BoxWalla Book Subscription Box Review – February 2018
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. Even the package is a sustainable, handmade box made from paper!
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, which is $29.95 every other month.
About the Boxwalla Book Subscription Box
The Subscription Box: BoxWalla Book
The Cost: $29.95 every other month + free US shipping
The Products: Thoughtfully curated literature by prospective Nobel laureates from around the world.
Ships to: US (for free) and international locations
Boxwalla Book Subscription Box February 2018 Review
Here’s a note from the box’s curators. I love the context they provide for their selections.
The Legends of Khasak by O.V. Vijayan – Retail Value $11.99
The note mentions that Vijayan was a cartoonist in India, which made me think this story might have a lighthearted tone. Instead, I found it heavy at times and measured in its pacing. I did enjoy the blend of the real and surreal in Ravi’s rich, character-driven world.
Book Summary on Amazon:
A restlessness born of guilt and despair leads Ravi to embark on a journey that ends in the remote village of Khasak in the picturesque Palghat countryside in Kerala. A land from the past, potent with dreams and legends, enfolds the traveller in a powerful and unsettling embrace. Ravi is bewitched and entranced as everything around him-the villagers; their children whom he teaches in a makeshift school; the elders who see him as a threat; the toddy-tappers; the shamans-takes on the quality of myth. And then reality, painful and threatening, begins to intrude on the sojourner’s resting place and Ravi begins to understand that there is no escape from the relentless dictates of karma… Often poetic and dark, always complex and rich, The Legends of Khasak, O.V. Vijayan’s much-acclaimed first novel, translated into English by the author, is an extraordinary achievement.
This is a powerful read and a recent release! I was engrossed by this tale of culture, identity, and belonging, which unfolds in unexpected, moving ways. It’s heartbreaking and emotional, yet effortless in its storytelling.
Book Summary on Amazon:
An unforgettable German bestseller about the European refugee crisis: “Erpenbeck will get under your skin” (Washington Post Book World)
Go, Went, Gone is the masterful new novel by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, “one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation” (The Millions). The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes. Exquisitely translated by Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone addresses one of the most pivotal issues of our time, facing it head-on in a voice that is both nostalgic and frightening.
How sweet is this little book! I love the simple, crisp design, and of course, the dreamy poems inside. You not only get the English translations of the poems but the original French, too. I’m going to have to test out that one semester of French I took!
Book Summary on Amazon:
Inspired by the great tradition of French love poetry, New Directions presents a beautiful, small gift edition, dedicated to what makes the world go round.
Filled with devotion and lust, sensuality and eroticism, fevers and overtures, these poems showcase some of the most passionate verses in the French language. From the classic sixteenth-century love sonnets of Louise Labé and Maurice Sceve to the piercing lyricism of the Romantics and the dreamlike compositions of the Surrealists, French Love Poems is the perfect, seductive gift for anyone who makes your heart flutter.
This collection includes poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, Charles Baudelaire, Claude Cahun, René Char, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Paul Éluard, Louise Labé, Stéphane Mallarmé, Anna de Noailles, Joyce Mansour, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, and many others; as well as translations by Mary Ann Caws, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Denise Levertov, Ezra Pound, Kenneth Rexroth, Frederick Seidel, Richard Sieburth, and William Carlos Williams.
The Verdict: This was a lovely collection from Boxwalla! A lot of the time, they’ll send older works from international authors, so I thought it was awesome that they included a relatively new release with Go, Went, Gone. Plus, that book was so great that it made the box feel worth it! I thought the love poems book was sweet, too. I think I might keep it on my coffee table for easy, inspiring browsing!
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: This box cost me $29.95, and I received products worth a total retail value of $40.89. That means I paid, proportionally, about the following for each item:
- The Legends of Khasak – $8.78
- Go, Went, Gone – $12.42
- Love poems – $8.75
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What do you think of this month’s Boxwalla Book box?