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Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53

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Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53 Box

Powell’s Books Indiespensable is a book subscription box that ships every 6 weeks. So many readers recommended this box that I had to sign up!

FYI – this subscription is currently sold out, but they open it up every month or so. (If you want an email alert when the waitlist opens, you can sign up for theMSA Powell’s Indiespensable waitlist email).

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53 Items

The Subscription Box: Powell’s Books Indiespensable

The Cost: $39.95 a shipment (every 6 weeks)

The Products: Exclusive books and extras

Ships to: Worldwide

Check out all of my Powell’s Indiespensable reviews!

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53 Booklet

The box comes with a little booklet that details the items in the box, why they were chosen, and includes additional exclusives, like an interview with author Vendela Vida:

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53 Info

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53 Author

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53 Book

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida – (Retail Value of Hardcover book $25.99)

I listed the retail value of the hard cover copy, but since this book includes a book sleeve and is a signed first copy, I think it is safe to say the value is higher. (Since this is an exclusive for subscribers, I don’t have a completely accurate price to list).

Book Summary from Amazon:

From the acclaimed author of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The Lovers comes a taut, spellbinding literary thriller that probes the essence and malleability of identity.

In Vendela Vida’s taut and mesmerizing novel of ideas, a woman travels to Casablanca, Morocco, on mysterious business. While checking into her hotel, the woman is robbed of her wallet and passport—all of her money and identification. Though the police investigate, the woman senses an undercurrent of complicity between the hotel staff and the authorities—she knows she’ll never recover her possessions. Stripped of her identity, she feels burdened by the crime yet strangely liberated by her sudden freedom to be anyone she chooses.

A chance encounter with a movie producer leads to a job posing as a stand-in for a well-known film star. The star reels her in deeper, though, and soon she’s inhabiting the actress’s skin off set, too—going deeper into the Casablancan night and further from herself. And so continues a strange and breathtaking journey full of unexpected turns, an adventure in which the woman finds herself moving further and further away from the person she once was.

Told with vibrant, lush detail and a wicked sense of humor, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty is part literary mystery, part psychological thriller—an unforgettable novel that explores free will, power, and a woman’s right to choose not her past, perhaps not her present, but certainly her future. This is Vendela Vida’s most assured and ambitious novel yet.

Here is the signature page:

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53 Signed

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53 Waterfall

Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash – Value ?

This book isn’t released until September 8th – Yay for advance reader copies! (I love these kind of perks in book subscription boxes).

Book Summary from Amazon:

In this poetic and haunting tale set in contemporary Appalachia, New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash illuminates lives shaped by violence and a powerful connection to the land.

Les, a long-time sheriff just three-weeks from retirement, contends with the ravages of crystal meth and his own duplicity in his small Appalachian town.

Becky, a park ranger with a harrowing past, finds solace amid the lyrical beauty of this patch of North Carolina.

Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have indelibly marked them, they are drawn together by a reverence for the natural world. When an irascible elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream, Les and Becky are plunged into deep and dangerous waters, forced to navigate currents of disillusionment and betrayal that will force them to question themselves and test their tentative bond—and threaten to carry them over the edge.

Echoing the heartbreaking beauty of William Faulkner and the spiritual isolation of Carson McCullers, Above the Waterfall demonstrates once again the prodigious talent of “a gorgeous, brutal writer” (Richard Price) hailed as “one of the great American authors at work today” (Janet Maslin, New York Times)

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 53 Puffs

Fuller Foods Serious Cheesy Puffs in Sriracha and Cheddar – Value $5

The box size was bigger for this shipment, and as soon as I opened it I knew why – the needed the extra room for the cheesy puffs! I have a feeling my husband will love these!

Verdict: I always enjoy this subscription box! I think if you love getting exclusive books, this is a great subscription. And I think the value is there too if you factor in the extras. I have a question though for book collectors (or just book lovers like me) – do you care if there is a “Signed First Edition” sticker on the cover of your book?  (Part of me wishes they wouldn’t apply those stickers directly on the cover, but I’m wondering if it is actually preferred?)

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Has anyone else not received theirs yet? Mine still hasn’t come….

  2. Join my Facebook group so we can discuss the books from this sub! It’s called Indiespensable book discussion.

  3. I love this subscription and have already read both the books! I like receiving early release books, that I may or may not have chosen myself. My adult daughter is an avid reader also so they get passed on to her! It is a win for both of us. Looks like I should be checking out Book People Trust Fall, if my poor wallet can handle another subscription box!

  4. I would not want a sticker on my book. Is the book actually signed or is it a laser signature?

    • I compared the signature on the review photo with the signature on my book – there are sight variances so I think it’s actually signed. Anyone else take a look?

  5. LOVED getting an advanced Ron Rash book! I read his book “Serena” years ago (GREAT title, haha) and am looking forward to the movie adaptation. This really felt like a special extra!

  6. Makes me sad seeing this. This box was supposed to be my first, but I got an email that I wouldn’t be receiving it. I can’t remember exactly what the reasoning was (and I can’t find the email). Made it sound like there was some kind of damage or something. Also sounded like others weren’t getting them as well, but looks like some got them. 🙁

    • Same boat. Seeing this makes me envious. Didn’t even get an e-mail about them not shipping it out. Not good service for people purchasing their 1st box. Hoping we get something extra in the box in August since there wasn’t a real explanation for it & some of us didn’t receive e-mails.

      • The email did say we should receive something special in the August box . I hope they follow through with that promise

    • Same here – super sad. I hope the next shipment goes out on time! I’ve been trying for this subscription for a long time.

    • This box was also supposed to be my first and I got the same email, citing a shipping accident related to copies of the book. It sounded to me like it was going to impact all/most new subscribers. I was heartbroken, but looking forward to volume 54.

  7. I’m looking forward to reading both of these boxes. My cheese puffs disappeared within a day of receiving my box! I don’t mind the stickers on book covers as long as they are easy to peel off. I understand the purpose is to draw attention to the fact that the book is signed inside when being sold but I peel them off after buying because I display my books on bookshelves/coffee table and don’t like the distractions (especially when the cover art is pretty!).

  8. I don’t like stickers on books. For me, it’d probably be better on the title page or something. Unless you have the book laying out, no one’s going to see the cover to see the sticker anyway.

    • I’m a bookstore employee & a trick you can do is take a bit of lighter fluid, put it on the sticker it will come right. Won’t harm book unless you use too much, we do it all the time to remove stickers.

  9. I actually cancelled and signed up for Book People Trust Fall after this latest shipment. I just find that I’m not overly interested in the books they send out. I do like that the past two boxes have included advanced reader copies. I think that’s a cool perk, but I found myself thinking the other extras were lacking.

    • Agreed. The extras are a bit lacking.

    • I’d actually cancelled after the last Indiespensable.

      I think possibly they’ve gotten a little too large and lost sight of what made the subscription an attractive proposition to begin with.

      What kills it for me is that Powell’s is destroying the (admittedly limited) value for book collectors lately. They used to send signed first editions.

      With ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’, they went with an “exclusive” edition. Which, ok…It hadn’t been printed in hardcover before, fair enough, but it wasn’t a true “first edition”.

      Now…It appears they’re going to do their own “book club” editions, so…No thanks.

  10. I don’t subscribe to this box but Ron Rash is great! I loved his book the cove. I hope this goes up for swap!

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