Culture Carton is the subscription box for the man who wants to go above and beyond and not be content with being just ANY man. Among the items in the box is a book that a cultured man would want in his growing library, along with select toiletries that bring out the gentleman in him. Dress and look the part of the classy gentleman that you are.
Every month targets a different aspect of the life that a well-cultured man. September’s theme was “The Leather Shoe Care Kit” from American Shine Co.
Everything in the September Culture Carton.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy ($16 on card, $10.74 on Amazon)
PULITZER PRIZE WINNER
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
A New York Times Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year
The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post
The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
This novel is by no means light reading, but it captures human desperation and resilience in biting prose, showing the power of the human will. If nothing else, it will make you feel a little better about your own life.
The book format is much easier on the eyes than I anticipated, given the dark tone of the book. Good line spacing and relatively large print make this a good bus, subway, beach, or bedside read.
Most of the box is dedicated to keeping your shoes looking good. If you want to go the extra step, there is a coupon for 10% a professional style shine box from American Shine Co.
The flip side has complete instructions for shining your shoes with the provided supplies.
American Shine Co. Pre-Shine Conditioner Cleaner & One Microfiber Cloth ($7.99): The first step is to nourish the leather with conditioner. The kit includes a big 4 oz bottle of conditioner that both cleans and prepares the leather for waxing.
American Shine Co. Microfiber Cloth – 1 piece ($3): One cloth is included with the conditioner, and a second is used later to put a fine polish on the waxed shoe. The card describes the cloths as part of the American Shine Co. kit, but they are Amazon Basics towels – perhaps that is what ASC uses. Both are 90% polyester, 10% polyamide microfiber.
American Shine Co. Carnauba Wax Shoe Polish in Black ($7.99) & Brown ($7.99): In a former life, I had to wear dress shoes every day, so I have both black and brown leather shoes in my closet. I’m impressed that the kit includes polishes and brushes for both, not making you choose one or the other for your polish, and not forcing you to dedicate your brushes to one color. The polishes are high-quality, carnauba based polishes. As such, you don’t paint them on like cheap polishes, and they can stand up to a brushing.
American Shine Co. Premium Four Piece Brush Set ($19.99): Each piece has a sturdy, stained wood handle and horse hair bristles. The bristles are also color-coded for use with either the black or brown polish.
The Horsehair daubers are for applying the wax to your conditioned shoe. The small brush head lets you work the polish into any cracks and seams.
The large brushes are for vigorously scrubbing the wax and creating a desirable shine. The thick, contoured handles let you get a good grip and really put some friction on the wax.
Dr. Squatch Co. Handmade Cold Pressed Nautical Sage Soap Bar ($7): This big bar of soap makes sure you’re putting clean feet in those spiffy shoes. The Nautical Sage scent is really nice — it has an almost minty and eucalyptus quality to it.
The bar is made with natural coconut, olive, hemp, and soy oils and fortified with Shea butter for extra moisturizing power.
This was a very cool edition of Culture Crate. I thought the shoe shine kit was extraordinary! I was a little surprised to see the brushes valued at only $20 for the set, as I can imagine seeing a similar horsehair set selling at a high-end retailer for at least twice that. The quality of polish earned high marks as well — this reminded me of a Bespoke Post curation, a tightly-themed bundle of high-quality items. The book selection was superb, as well. I’ve really enjoyed seeing them pick books that are great read first and foremost, and not sticking solely to self-improvement titles.
I like that it limits itself to a manageable number of high-quality items instead of lobbing in cheap stuff as filler. The value is usually good – this month had a value of about $65 (listed $70 on card) – pretty good deal for a $40 subscription!