Quarterlane Books Review, Winter 2016

I am slowly trying every book box out there (I can’t help it anymore), and today I’m going to review Quarterlane Books, ‘a literary box that speaks to your soul each season’.  Quarterlane Books did their first box curation last fall – in September 2016.  I’m bummed I missed the first one, but very glad I was able to score a Winter box!  They seem to sell out fast, so if you are interested, join their mailing list.

Quarterlane Books was started by Elizabeth Lane, and delivers the most celebrated books of the season to you doorstep.  Each season (March, June, September and December), there are several different book boxes curated for the ‘sophisticated palate’ .  You have the option of subscribing to the quarterly fiction box or you can “shop the season” without a commitment. Shipping is always free!

The subscription choices:

The 2-Season Pass – Two quarters of our fiction boxes for $95 per box ($190 annually).

The 365 – The most anticipated fiction reads delivered to your doorstep every quarter. $85 per box ($340 annually on a subscription basis).

The Quarterly Reader – For the gift givers or a year’s worth of literary inspiration — four quarters of our fiction boxes for $95 per box ($380 annually).

Shop the Season choices are single themed boxes ranging from $105 to $180 each.  Their website lists exactly what is in each box so that you know what you are getting.  The winter boxes are now sold out, but here were the choices:

Aesthete Winter 02 ($180) – The most coveted fashion and design books for your coffee table.

Epicurean Winter 01 ($125) – Introducing the season’s most celebrated books from three culinary connoisseurs — each one brimming with beautiful imagery and mouth-watering recipes. A must-have for foodies and aspiring chefs alike.

Juniper Books for Quarterlane (Four epic tales about female friendship and fate from Elena Ferrante’s beloved Neapolitan Series.

The Gentleman’s Quarterlane 01 (ur literary solve for the hard-to-gift guys in your life. Three expertly chosen reads that cater to his most ideal night stand lineup: travel, sports and politics.

The Wellness Box 01 (We like to think of our wellness box as being similar to the Japanese concept of Kaizen, a commitment to constant self-improvement. Hit the reset button in the new year with our edit of the most exciting books to inspire, uplift and bring more joy into your life.

Winter Fiction 01 (The winter season’s signature subscription box. As the temperature drops, dive into three of the most anticipated fictional debuts.

Every box also contained the following seasonal goodies: A Quarterlane lavender scented candle (4″ h x 3″ d, 100 hours+ burn time), 5.8″ x 8.3″ custom illustrated artwork by Samantha Hahn and a Bespoke Sloane Stationery calendar diary 21.5cm x 14.5cm.

I am not a Quarterlane Books affiliate, and I paid for my box. Please note that sometimes I receive boxes to review, but I *never* accept compensation in exchange for a positive review. All of my reviews are my honest personal opinions and contain my own photography (unless otherwise stated).

Quarterlane Books Review, Winter 2016


The outer box was larger than I expected, and it arrived very quickly after my purchase.

Inside, is the classiest box I’ve seen yet.  It is what I would describe as “simple elegance”.

A beautiful, sturdy, white lift-top box, tied shut with a pretty grey ribbon. This is definitely a box worth keeping and/or displaying. This type of quality (minimalist) packaging makes me giddy, I don’t know why.

Upon opening the box, the simple logo, white tissue paper and packing material give it a clean, expensive and professional feel.  I love that!  It is always quality over quantity for me – and when there is quality AND quantity combined, it is a big huge SCORE!

Included is a very plain, but sophisticated business card.

I like that a phone number is provided, and a way to contact the owner/founder directly.

There were three insert cards included; a note from the founder, information on how to share your thoughts/photos on social media, and a coupon code for $15 off of your next purchase. Feel free to use it! I don’t know how long it will work, but give it shot.

I chose Wellness Box 01 from “Shop the Season” because I already have one of the books from the Winter Fiction Box (one of the benefits of knowing the selections ahead of time).  This is a photo of the entire contents of the box as I unpacked it.  I noticed that there is a Gentleman’s Box offered, which I think is a great idea since so many of the book boxes available cater mostly to women.

The candle is heavy and has a very pleasant, subtle sweet scent of lavender.  It has the lovely quarterlane name/logo on frosted glass. It is comparable to any other luxe candle I’ve received this season, having a 100+ hours of burn time.  It is 4″h x 3″d. I could not find a retail value for this candle, as it is obviously made exclusively for quarterlane, but my guess for the sake of this review is at least $25, but could possibly be much more.

 The Bespoke Sloane Stationery 2017 calendar is 21.5cm x 14.5cm, and is probably the highest quality planner I’ve received yet. It is quite pricey at $61.10 retail value (converted to dollars). It is a dark navy blue color with silver foil lettering – but I actually thought is was black when I first opened the box in low light. This is going to be a great addition to my purse for the new year.

The inside has a section for each month at a glance with small squares, as well as a larger section for daily tasks/appointments with additional room for details and notes. Towards the back is a section for addresses and contacts, and it also has a small memo section with blank lines. There are many charts, tables and other aids scattered throughout.

“Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines” by Samantha Hahn  – Retail Value $19.95 (Amazon $15.91)

Amazon Excerpt:

A treasure of a gift for the well-read woman, this collection brings together 50 stirring portraits, in watercolor and in word, of literature’s most well-read female characters. Anna Karenina, Clarissa Dalloway, Daisy Buchanan…each seems to live on the page through celebrated artist Samantha Hahn’s evocative portraits and hand-lettered quotations, with the pairing of art and text capturing all the spirit of the character as she was originally written. The book itself evokes vintage grace reimagined for contemporary taste, with a cloth spine silkscreened in a graphic pattern, debossed cover, and pages that turn with the tactile satisfaction of watercolor paper. In the hand and in the reading, here is a new classic for the book lover’s library.

I am really enjoying Samantha Hahn’s artwork!  These are beautiful watercolor portraits, and the quotes are such a fun touch.  I love quotes – I even have a daily quote sent to me for inspiration on my phone from Danielle LaPorte called #truthbomb.

I admire anyone who has a talent with watercolors – I love to sketch, but my watercolor masterpieces resemble a 4-year old’s color crayon drawing that got rained on.  I’m not kidding.

This is the perfect addition to your coffee table.

The three main books came tied together with this floppy pinkish-orange silk bow.  Again, I was so damn impressed!  All the extra details really made this un-boxing a joy for me.  I am saving the bow to use again; maybe on a gift for Christmas.

“The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith” by Gabrielle Bernstein – Retail Value $24.99 (Amazon $14.99)

Amazon Excerpt:

In her latest book, The Universe Has Your Back, New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein teaches readers how to transform their fear into faith in order to live a divinely guided life. Each story and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to what they most long for: happiness, security, and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Readers will learn to stop chasing life and truly live.

Making the shift from fear to faith will give readers a sense of power in a world that all too often makes them feel utterly powerless. When the tragedies of the world seem overwhelming, this book will help guide them back to their true power.

Gabrielle says, “My commitment with this book is to wake up as many people as possible to their connection to faith and joy. In that connection, we can be guided to our true purpose: to be love and spread love. These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we merely post on social media. Rather, these words must be our mission. The happiness, safety, and security we long for lies in our commitment to love.”

When readers follow this path, they’ll begin to feel a swell of energy move through them. They will find strength when they are down, synchronicity and support when they’re lost, safety in the face of uncertainty, and joy when they are otherwise in pain. Follow the secrets revealed in this book to unleash the presence of your power and know always that The Universe Has Your Back.

The reason I chose the “Wellness” box is because my resolutions each year are to improve/change my outlook on life, or in some way do a self examination. I check my attitude, my stress level, my physical health, my personal goals and my organization (or lack of).  When I saw the items put together for this box, I was totally excited to use each one of them for my January tune-up!  I am a spiritual for sure, and although I have my own set of beliefs, I enjoy reading anything that reminds me of forces unseen.  What Bernstein attributes to the Universe, I attribute to God, but it is no matter what you believe, I think we can all agree that on some level we are not always the only ones in charge…

“Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans – Retail Value $24.95 (Amazon $14.67)

Amazon Excerpt:

At last, a book that shows you how to build—design—a life you can thrive in, at any age or stage

Designers create worlds and solve problems using design thinking. Look around your office or home—at the tablet or smartphone you may be holding or the chair you are sitting in. Everything in our lives was designed by someone. And every design starts with a problem that a designer or team of designers seeks to solve.

In this book, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment and joy, constantly creative and productive, one that always holds the possibility of surprise.

I love the concept that you can ‘design you own life’.  In 2009, I was forced to re-examine every single part of my life.  I was suddenly divorced, moving to a new state for a new job position, learning to cope with several family deaths and a variety of other life-altering events.  The reality was that I could MAKE MY LIFE ANYTHING I WANTED!  I had a new slate. A fresh start. What would I do? What did I want?  It has been an amazing journey since then, and I really feel like I am now living a life I love, dictated only by me.  I’ve made mistakes and am constantly learning – and I will never stop opening my mind to new possibilities!

“The Moon Juice Cookbook: Cook Cosmically for Body, Beauty, and Consciousness” by Amanda Chantal Bacon – Retail Value $30 (Amazon $18.07)

Amazon Excerpt:

The founder of L.A.’s hottest wellness boutique, Amanda Chantal Bacon offers the ultimate resource for foodies looking to restore their health the natural way, using functional foods to create seriously healing drinks, snacks, and sweet treats.

Since Amanda Chantal Bacon founded Moon Juice in 2011, it has evolved into one of the nation’s fastest growing wellness brands, and in The Moon Juice Cookbook, she artfully distills her powerful approach to healthy living, sharing over 75 recipes for the brand’s most popular healing beverages and provisions. Amanda’s recipes harness the healing properties of adaptogenic herbs, raw foods, and alkalizing ingredients to create potent drinks, snacks, and sweets that deliver a multitude of benefits, including sparked libido, glowing skin, and boosted immunity. She begins by guiding readers through the fundamentals of the Moon Juice kitchen, teaching them how to stock the larder with milks, juices, cultured foods, and “unbakery” doughs and crèmes—all of which can be mixed and matched to create nutritionally turbo-charged meals with minimal effort—and the essential time- and money-saving strategies they’ll need to make their new kitchen practices stick. With recipes for healthful, delectable indulgences like Strawberry Rose Geranium Bars, Hot Sex Milk, Savory Tart with Cheese and Tomato Filling, Pulp Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce, Yam Julius Milk, and Chocolate Chaga Donuts, The Moon Juice Cookbook is the stylish yet pragmatic roadmap readers need to achieve optimal wellness in a natural and delicious way.

You can make fun of it all you want, but there is nothing more true than what you put into your body will affect everything about you.  I have eaten like crap pretty much all my life, and didn’t realize how unhealthy I really was until I started eating better.  It literally changes EVERYTHING. I no longer feel bloated or achy, my blood sugar has stabilized and I am no longer in the red zone for pre-diabetes, my mind is clearer and sharper, I have more energy and sleep better, I’m not so bitchy and in a better mood more often, and the future actually seems brighter. Not to mention my hair, nails, skin and teeth look and feel better, and I lost over 75 pounds!  I am always excited to learn new recipes in healthy eating/cooking, and the photographs in this cookbook are stunning!

The other awesome thing about this cookbook? The names of the recipes. Um…Hot Sex Milk? LOL! This cookbook is totally made for me. Must.try.hot.sex.milk.

Here’s another one – Moon Toddy.  “Hey, you guys wanna come over for some Moon Toddy’s?” If someone said this to me, I would trip over myself trying to get there.

One last thing. How could you NOT want to buy a cookbook from someone with the last name “Bacon“?!? I mean, come on

5.8″ x 8.3″ custom illustrated artwork by Samantha Hahn – Retail Value $20?  (Based on similar prints on her website.)  I love her artwork – it is simple, but colorful and soothing – and this one in particular fits a ‘book box’ quite well. This is the second artwork piece by her that Quarterlane Books has included in their curation, but I hope not the last! This print looks really nice on my bookshelf propped up next to my books. It would compliment any library.

Subscription Boxes themselves, are someone’s art. I am not being cheeky when I say that; it is true. I’ve noticed that my favorite boxes are always curated with much care. Whether it be the color coordination, the aesthetics, the wrapping, the packaging – it all makes the product somehow seem better. Special. Like a gift. Sometimes I don’t want to separate the items because of the feeling they give being all together. I was so impressed by the ‘feel’ of this box, that I decided to give the bulk of the items their own display space on my bookshelf. Pretty, huh?

This is no doubt the most expensive book book out there. I try to choose boxes that have a higher value vs. what you pay, but book boxes are a hit-and-miss when it comes to high value; most are either equal to retail value, or quite often more expensive than retail value. Quarterlane Book Boxes? AMAZING VALUE! I calculated the total retail value for this box at $205.99 (with Amazon prices $169.74)! That is absolutely phenomenal for $105 box! If you can at all swing it, I would encourage you to at least pick up a seasonal box once in awhile – and if you are able to use the $15 off coupon, think of the savings!

So are you loving Quarterlane Books? I know I am! Totally worth the $$, and now I can say with confidence, I have a sophisticated palate

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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.

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