Book of the Month January 2017 Subscription Box Review + Coupon

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Bookspan’s Book of the Month Club is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, their panel of Judges selects 5 books, which they announce on the first of the month, and members have six days to decide which book (or books) they would like to receive. All books are shipped at the same time, so members can read and participate in their discussion forums as a group. One book per month is included in the membership fee, and members can purchase up to two additional books each month for $9.99 per title. The monthly price is $16.99 per month, $11.99 per month on a year-long subscription.

DEAL: Get one month for just $5 with code READ5. Also, for a limited time when you join Book of the Month Club, you’ll get a Book of the Month Tote as shown above AND save 30% on a 3-month subscription! Just use the code 30TOTE when you sign up for their 3-month subscription.

Here are all five selections for the January Book of the Month!

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lyndsey Lee Johnson – Judge: Sarah Weinman

The wealthy enclaves north of San Francisco are not the paradise they appear to be, and nobody knows this better than the students of a local high school. Despite being raised with all the opportunities money can buy, these vulnerable kids are navigating a treacherous adolescence in which every action, every rumor, every feeling, is potentially postable, shareable, viral.

Lindsey Lee Johnson’s kaleidoscopic narrative exposes at every turn the real human beings beneath the high school stereotypes. Abigail Cress is ticking off the boxes toward the Ivy League when she makes the first impulsive decision of her life: entering into an inappropriate relationship with a teacher. Dave Chu, who knows himself at heart to be a typical B student, takes desperate measures to live up to his parents’ crushing expectations. Emma Fleed, a gifted dancer, balances rigorous rehearsals with wild weekends. Damon Flintov returns from a stint at rehab looking to prove that he’s not an irredeemable screwup. And Calista Broderick, once part of the popular crowd, chooses, for reasons of her own, to become a hippie outcast.

Into this complicated web, an idealistic young English teacher arrives from a poorer, scruffier part of California. Molly Nicoll strives to connect with her students—without understanding the middle school tragedy that played out online and has continued to reverberate in different ways for all of them.

Written with the rare talent capable of turning teenage drama into urgent, adult fiction, The Most Dangerous Place on Earth makes vivid a modern adolescence lived in the gleam of the virtual, but rich with sorrow, passion, and humanity.

My 17 year-old-son read the flap and wants to read the book. I read The Most Dangerous Place on Earth because the chapters are narrated by different characters including Miss Nicoll, the teacher. I do think it shows the complexities and pressures of high school. I’m not a young adult fan, but it had enough of an adult perspective that I finished reading the book. T, my 17-year-old thought it was cool that BOTM books had books geared towards teenagers.

Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Lillian Boxworth Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney – Judge: Nina Sankovitch

She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.”

Now it’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It’s chilly enough out for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now―her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl―but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed―and has not.

A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.

The Lillian Boxworth Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney was a delightful read about a strong woman as she reminisced about her interesting life from around the time of prohibition to the 80s.  Watching New York City change through her eyes through good times and bad times made the story for me.

Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

Homesick for Another World by Otessa Moshfegh – Judge: Isaac Fitzgerald

Ottessa Moshfegh’s debut novel Eileen was one of the literary events of 2015. Garlanded with critical acclaim, it was named a book of the year by The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. But as many critics noted, Moshfegh is particularly held in awe for her short stories. Homesick for Another World is the rare case where an author’s short story collection is if anything more anticipated than her novel.

And for good reason. There’s something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh’s stories, something almost dangerous, while also being delightful, and even laugh-out-loud funny. Her characters  are all unsteady on their feet in one way or another; they all yearn for connection and betterment, though each in very different ways, but they are often tripped up by their own baser impulses and existential insecurities. Homesick for Another World is a master class in the varieties of self-deception across the gamut of individuals representing the human condition. But part of the unique quality of her voice, the echt Moshfeghian experience, is the way the grotesque and the outrageous are infused with tenderness and compassion.  Moshfegh is our Flannery O’Connor, and Homesick for Another World is her Everything That Rises Must Converge or A Good Man is Hard to Find. The flesh is weak; the timber is crooked; people are cruel to each other, and stupid, and hurtful. But beauty comes from strange sources. And the dark energy surging through these stories is powerfully invigorating. We’re in the hands of an author with a big mind, a big heart, blazing chops, and a political acuity that is needle-sharp. The needle hits the vein before we even feel the prick.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. I thought the book, based solely on the cover, was going to be a science fiction novel about aliens living among us. Instead, Homesick for Another World by Otessa Moshfeg is a series of short stories about the human condition. Humor combined with astute observations of people and their motivations made this an enjoyable read for me.

Girls in the Moon by Janey McNally

Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally – Judge: Dana Schwartz

Her mother, Meg, ex-rock star and professional question evader, shares only the end of the story—the post-fame calm that Phoebe’s always known. Her sister Luna, indie rock darling of Brooklyn, preaches a stormy truth of her own making, selectively ignoring the facts she doesn’t like. And her father, Kieran, the co-founder of Meg’s beloved band, hasn’t said anything at all since he stopped calling three years ago.

But Phoebe, a budding poet in search of an identity to call her own, is tired of half-truths and vague explanations. When she visits Luna in New York, she’s determined to find out how she fits in to this family of storytellers, and maybe even to continue her own tale—the one with the musician boy she’s been secretly writing for months.

This soul-searching, authentic debut weaves together Phoebe’s story with scenes from the romance between Meg and Kieran that started it all—leaving behind a heartfelt reflection on family, fame, and finding your own way.

I am not a fan of the YA genre. Girls in the Moon has two narrators. The narrative switches from Phoebe in the present to Meg in the past kept some of my attention. Others will enjoy the story based on friendship, sisterhood, and dreams.

BOTM Selection

It’s time to see the book selection inside the Book of the Month box! It is shrink wrapped and on a cardboard board to keep it in well-protected on its journey.

An Extra Book!

Subscribers received an extra book as a gift from BOTM! I love receiving books as gifts.

Lucky You by Erika Carter

Lucky You by Erika Carter – Judge: Rachel Syme [Exclusive Early Release]

In Erika Carter’s fierce and darkly funny debut novel, Lucky You, three women in their early twenties find themselves aimlessly adrift in the Arkansas college town they’ve stuck around in too long. Ellie, Chloe, and Rachel are friends (sort of), waitresses at the same dive bar. Each is becoming unmoored in her own way: Ellie obliterates all feeling with alcohol and self-destructive acts of sexual promiscuity; Chloe pulls out patches of her hair and struggles to keep incipient mental illness at bay; changeable Rachel has fallen under the sway of a messianic boyfriend with whom she’s agreed to live off-grid for a year in order to return to “health”, and she asks Ellie and Chloe to join them in “The Project.” In a remote, rural house in the Ozarks, nearly undone by boredom and the brewing tension between them, each tries to solve the conundrum of being alive.

It’s really lucky us because Lucky You by Erika Carter is an exclusive early release that only BOTM subscribers can read before the release date of March 14, 2017. I was tense while reading the book because I was convinced that someone was going to die because they were ill-prepared to live a rural farm life. I felt a disconnect with the characters and wasn’t able to enjoy the book.

I removed the dustcover and found the BOTM logo, month, and year on the book. It’s on all the books which I never realized until this month.

All books had the month, year and BOTM on the back cover.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn is a thank you gift to subscribers.

I read Sharp Objects and Gone Girl and could not wait to read the short story. I felt the story was strong in the beginning and had an ambiguous ending. The book has twists, as promised, but it comes too fast at the end and leaves the reader unsure of what to believe.

The January Book of the Month selections pushed me out of my comfort zone with two young adult novels. It was exciting to receive three novels prior to their release dates including Lucky You.  My favorite book was Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk because I enjoyed reading about her life and seeing New York City through her eyes.

Book of the Month is an easy-going subscription. The introductory price of $5.00 can’t be beaten. You can skip a month. You can add up to two extra books at $9.99 a book.  Can’t wait to start reading? Hit the ship it early button in your account by 8pm ET on the second of the month. Then join the discussion group and share your opinion.

What book did you pick this month? Share below and let us know!

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