Review | My Lit Box | January 2017 | Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

My Lit Box sends out a newly released book by an author of color on a monthly basis. Subscribers can choose to receive just the book for $17.00 or the full box plan for $25.00 which includes one or two quality bookish items. I got the full box because I love items!

roxanne-gay-difficult-womenThe January book of the month was Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. If you don’t know Gay then this collection of short stories is an excellent, excellent introduction to her work. If you do know her, then you obviously love her (how could you not?!) and you will love this book.

I described this book in the most recent Peek Over Our Shoulders post at Book Riot:

This was the pick for My Lit Box and it is so fantastic that I’m dreading finishing it in about 15 pages. I love books that get to the quick of really painful, difficult subjects but I can be easily put off if that quick turns cloying or overly dramatic. Gay has a way of making me feel things deeply and then pulling me back right when I am on the verge of becoming overwhelmed.

There’s no question that this collection deals with some seriously difficult subjects. From abusing sexual power, to sexual abuse, to just generally unhealthy sexual relationships, there’s a lot of 18+ stuff going on here. If you’re me, that’s a plus. If you’re you, well, don’t let it detract you. I related to much more of this book than I would have liked and many times I’d follow a sincere belly laugh with a shocked gasp. This book gets an A+ from me forever because I love it so much.

Rating: 10/10 This book is what 10/10 ratings were made for.

Recommended for: Coming of age; short stories; difficult situations; strong women; surprising turns

Does it pass the Bechdel–Wallace test? Sure does!

Author of color / main character of color / female author / female main character: Yes / yes / yes / yes. Bonus: The author self-identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community. I didn’t add this as an official metric because there are plenty of authors who keep their sexual preference private and I don’t want to make assumptions about anyone. But! I am always happy to see books by the Queer community.

As to the other items in the box, the curator, Sanura, said in the email she sent detailing the items:

Given the book’s focus on relaying the experiences of women, I wanted to include items in this month’s box that serve as an ode to our resilience, serves as encouragement to let go of things that are not good for us, and a salute to one of my favorite “difficult” women.

They came in a plain brown box, which was a plus for me. Many subscriptions have pretty ornate boxes and I think that’s awesome but I’d rather the curator spend on the contents of the box rather than the box itself.

Here’s what was in it.

contents of lit box.jpg

I was extremely happy with this box, let me tell you!

First up is this card that aptly defines the word “survivor.” I know a couple of strong women I may give this too. Love it.

Next up is this candle from Burn Candle Company. The name of this particular scent is “Burn Your Ex,” and it’s described as: Aged Kentucky Bourbon. Boy howdy, it really smells like that. Considering I’m a recovering alcoholic (whose favorite drink was whiskey, no less!) I’ll be gifting this. Wasn’t an issue for me or anything, I think it’s an A+ addition and know exactly who I’ll send it to.


Then we’ve got this exclusive bookmark with Frida Kahlo, I assume because she’s both a badass and a difficult woman. This is perfect because I’m currently keeping place in one of the books I’m reading with an electric bill that I paid four months ago.


Finally, we have these coupla pins they threw in there. I like pins and I look books so this is a win for me!


Final conclusion: This box was awesome and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. A+, good book, thoughtful items to go along with them. I’m glad I chose to subscribe to this one!

Cost is not the primary concern for me and I consider the curation to be what I’m really paying for. That said, by my calculations, this box had a value of over $35, which is pretty great for a $25 box!





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