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Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 54

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Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 54 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 the MSA 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. 54 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. 54 Info

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:

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 54 Booklet

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 54 Best Boy

Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb – Hardcover Only Retail Value $24.95 (On Amazon for $13.32)

Book Summary from Amazon:

For fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time comes this landmark novel about autism, memory, and, ultimately, redemption.

Sent to a “therapeutic community” for autism at the age of eleven, Todd Aaron, now in his fifties, is the “Old Fox” of Payton LivingCenter. A joyous man who rereads the encyclopedia compulsively, he is unnerved by the sudden arrivals of a menacing new staffer and a disruptive, brain-injured roommate. His equilibrium is further worsened by Martine, a one-eyed new resident who has romantic intentions and convinces him to go off his meds to feel “normal” again. Undone by these pressures, Todd attempts an escape to return “home” to his younger brother and to a childhood that now inhabits only his dreams. Written astonishingly in the first-person voice of an autistic, adult man, Best Boy―with its unforgettable portraits of Todd’s beloved mother, whose sweet voice still sings from the grave, and a staffer named Raykene, who says that Todd “reflects the beauty of His creation”―is a piercing, achingly funny, finally shattering novel no reader can ever forget.

The value for the hardcover I listed is based on the hardcover copy alone, not including the exclusive slipcase. It also doesn’t factor in that this is a signed first edition:

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 54 Signed

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 54 Went Away

The Boy Who Went Away by Eli Gottlieb – Value $14.95 (Paperback released on September 7th)

Book Summary from Amazon:

Winner of the American Academy’s Rome Prize for fiction, Eli Gottlieb’s tender, harrowing coming-of-age novel finally returns to print.

Denny Graubart, child-narrator and “domestic surveillance expert,” is having some terrible suspicions about his mother and autistic brother. It’s the 1960s, aka the Diagnostic Dark Ages of Autism, and while his mother struggles to keep his brother out of an institution, signs of something more disturbing are beginning to emerge before young Denny’s eyes. Battered by his own tragicomic sexual awakening during a long, hot summer, Denny will eventually find his most horrified suspicions about his family confirmed. A powerfully drawn portrait of two brothers locked into an asymmetrical childhood and a family struggling against a weight of medical ignorance, The Boy Who Went Away is “shockingly, electrically alive” (Phillip Lopate). It is also an indispensable bookend to Gottlieb’s Best Boy, which recounts the impact of autism on the same family from the other side, many years later, in the voice of a middle-aged autistic man.

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 54 Magnet

Powell’s Books Magnet – Value $4

I love the artwork of this magnet – it’s a fun addition to the box!

Verdict: I’m alway happy with the value of this subscription – I love getting exclusive in book subscriptions! This is the second box in a row where the signed first edition is the regular hardcover instead of an exclusive design – I hope this doesn’t become the new standard. I love my exclusive design hardcover books from this subscription!

What do you think of Volume 54?

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. This subscription box was my gateway subscription box (many months ago)!!! I’ve read some amazing books courtesy of Indespensible, this month was no exception. Best Boy was a fantastic read. And, the magnet is prominently displayed in my cube at work. :-). Very thoughtful box each month. A class act!

  2. I’m glad I didn’t have time to read “The Boy Who Went Away”! Once I found out what book was being sent, I was planning on buying it or checking it out from the library but never got around to it. Whew! Magnets, meh. I’d rather have a delicious, new discovery snack!

  3. I recently had to reduce my hours at work because of school and cut waaaaaay back on subs. I cancelled everything except Birchbox and Powell’s. I LOVE this sub. I’m obssessed with Portland (thanks to Portlandia) and I’m always looking to expand my reading horizons. I feel like other book subs send genres that I’m definitely not interested in, while this one sends me things I normally wouldn’t choose, but still really like. I only wish the shipping was better. This was sent out on the 19th and it’s supposed to finally arrive today.

  4. Book subs are quickly becoming my favorites! I love the selections from this Powell’s box and the most recent TrustFall box. I’ve also purchased some of the grab bags from Duncan’s Bookshelf and been really pleased with those.

  5. Just a few quick notes:

    I love the olive/army green color of the book case. Also, since the paperback is being republished, the author signed both books.

    This is a quote from the author interview. “I hadn’t read it ‘The Boy Who Went Away’ in a long time, and I was actually doubly thrilled that you guys (Powells) are including this other book. I don’t know of any other experiences for a reader where they can see the severe impact of a disability (autism) on a family from both sides of the sibling aisle, over time.”

    I totally agree. It’s awesome that these two books were packaged together. That’s definitely another reason why I love this subscription!

    • I got my first box and have to say i love it! I’m glad you mentioned that the paperback copy was signed too. Even if it’s not a hardback edition, i think that adds to the value. I noticed it was signed before I noticed it on Best Boy, and thought it was odd that the paperback was signed but not the other! Hah!
      I’ve started The Boy Who Went Away and it’s good a couple chapters in! I just got a new (to me) bookshelf, so i’m looking forward to displaying these and future books!

  6. Looking forward to getting my box on monday. I really enjoyed The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty from the last box and look forward to reading this month’s featured book. But I was hoping they would include another tasty snack like last time!

    • Those corn puffs from the last box were delicious!

      • I dream about those corn puffs…….

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