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Hello Book Lover Review, August September & October 2016

Well looky here, another BOOK BOX! You have no idea how many of these I get – just you wait! It’s kind of ridiculous, but obsessions have no logic, so what can I do? This review is all about the Hello Book Lover Box! I have to say that out of the massive amount of boxes that I subscribe to, book boxes make up about half of them. I can’t help it, I see an ad for one and something dark and evil takes over my body and I order it. No research, no pondering, no looking at the budget, I just click on the subscribe button. Just like that. My neighbor, who graciously picks up all the boxes from my doorstep when I am out of town, asked me the other day where I put all my books. She is a advocate for Kindle because she is more of a minimalist. Me? I told her I have lots of bookshelves and like to look at my books, smell them and take pictures of them. There was no response. LOL! I don’t know why, really, I just like books. Why does one collect anything? Oh, and how could I do a box review on my website here with Kindle purchases?? B.O.R.I.N.G. So, here we are. 🙂

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Just for fun, here is one of my lovely bookshelves. This one houses many of the books (and bookish goodies) I have received over the last 6 months from subscription boxes. If you look closely (and are a box addict like me) I bet you can spot all kinds of familiar items! 🙂

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this box, I think I was perusing CrateJoy or something. The Hello Book Lover Box is a monthly auto-renewing subscription for $28/month + $6.95 shipping (US only at this time). You can also get 3 and 6 month pre-paid packages, or purchase a non-auto renewing one-time box from their shop as supplies last.

This subscription has a really great feature – you get to choose one out of two books offered each month (they are themed), OR elect to be surprised! I really like having a choice because it lessens my chance of getting a duplicate, or a book I’m not all that excited about. (Like THAT would ever happen.) If for some reason neither book choice is floating your boat, you can elect to skip that month! The ‘skip a month’ option is becoming more and more important to me for many reasons, but most importantly it just helps me relax a little more about committing to a subscription. I really like CrateJoy because almost all of the boxes I get through there not only have a skip option, but you are able to cancel your membership any time without having to contact the owner – you can just click the cancel button and done. It is also easy to re-subscribe if you change your mind! I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel super bad to have to send an email saying I don’t want your stuff anymore, then have to wait for a response and a cancellation confirmation. I have the patience of a Tasmanian Devil. Which is none.

Each box includes one book that is primarily directed towards the modern woman, and 2 to 3 small gifts that compliment the read such as stationery, office supplies, beauty supplies, candles, specialty food items and more! After you have read the book, you can head over to their blog and discuss it with the Hello Book Lover online community. The box is shipped out the first week of the month, which is good for my very ‘Type A’ personality.

I am not a Hello Book Lover affiliate, and I pay for my subscription. Please note that I *never* accept compensation in exchange for a positive review. All of my reviews are my personal opinions and contain my own photography (unless otherwise stated).

Hello Book Lover Review, August 2016

I actually didn’t sign up for this box until September because I missed the August window, but they had a few of the August selections left over in their shop, so to satisfy my need for stuff RIGHT NOW, I bought it as a one-time purchase. There is another past box I’m interested in but I’m *trying* to be more fiscally responsible. Did that just make you laugh out loud? Yeah, me too.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Here is the box – a cute little white box with their logo and website address. Simple elegance.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

A very nice insert greets you upon opening with a little information about the theme and how to discuss and share. Everything is wrapped in white tissue paper.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

This month’s theme is “Bookstore Obsession”. Right up my alley. Ha! I tend to get lost in bookstores for hours…shocking, I know.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

I chose “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin. What a great name, Gabrielle Zevin. Retail Value $14.95 (Amazon Price $9.77) The other book choice for August was “A Window Opens” by Elisabeth Egan. Excerpt from Amazon:

“Funny, tender, and moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love.”
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

This book got 4.5 stars on Amazon and sounds to me like one of those really awesome feel-good stories that will stick with you for a long time. I can’t wait to read it!

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Mini “What I Read” Journal, Retail Value $8.  I love this! Now if I can just remember to use it…

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

I’ve noticed that most of the ‘bookish’ items that come in this box are from Etsy shops, which makes me so very happy. Not only do I love handmade items, but I am in full favor of supporting small business entrepreneurs!  This cute little ‘Reading Nook’ candle and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ match box set retails for $2.25 / $3 respectively.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

What a fun box! It is simple, sweet and full of items I will definitely use. The total Retail Value comes out to $28.20, which is just over the cost of the box, but less if you consider Amazon prices. If you are looking for a high value box, this one isn’t for you, but personally I don’t mind one bit because it is worth it to me to receive a specially curated surprise box in the mail, and to support small businesses. Many of the boxes I get have SUPER high values, so getting a few here and there that don’t is just a non-issue for me. I am so glad I signed up for this subscription!

Hello Book Lover Review, September 2016

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Here is the box without the ugly shipping label on it. I wish they peeled off without leaving marks; branded subscription boxes are so nice!

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

You know what book you will be receiving because you get to choose (unless you ask for it to be a surprise), but all the other little gifts are a total surprise! I never see any ‘spoilers’ on social media, so this is fun. For more than half of the boxes I receive, I see full spoilers before I get them. This combo works out perfect for me; I WANT to choose my book, but surprise me with the goodies. 🙂

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

This month’s theme is “Make it Happen!” I was thrilled to find out this was a girlboss kind of theme, as I am a budding entrepreneur myself! Three years ago after a series of traumatic life events, I quit my career of 20+ years to pursue my dream of writing and blogging. I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how much happier I am now! But, that choice didn’t come without challenges, so I read everything I can get my hands on to motivate me to keep going and not quit! This has been a period of self-discovery for me, and I have been forever changed.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

For this box I chose “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. Retail Value $16 (Amazon Price $9.60). The other choice was “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Rubin. I actually want to read both books, but if you have spent any time on my blog at all, it should be no surprise to you that I chose a book with a cuss word in the title.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Excerpt from Amazon:

Bestselling author, speaker and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, cuts through the din of the self-help genre with her own verbal meat cleaver in You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. In this refreshingly blunt how-to guide, Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, life-changing insights, easy exercises and the occasional swear word.

Via chapters such as “Your Brain is Your Bitch,” “Fear is for Suckers” and “My Subconscious Made Me Do It,” Sincero takes you on a wild joy ride to your own transformation, helping you create the money, relationships, career and general all around awesomeness you so desire. And should you be one of those people who would rather take a bullet than get busted with a self-help book in your hands, fear not. Sincero, a former skeptic herself, delivers the goods minus the New-Age cheese, giving even the snarkiest of poo-pooers exactly what they need to get out of their ruts and start kicking some ass.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you will understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to start living the kind of life you used to be jealous of.

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As you can see, I have already proclaimed myself a badass, so when I saw the title to this book I was all yeah, I know, but this was still clearly the perfect choice for me. No, the cup is NOT included in the box, I got it at Starbucks – DUH!

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

I am such a list-maker. I get made fun of a lot because I have notes and lists and planning supplies EVERYWHERE. This will get used for sure, but right now it is sitting pretty on my bookshelf (see the photo of my shelves at the beginning and you will see it smack-dab in the middle). “You Got This” Notepad by Veronica Foley Designs, Retail Value $8.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

An Etsy Shop item with a discount code for additional purchases!

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Cute little foil-heart pencils. Another Etsy Shop item that fits the theme perfectly. Retail Value $3

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

And just WHAT is this???

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Little patterned tape spools! Apparently they are called “Mini Washi Tapes”. I don’t even know what I will use these for, but I loves them! My planner? Gift packages? Gimme some ideas in the comments below, I’m a newb at this! Retail Value $3.75

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Another really fun box! I have had this book on my Amazon Wish List F-O-R-E-V-E-R, so YAY!  The total Retail Value is $30.75 this month which is higher than the cost of the box (not including shipping), so this is fabulous, and also rare for a small book box! Score!

Hello Book Lover Review, October 2016

I spared you from another photo of the unopened box.

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Let’s get right to the goods…

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Fall is my favorite time of year, and this is my first Fall in Subscription Box Land! I’ve heard (for whatever reason), that the Fall Boxes are the best of the year, so I’m excited. Is that weird? The theme of the Hello Book Lover October Box is “Page Turners” and includes a ‘captivating mystery’! I love mystery, crime and horror novels, so October will undoubtedly be a great month for me in book boxes!

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

I chose “The Lake House” by Kate Morton. At first I thought this was the same story as the movie with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in it, but nope, it’s different. I have never read anything by Kate Morton, so I’m happy to find a new author! Another perk of getting boxes – finding things you would never normally run across. It gets great reviews and it will be perfect to read on a stormy day! We don’t get many of those here in Southern California, so if I see on the news it is going to be a chilly, rainy day – I clear my calendar, light the fireplace and get ready to READ. Retail Value $17 (Amazon Price $11.55). The other book choice this month was “The Silent Sister” by Diane Chamberlain. It was another tough choice!! Damnit!

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

Excerpt from Amazon:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Keeper comes a “moody, suspenseful page-turner” (People, Best Book Pick) filled with mystery and spellbinding secrets.

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories.

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. He is never found, and the family is torn apart, the house abandoned.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as a novelist. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old Edevane estate—now crumbling and covered with vines. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies from a masterful storyteller, The Lake House is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

OMG I love the little mini wooden honey dipper! I live for honey; especially organic raw honey. I put honey on my pancakes and waffles instead of syrup because it’s sweeter, thicker and so very good for you! Yogi teas are also tasty. I don’t know where the honey and dipper came from, but my guess it was Etsy and I saw some very similar little sets online there for a Retail Value of $3.50. The teas equal out to about $1.

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

One of the reasons I like getting boxes is because I love girlie bath and beauty products, and nearly every box geared toward women has them in some form. I don’t want to shell out (exorbitant) amounts of money for products I don’t know if like or not, so this is the perfect way for me to build up a stash of samples to figure out what I like. 🙂 It would also make a great little gift! The Little Flower Soap Co. is an Etsy Shop (of course), and this is their all natural Lavender Bath Salts and Almond Lip Balm. The smell alone of these products is amazing; I’ll let you know if I love them enough to buy more. Note: this shop gets 5 stars! Retail Value $6.50

Hello Book Lover; Hello Book Lover Box; Book Box; Subscription Box;

I am consistently impressed with the curation and quality of the Hello Book Lover Box! The total Retail Value of October came out to $28; which is the cost of the box (without shipping). You can of course get the book cheaper on Amazon, but as I stated earlier in this review, it is perfectly fine with me and I will continue with this subscription!

I just received the email on the book choices for November:

The School of Essential Ingredients” by Erica Bauermeister

and

Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradal

Which one would YOU pick??  Let me know!

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2 Comments

  • Lauren | Hello Book Lover October 10, 2016 01.41 pm

    Thanks for the great review Cheryl! We are so glad you have enjoyed your Hello Book Lover boxes so far!

    Reply 
    • crazydogmama October 11, 2016 03.54 pm

      You are very welcome, Lauren! Can’t wait for my next box! 🙂

      Reply 

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Cheryl, a.k.a. "CrazyDogMama". Welcome to my blog! Anything and everything goes here - seriously. I'm a super laid-back, non-traditional, 40-something introverted writer. My language can get a little colorful, I love horror movies, I pretty much live on coffee, chocolate and cigarettes and I'm not above writing about uncomfortable subjects. So, if you're good with that, take a look around and get to know me! Even if you're not, I try my best to entertain and offer up good advice occasionally, so hopefully there is a little something here for everyone.

This is my life.

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