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! You can see my previous My Lit Box reviews here.
The theme this month was “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and the book chosen was No One Can Pronounce My Name: A Novel by Rakesh Satyal. I haven’t read it yet but I’ve heard some awesome things about it.
The publisher describes it thusly:
In a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures. For some, America is a bewildering and alienating place where coworkers can’t pronounce your name but will eagerly repeat the Sanskrit phrases from their yoga class. Harit, a lonely Indian immigrant in his mid forties, lives with his mother who can no longer function after the death of Harit’s sister, Swati. In a misguided attempt to keep both himself and his mother sane, Harit has taken to dressing up in a sari every night to pass himself off as his sister. Meanwhile, Ranjana, also an Indian immigrant in her mid forties, has just seen her only child, Prashant, off to college. Worried that her husband has begun an affair, she seeks solace by writing paranormal romances in secret. When Harit and Ranjana’s paths cross, they begin a strange yet necessary friendship that brings to light their own passions and fears.
Rakesh Satyal’s No One Can Pronounce My Name is a distinctive, funny, and insightful look into the lives of people who must reconcile the strictures of their culture and traditions with their own dreams and desires.
The first bookish goodie was Black Cherry SMART Lip Balm. As far as lip balm goes, it’s A+. Silky, not gummy, tastes great, made from good ingredients, etc. The company seems awesome and along with the lip balm they sent two little handouts. One has a picture of the family that makes the balm with their story on the other side.
The other handout is confusing and is the only “issue” I have with this product. Not really issue, but I’m thinking I might be too stupid to use this SMART lip balm? So this other handout says DOPAMINE on it and then has a description of dopamine. I know what dopamine is, that’s not the confusing part. On the flip side of the definition is the chemical makeup of dopamine and above it the words, “Create Motivation: Dopamine.” Like, cool, but . . . are you just giving me information along with my lip balm? Or is this tied to the lip balm in some way? I don’t know. Like I said, I may be too stupid for this SMART lip balm.
Next is another sort-of book: 642 Tiny Things to Write About. It’s actually described as a diary and is fairly small, length and width wise, and though there are more than one idea on most pages (so it’s not 642 pages) it’s still pretty long. According to the cover it was created by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, which, oh, the back just told me is a collective of writers and 56 of them worked together to come up with this. Neat! Examples are things like, “Write an online dating profile for your 70-year-old aunt who collections Hummel miniatures, salsa dances, and, as described by your mother, is the original cougar.”
Lastly, there’s this cool typewriter postcard. It’s made on very heavy card stock and has a vintage look and feel to it. I dig it and am excited to send it out.
As always, I love the curation of this box so much. The books have been 100% hits for me too, so I’m stoked to dig in to this one.