiegelman writes/draws about his father‘s Holocaust experiences and about the complicated relationship between father and son. https://cannonballread.com/2023/07/maus-a-survivors-tale-vol-i-my-father-bleeds-...

sarahbarnes Agreed. Brilliant books. 8mo
15 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
Ellen_C
Her Right Foot | Dave Eggers
post image
Pickpick

Outstanding children‘s book full of facts about the Statue of Liberty and bright colorful art. Egges focuses on an important detail about the statue‘s right foot, lifting as if to step forward, and why that is important. Beautiful and moving https://cannonballread.com/2023/07/her-right-foot-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Beauty Is a Wound | Eka Kurniawan
post image
Pickpick

Novel that follows three generations in Indonesia & parallels its history from pre-war colonial time through WWII and the post-war era. Dewi Ayu is a beautiful prostitute with three gorgeous daughters and a 4th named Beauty who is hideous. the beauties, like Indonesia itself, are coveted, raped and abused. Fascinating mix of history, magical realism, myth and even humor. https://cannonballread.com/2023/07/beauty-is-a-wound-a-novel-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
The Deep | Rivers Solomon
post image
Pickpick

Fantasy inspired by a rap song. The wajinru are sea dwelling people whose origins are human — from pregnant enslaved women thrown from ships to die in the ocean. Their past is tragic and traumatic, and the only one who knows it all is the historian, Yetu, but the burden/gift of knowing their history might be killing her. https://cannonballread.com/2023/06/the-deep-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

Historical fiction about Lucrezia de‘Medici, Duchess of Ferrara, dead at 16, perhaps by her husband‘s hand? O‘Farrell imagines the life of this real young woman and maintains a high level of suspense in the narrative. https://cannonballread.com/2023/05/the-marriage-portrait-a-novel-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Lone Women: A Novel | Victor LaValle
post image
Pickpick

Short novel that incorporates horror on 2 levels: traditional monsters and abusive power structures. Adelaide in 1915 heads to Montana to farm a claim on her own but the past follows her. Interesting historical facts, strong female characters and suspense! https://cannonballread.com/2023/05/lone-women-a-novel-elcicco/

SamAnne Can't wait to get to this one. 9mo
8 likes1 comment
review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

TW for eating disorders, abuse, grief. Tale of 3 adult sisters, victims of childhood trauma, dealing with the incarceration of the eldest and what happens to her two teen daughters. Each woman must confront her own trauma in order to move forward and help the next generation. https://cannonballread.com/2023/05/the-care-and-feeding-of-ravenously-hungry-gir...

14 likes1 stack add
review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

This novel, beautifully written with fascinating characters, is both a short history of the Soviet Union and an homage to the film Casablanca. https://cannonballread.com/2023/05/a-gentleman-in-moscow-a-novel-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
A Hat Full of Sky | Terry Pratchett
post image
Pickpick

Delightful 2nd book in the Tiffany Aching series. Tiffany becomes a witch‘s apprentice but is being stalked by a demon called a “hiver.” She‘ll need the help of the wee free men and her own inner strength to survive. As usual, Pratchett deals with matters of death and how to live with humor and beauty. https://cannonballread.com/2023/04/a-hat-full-of-sky-a-tiffany-aching-adventure-...

review
Ellen_C
Bea Wolf | Zach Weinersmith
post image
Pickpick

Loved this graphic novel children‘s take on Beowulf. Great illustrations and hilarious text that is quite faithful to the original. Set in suburbia, the kids battle a fun killer named Mr. Grindle. https://cannonballread.com/2023/03/bea-wolf-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

Short, dark novel by Colombian writer Tomas Gonzalez. J and Elena leave the city for life on an island but their relationship and the farm they own spiral downward. https://cannonballread.com/2023/03/in-the-beginning-was-the-sea-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
WHEN WE WERE SISTERS | Fatimah Asghar
post image
Pickpick

A novel about orphans that focuses on their grief. Kausar and her sisters have lost their mother to illness, their father to murder. Now Uncle has taken them in but he really leaves them alone most of the time. Kausar‘s sorrow and anger run through the story and her life. https://cannonballread.com/2023/03/when-we-were-sisters-a-novel-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
The Toll | Neal Shusterman
post image
Pickpick

Excellent end to the 3-book series. The world order is crumbling with the dictatorial Scythe Goddard poised to rule all. Rowan has been turned into a scapegoat and Anastasia is trying to stay alive and expose the truth while Scythe Faraday searches for the world‘s “reset button” and Greyson uses his ability to communicate with the Thunderhead to try to save humanity. https://cannonballread.com/2023/03/the-toll-arc-of-a-scythe-book-3-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Thunderhead | Neal Shusterman
post image
Pickpick

Outstanding 2nd book in the Arc of a scythe series. Rowan has gone rogue, Cittra is Scythe Anastasia and the object of a death threat. The Thunderhead senses some awful shift coming, centered on the scythes and that Anastasia is in trouble but also the key to salvation. Interesting new characters plus fascinating biblical imagery. https://cannonballread.com/2023/03/thunderhead-arc-of-a-scythe-book-2-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Stolen | Ann-Heln Laestadius
post image
Pickpick

Dark story about the reality of the Sami reindeer herders in Sweden. 9-year-old Elsa sees a man killing her calf. Local authorities do nothing to stop the killings, and adult Elsa‘s anger will push her toward action of her own. https://cannonballread.com/2023/02/stolen-a-novel-elcicco/

SamAnne Can't wait to get my hands on this one! 12mo
11 likes1 comment
review
Ellen_C
Black Was the Ink | Michelle Coles
post image
Pickpick

Outstanding YA novel that will teach you what you never learned about the Reconstruction period in the US. Malcom is a modern teen in DC sent to the family farm in Mississippi for the summer. There he will discover the power of his family and his people‘s history and be transformed by it. https://cannonballread.com/2023/02/black-was-the-ink-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
North and South: Easyread Edition | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
post image
Pickpick

1850s novel set in industrialized northern England, a combo of romance and exposure of social injustices. https://cannonballread.com/2023/02/north-and-south-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Hostage | Guy Delisle
post image
Pickpick

Gripping true story of the abduction of a Frenchman working for an NGO in Chechnya in 1997. This graphic biography is based on the writer/illustrator‘s interviews with Christophe Andre as he takes us through his 3 months in captivity and eventual liberation. https://cannonballread.com/2023/01/hostage-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
The Governess Affair | Courtney Milan
post image
Pickpick

I don‘t read a lot of romance but I have heard of Milan and when I asked some fellow book lovers where to start with her books, they suggested this novella. I was impressed with the character development and the obstacle at the root of the story. https://cannonballread.com/2023/01/the-governess-affair-a-novella-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Breaking Stalin's Nose | Eugene Yelchin
post image
Pickpick

Outstanding juvenile fiction about the Stalinist purges from the point of view of a 10-year-old who in the course of 24 hours, has his entire life and every belief he held turned upside down. https://cannonballread.com/2023/01/breaking-stalins-nose-elcicco/

12 likes1 stack add
review
Ellen_C
Thursday Murder Club | Richard Osman
post image
Pickpick

Fun and clever murder mystery set in a retirement community and featuring four septuagenarians who may be slowing down physically but whose mental acuity (and connections) are unparalleled. https://cannonballread.com/2023/01/the-thursday-murder-club-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Dolores Claiborne | Stephen King
post image
Pickpick

This is only my 2nd Stephen King novel but I feel like he does a wonderful job writing women characters. This book is written as a confession by a murderer, Dolores, who admits to killing her husband as part of her explanation for why she is not responsible for murdering her employer. This is a psychological thriller with a little horror added. https://cannonballread.com/2019/08/carrie-elcicco/

Ellen_C Whoops! Wrong link! Here is the link to the Dolores Claiborne review: https://cannonballread.com/2023/01/dolores-claiborne-a-novel-elcicco/ 13mo
15 likes1 comment
review
Ellen_C
The Art of Insanity | Christine Webb
post image
Pickpick

The author of this YA novel has personal experience of bipolar disorder and has created an outstanding YA novel about mental health issues. Natalie wants to hide her diagnosis and power through her illness but it isn‘t that easy, especially when her secret gets out. https://cannonballread.com/2023/01/the-art-of-insanity-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
The Wee Free Men | Terry Pratchett
post image
Pickpick

I love the strong female characters, the rowdy Mac Nac Feegle, the 9-year-old witch boss driven by righteous anger, the wild and hilarious adventures. This is the start to a series I am excited to continue. https://cannonballread.com/2023/01/the-wee-free-men-a-tiffany-aching-adventure-e...

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

A delightful collection of short stories that hit the spot if you enjoy Regency romance, Austen and Bridgerton. Nothing but happy endings, no harsh realities to spoil the fun. https://cannonballread.com/2023/01/snowdrift-and-other-stories-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
American Gods | Neil Gaiman
post image
Pickpick

What happens to the old gods when believers move to a new land? Shadow Moon has just been released from prison; his wife is dead and his job is gone but a charming stranger Mr. Wednesday offers him work as his driver and assistant. Wednesday is trying to organize the old gods in a war versus the new in a battle for their survival. https://cannonballread.com/2022/12/american-gods-authors-preferred-text-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Scythe | Neal Shusterman
post image
Pickpick

Great start to a dystopian YA trilogy. Disease, death & all bad things are over, it‘s a “perfect world” but people still need to die, hence the role of the scythe. Teens Cittra & Rowan are chosen to apprentice to Scythe Faraday, and they soon see the corruption in the system. https://cannonballread.com/2022/11/scythe-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida | Shehan Karunatilaka
post image
Pickpick

WOW!! Excellent novel about Sri Lanka in the 1980s and the Afterlife, both of which are filled with warring factions and violence. Surprising funny in parts but also quite thrilling https://cannonballread.com/2022/11/the-seven-moons-of-maali-almeida-a-novel-elci...

review
Ellen_C
Half Sick of Shadows | Laura Sebastian
post image
Pickpick

Brilliant re-imagining of Camelot/Arthurian Legend from perspective of Elaine Astolat. https://cannonballread.com/2022/11/half-sick-of-shadows-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
O Caledonia | Elspeth Barker
post image
Pickpick

Quirky, sort of funny, sort of dark novel about a girl living in a castle in 1950s Scotland. Janet, 16, has just been murdered but this isn‘t a whodunnit as much as a who was she, this Janet? Turns out she was moody, aloof, sensitive, bookish, sometimes cruel and sometimes selfless. https://cannonballread.com/2022/10/o-caledonia-a-novel-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
post image
Pickpick

A 20th century, multi-generational saga of a Korean family in Japan. Fascinating info about discrimination, WWII and aftermath, and the different ways members of one family got along (or didn‘t) amongst themselves and amongst the Japanese. https://cannonballread.com/2022/10/pachinko-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

Great memoir for kids about writer/artist Yelchin‘s childhood in Leningrad. He is trying to figure out his talent and get answers about the past but it makes everyone nervous. https://cannonballread.com/2022/10/the-genius-under-the-table-growing-up-behind-...

review
Ellen_C
The Wolf and the Watchman | Niklas Natt och Dag
post image
Pickpick

This mystery is full of gruesome violence but the story fascinated me and the history parts of it are excellent. 1793 Stockholm: a limbless, blinded body is fished out of the water. City watchman Cardell and investigator Winge have to race time to discover the victim‘s identity and the perpetrator. https://cannonballread.com/2022/10/the-wolf-and-the-watchman-1793-a-novel-elcicc...

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

Beautiful story about unconventional families and seeing the beauty and magic of the ordinary. Linus is a case manager working with magical children. A secret mission to a remote orphanage leads to surprising changes. https://cannonballread.com/2022/10/the-house-in-the-cerulean-sea-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

Brilliant novella about class and trauma in WWI. Capt Chris Baldry‘s amnesia makes him forget the last 15 years of his life, including his marriage. Instead he remembers a woman he used to know. https://cannonballread.com/2022/10/the-return-of-the-soldier-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Holidays on Ice | David Sedaris
post image
Pickpick

collection of Sedaris‘ hilarious essays some autobiographical, some fictional, all related to holidays. I recommend getting an audio version because the author‘s delivery is exquisite. https://cannonballread.com/2022/10/holidays-on-ice-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
Batman - the Killing Joke | Alan Moore, Brian Bolland
post image
Pickpick

Must read for Batman/Joker fans. Moore pretty much creates the Joker origin story here, although the end of this story, which I find fascinating, has not found its way into any of the movies (at least I don‘t think so). That is a shame. https://cannonballread.com/2022/10/batman-the-killing-joke-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
The Eloquent Scribe | T. Lee Harris
post image
Pickpick

Fun mystery series set in ancient Egypt. Sitehuti is a junior scribe in the capital, Neffi is the sacred temple cat at the Temple of Bastet. Neffi is ill tempered but his like for Sitehuti leads the high priest and crown prince to turn to Sitehuti for help when murders and missing documents point to a threat to the crown. https://cannonballread.com/2022/09/the-eloquent-scribe-the-sitehuti-and-nefer-dj...

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

Charming story about a little mouse with a big heart. Children‘s lit, themes related to being an outsider, grief and forgiveness. https://cannonballread.com/2022/09/the-tale-of-despereaux-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

Fun start to a series about two friends who end up in the School for Good and Evil but not on the same side. https://cannonballread.com/2022/09/the-school-for-good-and-evil-book-1-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
post image
Pickpick

Fascinating look at people — some you‘ve heard of, some you haven‘t — and phenomena that have “passed.” Rocca and Greenberg will tell you things you never knew about well known people and introduce you to folks you ought to know about but who get left out of history books. https://cannonballread.com/2022/09/mobituaries-great-lives-worth-reliving-elcicc...

review
Ellen_C
We Need New Names: A Novel | NoViolet Bulawayo
post image
Pickpick

Sobering account of the immigrant experience https://cannonballread.com/2022/09/we-need-new-names-elcicco/

review
Ellen_C
post image
Mehso-so

This final book in the series was a let down. I was ok with how the ultimate mystery at the heart of the story resolved, but the relationships amongst the main characters was really poorly done, IMO. I don‘t require happy endings as long as they make sense. https://cannonballread.com/2022/09/the-storm-of-echoes-the-mirror-visitor-book-4...