BoxWalla Book Subscription Box Review – October 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. Love this little washi tape detail on the envelope!
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 ($29.95 every other month).
The Subscription Box: BoxWalla Book
The Cost: $29.95 every other month with free shipping to the US.
The Products: Thoughtfully curated literature by prospective Nobel laureates from around the world.
Good to Know: Seeing a lower cost than you’re used to? That’s not an error! 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!
The box includes this info card, which explains a bit of backstory about each author and the subject matter that they cover in their work.
Both books this month are bestsellers in their authors’ countries of origin. I think my favorite part about Boxwalla’s book subscription is the light they shine on international literature, which gives a beautiful, very human glimpse into unfamiliar cultures. This first novel is by a writer who spoke out against the Turkish government. According to the information card, it’s possible that Ali was killed during interrogation by the Turkish government. It’s terrifying if true, and so tragic, given the sincerity that Ali brings to the pages of his novel. The story takes its time, first introducing its central character first through the eyes of a co-worker, then from their own perspective. It’s emotional, rich, honest, and told with tender care and reverence for its characters.
Book Summary from Amazon:
Available in English for the first time, this best-selling Turkish classic of love and alienation in a changing world captures the vibrancy of interwar Berlin.
A shy young man leaves his home in rural Turkey to learn a trade and discover life in 1920s Berlin. There, amidst the city’s bustling streets, elegant museums, passionate politics, and infamous cabarets, a chance meeting with a beautiful half-Jewish artist transforms him forever. Caught between his desire for freedom from tradition and his yearning to belong, he struggles to hold on to the new life he has found with the woman he loves.
Emotionally powerful, intensely atmospheric, and touchingly profound, Madonna in a Fur Coat is an unforgettable novel about new beginnings, the relentless pull of family ties, and the unfathomable nature of the human soul. First published in 1943, this novel, with its quiet yet insistent defiance of social norms, has been topping best-seller lists in Turkey since 2013.
The second book in the package is by a woman the info card calls “one of the greatest living Italian writers.” I love reading books that center around the lives of interesting and diverse women, so this story of a deaf and mute duchess was instantly intriguing to me. I love the richness of Mariani’s writing—the way she depicts her protagonist’s experience of the world is lush and rightfully open-ended in all the right places.
Book Summary on Amazon:
Finalist for the International Man Booker Prize, winner of the Premio Campiello, short-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Award upon its first English-language publication in the UK, and published to critical acclaim in fourteen languages, this mesmerizing historical novel by one of Italy’s premier women writers is available in the United States for the first time.
The Silent Duchess is the story of Marianna Ucrìa, the victim of a mysterious childhood trauma that has left her deaf and mute, trapped in a world of silence. In luminous language that conveys both the keen visual sight and the deep human insight possessed by her remarkable main character, Dacia Maraini captures the splendor and the corruption of Marianna’s world and the strength of her unbreakable spirit.
Leaf Notebook by Obvious State – Retail Value $6.00
Last but not least, there’s a bonus gift—a recycled-paper pocket notebook from the book-inspired shop, Obvious State. I like the fall leaf motif and the Keats quote. I’m forever reaching for paper for lists or notes, so this little notebook should come in handy!
The Verdict: I liked this month’s selections a lot, and the addition of the bonus notebook was really cool. The thing that sets this subscription apart, in my opinion, is the international slant to their choices. I find it so interesting to read about other cultures and times in global history (like 1920s Germany in Madonna in a Fur Coat)—it’s so cool to see how different yet relatable those stories are!
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: This box cost me $29.95, and I received products worth a total retail value of $38.90 inside. (Going by Amazon sale prices, the value would be $33.67.) That means that the amount I spent on each item, proportionally, is approximately:
- Madonna in a Fur Coat – $12.28
- The Silent Duchess – $13.05
- Notebook – $4.62
What do you think of this month’s Boxwalla Book box?