Cozy Reader Club Reviews, January – April 2017

I’m SO sorry that I’ve slacked this long on getting my Cozy Reader Club reviews posted! If you have been here before, you already know that this is my favorite book box in terms of quality. Every month I am absolutely GIDDY when it arrives! If you want to peruse my previous reviews on this subscription, go here.

The Cozy Reader Club is what I consider a “Luxe” (luxury) Book Box. They curate a truly beautiful subscription box with high quality items that I am consistently impressed with. They are also one of the more expensive book boxes, but totally worth it IMHO. The cost is $64.95 per month, with a slightly lower cost for longer subscriptions. Unfortunately, they had to start charging new subscribers a $10 shipping cost, however the items always seem to add up to more value than the cost, which is cool. Each month you will receive 4-6 items including a recently released hardcover women’s fiction novel, artisan beverages such as coffee, tea or hot chocolate, beautiful handmade items and delicious gourmet handcrafted treats. The boxes feature handcrafted, artisan goods from local small businesses throughout the USA. There is also a book discussion available now each month to discuss the current read!

The reviews today are for the January, February, March and April 2017 Cozy Reader Club boxes – whew! I usually don’t do this many months in one post, but since I’m so behind, I had to! I am not a Cozy Reader Club 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 honest, personal opinions and contain my own photography (unless otherwise stated). Note, if you sign up for their newsletter with your email, you can get $5 off your first box!

Cozy Reader Club Review, January 2017

Da box!  I can’t believe how clean and un-dented it is…ha!

“Happiness is… a long bath with a good book.” – Amen to that!  Add wine, and it’s perfect!

Lifting the tissue paper up to see what’s underneath is such a treat! Ta-da!!

Here are all the items spread out for first glance…it’s a really good box this month!! (Not that it’s ever bad…)

OK, let’s add up the value here – a total of $83 (Amazon pricing $70.68).  Now, if I add California tax (where I live), it comes to $90 (or $76.16 Amazon pricing), AND if you consider what it would cost to ship the items separately, you really are getting a better deal than you think. Yes, you could get the book on Amazon cheaper, but many of the other items can only be purchased through independent sellers, so in reality this is a much better deal, not to mention it is curated FOR you in the form of a surprise box. 🙂 I can’t tell you how many new things I’ve tried through box subscriptions, too – things I would never have even known about or thought of! This is the true allure for me – finding new awesome things and brands!

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia – Retail Value $26 (Amazon $13.68)

Amazon excerpt:

No one knows who she really is…

Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good girlfriend. But Hattie wants something more, something bigger, and ultimately something that turns out to be exceedingly dangerous. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death, the tragedy rips right through the fabric of her small-town community.

It soon comes to light that Hattie was engaged in a highly compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The question is: Did anyone else know? And to what lengths might they have gone to end it? Hattie’s boyfriend seems distraught over her death, but had he fallen so deeply in love with her that she had become an obsession? Or did Hattie’s impulsive, daredevil nature simply put her in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading her to a violent death at the hands of a stranger?

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

This sounds really good to me – and is totally something I would pick out to read!  All the reviews say if you liked Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl”, you’ll love this book.

Twisted Tomboy Shea Butter Bath Salt Fizz (“Inspire” Coconut + Lemongrass) – Retail Value $11

This is so cool – it’s like a bath bomb in a bottle! It smells wonderful, too. Lemongrass is one of my favorite scents.

Ollie & Max Soap Co. Sweet Orange Ginger Bar Soap – Retail Value – $6  (Bonus: Cozy Reader Club members can get $15% off in this Etsy shop!)

This is an organic/vegan handmade soap that smells good enough to eat! Don’t eat it, though. I’m always happy to get bath products; especially when they are paired up with a good book!

Shady Creek Farm Soap Cozy – Retail Value $5  (Bonus: Cozy Reader Club members can enjoy 25% off in this Etsy shop!)

This is not something I would probably buy for myself, but it is so dang cute! My soap looks really pretty sitting on the bathroom counter in this little cozy. My bathroom walls are a lavender purple, so the pink is great accent!

Brooklyn Candle Studio Gold Travel Candle – Retail Value $14.  The scent is “Japanese Citrus”, and I must say it smells very nice! It is quite unique; unlike anything else I have.

Candles will never go to waste in my home! I think I have approximately 4 million, but I’m set for a blackout! Or you know, a romantic evening or some such shit. 😉

Kickapoo Coffee Roasters ‘Driftless Morning’ Whole Organic Coffee Beans (12 oz) – Retail Value $14

This is a blend of dark and medium roasts from Central and South America, made in small batches in Veroqua, Wisconsin. It has notes of bittersweet chocolate, maple syrup and citrus. MMMMMM!!! I like to grind up a small amount of beans fresh, then use my ceramic dripper for a single cup. That way, you get the best possible flavor each time!

Three Tarts Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti – Retail Value $7

You get nine pieces of biscotti that are perfect to dip right into your coffee!  I pretty much like chocolate anything, so it was a win for me.

This is one of my favorite months so far!! I love the book bath theme! What do you think? Does it seem worth it to you?

Cozy Reader Club Review, February 2017

I was worried when I saw this box – a big dent/rip/hole in it.  But all was good. 🙂

Just the sight of cozy hands on a hot beverage with heart-shaped marshmallows makes me smile and go ahhhhh

Look! Art!

My eyes go directly to the chocolate…but I don’t have a problem. Hrmph!

Their inserts are always so nice; good photography, and includes prices and product/website/vendor info. Some months, they offer discounts for additional product purchases, so be sure to look closely!

This month’s value comes in at $96 (or $82.64 with Amazon pricing)!! Wow!! This is on the higher side, so WHOOP WHOOP! And you know the drill…add the tax you would normally have to pay (about $8 for me) and consider the separate shipping costs that may come into play, and you have yourself a great value here!

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophia Kinsella – Retail Value $28 (Amazon $14.64)

Amazon excerpt:

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.

This is a thick-ass book! But I love Sophia Kinsella – she’s hilarious, but also has a witty and heartfelted-ness to her writing that balances things out. Can’t wait to read this!

Flipside Hats Handwarmers – Retail Value $32

Not only are they my favorite colors (they match my black nails!), but these handwarmers are perfect for me in California. It doesn’t get too cold around here, so these work great for driving or taking Jack for a walk in the park on chilly mornings!

They are really comfy-cozy soft! And because I use my fingers so much, I like the openness. Think reading a book on a rainy day on the back porch. 🙂

These are made from repurposed fabric in Portland, Oregon!

Bella Adele Co. Bookcase Watercolor 8 x 10 Art Print – Retail Value $12

Here is the print inside of a simple black frame (frame not included in box). I love this! I put the frame on a small table next to my ‘reading’ sofa, and it looks so nice! It adds a little color and personality to the room. Right next to it I have my coffee table book on vintage horror movies. LOL! I’m a tad eclectic and weird.

Nunu Chocolates Cozy Hot Chocolate – Retail Value $12

This hot chocolate is HANDS DOWN the best I’ve ever tasted!!! I’m not kidding. Not only does it make the tastiest hot cocoa, but it also makes the perfect iced mocha!! Which I live on. So score! I will be definitely be buying more of this since it lasted all of 4 days at my house.

Fluff It Marshmallows Marshmallow Cream (Vanilla) – Retail Value $7

This stuff ROCKS!  And it tastes good on basically everything. Hot chocolate, ice cream, cake, whoopie pies, fruit – you name it! It’s WAY better than Cool Whip! Again, I will be buying more of this. Don’t forget to refrigerate after opening!

One Fork Farm Vanilla Bean Caramels – Retail Value $5

These caramels are so soft!! They melt in your mouth. Very tasty – and if you joined the ‘salted caramel’ craze, these will make you oh-so happy! The perfect blend of sweet & savory.

What an absolutely fabulous box this month!  I can’t get over how much I love every single item!! That’s the thing with the Cozy Reader Club, the stuff I get never sits in a drawer or collects dust on a shelf, I use it all. Plus, I found my new favorite chocolate cocoa mix this month!

Cozy Reader Club Review, March 2017

OK, yes, here is another photo of the same f’ing white box I’ve posted 4 million times. And you like it!

Happy Spring!

This is always such a beautiful unboxing – seriously! I drop literally everything to open this box each month.

Look at all the stuffs! I’m just always so impressed with their selections. I’m definitely a quality over quantity girl – but in this box you get quality AND quantity!

I can’t believe it’s spring already.  I’m not even over Christmas yet.

Total box value this month is $80.49 ($69.19 Amazon pricing). This is actually on the lower side for Cozy Reader Club of late, but you are still getting a slightly better deal even with Amazon pricing if you consider tax and shipping if buying individual products. I’m still happy because all of these brands/items are new to me – even the author! I really enjoy trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone.

All Grown Up by Jamie Attenberg – Retail Value $25 ($14.70 Amazon)

Amazon excerpt:

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Middlesteins comes a wickedly funny novel about a thirty-nine-year-old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection.

Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she’s a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it’s what she leaves unsaid—she’s alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh—that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother—who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood—and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke.

But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart? Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg’s power as a storyteller, a whip-smart examination of one woman’s life, lived entirely on her own terms.

If you are interested, I did a review on this book here. I enjoyed it – my favorite part being the author’s prose.

Paper Sushi Cotton Tote Bag – Retail Value $18

I have a zillion tote bags, but I thought this one was really cute and reflects my love of life – reading! I use it not just for toting my books around, but also for grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s! (I’m a confirmed Trader Joe’s addict.) I keep it in my car, and it has come in handy on several occasions so far!

I love supporting small businesses. I rarely shop big brands anymore!

Miscoots Women’s Polkadot Socks – Retail Value $12

These socks have seamless toe construction and crafted arch support; not to mention they are a way-cute addition to ‘Sock Sundays’ – or what is better known in my household as “Socks & Smut Sundays” – ha!

Mitscoots is also a company with a giving mission. Which is cool.

Cozy Leaf  Tea White Jasmine – Retail Value $8.99

I’ve been on a Jasmine kick lately, so this works in perfectly. The benefits of Jasmine are incredible! I’m mostly a coffee girl, but I’ve been trying more and more teas and incorporating them into my diet since so many boxes include teas.

Sequim Bee Farm, Blackberry Honey – Retail Value $8.50

I don’t put honey in my tea, but I do use it on biscuits, rolls, waffles and pancakes. Sequin Bee Farm is in my old neck of the woods, too! I grew up in Washington State.

Lark Fine Foods Russian Tea Cakes – Retail Value $8

Yeah, so these stupid little things were INSANELY good and I consumed them all in one sitting. That was a nice 780 calories that went straight to my ass. Bah! LOL!

The Cozy Reader Club never fails me! I think they may have the best snacks & beverages of any box that I get!

Cozy Reader Club Review, April 2017

Alright, I shot a different ANGLE of the box for you. Howz that?

The anticipation builds….!

Here is the April loot!

The theme this month: “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” – Mason Cooley.  So true!  Reading is certainly an escape for me. And if you interrupt my escape time – God help you!

Drum roll please…the total retail value this month iiiissss….$86.99! ($75.96 with Amazon pricing) – BUT remember the tax & shipping you would pay on your own for the individual items. Not too shabby! Not too shabby at all…

Miss You by Kate Eberlen – Retail Value $25.99 ($14.96 Amazon)

Amazon excerpt:

“If ever a couple was ‘meant to be,’ it’s Tess and Gus. This is such a witty, poignant, and uplifting story of two lives crisscrossing over the years, with near miss after near miss. . . . I couldn’t put it down.”—Sophie Kinsella

A wryly romantic debut novel with echoes of One Day that asks, what if you just walked by the love of your life, but didn’t even know it?

“TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.” Tess can’t get the motto from her mother’s kitchen knickknack out of her head, even though she’s in Florence on an idyllic vacation before starting university in London.

Gus is also visiting Florence, on a holiday with his parents seven months after tragedy shattered their lives. Headed to medical school in London, he’s trying to be a dutiful son but longs to escape and discover who he really is.

A chance meeting brings these eighteen-year-olds together for a brief moment—the first of many times their paths will crisscross as time passes and their lives diverge from those they’d envisioned. Over the course of the next sixteen years, Tess and Gus will face very different challenges and choices. Separated by distance and circumstance, the possibility of these two connecting once more seems slight.

But while fate can separate two people, it can also bring them back together again. . . .

OK, this is really stupid, but I love the little footprints at the bottom.  The devil’s in the details!

This looks like a sweet little romance. I will have to be in the ‘sweet romance’ mood to read it (yeah, I know, don’t laugh), but it does get 4 stars on most reviews so I will give it a shot. 😉

Love Maude Felt Flower Bookmark – Retail Value $12

OMG I love this bookmark so much! I would never have thought anything floral would flip my lid, but this did! It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the leaves are a dark olive green, and the little flower is a muted grey-blue. It’s beautiful and functional.

Addie & George Coffee Mug – Retail Value $16

This 2-sided coffee mug is too cute! If the girl had blonde hair, it would be me! I wear my hair up in a messy bun all the time – especially when I’m reading. I don’t wear skirts too often, though, I mostly lay around in my underwear. But, still. I set this mug on my coffee machine because it just doesn’t deserve to be put in the cupboard!

Travis Treasure Box Hand Knit Mug Cozy – Retail Value $12  (Note: Be sure to check out their hats, too – they are really cool!)

Someone finally got it right!  A mug cozy that fits around a coffee cup handle!!! Praise be to God! All my other cozies can only be used on travel mugs with no handle.

It says the color is “plum” but it looks more lavender to me – which is a good thing because Lavender is one of my favorite colors.  I have some Lavender walls in my house. 🙂

Verve Coffee Roasters, “Streetlevel” Whole Coffee Beans – Retail Value $15

This is a nice, full size bag of coffee! I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s supposed to have hints of stone fruit, marmalade and maple syrup. Sounds good to me, even though I have no clue what “stone fruit” is. Let’s look it up. Here’s some info in case you don’t know either. You’re welcome. OK, I’m dumb, it’s fruit with a big “stone” in the middle, like a peach. Subscription boxes make me learn stuff!

Claire’s Squares Buttery Shortbread – Retail Value $6

The photo above was stolen from the Claire’s Squares website because I ATE THEM before I did my own photography!! Give credit where credit is due – it’s their pic, and their cookies are NUMMERS. Must eat with coffee. Trust me.

So there you go! Four months’ worth of Cozy Reader Club! What do you think? Are you going to try a box? It really is one of my all-time favs. I will be a subscriber for life!

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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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