Boxwalla Book Subscription Box Review – Abroad Novels
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: the US (for free), Canada for $11.95, and the rest of the world for $18.95
Boxwalla Book Subscription Box June 2019 Review
The curators always send a card with information about each item in the box. This month’s box showcases new releases written by authors from two different generations and two different continents.
The Besieged City by Clarice Lispector (hardcover) – Retail Value $23.95 (found here for $13.22)
This is a really neat book. Although it was written in 1949, it was just published in English in April of this year! It’s a fictional biography of sorts, but it’s a dual story: the story of a woman, particularly the story of her love life, coupled with the story of the city in which she lives (the fictional town of Sao Geraldo). She takes snapshots of moments, like a ball she attends with a soldier, and describes the romance as you might expect in a novel. But, additionally, she describes what is happening in the town in such great detail that it is possible to understand the city as it changes over time as well. I really enjoyed it! From Amazon:
Seven decades after its original publication, Clarice Lispector’s third novel, the story of a girl and the city her gaze reveals, is in English at last. Lucrécia Neves is ready to marry. Her suitors, soldierly Felipe, pensive Perseu, dependable Mateus, are attracted to her tawdry not-quite-beauty, which is of a piece with Sao Geraldo, the rough-and-ready township she inhabits. Civilization is on its way to this place, where wild horses still roam. As Lucrécia is tamed by marriage, Sao Geraldo gradually expels its horses; and as the town strives for the highest attainment it can conceive, a viaduct, it takes on the progressively more metropolitan manners that Lucrécia, with her vulgar ambitions, desires too. Yet it is precisely through this woman’s superficiality, her identification with the porcelain knickknacks in her mother’s parlor, that Clarice Lispector creates a profound and enigmatic meditation on “the mystery of the thing.” Written in Europe shortly after Clarice Lispector’s own marriage, The Besieged City is a proving ground for the intricate language and the radical ideas that characterize one of her century’s greatest writers, and an ironic ode to the magnetism of the material.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (hardcover) – Retail Value $26 (found here for $18.72)
This book is so beautiful. It brought me to the verge of tears several times. It’s hard to even describe it! Released in June of this year, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from the author to his illiterate mother, a Vietnamese immigrant. It’s basically the story of his life to this point, with full disclosure and complete reasoning for every decision, every movement. It’s a description of his perspective, which is completely different from his mother’s, but it also encapsulates this life at this time here in America. From Amazon:
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.
With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.
This month there was no “bookish gift,” so that was a little disappointing. I can’t tell from the website if they have discontinued the extra gift permanently or not. We shall see!
The Verdict: I am never disappointed by the excellent curation of the Boxwalla Book box‘s book selections. They are always challenging, meaty books, and this month’s selections are no exception. I really enjoyed both books and considered them both brain candy. I think they also did an amazing job contracting two new releases from international authors. In some ways, they could not be more different! This box cost $29.95 shipped, and the value of the two books included totals $49.95. I would say that the value here is solid.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive the August box.
Value Breakdown: This box cost $29.95 shipped, and the value of the two books included totals $49.95. This represents a discount of about 40%. That’s awesome!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of this month’s Boxwalla Book box?