Book Riot Book Mail Box Review – June 2016

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Book Mail Box is the new book box from Book Riot. Every other month, they’ll release a new box you can purchase full of books and bookish goodies!

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


The Box: Book Riot Book Mail Box

The Cost: $60

Get books and bookish items hand-picked by Book Riot, exclusive content from authors, and first crack at new items in the Book Riot Store. A new Book Mail box will be available every few months, and the contents will be a secret! (Decoder ring not included.)  Does not contain any repeats from Book Riot’s Quarterly or YA Quarterly subscriptions. Total retail value of contents exceeds $60.

Purchase of this box sends one book to a community in need.

Check out all of our reviews of Book Subscription Boxes for more book boxes!


This box comes with an info card detailing all the items included.


Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson – Retail Value $17 (On Amazon for $9.86)

Book Summary from Amazon:

It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Samuelsson’s journey, from his grandmother’s kitchen to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson’s career of chasing flavors had only just begun—in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs, and, most important, the opening of Red Rooster in Harlem. At Red Rooster, Samuelsson has fulfilled his dream of creating a truly diverse, multiracial dining room—a place where presidents rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, and bus drivers. It is a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can feel at home.


Blue Plate Special by Kate Christensen – Retail Value $15.95 (On Amazon for $12.89)

Book Summary from Amazon:

A delectable memoir about the transformative power of food, Blue Plate Special is a deeply personal narrative in which food becomes the vehicle for exploring a life. Here, novelist Kate Christensen tells her own story, from her unorthodox childhood in 1960s Berkeley as the daughter of a legal activist who ruled the house with his fists to her extraordinary success as a PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author. Hungry not just for food, but for love and a sense of belonging, Christensen writes honestly about her struggle to find the contentment she has always yearned for. A beautifully written account of a knockabout life, full of sorrows, pleasures—and, of course, food—Blue Plate Special is a delicious reading experience.

Kate Christensen also included two recipes for Book Mail Box readers:


Roasted Eggplant-Ricotta-Basil Pizza (and One-Pot Supper with Wild Rice and Mushrooms on the flip side).


Out of Print Clothing Tea Towel – Value $15

This tea towel is made with 100% cotton, and I like the retro print. Here is a closer look at the design:


I couldn’t find these on the Out of Print website, so I’m thinking they may be exclusive for Book Mail Box customers.


Out of Print Clothing Apron – Value $22


Another cute print – this box is definitely perfect for someone who loves to cook!


The Bar Saves Lives Bar in Dark Chocolate Cherry & Sea Salt – Value $2.50

This bar is all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, and Rainforest Alliance certified! And also important – it tastes delicious! I would consider this a dessert bar – the cherry/salt/chocolate combination is perfection.

Eat Sleep Read Bookmark – Value $2?

This bookmark was created by Alexis Lampley of Nerdy Post, exclusively for Book Mail Box readers.

Here is the flip side of the bookmark:


Now I want to subscribe to Nerdy Post!

Verdict: This box has a value of about $64.50 (using Amazon discounted book prices). I wasn’t expecting a high value from Book Riot box, so I’m not disappointed in the value – but I think it is important to call out that you will get approximately the value that you paid for the box.

That being said, obviously the curation of this box is impressive. I think any bookish foodie would love this box. It’s pushing me a bit out of my reading comfort zone with the two food memoirs, but I’m exciting to give them a try – Yes, Chef gets amazing reviews!

What do you think of the first Book Mail Box?

How do subscribers rate Book Mail by Book Riot?

6 subscribers rated this subscription
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Do you subscribe to Book Mail by Book Riot? Add your rating now!

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!

Posted in Book Mail Box Reviews, Book Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: book riot | 8 comments


  1. Wow, the curation for this box is great. However, if they’re going to be that specific, I think I’d prefer to have the choice to skip a month, because I personally wouldn’t be interested in either of these books.

    • Actually not a subscription, each box is just a one time purchase if you choose so you can skip by not purchasing that quarter.

  2. Liz, did you end up getting the Strand Book Hook Up and Powell’s Indiespensible quarterlies? I ended up getting both and was a bit disappointed that the Strand’s fiction book, which I picked up, was identical to Powell’s, which I also get. Especially considering Powell’s releases their’s in advance..

  3. It seems like book riot is going to make these boxes quite specific which is totally fine but it would be great if they could release a general theme before each box. For instance for me cooking is not an interest at all so this box would not be for me but the next one might!

  4. I am definitely interested in this box! The curation is near perfection, in my opinion. Both books get great reviews (and since reading this review, I’ve already bought ‘Yes, Chef’!) and they fit the theme beautifully. I’m in love with that towel & apron. I can only hope that someone got this box and does not see things my way, so I can get them from swap! I am totally crossing all available appendages right now in hopes of that being true! I am going to look into signing up for this book box. To me, it is quite nearly flawless.

  5. I love the curation on this box! Any idea if this is available as a single purchase?

  6. What a great first box! I love that they decided to send food-related books- such a fun theme! 🙂

  7. What a cool box!

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