Review | July Blue Spider’s Attic Book Subscription Box

The curator describes Blue Spider’s Attic as, “The magic of a used book store, delivered.” Except it’s actually even better because also, coffee! There are two different boxes available. First is The Attic Box by Blue Spider Press, which includes three second-hand books, a small package of coffee or tea, and several bookish items. This is just $21.99+ shipping if you buy a single box, though I paid $105.99+ shipping for a 6-month subscription, which is about $17.60 per month.

There’s also the Blue Spider’s Basic box, which comes with two books, a sample of coffee and tea, and no bookish extras. It starts at $13.99 per month, though it looks like there are discounts available for longer subscriptions.

No matter which box you choose, you fill out a few surveys about your likes. The forms I filled out included clarifying language that assured me I was not guaranteed the genres I selected. You can read my previous Blue Spider’s Attic reviews here.

The Fall of Rome book coverFirst up, the books! Let’s start with The Fall of Rome by Martha Southgate. The description on Amazon makes it sound like something I’m going to be into!

Latin instructor Jerome Washington is a man out of place. The lone African-American teacher at the Chelsea School, an elite all-boys boarding school in Connecticut, he has spent nearly two decades trying not to appear too “racial.” So he is unnerved when Rashid Bryson, a promising black inner-city student who is new to the school, seeks Washington as a potential ally against Chelsea’s citadel of white privilege. Preferring not to align himself with Bryson, Washington rejects the boy’s friendship. Surprised and dismayed by Washington’s response, Bryson turns instead to Jana Hansen, a middle-aged white divorcée who is also new to the school — and who has her own reasons for becoming involved in the lives of both Bryson and Washington. 

I’d never heard of this, or the author, but apparently she also wrote a book called The Taste of Salt that was well received.

Eloise book coverNext up is Eloise by Judy Finnigan. The back describes it as a “creepy ghost story” and on Amazon it’s described like this:

She was a daughter, a wife, a mother. She was my friend. But what secrets did Eloise take to her grave?

After her best friend Eloise dies from breast cancer, Cathy is devastated. But then Cathy begins to have disturbing dreams that imply Eloise’s death was not all it seems.

With a history of depression, Cathy is only just recovering from a nervous breakdown and her husband Chris, a psychiatrist, is acutely aware of his wife’s mental frailty. When Cathy tells Chris of her suspicions about Eloise’s death, as well as her ability to sense Eloise’s spirit, Chris thinks she is losing her grip on reality once again.

Stung by her husband’s scepticism, Cathy decides to explore Eloise’s mysterious past, putting herself in danger as she finds herself drawn ever deeper into her friend’s great – and tragic – secret.

This is not a book I would have normally picked up on my own but after reading a few reviews and the basic description, I’m pretty excited to read it! I love that this box is always getting me out of my comfort zone.

The Venus Fix book coverThe third book is The Venus Fix by M.J. Rose. It is described on Amazon thusly:

As one of New York’s top sex therapists, Dr. Morgan Snow sees everything from the abused to the depraved. From high-profile clients with twisted obsessions to courageous survivors, the Butterfield Institute is the sanctuary to heal battered souls.
Morgan Snow’s newest patient is a powerful, influential man — secretly addicted to watching Internet Web cam pornography. He’s not alone in his desires. She’s also working with a group of high school teenagers equally and dangerously obsessed with these real-time fantasies.

Fantasies that are all too accessible.

Then the woman start dying online, right in front of their eyes.

Now it’s all about murder.

I have to say, that description doesn’t excite me. But! I have been surprised by many, many books in my life so I’m certainly willing to go into this with an open mind. Hopefully it will pleasantly surprise me.

Now on to the goodies!

First up is the coffee, which is from Boca Java this month. As usual, I haven’t tried it yet but it smells great.

Dumbledore Lemon Sherbert lip balmThen we have a Dumbledore lip balm in a “sherbert lemon” (sic) scent from Typewriter Hearts. It came cutely packaged in that little library cart bag and this stuff smells great! Very lemony, which is lovely for summer, and it feels great too. I am pretty pick about my lip balms – I hate it when they feel either too sticky or too greasy – and this one feels great going on.

Next up is the print and / or sticker (I got a print) from Amy Brown which came in “various magical designs.” Mine is a dude with elfish ears and dark, scraggly wings. It’s not my style but I can see that it is well done. You can check out her Etsy account to see the kind of work she does.

Inked princesses.jpgInked Series bookmark designed by Joel Santana of Mad Hat Creative. It came with a plastic sleeve to “protect your inked princess!” Now these are much more my style!

Finally, we have an Espresso Super Scrub soap sample from Somerville Soap Works. I love coffee scrubs and am stoked to find this similar bar of soap. I’m also glad to report that it doesn’t appear to be scented. I have annoyingly sensitive skin and can’t abide stuff with scents, no matter how good it may spell.

Espresso Super Scrub.jpg

My thoughts on this month’s box are basically the same as they always are: Neat! I like the super unique items in this box and the fact that it’s always exposing me to things I would not otherwise know existed.




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