Book of the Month Club – March 2017

I am so excited to finally get my hands on a Book of the Month Club box!  I’ve been wanting to try this company for a long time and I’m really excited to share the book selections with you guys!

As this was my first box with Book of the Month Club, I was lucky enough to be able to get ALL FIVE of their options!  I’m so excited to add these to my collection.

As a first time, Book of the Month Club book owner, I was really amazed by the details that go into the books they select.  This is a massive honor for authors, as their subscriber base is huge, but it’s also a wonderful moment for the subscribers as well.

Each book has Book of the Month Club printed on the spine, top right of the front cover and I *heart* BotM on the back cover.  Underneath the dust jacket has the monogram on the front cover, along with the month and year it was selected, as well as the monogram on the spine and the back.  These little details make this edition an elite selection for readers and an amazing addition to any library.

As I finally shelved these, I noticed their heights were slightly taller than many of my other oversized hardcovers.  I’m not sure if this is an intentional move by the Book of the Month Club team or if it just happens to be that way with the books they selected.  Regardless, I am hopeful to have an entire shelf dedicated to my BotM books eventually, so hopefully that won’t matter too much!

The first book I grabbed out of the box was Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach – an intense new thriller!  The description is:
Ava doesn’t believe it when the email arrives to say that her twin sister is dead. It’s not grief or denial that causes her scepticism – it just feels too perfect to be anything other than Zelda’s usual manipulative scheming. And Ava knows her twin. Two years after she left, vowing never to speak to Zelda again after the ultimate betrayal, Ava must return home to retrace her errant sister’s last steps. She soon finds notes that lead her on a twisted scavenger-hunt of her twin’s making. Letter by letter, Ava unearths clues to her sister’s disappearance: and unveils harrowing truths of her own. A is for Ava, and Z is for Zelda, but deciphering the letters in-between is not so simple…A clever, twisty, suspense novel for readers of The Ice Twins by S. K Tremayne and Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight.
I’m not a massive fan of thrillers or suspense novels but this one sounds like one that I actually might enjoy!  I’m eager to jump in and see what it’s all about!

The next book out of the box was All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg which seems to be a radical and honest contemporary read!
Andrea is a single, childless 39-year-old woman who tries to navigate family, sexuality, friendships and a career she never wanted, but battles with thoughts and desires that few people would want to face up to. Told in gut-wrenchingly honest language that shimmers with rage and intimacy, All Grown Up poses such questions as: – What if I don’t want to hold your baby? – Can I date you without ever hearing about your divorce? – What can I demand of my mother now that I am an adult? – Is therapy pointless? – At what point does drinking a lot become a drinking problem? – Why does everyone keep asking me why I am not married? Powerfully intelligent and wickedly funny, All Grown Up delves into the psyche of a flawed but mesmerising character. Readers will recognise themselves in Jami Attenberg’s truthful account of what it means to be a 21st century woman, though they might not always want to admit it.
Though I’m not in my thirties, these questions seem to ring true for women of all ages in this era and I’m eager to jump into this one and see what it’s all about!

Marlena by Julie Buntin looks like it will be my favorite and most anticipated read of the bunch; the description just grabs me!
Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat, inexperienced and desperate for connection, is quickly lured into Marlena’s orbit by little more than an arched eyebrow and a shake of white-blonde hair. As the two girls turn the untamed landscape of their desolate small town into a kind of playground, Cat catalogues a litany of firsts – first drink, first cigarette, first kiss – while Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try to forgive herself and move on, even as the memory of Marlena keeps her tangled in the past. Alive with an urgent, unshakeable tenderness, Julie Buntin’s Marlena is an unforgettable look at the people who shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull oneself back from the brink.
This is one that I’m immediately drawn to and will jump right to the top of my ‘next up’ list!

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid was next, and this realistic fiction is captivating from page one.
BESTSELLER in both The TIMES and THE NEW YORK TIMES 2017 most anticipated books pick — Guardian, Daily Telegraph, New York Times and many more…An extraordinary story of love and hope, travelling from the Middle East to London and beyond, from the bestselling, Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist Nadia and Saeed are two ordinary young people, attempting to do an extraordinary thing – to fall in love – in a world turned upside down. Theirs will be a love story but also a story about how we live now and how we might live tomorrow, of a world in crisis and two human beings travelling through it. Civil war has come to the city which Nadia and Saeed call home. Before long they will need to leave their motherland behind – when the streets are no longer useable and the unknown is safer than the known. They will join the great outpouring of people fleeing a collapsing city, hoping against hope, looking for their place in the world …
I love stories that focus on real issues and as this is one that is facing the world each and every day, I’m incredibly eager to read this one.

Finally, The Strangers in the Woods by Michael Finkel emerged from the box and I was taken aback to see a memoir included.
Could you leave behind all that you know and live in solitude for three decades? This is the extraordinary story of the last true hermit – Christopher Knight. ‘This was a breath-taking book to read and many weeks later I am still thinking about the implications for our society and – by extension – for my own life’ Sebastian Junger, bestselling author of The Perfect Storm ‘A wry meditation on one man’s attempt to escape life’s distractions and look inwards, to find meaning not by doing, but by being’ Martin Sixsmith, bestselling author of Philomena and Ayesha’s Gift ‘Not all heroes wear capes. My latest one is a man called Christopher Knight – a silent idol for anyone who has felt the urge to just sack it all off and live the life of a hermit’ Lucy Mangan, Stylist ‘An extraordinary story about solitude, community, identity and freedom’ Guardian In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not speak to another human being until three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food. Christopher survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store food and water in order to avoid freezing to death in his tent during the harsh Maine winters. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothes, reading material and other provisions, taking only what he needed. In the process, he unwittingly terrified a community unable to solve the mysterious burglaries. Myths abounded amongst the locals eager to find this legendary hermit. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life and the challenges he faced returning to the world. The Stranger in the Woods is a riveting story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude and what makes for a good life. Above all, this is a deeply moving portrait of a man determined to live life his own way.
This memoir sounds like something I’d actually be rather interested in reading and I look forward to exposing myself to something outside of my comfort zone such as this title.

There was not a single disappointing book in this box and I cannot believe I didn’t grab one sooner!  I absolutely love the diversity of their selections and the fact that they are so broad with their selections, not a single genre is excluded.  I cannot wait to see what BotM does in future months and I look forward to sharing with all of you!

If you’d like to grab a future Book of the Month Club box, you can head to their website right now!

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