Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription service that allows subscribers to choose one book from their monthly selection, chosen by a panel of judges. The introductory price is $9.99 a month but goes up to $14.99 after the initial subscription period. There are add-ons available which include previous month’s selections and a few other random books available for $9.99. I will note that BOTM runs specials monthly where they offer a free book with your first subscription if you use specific codes, so if you’re thinking about subscribing look for those, they’re literally everywhere and they change their offering constantly.
If a subscriber finds that they are not interested in the current month’s selections they have the option to skip that month and will still have the credit on their account to apply toward another month’s selections.
To find out more, you can check them out at www.bookofthemonth.com. That link utilizes my referral code so those signing up would get both of us bonuses and I think you might get a free tote bag on sign up as well. For the sake of transparency, I am not sponsored and am a paying customer, this referral code is just the membership code that everyone is given.
So it’s now November, I skipped last month because I wasn’t terribly impressed with their selections. Not that they were bad, but I already had ARC copies of the books that I would have wanted from last month’s, so I carried my two credits over to November and boy am I glad I did!
Ahhhh! So many great picks for November! I genuinely had a hard time choosing this month and decided to go on ahead and use my remaining two credits because I have no self control. I had been anticipating Andy Weir’s Artemis being a fan of his previous novel, The Martian but reviews seemed to be pretty hit or miss, and there were two other books this month that really caught my eye.
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Alice Hoffman is one of those authors that I’ve been really wanting to get into for a while now, especially considering I have a handful of blogger friends that are huge fans of her work. While I haven’t read Practical Magic I saw that this book is a prequel that is already getting stellar reviews and I couldn’t resists picking it up. The number of holds on this book at my library was also astounding, and I didn’t want to wait several months to get my hands on this book, so I decided to make it one of my two picks. I don’t know if I should wait to read Practical Magic first or just go straight into this book, so I’ll probably do some research on it and ask around.
Find your magic
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.
From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.
The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.
Future Home of the Living God
Umm hello wow does anyone else get a Handmaid’s Tale vibe from this book’s synopsis? Because I did and I knew that I needed it. I love dystopia so I’m hoping for something refreshing from this title. It’s not overly long so I’ll probably read it sometime around New Year’s.
The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.
Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity.
There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.
So I noticed on the website that they offered a free coloring kit and figured why the hell not? It’s a cute little three page coloring book with simple illustrations showcasing readers. It also included a small pack of colored pencils, six in all. As a free item it’s pretty cute and should be a fun activity for me to do with my daughter. There was also a colorful paper bookmark this month that I actually really liked, as opposed to the ones in the past with a judge’s face plastered on it explaining their book choices. All in all, I can’t complain, these are nice bonus items that I can appreciate.
For the two books that I purchased, I paid two credits, which comes up to $19.98 since I am still on the discounted initial sign up price. Now comparing this to the full retail price on Amazon for hardcover copies of these books, I saved roughly $15 and some change. This is pretty great savings for me this month, the initial sign up price definitely can’t be beat. At BOTM’s normal price I would have still saved roughly $5 so it’s like getting a coupon. Shipping is also free, so that adds a good amount of value to the box.
Are these items I’d buy?
Yeah, these are two books that I’m excited to read, and I liked the extra little free items thrown in.
Would I order again?
When I have the funds to buy brand new books regularly, than yes absolutely.
Book of the Month is definitely one of the better subscription services out there if you’re looking for the biggest new releases at a slightly discounted price. It’s definitely worth the initial subscription price since the books are heavily discounted and there are plenty of opportunities to request a free book on sign up. Once the books go back up to the regular $14.99 price then it can be a little negligible, since that’s the general price of a new hardcover anyway and you don’t save as much, unless you place a lot of value on the convenience and free shipping.
The book selections are generally good although they are usually the year’s hot releases that are being pushed heavily by publishers. If you live in a larger city with a well funded library system then many of these books will likely already be available to you. This note can ignored though for folks with smaller library systems that don’t always get new releases or for folks just looking for new books for their personal collections.
Now one thing that will likely be a downside to some is that cancelling is not as easy as most subscription services, which allows you to do so online. BOTM asks that you call or email their customer service department to request a cancellation, and I’m not yet sure how hard they will try to convince you not to cancel. This may not be a negative to everyone, it isn’t for me personally, but it just seems like an extra hurdle when most other services are automated and you never have to deal with talking to an employee.
How did you like this month’s box?
Are you interested in BOTM or Book Boxes in general?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!