Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, five curators pick out their favorite new hardcover books, and you can choose which one you want to receive on the first of the month for $17.99/month. You can also add up to two additional books for only $9.99 each. (This box was named one of the best subscriptions for avid readers in the 2023 Subscription Box Awards.)
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
My BOTM Pick for December: Interesting Facts About Space by Emily Austin, Hardcover Retail Value $25.19
Back of Book Summary:
Enid is obsessed with space. She can tell you all about black holes and their ability to spaghettify you without batting an eye in fear. Her one major phobia? Bald men. But she tries to keep that one under wraps. When she’s not listening to her favorite true crime podcasts on a loop, she’s serially dating a rotation of women from dating apps. At the same time, she’s trying to forge a new relationship with her estranged half-sisters after the death of her absent father. When she unwittingly plunges into her first serious romantic entanglement, Enid starts to believe that someone is following her.
As her paranoia spirals out of control, Enid must contend with her mounting suspicion that something is seriously wrong with her. Because at the end of the day there’s only one person she can’t outrun—herself.
Brimming with quirky humor, charm, and heart, Interesting Facts about Space effortlessly shows us the power of revealing our secret shames, the most beautifully human parts of us all.
Enid is obsessed with two things — true crime podcasts and random trivia about space.
She's also deaf in one ear, has an arm covered in rat-themed tattoos, and oh yes, she is convinced that someone is stalking her.
Emily Austin's second novel is a bit like taking an adventure through the mind of your best friend, that is if your best friend has a secret phobia of bald men and has very recently connected with the half-sisters she never knew.
Following an information architect who works at the Canadian Space Agency, the book is filled with interesting tidbits about space, just as the title indicates. But these come to you not as a jargon-laden textbook but in the form of random texts Enid sends to her mother when she's feeling anxious, one of the many quirks that make this main character feel like someone you probably know — or maybe you are her.
Because Enid is just like the rest of us — juggling her own mental health with family drama, making her way through the maze of relationships and trying to make sense of her feelings about childhood traumas.
Her father walked out when she was just a little girl and started a second family. Although she's known since she was a little girl that she had half-sisters out there, the book begins just shortly after her father's death and the funeral where she's first met these siblings she's never known. Meanwhile Enid's single mom has her good days and her not so good days — which Enid identifies as by her mom's lack of lipstick, not to mention the piles of dishes left in the sink and bags of garbage piling up in the house. Then there's Enid's relationship status, which has thus far amounted to a string of Tinder hook-ups with random women, most of whom she quickly forgets.
Meandering through the infinite spaces of Enid's life is an at times hilarious and at other times sobering reminder of the myriad balls we are all constantly trying to keep up in the air, while holding our own heads up above water. Best of all, perhaps, is Austin's ability to add a sense of hope to all of the struggle. You'll finish this book feeling seen but hopefully a little bit better off for having read it.
I was only halfway through Interesting Facts About Space when I'd sent my teenager at college an "OMG, I need to send you my January Book of the Month Club book," message.
This early release — Emily Austin's novel actually hits bookstores this week, several weeks after it landed in my mailbox — might be my favorite Book of the Month Club pick so far. I had a feeling it would be when I noticed author Emily Austin's first book was titled Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead — a book that's now on my Goodreads list to read ASAP.
The quirky humor that one would expect from an author who'd give us that kind of title permeates this pick from the Book of the Month Club editors, and it carries with it a healthy dose of humanity that makes it entirely charming.
Not sure if this one's up your alley?
Fans of Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette will find the same sort of quirky but entirely relatable protagonist in Interesting Facts About Space.
Value — Was This Box Worth It?
This Book of the Month Club pick was definitely worth it.
Once again, the editors at Book of the Month have nailed it with their early release pick. Emily Austin's novel is a healthy mix of fun and heart, and the chance to read it ahead of the pack is an extra bonus. As it does monthly, this month's box included a thick paper bookmark with a pithy quote on it — "This book hits the plot" — to help you keep track of your page.
BOTM Club starts at $17.99, depending on your chosen subscription.
The Cost: $9.99 + free shipping (This price is only for your first month).
Value Breakdown: This box costs $9.99, but the book I chose will retail as hardcover for $25.19, which works out to a discount of about $15. (Remember...this is first month only). Even if you are looking at the $17.99 cost for one of the later months of your overall subscription, you're still saving!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this book if you sign up today? Yes! But you will need to order it as an add-on.
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