BoxWalla Book Subscription Box Review – February 2017
BoxWalla is a subscription box company dedicated to sharing uncommon food, books, films, and green beauty items, and they curate bi-monthly boxes for each of those categories. Subscribe to one or more, and add or switch interests at any time.
BoxWalla is run by a couple of self-declared “aesthetes” with a keen eye for meaningful details, which is immediately reflected in their packaging. The lidded box contains no trees at all—rather, it’s meticulously created from cotton scraps (if you look closely, you can see the thatched pattern of the woven threads in the box). How cool!
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is of the Boxwalla Book, $49.95 every other month, box.
The Subscription Box: BoxWalla Book
The Cost: $49.95 every other month with free shipping to the US
The Products: Thoughtfully curated literature by prospective Nobel laureates from around the world. And while Boxwalla makes no promises about this being standard practice, this month’s box also came with some small trinkets!
Ships to: U.S. (for free) and international locations.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
BoxWalla is all about delivering a curated, meaningful experience. They come through on that intention with a fantastic info card, which explains a bit about the works chosen for the box and why the Boxwalla team was compelled to include them.
And don’t forget to tag your Instagram photos with #boxwallabook, and you could win a free box!
Windward Heights by Maryse Condé – Value $16.95
This paperback reinvents the classic story of Wuthering Heights in a Caribbean setting. I’m sadly unfamiliar with Caribbean history, and so I really appreciate this gorgeous, yet gritty glimpse into the culture and climate of 18th-century Guadeloupe.
Book Summary from Amazon:
Prizewinning writer Maryse Condé reimagines Emily Brontë’s passionate novel as a tale of obsessive love between the “African” Razyé and Cathy, the mulatto daughter of the man who takes Razyé in and raises him, but whose treatment goads him into rebellious flight. Retaining the emotional power of the original, Condé shows the Caribbean society in the wake of emancipation.
Brief Loves that Live Forever by Andreï Makine – Value on Amazon $6.06 (retail price $15.00)
The next story explores the world of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia through artful, emotion-rich prose.
Book Summary on Amazon:
A beautifully observed and moving account of love and the human spirit in the Soviet era
In Soviet Russia the desire for freedom is also a desire for the freedom to love. Lovers live as outlaws, traitors to the collective spirit, and love is more intense when it feels like an act of resistance. Now entering middle age, an orphan recalls the fleeting moments that have never left him-a scorching day in a blossoming orchard with a woman who loves another; a furtive, desperate affair in a Black Sea resort; the bunch of snowdrops a crippled childhood friend gave him to give to his lover. As the dreary Brezhnev era gives way to perestroika and the fall of Communism, the orphan uncovers the truth behind the life of Dmitri Ress, whose tragic fate embodies the unbreakable bond between love and freedom.
“Makine has been compared to Stendhal, Tolstoy and Proust; our best historians of the Soviet era queue up to pronounce him one of the finest living writers on the period; and he is regularly tipped to be among the contenders for the next Nobel in literature.” –The Daily Telegraph
Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada – Value on Amazon $9.25 (retail price $16.95)
This final paperback is as simple, strange, and delightful as it sells itself to be. This is the story of a bear’s life, but one that’s wonderfully creative and which prompts an unexpected exploration of humanity.
Book Summary on Amazon:
The Memoirs of a Polar Bear stars three generations of talented writers and performers―who happen to be polar bears
The Memoirs of a Polar Bear has in spades what Rivka Galchen hailed in the New Yorker as “Yoko Tawada’s magnificent strangeness”―Tawada is an author like no other. Three generations (grandmother, mother, son) of polar bears are famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany: they are polar bears who move in human society, stars of the ring and of the literary world. In chapter one, the grandmother matriarch in the Soviet Union accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography. In chapter two, Tosca, her daughter (born in Canada, where her mother had emigrated) moves to the DDR and takes a job in the circus. Her son―the last of their line―is Knut, born in chapter three in a Leipzig zoo but raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo, until his keeper, Matthias, is taken away…
Happy or sad, each bear writes a story, enjoying both celebrity and “the intimacy of being alone with my pen.”
Small Bucket by Maika – Value $12.00
This little canvas bucket is perfect for spare change, pens and pencils, keys, jewelry, or any other odds and ends you can think of. The “etc.” on the front is a nod to the linguistic theme the Boxwalla team mentions on the info card.
Verdict: I really enjoyed this Boxwalla Book box. I love how considerate this box is about its contents and how they seek out uncommon stories with big impact. I also appreciated the inclusion of the little “bucket”! What a fun find to add to my desk. Altogether this $45.00 box had $44.26 of value inside (based on Amazon prices. $60.90 with retail prices). I’d definitely recommended to readers eager to expand their library (and their worldview!).
What do you think of this month’s Boxwalla Book box?