BoxWalla Book Subscription Box Review – April 2019
BoxWalla is a subscription box company dedicated to sharing uncommon food, books, films, andgreen 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.
This review is of the Boxwalla Book subscription, which is $29.95 every other month.
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.)
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: the US for free and international for an additional cost
Boxwalla Book Subscription Box April 2019 Review
The curators always send a card with information about each item in the box. This month’s theme is “Talkin’ About My Generation”, and we have books from Japan and France. There is also a bookish gift.
The first thing I noticed about this book is that the title has no question mark. That’s because it’s not a question. It’s an explanation. A non-fiction explanation. So as you can imagine, this book is both a page-turner and extremely hard to read at times. It was a very, very good read. The author is a young “superstar” in the literary world, and the book is a very harsh condemnation of the French class system. Book summary from Amazon:
This bracing new nonfiction book by the young superstar Édouard Louis is both a searing j’accuse of the viciously entrenched French class system and a wrenchingly tender love letter to his father.
Who Killed My Father rips into France’s long neglect of the working class and its overt contempt for the poor, accusing the complacent French?at the minimum?of negligent homicide.
The author goes to visit the ugly gray town of his childhood to see his dying father, barely fifty years old, who can hardly walk or breathe:“You belong to the category of humans whom politics consigns to an early death.” It’s as simple as that.
But hand in hand with searing, specific denunciations are tender passages of a love between father and son, once damaged by shame, poverty and homophobia. Yet tenderness reconciles them, even as the state is killing off his father. Louis goes after the French system with bare knuckles but turns to his long-alienated father with open arms: this passionate combination makes Who Killed My Father a heartbreaking book.
Toddler Hunting and Other Stories by Taeko Kono (paperback) – Retail Value $16.95 (Found here for $18)
This book was really interesting for a number of reasons. It is a collection of short stories written in the 1960s by a Japanese female author, and the book has a pretty heavy feminist slant. The stories are about the neuroses and sexual perversions of women in Japan, but the shocking details do not present as dramatic story points, but rather as matter-of-fact conditions. It is ultimately a condemnation of the Japanese culture at the time for the strict identities and cultural norms forced upon women, which makes it a fantastic companion to the Louis book. Book summary from Amazon:
Toddler-Hunting & Other Stories introduces to American readers a startlingly original voice. Winner of most of Japan’s top literary prizes for fiction, Taeko Kono writes with a disquieting and strange beauty, always foregrounding what Choice called “the great power of serious, indeed shocking events.” In the title story, the protagonist loathes young girls, but she compulsively buys expensive clothes for little boys so that she can watch them dress and undress. The impersonal gaze Taeko Kono turns on this behavior transfixes the reader with a fatal question: What are we hunting for? And why? Now available in paperback for the first time, Toddler-Hunting & Other Stories should fascinate any reader interested in Japanese literature––or in the growing world of transgressive fiction.
Black Notebook – Estimated Value $5?
I can always use more notebooks, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed by this month’s bookish gift. It’s very small and plain, and it’s something I have received in tons of other subscription boxes over the years. There’s nothing that makes it go particularly well with this month’s books. For the cost of this subscription, I would expect at least a nicer notebook if they did choose to go with a gift this generic. It is kind of an extra, so I am not too disappointed, but it could have been a lot better.
The Verdict: While I found the notebook a little disappointing, I am never disappointed by the excellent curation of the Boxwalla Book Box‘s book selections. This month’s books were both really engaging, good reads. They were also pretty educational in terms of the cultures they represent. I also thought the books were paired extremely well this month, each being a critique of two vastly different cultures.
This box cost $29.95 shipped, and the value of the two books included totals $32.90. The value of the notebook is really unknown, but as the value of the books is greater than the cost of the box, I would say that the value here is solid.
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: This box costs $29.95 + free shipping, which means that each of the 3 items in the box has an average cost of $9.98.
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