Book Box Subscriptions, The New Thing?

So, for a while now I’ve been hearing about book boxes. There are plenty out there, and the basic premise is the same: subscribe and once a month (or less, depending on the company), you will be sent a surprise book in the mail, often with themed merchandise. Some boxes come with tea, some with jewels, and some with bath stuff.

I finally gave in and decided to try one.

With OwlCrate, the company I’ve probably hear the most about, I had the option to choose from their back order list just to try out the service. A few months back the book of the month was Caraval by Stephanie Garber, and it came with a bunch of circus themed goodies, including the Night Circus tote pictured below. As I loved The Night Circus, I decided that this was the box for me.

Well, it arrived yesterday, which immediately perked me up after arriving home from work, because who doesn’t love getting stuff in the mail that isn’t a bill?

Here’s a video and some pictures of my swag:

I really did enjoy opening my box. The mini-donut lip balm by Geek Fire Labs smells soooo good. As does the candle. The book looks like a great read too, and I can’t wait to get to it once I get my TBR pile down to a reasonable level (Why is it always out of control?). But the real question is: are book box subscriptions as pleasurable as going to a book store?

Now, I love book stores. I love going there, getting coffee, browsing the shelves of not just books, but journals, bookmarks, candles, and treats. The difference, though, is that the OwlCrate was filled with book related items. I think that is where so many bookstores fall short. Fandom is a huge market these days, and it’s only getting bigger. When I read a book like Throne of Glass, or Rebel of the Sands, I don’t just want the book, I want the stuff in the book. I want a candle that brings the world to life, or a necklace like the one so-and-so’s character wears, and this where the themed book crates come in.

So yes, I did enjoy the experience. Would I do it again? Quite possibly. Because I love surprises. That said, there is always the chance that I won’t like what comes in the box. And that’s when I go back to the bookstore.

JEH

 

The New Thing I’m Working On: The Torc Progress #2

This past week I was focused on getting Under Jupiter up on the Kindle store. So, for a few days, I stopped writing The Torc. And I missed it! But now that UJ is up, I can get back into writing my new obsession. I’m around 1/3 finished the draft, and while I have a general outline, there are enough places where I can’t wait to be surprised by what the characters do. I’m still really excited by this idea. And I’m also very excited for the cover art. See the tiny preview below.

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This week I’m giving you a preview of the colour scheme being use. I love it. I adore purple. My absolute favourite colour is orange, but purple is a close second. And probably makes for a better cover. Which do you think is better? I remember as a kid that a lot of little girls hated orange. Like made that sour lemon face whenever they were forced to accept orange as the last option (only marker left). But orange reminds me of fruit, flowers and sunsets, all beautiful things. Purple reminds me of flowers too, but also luxurious fabrics and amethyst, one of my favourite stones.

Writing this week is going to be focused on word count. I’ll give you an update regarding my goal tomorrow, and then you’ll know why.

JEH

What I’m Reading: Legend by Marie Lu

Young Adult Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

This book had been on my ereader waiting to be read for literally forever. I’m currently attempting to get through my backlog, and Legend was actually a nice, quick read. Oh how I wish I had more time for reading!

I found the beginning of the book a bit confusing, since I didn’t know if Day was a boy or girl, but once everything was sorted out, things moved along smoothly. Legend is a dystopian novel, set in a future world at war after enormous flooding. The narrative alternates back and forth between June and Day, two kids on opposite sides of the war.

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I picked this book up because on of my friends told me she like it more than the Hunger Games. And I was like, what?!? More? Not possible. So, now that I’ve read legend I can honestly say I stick to that opinion (sorry friend, you know who you are). I still love Hunger Games more, but Legend was a solid YA dystopian read with a nice pace and a nice mystery that keeps you turning page after page.

The second novel in this trilogy, Prodigy, has also been on my ereader forever, and after I finished Legend, I began reading it right away. The series is definately worth a word.

A solid 4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I’m almost ashamed of admitting how long it took me to finish reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I made a pact with myself a while back to read more classics. I know and love Pride and Predjudice very well, but I haven’t read all that many classics other than everything by Jane Austen. Since I’ve begun reading more of the old famous books, I’ve found a few that I love, Dracula and Frankenstein, and a few that I’ve hated, Lolita and Madame Bovary. Jane Eyre fit somewhere in between those two ends.

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Jane Eyre wasn’t quite as romantic as Pride and Predjudice, and it wasn’t quite as gothic as Frankenstein and Dracula. I’ve noticed the obvious pattern that even amongst the classics I mostly prefer those with a fantastical twist. Part of the reason I picked up this particular copy of Jane Eyre was because of the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous? Here’s a better look.

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Previous to reading the novel, I’d seen a couple different remakes of Jane Eyre in cinema format, and I’ve never particularly loved any of those either. Part of the reason, I think, is that the pieces of the novel I found more interesting always seemed to be wiped out of the movie. For instance, i really enjoyed the beginning of Jane Eyre when Jane’s at school. This took up at least a good quarter of the book, but I’ve never seen a movie dedicate that much time to it.

All in all, reading Jane Eyre was a pleasant experience, so pleasant in fact that I kept falling asleep when reading it, which is part of why it took me over six months to get around to finishing it. But I’m glad I’m done, and that I can now add it to my GoodReads count.

4/5 Stars.

JEH

 

Books I’ve Read: Castle Waiting Volume 2 by Linda Medley

I stayed up late last night finishing the second volume of Castle Waiting. It was good. Once I finished I Googled whether or not there would be a third volume, and read that the author is working on it. Supposedly the third volume would be in colour, and I’m not sure I’d like that. I love that volumes 1 and 2 are in black and white, I honestly think black and white is underrated. And yes, I also have a thing for black and white movies.

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Castle Waiting Volume 2 continues where volume one left off, and follows the inhabitants of the castle during they regular day, which is never regular. There are over four hundred pages of beautiful drawings and lovely story in this hardcover volume. It’s a lovely view of a fairy tale life, and definitely a castle I wish I could visit.

5/5 Stars

JEH

 

Books I’ve Read: Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

It’s not often I pick up a graphic novel. My husband gave me Castle Waiting by Linda Medley as a gift a couple years ago, and I loved it. Castle waiting is a beautifully illustrated black and white graphic novel great for all lovers of fairy tale and fantasy.

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Sometimes a change of pace is nice when reading, and after finishing Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners trilogy I was ready for something a bit different, so I picked up volume two and am currently working my way through it. This reminded me thg at I’d never posted anything about Castle Waiting Volume I, so here’s a picture of my book journal and my review from October 2014. As you can see, I was looking forward to the sequel.

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If you haven’t checked out this graphic novel yet, I highly recommend it.

JEH