BoxWalla Book Subscription Box Review – February 2019
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 review is of the Boxwalla Book subscription, which is $29.95 every other month.
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.)
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 2019 Review
The curators will always send a card with information about each item in the box. This month we have books from Israel and Pakistan! We also have an interesting treat from that region, halvah.
The books from Boxwalla are often page-turners, but they are not generally easy reading, and the same is true of this book. Amos Oz is known for extremely well-crafted prose, which does make this book easy to read, but if you go too fast it’s also easy to miss a lot! The book is about a young man who finds himself at a bit of a crossroads. He is suddenly without funding for further university study, and his fiance has recently left him to marry an ex-boyfriend. He has to start over and accepts a job caring for an elderly scholar in a home with the man and a younger, beautiful, and somewhat mysterious woman. The important thing to note about this book in regards to this particular box is that the story is an allegory of the formation of Israel as the Jewish Nation-State as written by the perspective of a Jewish Israeli. Book summary:
SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE
Winner of the International Literature Prize, the new novel by Amos Oz is his first full-length work since the best-selling A Tale of Love and Darkness.
Jerusalem, 1959. Shmuel Ash, a biblical scholar, is adrift in his young life when he finds work as a caregiver for a brilliant but cantankerous old man named Gershom Wald. There is, however, a third, mysterious presence in his new home. Atalia Abarbanel, the daughter of a deceased Zionist leader, a beautiful woman in her forties, entrances young Shmuel even as she keeps him at a distance. Piece by piece, the old Jerusalem stone house, haunted by tragic history and now home to the three misfits and their intricate relationship, reveals its secrets.
At once an exquisite love story and coming-of-age novel, an allegory for the state of Israel and for the biblical tale from which it draws its title, Judas is Amos Oz’s most powerful novel in decades.
This book was my favorite of the two because it was so packed with drama! Which is made all the more interesting because it all takes place within a single courtyard! I found this book similar to the previous one in that it is also pretty easy to do a surface read and miss some deeper meanings. The two main characters are a younger and an older woman who represent different eras within Pakistan’s patriarchal system. The book is indeed a harsh condemnation of the Patriarchy, but additionally, as with the previous book, it is an allegory for Pakistan at the time of its division from India. Book summary:
Aliya lives a life confined to the inner courtyard of her home with her older sister and irritable mother, while the men of the family throw themselves into the political movements of the day. She is tormented by the petty squabbles of the household and dreams of educating herself and venturing into the wider world. But Aliya must endure many trials before she achieves her goals, though at what personal cost? Set in the 1940s, with Partition looming on the horizon, The Women’s Courtyard cleverly brings into focus the claustrophobic lives of women whose entire existence was circumscribed by the four walls of their homes, and for whom the outside world remained an inaccessible dream. Daisy Rockwell’s elegant and nuanced translation captures the poignance and power of Khadija Mastur’s inimitable voice.
Cardamom Orange Halvah (4 oz) by Halvah Heaven – Retail Value $6
YUM-O! This was my first time trying halvah, but it will not be my last. It’s a lightly sweetened sesame paste, and it is so good! This one obviously has a hint of orange and cardamom, but the nutty flavor of the sesame still comes through. It’s not too strong of a sesame flavor, though, surprisingly.
The Verdict: The Boxwalla Book box team always does an amazing job of curating an experience rather than just a box. The books are always beautiful and feel great in your hands, and even the box they arrive in feels incredibly special. This month’s collection was really special in that they both used very location-centric stories that were amazing on their own, yet also told a greater story of the country each is from. I like that there was also a contrast between male and female between the two books. Plus the halvah was slammin’! This box was absolutely worth the $29.95 cost to me, and the total retail value was approximately $45.99.
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: At $29.95 for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item:
- Judas by Amos Oz – $9.74
- The Women’s Courtyard by Khadijah Mastur – $16.29
- Halvah – $3.91
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