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.
First, the books! As always, I received three books this month, the first of which is Rattlebone by Maxine Clair. This is a book that appears to be pretty hard to get a hold. The description on Amazon is this:
“Set in the fictional town of Rattlebone, Kansas, in the 1950s, these eleven interrelated stories reveal the emotional, financial, and social conflicts that govern the lives of the African Americans who live there.”
Not only does the topic interest me, but I’m actually working on a piece for Book Riot about short-story cycles and it sounds like this is one. So! If it’s any good, I’ve got myself another one for the list.
Next is Hers3. It’s actually “Hers to the third power” except “to the third power” is a 3, you dig? Don’t know how to do that on WordPress! According to Amazon it, is third in a series of collections of lesbian writers. I am also excited about that! The longer description is this:
“The third volume of the lambda Literary award-winning anthology of lesbian fiction.
A lesbian is driven to set fire to discarded mattresses. A scientist discovers the joy of karaoke singing. A young woman waits for her lover to be released from prison, a woman masturbates on the Tokyo subway, and another rises from lovemaking to concoct a magical soup. Featuring stories by noted authors Emma Donoghue, Barbara Wilson, Judith Barrington, and Donna Allegra, as well as relative newcomers Amelia Maria de la Luz Montes, Natasha Cho, and Carolyn Clark, Hers 3 reveals the breadth of lesbian imagination in twenty-one unforgettable stories that will challenge, provoke, arouse, and surprise.”
Finally we have Mending the Moon by Susan Palwick. It sounds like a creepy, thriller type of book, which is not something I usually grab but am very excited about! Amazon describes it:
Melinda Soto, aged sixty-four, vacationing in Mexico, is murdered by a fellow American tourist.
Back in her hometown of Reno, Nevada, she leaves behind her adopted son, Jeremy, whom she rescued from war-torn Guatamala when he was a toddler―just one of her many causes over the years. And she leaves behind a circle of friends: Veronique, the academic stuck in a teaching job from which she can’t retire; Rosemary, who’s losing her husband to Alzheimer’s and who’s trying to lose herself in volunteer work; Henrietta, the priest at Rosemary’s and Melinda’s church.
Jeremy already had a fraught relationship with his charismatic mother and the people in her orbit. Now her death is tearing him apart, and he can barely stand the rituals of remembrance that ensue among his mother’s friends. Then the police reveal who killed Melinda: a Seattle teenager who flew home to his parents and drowned himself just days later.
It’s too much. Jeremy’s not the only one who can’t deal. Friendships fray. But the unexpected happens: an invitation to them all, from the murderer’s mother, to come to Seattle for his memorial. It’s ridiculous. And yet, somehow, each of them begins to see in it a chance to heal. Aided, in peculiar ways, by Jeremy’s years-long obsession with the comic-book hero Comrade Cosmos, and the immense cult of online commentary it’s spawned.
Shot through with feeling and inventiveness, Susan Palwick’s Mending the Moon is a novel of the odd paths that lead to home.
So that’s the books, all of which I’m really looking forward to this month. Great job, curator people!
Now to the stuff! First is Buckeye Blend coffee from The Meeting Place. I just looked at their shop and OH MY GOODNESS I want to eat all their sweets, dang! I have this coffee ground up and in my french press, cold brewing for the morning.
Next up is a “Vitruvian Man” keychain made by the curators of the box. It also has a pretty purple glittery jewel thing. It’s great!
Then we have a magnet that they sent out in either white or black. It’s made on wood, which is my new favorite trend that’s apparently taking over the world, by Pigsey Art. God damn it, now I’m looking through their shop and they have a billion things I want too. Wooden journals! Amazing coasters! Badass gift sets! Ahh! This one though, the one I got, is a hat (I got black) that says, “These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends,” which probably would have made more sense if I’d opened this post by saying that the theme this month (for the things, not the books – the books are always chosen individually for people) is Westworld.
Finally we have a matted quote print that they say starts with, “I imagined a story,” but I can’t find it. It definitely sounds familiar – I’m sure they sent it – I just opened this a few days ago and must have liked it enough to pull it right away.
Also, “extra goodies,” which included a print out of the Westworld Theme Song printed on antique-looking paper, several bookmarks, and a postcard for the Babysitter’s Club Books, or some fan site of theirs, I don’t know, I was too busy being like BSCB!!!
So there we go! Another fun, unique box. This is such a fun box to get and I think the curators do a really thoughtful job every month.