BoxWalla Book Subscription Box Review – June 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). This month’s box was literally overstuffed with things to read!
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 subscription ($49.95 every other month).
The Subscription Box: BoxWalla Book
The Cost: $49.95 every other month with free shipping to the US (Note that starting in August, it looks like pricing for this subscription is dropping to $29.95, and it will not come shipped in a handmade box. Read more below in the “Good to Know” section, and check it out on the BoxWalla Book site!)
The Products: Thoughtfully curated literature by prospective Nobel laureates from around the world.
Good to Know: Big changes are coming to this subscription starting in August! Here’s the scoop, according to the company’s Facebook page:
Starting with August, the book box will contain two books : one from a potential Nobel Laureate, a living writer, and the second written by a great writer from the past. Straddling the past, present and future of Literature, this box will be priced at $29.95 and will be continue to be delivered every two months.
Ships to: U.S. (for free) and international locations.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
At the top of the box, you will find an info card all about this month’s selection of books. June features writers from Japan, Poland, and Austria all of whom are in the running for the Nobel Laureate and one of whom won after his death.
In addition to the books in this box, there is also this selection of Literary Paris postcards designed by Nichole & Evan Robertson of Obvious State. These postcards are so lovely and the perfect addition to any library or bookshelf.
The first book in this box is from Japanese author Junichiro Tanizaki. The Maki Sisters is “the story of four sisters from an aristocratic Osaka family (trying to get their 3rd sister, Yukiko, married)”. The novel takes place during World War II and is said to be the best modern Japanese novel. I really look forward to reading this one!
Book Summary on Amazon:
Junichirō Tanizaki’s magisterial evocation of a proud Osaka family in decline during the years immediately before World War II is arguably the greatest Japanese novel of the twentieth century and a classic of international literature.
Tsuruko, the eldest sister of the once-wealthy Makioka family, clings obstinately to the prestige of her family name even as her husband prepares to move their household to Tokyo, where that name means nothing. Sachiko compromises valiantly to secure the future of her younger sisters. The shy, unmarried Yukiko is a hostage to her family’s exacting standards, while the spirited Taeko rebels by flinging herself into scandalous romantic alliances and dreaming of studying fashion design in France. Filled with vignettes of a vanishing way of life, The Makioka Sisters is a poignant yet unsparing portrait of a family—and an entire society—sliding into the abyss of modernity. It possesses in abundance the keen social insight and unabashed sensuality that distinguish Tanizaki as a master novelist.
Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke, “is arguably one of the greatest living writers in the world”. This novel also takes place during World War II, but obviously from a different perspective, which is very interesting.
Book Summary on Amazon:
“The Sunday edition of the Kärntner Volkszeitung carried the following item under ‘Local News’: ‘In the village of A. (G. township), a housewife, aged 51, committed suicide on Friday night by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.'”
So opens A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, the eminent Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke’s reckoning with his mother’s life―which spanned the rise of the Nazis, World War II, and postwar suffering―and death. Both stark and lyrical, full of love, anger, admiration, and a keen sense of history, this slim book reveals Handke at his most lucid and direct. It is the most moving and accessible work in his distinguished career; it is “indispensable” (Bill Marx, The Boston Globe).
“A stark yet poetic collection of people & stories & dreams housed in a small town called Nowa Ruda.” Olga Tokarczuk is a Polish novelist, poet, & psychologist who has cemented a place as one of the greatest living Polish writers.
Book Summary on Amazon:
The English translation of the prize-winning international bestseller
Winner of the Gunter Grass Prize
Nowa Ruda is a small town in Silesia, an area that has been a part of Poland, Germany, and the former Czechoslovakia in the past. When the narrator moves into the area, she and discovers everyone-and everything-has its own story. With the help of Marta, her enigmatic neighbor, the narrator accumulates these stories, tracing the history of Nowa Ruda from the founding of the town to the lives of its saints, from the caller who wins the radio quiz every day to the tale of the man who causes international tension when he dies on the border, one leg on the Polish side, the other on the Czech side. Each of the stories represents a brick and they interlock to reveal the immense monument that is the town. What emerges is the message that the history of any place–no matter how humble–is limitless, that by describing or digging at the roots of a life, a house, or a neighborhood, one can see all the connections, not only with one’s self and one’s dreams but also with all of the universe.
Richly imagined, weaving in anecdote with recipes and gossip, Tokarczuk’s novel is an epic of a small place. Since its original publication in 1998 it has remained a bestseller in Poland. House of Day, House of Night is the English-language debut of one of Europe’s best young writers.
The Verdict: I am really excited to read all of these novels. World War II storylines happen to be some of my favorites to watch and read, so I am very much looking forward to diving into these books. The total value of this box is $49.86 while the cost is $49.95 every other month (and getting less expensive soon). Overall, this is definitely worth the price, and these are books I would have never found on my own, which has an even higher value to me.
What do you think of this month’s Boxwalla Book box?