Please note that this post is NOT sponsored – I have been eyeing up book subscriptions for a while so thought I’d give it a try!
It’s no secret that people are reading more than ever, partially due to the pandemic and people getting the chance to delve into books when they previously didn’t have a chance. And whilst that’s a wonderful sight to behold, unfortunately in the UK, 77 million books are destroyed every year, with 83% of them pulped before being read.
A Box of Stories seeks to reduce this number, by saving the books due to be destroyed and sends them out in subscription boxes, in the hope that the reader will discover a new story that they will love and share on, saving the book and keeping the story alive.
There are multiple types of subscription on their website but I went for a 4 book Fiction box to be delivered every 3 months. Upon subscribing, they email and ask for your Goodreads name so they can automatically filter out books you have already read, which I thought was really innovative. You can also auto-exclude up to two genres, lessening the chance of receiving something you wouldn’t read.
My box arrived yesterday, and I was quite surprised and impressed with the books I’ve received! I’ll add a blurb of each book in case they pique anyone’s interest!
Book 1 – The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer / 2019 / Romantic + Historical / 367 pages
‘I’d rather take a picture than be one,’ Lee Miller declares, as she arrives in Paris one cool day in 1929. Lee has left behind her life in New York and a successful modelling career at Vogue to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer. She soon catches the eye of renowned Surrealist artist Man Ray and convinces him to hire her as his assistant. Man is an egotistical, charismatic force, and as Lee becomes both his muse and his protégé, they embark upon a passionate affair.
Lee and Man spend their days working closely in the studio and their nights at smoky cabarets, opium dens and wild parties. But as Lee begins to assert herself, and to create pioneering work of her own, Man’s jealousy spirals out of control, and leads to a betrayal that threatens to destroy them both . . .
Transporting us from bohemian Paris to the battlefields of WWII, The Age of Light is a powerful and intoxicating story about love, obsession and the personal price of ambition. Based on the incredible true story, in her debut novel Whitney Scharer brings a brilliant and revolutionary artist out of the shadow of a man’s legacy, and into the light.
Comments – This is a tall paperback, and quite thick! I don’t think I would have chosen this myself, but the concept looks interesting and I am a sucker for historical fiction with a hint of romance!
Book 2 – The Colour of Lies by Lezanne Clannachan / 2018 / Thriller + Mystery / 371 pages
Tell me, where did Lily go?
When Anna takes a job with a family whose niece is missing, she finds herself increasingly haunted by the mystery around her disappearance.
As rumours and gossip circle the family, Anna becomes obsessed with the missing girl. The more she learns, the less she knows who to trust.
But Anna has her own secret. She knows what lies look like – she can see dishonesty stain the air. Only her sister knows about her synasthesia and how she can read emotions, even when people are trying to hide them.
Now suspicion is beginning to gather around the one man Anna knows to be innocent. She just has to find a way to prove it…
Comments – This looks like a classic thriller with a twist – The protagonist can see emotions in colour, which will help her in her mission to locate Lily. I really love this idea, and I love a good mystery!
Book 3 – Ok, Mr Field by Katharine Kilalea / 2018 / Psychological / 200 pages
Mr Field, a concert pianist travelling back from a performance in London, fractures his left wrist in a train crash. On a whim, he uses his compensation cheque to buy a house he has seen only in a newspaper, a replica of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye built on a stretch of coast outside Cape Town. When he moves there with his wife Mim, the house – which Le Corbusier designed as ‘a machine for living’ – has a disturbing effect. Mim disappears without apology or explanation and Mr Field can barely summon the strength to search for her.
OK, Mr Field is funny and beguiling and like nothing you’ve ever read. It dwells in the silences between words, in the gaps in conversations, and in the distances between people. It confidently guides us into new fictional territory.
Comments – This is the shortest book of the box, a mere 200 pages! Short novels always interest me, as the author has managed to pack an entire plot in a significantly smaller page count. From the cover, I would have assumed this was a non fiction book if I was in a book shop. After reading the blurb, I am curious as this does appear a bit spooky with a quirkiness to it, definitely interesting!
Book 4 – Dead Girls by Abigail Tarttelin / 2018 / Thriller + Mystery / 433 pages
A quiet community is shocked by the murder of an eleven-year-old girl. As police swarm the village looking for a killer, fear compels parents to keep their children indoors. Unbeknownst to her mum and dad, though, one girl roams free.
That girl is Thera Wilde.
Thera was the murdered girl’s best friend. Together they were unstoppable and, even alone, Thera is not afraid. It’s 1999, girls can do anything – and Thera reckons she can find the killer first.
Comments – The above is the blurb from the back of the book, though searching online, there seems to be so many different blurbs, most mention ouija boards and Thera communicating with other dead girls, which is such a fascinating and heartbreaking concept. I wish that had been on the blurb of this copy as it’d make me more eager to pick it up if I was browsing a shop myself.
Despite that, Dead Girls is the book that I am most looking forward to reading out of the four, especially as it’s set in the 90s, being a 90s baby myself!
Have you read any of the above books? What did you think? Let me know!