Book of the Month Subscription Review + Coupon – May 2019
Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, 5 curators pick out their favorite new hardcover books, and you can choose which one you want to receive on the first of the month. You can also add up to 2 additional books for only $9.99 each.
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.)
Check out all of our reviews of Book Subscription Boxes for more options, too!
About this Box
The Subscription Box: Book of the Month
The Cost: $14.99 a month (less with 3 and 12 month subscriptions)
The Product: Subscribers get to pick from a selection of hardcover books each month. Skip any month you aren’t interested in. Add up to two additional books for $9.99 each.
Ships to: US Only
Book of the Month May 2019 Review
This month, subscribers picked from the following 5 books:
I’m reviewing The Flight Portfolio:
Book Summary from Amazon:
In 1940, Varian Fry traveled to Marseille carrying three thousand dollars and a list of imperiled artists and writers he hoped to help escape within a few weeks. Instead, he stayed more than a year, working to procure false documents, amass emergency funds, and arrange journeys across Spain and Portugal, where the refugees would embark for safer ports. His many clients included Hannah Arendt, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Marc Chagall, and the race against time to save them is a tale of forbidden love, high-stakes adventure, and unimaginable courage.
I didn’t know exactly what I was in for with this book. I enjoy historical fiction and I am a lover of art, so a book about the rescue of quite notable artists (think Ernst, Duchamp, and Chagall) from Nazi-occupied France seemed like the obvious choice this month. Loads of creatives lived in Marseilles during this time, and even after the Germans invaded France, quite a few of them waited too long to safely flee. Enter Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee. A journalist who became distraught at the treatment of Jewish refugees while covering the Nazi occupation in Berlin, Fry later returned to France to smuggle out Jewish artists, writers, and other anti-Nazi, politically-active individuals. In addition to the riveting and daring rescues and gloriously visual descriptions of the French setting, there is also the story of a forbidden relationship between Fry and his (fictional) college friend, the secretly bi-racial, half-Jewish Elliot Grant, who is likely somewhat based on Lincoln Kirstein. This is where the book gets a little murky for me. I couldn’t really find any references that the married Fry had a romantic and adulterous relationship with Kirstein or really anyone else while in France. Though I can see why the author included this additional narrative to add human depth to this very complicated, superhero of a man, this story absolutely would have been enough for me without the addition of the fictionalized romance and there is just something in me that is uncomfortable with that sort of liberty being taken for the sake of making an already incredible story even more extraordinary. Orringer handles these often delicate themes capably, and her writing is beautiful, human, and exceptionally believable. A part of me still can’t help but feel that this sort of intimacy just feels too personal to fictionalize.
And Book of the Month includes a bookmark every month.
If you picked this book this month, please let me know what you think of it!
Verdict: Book of the Month took me a lot deeper than I expected to go this round. My book was a great read, and I enjoyed learning about the rescue of some of my favorite artists by such a complicated and interesting man. While I had qualms with some of the fictionalized themes, those questions did lead me to further research on my own about Mr. Fry, and I feel like discovering where truth and fiction split in the eyes of history lead me to even more knowledge regarding this man and his heroic accomplishments. This is a great sub for any book lover, and the feature allowing you to choose your own book each month or skip (if necessary) should be appealing to anyone looking for an affordable and flexible literary subscription.
To Wrap Up:
If I sign-up now can I get this book? No, but you can select from the new June collection!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wish list!
What do you think of the Book of the Month subscription? Which book (or books) did you pick this month?