The Big Book Box | Review

In case anyone is wondering, I was paid no money to write this review. Or to post the photos that I’ll shortly be posting on Instagram. (Face it, nobody *pays* a book nerd with 100 followers on her blog to review their stuff.)

Now that that’s out of the way, hello all!

As everyone knows, I’m an avid follower of Booktube and I frequently suffer from a very serious affliction called “Owl-crate-envy” when I watch my favourite Youtubers unbox their fancy owl crates,. I’m certain I’m not alone in this. Right? Feel free to chime in indignantly in the comments, fellow-bookworms!

Weelllllll…. book lovers of India, I’m here to tell you that we have something of an equivalent in India! YES! Big shoutout to my friend Varsha who linked me to them! They’re called The Big Book Box . They have fun variants of their monthly boxes for people with different budgets as well as limited edition boxes. I ordered the Cappuccino box for myself, which is the biggest regular box, and decided to go only with a one month subscription because…well…money.

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Ooooooh wazzindis?

I’m going to tell you the negative things about the Big Book Box in this part of the post that shall come to be known for all eternity as the “pre-gushing”.

So, firstly, my box was very, very late. Their website says that they ship boxes ordered in the previous month in the first week of the month in question. I planned accordingly to have the box sent to my house, rather than my office, because I was home for the first two weeks this month. I figured it should definitely come by the 2nd week at least. BUT the box came today, the 23rd. So, I had to tell the irritated delivery guy who called me while I was at office, to give it to my elderly neighbour while my dog barked his head off that a rando is loitering outside his territory conversing with his human. Inconvenience all round. I’m chill with receiving the box anytime but I like to know with reasonable certainty.  So… that was an issue.  Maybe it was just a one-time thing. I’m unsure. 🙂

Secondly, one of the books that I was sent is a sequel. And I haven’t read the first book. I’m a bookworm with a serious book-buying problem. Why are you sending me three books, in addition to the three books I bought this weekend, and then making me buy a seventh book this month by making me buy the first part?*

Well, that was that with the complaints. Now, on to the loot!

This is how the box looks: ^_^

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As you can see, it’s a bright happy sky-blue, full of promises, like a clear summer day when you’re a kid.

It only gets better as you open it. The theme for the May Box is Women of Substance, which is fabulous on so many levels.

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The back of this card has a sweet letter from the management of the Big Book Box.

The box is a great collection of books, bookish merch, pretty goodies and FOOD.

They’d thoughtfully included a box of nachos and salsa so that I may munch as I read. That’s how I know for sure that the people who run The Big Book Box are true-blue bookworms.

They also sent a mason jar, which is something I’ve always wanted but which was a bit extravagant for me to buy for myself.  It will be put to good use during this sweltering tropical summer. 🙂 The best part is that it comes with a reusable hard plastic straw.

They sent a little scented candle, which the letter said is lavender-scented, which is one of my favourite fragrances. That’s a happy coincidence.

They also sent a cute floral coaster, which is a bit sad since I just bought uber-cool Batman coasters this weekend. It is pretty though, and probably more work appropriate that the Batman ones.

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One incredibly clever thing they’ve sent is a little sack of painted pebbles which can be used to play tic-tac-toe.

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So you lay this flat…
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…and then you tic-tac-toe!!!

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They sent bookish themed pins which took me back to a simpler time when my college bags were cloth and covered in pins. Let me tell you, guys, my pins were a conversation starter! Now I carry fancy leather handbags which truly stifle my original style, which is geek chic.

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That’s how they look!

They’re female-themed in addition to book themed (Well, except the first one below, which is universal :p) and I think y’all deserve a close-up of each of them.

They’ve sent a simple but charming Deathly-Hallows-themed dream-catcher which is a delightful addition to my happy wall.

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It dances in the breeze. 🙂

They’ve sent a Frida Kahlo bookmark. 😀

They also sent these information cards on inspirational women, along with lovely cartoons of them that I can’t stop staring at. Here’s a visual treat for you as well:

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And now we come to the item that I think will make more people eat their hearts out than anything else on here:

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THIS HARRY POTTER NOTEBOOK…

…Where the pages look like this:

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THOSE SYMPTOMS YOU’RE SUFFERING FROM? THAT’S CALLED A CUTENESS OVERDOSE.

And nowwww, the books! 😀

They sent the June issue of a magazine called Barefoot Sunshine, which is a name which makes me smile. It’s going to be my reward for finishing this post. If I like it, I may subscribe to it. They have a subscription option right on their website. I miss receiving magazines in the mail. 🙂

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The Cappuccino box has three actual books in it:

One is a paperback called Perfect by Cecelia Ahern. It’s the sequel to Flawed. That they’ve sent me a sequel upsets me, but the book itself seems interesting. So yay.

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They also sent a tiny hardback called Raymie Nightingale by Kate Dicamillo, which is giving off Jackie Wilson-esque vibes, which makes me happy.

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And now we come to the pièce de résistance, the book that has me the most excited, the book that I intend to read to my future children, the book that i am convinced will pass, well-loved and battered, through generations in my family is the best book that I could have ever hoped to see in my box:

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YAAAAAAAS

I will read one story from it each night, as suggested by the brilliant people at the The Big Book Box.

I definitely recommend that you buy this box at least once in your life. Indulge. Treat yourself. Why would you deprive your dad of the joy of coming home to you kneeling  by your teapoy fishing through packaging in a box while grinning like a maniac? Why would you miss the opportunity of having him chuckle that you look like a kid again as you rip bubble wrap off of your new mason jar? Get it, guys. Because it’s worth it.

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Go ahead and check them out. 🙂

Tell me in the comments if you guys have tried out the Big Book Box before, or if my review made you want to. :p Tell me if you’ve read any of the books here before, and what you thought of them. And mostly tell me which of my loot made you the most jealous! Let me know in the comments, guys!

Hoot.

–Sin

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*Purchase numbers indicated here are approximate and merely indicative and cannot be taken to include Kindle purchases

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Book Review– The House that BJ Built

THIS IS NOT A SPOILER FREE REVIEW

As you guys may have deduced from my pointed silence, I am suffering from abject writer’s block. It may be time for that to end now, however. As you know, there no better inspiration that irritation and I’ve read a book today that’s irritated me for many reasons. 

The book is The House that BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan. 

First, a bit of background: After downloading the Kindle app on my phone, I’ve taken to randomly buying inexpensive (and sometimes slightly expensive) books that catch my fancy when I’m bored on my commutes. These are books that are usually easy to read page-turners.Potboilers, so to speak. (Although I did read The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood recently, which is a dystopic novel. I liked it at the time, although, on second thought, some of it irritated me as well. But that’s a topic for another day) The reason I do this despite having a long suffering, neglected and marvellously well-written Wolf Hall in my bag is that it’s usually 8pm by the time I leave office, by which time it’s too dark to read a regular book. 

A friend of mine told me Anuja Chauhan’s books are quite fun, so I decided to go for it. Needless to say, I may never talk to her again. (Kidding. Mostly)

Anyway, back to The House that BJ Built: 

This book started decently enough. I went into it expecting a light-hearted romantic comedy, nothing too heavy and it seemed to deliver. As I read on, though, it mostly only irritated me. 

I’ve decided to make bullet points on the most facepalm moments in the book.

SPOILER ALERT

  • The author uses the word “pugnacious” too often
  • The book treats issues of domestic violence too lightly and seriously trivialises it. What else do you expect from lower-class Muslims, right? Completely normal. And fixable by a vasectomy without the consent of the abusive husband
  • The male protagonist thinks it’s ok to kiss one woman while in a relationship with another so long as you don’t have sex with the woman you’re in a relationship with after having kissed the new woman.
  • The female protagonist not only agrees with the above, but also is touched that he didn’t have sex after having kissed her
  • Why the fuck are step-cousins romancing each other?! I get that y’all aren’t related by blood, but eesh. 
  • The Thakur girls repeatedly mock their sister for shaving her head and not having her upper lip waxed. Sure, she turns out to be “evil” at the end of the book but maybe she wouldn’t have hated your guts if you hadn’t mocked her appearance or her bodily autonomy. Just a thought.
  • Why the fuck are north-easterners referred to as chinks and other derogatory terms so often?! Is it supposed to be a wry social commentary or something, because it doesn’t seem that way at all. 
  • There’s a money hungry Muslim who’s supposedly standing up for the rights of two north-easterners (who are actually from Bhutan!) and it so happens that he was actually being an opportunistic asshole. Therefore, as the characters conclude, these Muslims are all like this only. Extreme facepalm
  • The representation of the judicial system made me want to weep. They discovered that a will was fake and they didn’t even have to tell the judge. The case, along with the interim order not to alienate, authomatically ceased to exist and they could sell the property. 
  • SELLING IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IS NOT THAT SIMPLE
  • Trademark infringement is fine so long as you have big eyes, curly black hair, and a big butt and big boobs while infringing the trademarks. 
  • The female protagonist is referred to as “brat” and does not mind it despite being a 26 year old entrepreneur. Other characters are also referred to as “brat”, mostly girls and women of various ages. They all accept it as a matter of course.
  • When a character calls out the male protagonist for making a sexist item song, he says that he has 4 aunts who would ostracize him if he made a sexist song and therefore it isn’t sexist.
  • The mother of a seemingly talented female actor yells at her daughter for not stealing the male protagonist from his girlfriend in the way that the female protagonist was able to. 
  • Everyone and his neighbour is concerned that the youngest Thakur girl is unmarried even though she seems successful and fulfilled
  • One of the characters talks about “the cheerleader effect”, which is from the sitcom How I Met your Mother, without any attribution whatsoever. But eh. We already know how the author feels about intellectual property. 
  • The only likable character, BJ, the grandfather, dies early on in the book. 
  • Seriously, what kind of name is BJ? You know about “cheerleader effect” but you don’t know what BJ is??!

    So… That was a painful book to read. I wouldn’t recommend it. But at least it made me blog again. So yay… I think. 

    If you’ve read this book, tell me what you thought of it? Feel free to tell me if you disagree. Have you read other books by the same author? How did you like them? Let me know in the comments

    Hoot.

    –Sin

    Life and Death

    There’s a book that I’m actually really excited to read, and it’s by Stephanie Meyer. Actually there’s two.
    The first is The Host, which would actually be a reread because I just replaced my lost copy!
    I read The Host for the first time when I was on a trip with my parents and grandmother. I adored the book and spend the whole night reading it even though we had an early start the next morning.
    It’s much cleverer and more interesting than the Twilight books. It was supposed to be part of a trilogy but that never happened which is good because it’s much better as a standalone.
    The Twilight series on the other hand, starts off with a relatively interesting, albeit shy, person, with a life and hobbies and interests and turns her into this person who’s completely sucked into her control freak boyfriend’s life and family to the exclusion of everything else.
    However, I’m really really curious to read her new book Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined which has been released in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Twilight. It’s basically Twilight reimagined with the genders of the characters swapped. I really want to read how she does it and if it really even works.
    I acknowledge that this may end poorly and I accept that. I still want to know if this book will be a sufficient comeback to the repeated accusations of being unfeminist.
    In an interview with EW, Stephanie Meyer said that “Bella isn’t a “damsel in distress” and is actually a “human in distress,” that is, “a normal human being surrounded on all sides by people who are basically superheroes and supervillains.”
    Allegations of paedophilia aside, I am really interested to read this take on thr popular story.
    How do you feel about this development? Will you read the book? Is it worth cheating on non-fiction month?
    Tell me your thoughts in the comments
    Cheers
    Sin