There are so monthly boxes you can sign up for these days. I waffle constantly between ordering LootCrate. Or AnimeCrate. I recently heard about Art Box, where you get sent different art supplies each month. There’s Sephora’s monthly makeup box which competes with Birchbox which competes with Ipsy. Most of the time I look at these monthly boxes as an unnecessary expense; something I desperately desire, but am too cheap to actually spend the money on.
But there is one I decided to splurge on. So, what made me finally break and subscribe to some silly monthly mail service?
My now favorite box I get each month comes from the Book of the Month club (although in all honesty, it’s usually more likely to be the Books of the Month club). But why did I cave? Every year, usually about this time, I read about ten or twenty lists telling me what the fifteen best books of the whole entire year were. And every year, about this time, I make an impressively long list of all the books I’m definitely, totally, absolutely going to read next year.
And it never really happens.
But… with my new subscription service, I get these new books that everyone is talking about as soon as they drop (or at least, relatively soon after they drop). I get to participate in the discussion, not just listen to it. (At least, that’s the hope, since I’ve only been a member for two months now.)
Having said that, one of the great things about this service (I mean, other than that they send you brand new books for a huge discount each month if you’re an impatient and lazy reader like myself) is that you can always choose books from previous months. So if there’s a book that everyone won’t shut up about but it isn’t in this month’s featured box? Pick it up anyway! That’s what I did. My first box (for the month of November) had two picks from September’s choices and only one from November’s.
So what books did I get last month and how did I like them? Let’s take a look.
- Artemis by Andy Weir
- Jazz Bashara has spent her entire life living on the moon, in its sole city of Artemis. Jazz is brilliant young woman, but has not spent her life making brilliant decisions. Disdaining the drudgery of traditional hard work, Jazz gets by through more… illicit activities. Smuggling! And everything is going fine until the day when it isn’t. Caught up in a beaurocratic conspiracy that deals in murder, Jazz struggles to save her own life, but the freedom of her city as well.
- Sourdough by Robin Sloan
- Lois is a young programmer new to San Francisco and all the devastatingly boring and difficult work it provides. She finds salvation in two brothers who deliver the best spicy soup and sourdough bread she’s ever eaten. When they have to leave the country, they gift her some of their special sourdough starter, and Lois begins baking… with some very suspiciously spectacular results.
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (the book that everyone won’t stop talking about)
- Mia and Pearl have just moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio (read: Stepford, Connecticut). Everything in Shaker Heights is just so, and enigmatic Mia, renting her townhouse from perfect, rule following Elena, just does not fit the picture. Set in the early ’90s, this book plays out across multiple families as they all struggle to raise their children. Conflict ensues with the dispute over an adopted baby girl, and Elena viciously digs into Mia’s past, not realizing the ripples she sends out will affect not only Mia’s family but her own as well.
I enjoyed all three of these books, but Sourdough was probably my favorite. I was expecting to enjoy Artemis (and I did, so no real surprise there), but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Little Fires Everywhere quite as much as I did. Admittedly, I think it starts out a little slow, but once it gets going – boy does it move! I thought it ended well, but I wouldn’t be surprised (or disappointed) if Ng put out a sequel. I would love to spend more time with Mia and Pearl.
December’s choices were posted on the first of the month, and I’ve already picked my three (and let’s be honest, I’ll have probably read all of them within two weeks of my delivery). I chose:
- The English Wife by Lauren Willig
- A murder mystery set in the Gilded Age, split between the perspective of the murdered husband and his sister, who struggles to find the missing wife and the truth. Historical murder mystery? I am so in!
- The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
- Focuses on a young woman in Egypt in the 1800s who accidentally finds herself in league with a djinn, on the run from demons, and trying to not die in the magical city she’s accidentally magiked herself into. The only thing that would make this book more designed for me is if it was set in 1800 BC.
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- Eleanor Oliphant might not be completely fine, but you did not hear that from her. The title alone reminded me so much of Where’d You Go, Bernadette that I felt compelled to pick it up. We’ll have to wait and see how (if) it ends up being funny.
If you’re already a member or you decide to join up, leave a comment! Let me know what you decide to read!
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