Bookly Box Reviews Nov/Dec 2016 & Jan/Feb 2017

Hey all!  I’m going to give you a 4-month review of  Bookly Box! They always send a great book with useful bookish items, but the best part is their online book club.

The Bookly Box membership is regularly $39.99 per month, but is on sale right now for $29.99/month, AND if you sign up for their emails, you can get a 5% discount for the life of your subscription.

Here is a list of what each box includes every month:

-A brand new (surprise) HARDBACK book released within the last 45 days from one genre of your choice that you can switch up at any time.  Choose from: Literary Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi or Young Adult.

-A Bookmark

-Tea

-Two different items that will make your reading experience more enjoyable.

-A comprehensive report of where your donation went to and how it will make a difference.

-Immediate access to the online book club community, BooklyBuddy.

-An entire podcast dedicated to every book that you receive where the moderators of your genre group will discuss that book and sometimes even the author.

A word from Bookly Box about their mission:

We are a company that successfully sustains the One for One model. Meaning that for every single Bookly Box ever sold, we donate one book to kids/teenagers/adults in less developed countries.  We make the entire process absolutely seamless and take out the stress and burden off of everyone’s back. To spread education to the most remote places around the world is one of our overlying goals and something we take a lot of pride in. Our mission has always been to change the world with as little as one book at a time. As a company, we’re well aware that we don’t have all the means necessary to make the world be the exact way that we want it to be, but we do have the means and power to impact lives one by one with just a book. We believe that all it takes is one individual to create immense change and we believe that we can help ignite that sense of curiosity, hope, and ambition in some of the most remote parts of the world where kids/teens/adults have never had the chance to receive proper education. We believe that we can create real change in the world with your help and we thank you for believing in our mission.

I am not a Bookly Box affiliate, and I paid for my subscription. Please note that while I do receive boxes free of charge to review from time to time, 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).

Bookly Box Review, November 2016

They changed their box – I like the new one!

It’s always fun to unbox a book box – it’s my favorite thing in the world! What book will it be!?! What else will I get?!?

Here’s the loot for November!

As stated above, Bookly Box donates one book to less developed countries for every book box sold. Such a cool thing they do. Everyone should get to read books!!!

This month they are donating to Burundi, Africa. The card details all the statistics for that area. Notice the access to the internet is only 1.2% – yikes! I wouldn’t make it.

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig – Retail Value $17.99 (Amazon $11.58); I chose the “Mystery” genre.

Excerpt from Amazon:

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn―as January’s boyfriend―he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

There is not much of a description of this book on the inside flap, or on Amazon. I guess that is a good thing when it comes to a mystery!

How interesting, the author is a former actor!

I am always up for reading a mystery, but this one is stated as a YA (Young Adult) mystery so I wasn’t as excited because typically YA books are a little on the ‘tame’ side. It does get 4.5 stars, though, so I will definitely read it!

Every box comes with a paper bookmark that has art on both sides; usually including a quote on one side and a ‘Shhh…I’m reading’ warning on the other. I love the quote this month – so ME! I used to be TV junkie like everyone else, but other than “The Walking Dead” I don’t find much enjoyment in it anymore. There is just nothing good on!! Because of that, I’m now reading 4 to 5 books a month! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I do read a lot and like things quiet – much to the chagrin of my man. One of those things you have to love about me anyway. 😀

Corkologist Emoji Cork Coaster – Retail Value $2.75.  This cute little cork coaster (emoticons vary per box) now has a home on my bedside reading tray. It’s ironic how this emoticon represents the devious smart-ass smile that I get accused of often. Ha!

Silicone ‘Lemon’ Tea Infuser – Retail Value $1.98.  I really like this little infuser, but I have several tea infusers already, so this one went to ‘swaps’. If you like loose leaf tea – these are great!

Note: If you subscribe to more than one box, belonging to a swap site is essential! There are several of them out there (Swapidu, My Subscription Addiction) that are great places to swap any items you receive that you won’t use, don’t like or get a duplicate of! Being that I subscribe to about 7 book boxes, I do get duplicates on occasion, so swapping is awesome!

How it works: Open the lemon like so, insert a Tablespoon (more or less) of your favorite loose leaf tea inside, close tightly, then infuse for 2 to 3 minutes. It doesn’t say whether it is dishwasher safe or not, so to be on the safe side I would hand-wash only. You don’t want it to warp!

Tazo Teas – Retail Value $0.45 per bag. The two tea bags included this month (each month you get two) are Calm Chamomile and Chai Vanilla Caramel. You could use a bagged tea in the infuser I suppose (if you cut the little string off) just to make your tea cup a little more festive.

I just did it the regular way, though, since I want to swap the infuser. The Chai Vanilla Caramel tea was delicious!

So that’s November! The total Retail Value of this box is about $23.62, or $17.21 using Amazon prices (NOT including the little custom canvas bag and bookmark). That falls quite a bit short of the cost of the box, but don’t forget they are donating a book for every box sold.

Bookly Box Review, December 2016

Everything is neatly packaged in the canvas bag with the Bookly Box logo. So cute! Handy to use for traveling. Sometimes I use them to ship a book I am swapping to make it nice for the recipient.

This month’s donation will be going to Malawi, Africa!

Sun, Sand, Murder by John Keyse-Walker – Retail Value $24.99 (Amazon $15.86); I chose the “Mystery” genre – Duh!

Amazon excerpt:

As a Special Constable, Teddy Creque is the only police presence on the remote, sun-drenched island of Anegada, nestled in the heart of the British Virgin Islands. In all his years on the job, Teddy has never considered the possibility that he might have to address an actual crime on his peaceful island. That is, until he receives a hysterical call about a dead man on the beach. Indeed, Teddy is shocked to discover Paul Kelliher, a biologist who traveled to the island every winter for research, lying dead on the sands of the island’s most remote beach, killed by a single shot to the head. And when the BVI’s “real police” task Teddy with informing Kelliher’s nearest kin of his death, Teddy makes an even more surprising discovery: there’s no record that Paul Kelliher ever existed. Suddenly Teddy’s routine life is thrown into tumult as he tries to track a killer—against his boss’s wishes—while balancing his complicated family life, three other jobs, and the colorful characters populating the island around him.

Written with a wry, witty narrative voice and a plot full of twists and turns, John Keyse-Walker’s Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award-winning debut is a pure delight.

This novel is a “First Crime Award Winner” and gets a full 5 stars on Amazon! Wow! You hardly ever see that, so I’m excited to read this one.

Candy Cane Snowman Pen – Retail Value $1.49. This is a really cute gel pen – I used it to address all (2) of my Christmas cards this year. 😉 I also stowed it away with my Christmas decorations so I can only use it at Christmastime. The bookmark this month has a quote from Mark Twain on it.

It writes nicely – see my signature on the bookmark.

Reindeer Socks by Poppidot – Retail Value $4.  I *LOVE* these socks!

Jack likes me to rub his head with my feet. I wore these all month long!

‘Awake’ and ‘Green Ginger’ Tazo Teas – Retail Value $0.90. I drink a lot of tea in the Wintertime, so I’m always happy to get some! I have never tried the green ginger before, so this will be a fun new try for me.

This was a great haul for December – probably my favorite Bookly Box yet! The total Retail Value of this box is about $31.38, or $22.25 using Amazon prices (NOT including the little custom canvas bag and bookmark). The value was a little higher this month, and what I have come to expect from Bookly Box – remember they donate a free book each month for every box sold!

Bookly Box Review, January 2017

I like it when my boxes arrive in good shape from the Postmaster because I like to reuse them for shipping out book swaps!

Time to unbox!

This month’s donation books are going to Sierra Leone, Africa! I like that I’m learning some Geography with my Bookly Boxes.  I am geographically challenged.

The statistics are always just horrifying to me.

They have a new canvas bag logo! Very nice!

Glow of Death by Jane K. Cleland – Retail Value $25.99 (Amazon $17.10); I chose the “Mystery” genre per usual.

Amazon excerpt:

As a warm ocean breeze ruffles the tall grass along Rocky Point’s sandy dunes, Josie Prescott visits the house of a wealthy local couple, Edwin and Ava Belcher. She’s been called in to appraise their Tiffany lamp, which everyone is delighted to find is genuine.

Josie’s good friend, Police Chief Ellis Hunter, is helping prepare for her annual Fourth of July barbeque when he gets a call that Ava has been murdered. Unable to reach Edwin, Ellis asks Josie to identify the body.
Josie is stunned to discover that the dead woman lying on the Belcher kitchen floor is not the woman she knew as Ava. Astonishment turns to shock when Josie discovers that everything she thought she knew about the Tiffany lamp and the Belchers has been built on lies.

Readers will delight in spending time in Rocky Point as these much-loved characters come together to solve a dastardly crime in the Glow of Death, a masterful addition to Jane Cleland’s Josie Prescott series. In this cunning and twisty tale of envy, greed, and revenge, Josie uses her knowledge of antiques to learn the truth about the priceless Tiffany lamp—and to discover Ava’s killer.

When I first read the plot description I thought it was kind of hokey – the murder centers around a lamp?  BUT, it gets 4.5 stars on Amazon, so it must be me just judging a book by it’s cover – we’ll see!

OK, so the author has won several awards and seems to be legit, so I’m feeling better about it.

I do like the skull pattern in the Tiffany Lamp – I want that!!!

This month’s goodies include some colorful sticky markers and the usual bookmark-with-quote. Retail value of the stickies is about $0.80.

The quote is by “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle” – one of my favs!

Gimble Traveler – Retail Value $17.99

This funky little device will come in real handy at the beach, or if I want to snack while reading! It is a ‘hands-free’ tool to hold your paperback OR hardback book open; and is fully adjustable to the size of the book.

Pretty cool!

2 Tazo Tea bags – Retail Value $.90.  The flavors this month are vanilla caramel (one of my favs!) and sweet cinnamon spice – YUM!

And that sums up January’s Bookly Box! The total Retail Value of this box is about $45.68, or $36.79 using Amazon prices (NOT including the little custom canvas bag and bookmark). This is the highest value I’ve seen yet, although I did find that the price of the Gimble Traveler varied quite a bit online, and I saw it as cheap as $6.  BUT, keeping in mind that they donate a book for each box sold, I think this is still a reasonable value. I would never have known about the Gimble otherwise, too!

Bookly Box Review, February 2017

Time for another Bookly Box!  Wheeeee!

Let’s UNBOX!

This month’s donation goes to Somalia, Africa – which I’ve actually heard of!

I thought it was cool that the insert included a short biography of Somalian resident ‘Juweria Yusuf’.

Let’s open the bag!

Fever in the Dark by Ellen Hart – Retail Value $25.99 (Amazon $21.77); this was from the “Mystery” genre.

Amazon excerpt:

In FEVER IN THE DARK by MWA Edgars Grand Master Ellen Hart, Fiona and Annie return home from their one year anniversary trip to discover that their poignant proposal video has been posted on YouTube and has garnered hundreds of thousands of hits. The video is on the verge of going viral, and there’s enormous media interest in Fiona and Annie, as their fame comes just on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage across the country. As some of the attention starts to turn vicious, Fiona pulls in an old friend, private investigator Jane Lawless, to help separate the harmless threats from the potentially harmful.

As the media storm continues to grow, Fiona revels in the attention, but Annie is furious. Fiona has always known that Annie has secrets, but her newfound notoriety threatens to bring Annie’s past straight to their door. And then, when a murder occurs and Annie and Fiona are both suspects, it’s up to Jane to prove their innocence…although the more she learns, the more she starts to wonder whether they actually are innocent.

Ellen Hart will once again captivate readers with her trademark smart, clever, mystery plotting and rich, human characters.

Unfortunately, this month’s book isn’t my thang, but it does receive 4 stars on Amazon. But that’s the beauty of swaps! I was able to list this book on a swap site, and within hours got a request. We both ended up with books we wanted! No harm, no foul!

There was a slight dent/ding on the lower corner, but that occasionally happens in the box subscription world. It wasn’t a big deal to me, and it is the first time it has happened.

I totally concur with the quote this month!

Owl Notebook & Log Pen – Retail Value $10?  I couldn’t find these exact items online, but they are super cute! I love little things like this for my desk. I am constantly writing myself notes, so paper/pens never go to waste at my house!

This would be such a cute set to go in a log cabin or summer home, wouldn’t it??

2 Tazo Tea Bags – Retail Value $0.90. Another vanilla caramel – woohoo!! Also, ‘Zen’ – green tea w/lemongrass & spearmint. Sounds good!

So that was February! Although the book was a miss for me, I was able to swap for a different read – and I loved the extra goodies. The total Retail Value of this box is about $36.89, or $32.67 using Amazon prices (NOT including the little custom canvas bag and bookmark); that is if my calculations were close for the notebook/pen. This is right on point, so I was happy.

To see my review of Bookly Box for September & October, go here.  So what do you think of Bookly Box?!?

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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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