Thrifty Books was already one of my favorite book subscriptions but in February they really tickled my tickle bone by including a valentine with an owl and a terrible pun (“Owl always be your friend”)* that was hand signed. I’m a big fan of feeling like a human is putting my boxes together and this one definitely feels that way.
This is also a pretty affordable subscription compared to others I’m subscribed to: I pre-paid for a year and it came out to just over $17 per box including shipping, which is on the lower end and I think a good price point. You can read reviews of past Thrifty Books boxes here.
Every month this box includes a book and a package of coffee. This month there was also the valentine, a little newsletter printed on what appears to be both the size and quality of your typical post card, and a pin from beanforest that says, “the smell of books calms me,” which was attached to a postcard with a code to get 25% off a purchase with said beanforest.
The coffee this month was maple bacon flavored and I imagine a lot of people will love it. I happen to love both bacon and maple – and to doubly love them together – but flavored coffees can be weird and this one was weird for me. Still, I like that this box, unlike others I subscribe to, gives enough coffee for a few pots in my French Press, and I’m glad that I got to try a new coffee this month, even if it didn’t end up being exactly to my taste. If I’m gonna get a little package of coffee every month, I certainly want it to be something that gets me out of my comfort zone, and this did that.
But, the book, you say! The book! This month it was The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue. The curator described it as “easily one of my favorite reads of all time.” I can’t say that it reached that level for me, but I did end up feeling quite wrapped up in the story by the end.
The main character, a woman named Razi (I’m going to a baby shower tomorrow and I’m not leaving until the parents agree to name their child Razi because that is badass name holy cow), is dead when we first meet her. She’s some sort of . . . non-alive thing? A ghost, I guess you would call her. The story of how and why she got to that state when most people who pass move right on to whatever comes next, is one of the many plots in this book.
Other plots include a couple fighting and finding out why they’re fighting, a compulsive cleaner coming to terms with said cleaning, a love story from the ’20s, and a pretty serious twist that I sort of saw coming and sort of didn’t.
That’s plot though, and while there was plenty going on to feed the appetite of a pro-plot reader, for me it was the characters that kept me coming back. They were rich and funny and confused and I just liked them very much! I didn’t think I’d like this book when I first got it, and I didn’t care too much about it for the first 20 pages or so, but in the end I did like it and I’m very glad I read it.
Rating: 8/10 I found myself unexpectedly swept away by this book and its beautiful language.
Recommended for: Paranormal literary fiction fans, historic fiction fans
Does it pass the Bechdel–Wallace test? Yes
Author of color / main character of color / female author / female main character: N / N / Y / Y
* So it turns out that the punny owl valentine I was so charmed by is perforated and when you punch out the thing the way they want, it’s a bookmark! So clever!