My first book for the Cannonball Read II is Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier. She also wrote The Girl with the Pearl Earring, which I read a few years ago and enjoyed. I was loaned this book, so I happened to have it on hand when CBR-II started on Sunday, which is why it's book #1.
So far, I'm not finding it terribly gripping, and am considering putting it aside. But I'm not ready to give up on it quite yet.
I do think that a secret to succeeding at the CBR (even just a Half Cannonball) is to make sure your reading list is full of engrossing books, so I'll have to think about that as I select books for this project.