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Book of the Month Subscription Review + 50% Off – Jan 2016

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanJan 13, 2016 | 17 comments


Book of the Month
4.1 overall rating
36 Ratings | 12 Reviews

Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, 5 curators pick out their favorite new hardcover books, and you can choose which one you want to receive on the first of the month. You can also add up to 2 additional books for only $9.99 each.

They are currently having an amazing deal on 3-month subscriptions (deal details below), so I had to sign up. (Plus I love book subscriptions so I probably would have signed up for this one with or without a deal!)

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


The Subscription Box: Book of the Month

The Cost: $16.99 a month ($8.99 a month with 12-month subscription).

The Product: Subscribers get to pick from a selection of hardcover books each month.

Ships to: US Only

Check out all of my Book of the Month reviews!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wish list!

For January, subscribers picked from the following 5 books:

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 1.17.26 PM

Honestly, I could have picked all 5, but since you only get to add 2 more at the special $9.99 pricing, I limited it to three!

My first selection:


The Verdict by Nick Stone – Retail Value $25.95 (On Amazon for $20.85)

When Terry Flynt gets the chance to defend a millionaire accused of murder he knows that the case could make his career, but the accused man is Flynt’s greatest enemy―can he defend a man who ruined his life?

Terry Flynt is a struggling legal clerk, desperately trying to get promoted. And then he is given the biggest opportunity of his career: to help defend a millionaire accused of murdering a woman in his hotel suite.

The only problem is that the accused man, Vernon James, turns out to be not only someone he knows, but someone he loathes. This case could potentially make Terry’s career, but how can he defend a former friend who betrayed him so badly?

With the trial date looming, Terry delves deeper into Vernon’s life and is forced to confront secrets from their shared past that could have devastating consequences for them both. For years he has wanted to witness Vernon’s downfall, but with so much at stake, how can Terry be sure that he is guilty? And what choices must he make to ensure that justice is done?


Each book is selected by a judge, and each judge includes a brief letter on why they selected the book. This note has made me even more excited to start this book. My husband Eric and I binged watching Making a Murderer over the holidays, and it sounds like this will have the same addicting quality.


Bohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee Carpenter – Retail Value $25.95 (On Amazon for $20.28)

Set against the historical reign of the Golden and Iron King,Bohemian Gospel is the remarkable tale of a bold and unusual girl on a quest to uncover her past and define her destiny.

Thirteenth-century Bohemia is a dangerous place for a girl, especially one as odd as Mouse, born with unnatural senses and an uncanny intellect. Some call her a witch. Others call her an angel. Even Mouse doesn’t know who―or what―she is. But she means to find out.

When young King Ottakar shows up at the Abbey wounded by a traitor’s arrow, Mouse breaks church law to save him and then agrees to accompany him back to Prague as his personal healer. Caught in the undertow of court politics at the castle, Ottakar and Mouse find themselves drawn to each other as they work to uncover the threat against him and to unravel the mystery of her past. But when Mouse’s unusual gifts give rise to a violence and strength that surprise everyone―especially herself―she is forced to ask herself: Will she be prepared for the future that awaits her?

A heart-thumping, highly original tale in the vein of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, Bohemian Gospel heralds the arrival of a fresh new voice for historical fiction.


This book interested me 50% just by the cover, and 50% by the summary – another one I can’t wait to start!


Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy – Retail Value $28 (On Amazon for $17.62)

On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.

But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift.

Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.


I like this letter! And after seeing that Ghettoside is on almost every “Best Books of the Year” list, I had to get it.

Verdict:  I’m very pleased with the value of my Book of the Month subscription. The prices are way better than Amazon for new hardcover releases – I don’t know how they do it! Plus I love the curated selection each month and getting to pick a book (or more than one) each month. It pushes me out of my reading comfort zone, and gets new books on my radar!

What do you think of the Book of the Month subscription? Which book (or books) did you pick this month? (FYI – Book of the Month has extended the selection window for the January boxes. You can sign up for a subscription and start with a January book selection, now through 1/15).

Choose a great new book each month and read together with the Book of the Month community. The Judges select 5 new books each month in different genres and you'll get one as part of your membership. Either visit the site to select your Book of the Month, or leave it up to BOTM and they will choose o... read more.
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!

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!
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I just signed up. Looking forward to selecting my first book in a few days!

Ellen M

Has anyone had any issues with customer service or shipping with BOTM club? It’s my 3rd month and my books are still stuck at the shipping facility as of the 9th with no further updates – e-mailed BOTM 3 times in the past week, no response. Tried calling them today, and they informed me that it was expected to arrive TODAY by USPS (on MLK day? I don’t think so, but okay…) and if it doesn’t arrive today, I need to wait 2 weeks until I come to them again. I couldn’t be transferred to a manager given that it is a holiday today, but has anyone else had any better luck trying to get a reasonable response?


Unfortunately, I cannot get the code to work. Any suggestions?

Liz Cadman

I just tried it and BOOK15 worked for me. Make sure you select the 3-month option and enter BOOK15 as the invitation code. Hope that helps!


It worked this time!!! YEAH!


Does anyone have experience renewing this sub with a promo code? I purchased a 3-month subscription when it was on sale at Gilt. I’d like to renew using BOOK15 or another voucher if it goes on sale again, but I’m not sure whether that would work. Has anyone successfully done so or have you cancelled and immediately re-subbed w/ a promo code? I generally try to avoid that, but sometimes the price difference compels me to do so. I’m also considering renewing for 12 months b/c of the great price, but I’m not sure I could keep up with the reading!

I asked them if I could renew with the code and they said yes, but I haven’t tried to test it yet!


I am curious about this as well. I did just cancel mine, but the 3 month promo isn’t up until after next month’s book.


I ended up choosing two: The Verdict and Bohemian Gospel. I ordered the paperback of Ghettoside on Amazon because it was less. I check there and Barnes and Noble before making my choice. Most often I find BOTM is cheaper. Especially for hardcover! I may add Sound of Gravel next month. January had an excellent selection! I love this subscription!


My first box won’t arrive until tomorrow or Friday but I chose The Soubd of Gravel and added on Fates and Furies because the price was so great. I finished Bohemian Gospel from the library over the weekend and basically couldn’t put it down. I never would’ve picked it up had it not been chosen as a selection so I’m already loving my membership!


I picked “Ghettoside”. I cannot wait to read it! This is quickly becoming my favorite sub!


I can’t believe you didn’t get The Sound of Gravel! I’m a huge memoir person, though. I got that and a much earlier book, Local Girls, that’s been on my to-read list. That’s all that are on my list except Barbara the Slut, so hopefully I can get that as an add-on in a later month. Last November I wanted all the books!


I’ve started recommending this sub to everyone who enjoys reading, especially those who love the feeling of a hardcover book. 🙂 They really do a great job of curating and providing a range of books so everyone will find a book that appeals to them.

I’ve started reading The Sound of Gravel and I’m loving it so far. But I am definitely picking up Ghettoside as well – I just cynically realized I could get a less expensive paperback since it’s been out for a while.


I try and look them up on Amazon before I commit to getting them. Most of the time, they are cheaper on BOTM. Though I have started checking at the library, which may deter me from getting some of these as they have copies there as well.


Glad to see I wasn’t the only one with little willpower! I got the Sound of Gravel, Bohemian Gospel, and then I added one from a former month, Head Case. I am super excited.

And I’d like to add, the BOTM has fabulous customer service. I had to change my credit card number after the number getting out over Christmas. They contacted me by email and wanted to make sure I still got the books I had wanted to add on. Then I was worried that I was going to be charged for another 3 month sub, when I wasn’t really wanting to do that. All I had to do was call them, and they had it all taken care of in like 2 minutes!


I guess we will see after February is over whether they actually cancelled. Hopefully it all works out as easily as it was to get ahold of them.

Ellen M

I’m thinking about getting The Verdict next month as one of my extras – I hope it’s as good as all of the reviews I’ve been reading! I’m excited to start on The Sound of Gravel, that one had great reviews as well.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.