It’s the weekend and we are planning two days of reading (as per usual!). We have had a very busy week, which has included reading three 2018 ARCs each and making very exciting decisions about upcoming featured reads! We LOVE that even when we are super busy, reading is one of the most important things on our ‘to-do’ lists! Talk about living the dream! After a long discussion about bookish likes and dislikes (classic Libby/Kate two hour phone call), we thought it was high time we got real about Book Box Club’s reading tastes and how that makes choosing the books that go in your boxes a fine art!
Hi everyone, we may well have ‘met’ already on social media or in The Clubhouse (I’m the one who always accidentally has words ‘censored’ during book group despite never actually swearing in real life!). It goes without saying that I am a big reader, but I would have to say I am definitely the sort of reader who likes to jump on a bandwagon. I am a massive fangirl of all the main bookish (and non-bookish) fandoms; Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, the Grishaverse, The Raven Cycle… and anything featuring a vampire… In fact, I do sometimes find myself so wrapped up in a book I’ve read that I spend hours trying to talk to people about it, looking up fan art and moping. Book hangovers are real, people!
I love a fantasy world – especially if everyone wears cloaks and carries swords – but what ever I’m reading needs a bit of grit. Writing that conjures up strange places and characters that you can really get involved with are the things that will keep me reading – I need a bit more than a cool premise. Having studied Creative Writing at Uni I now find that I have become a bit of a good writing snob and if there is one thing that will put me off a book it is cliched characters and dodgy, convenient plots.
What I love most about reading books for Book Box Club is being able to discuss them afterwards. I love that Kate and I will often ‘buddy read’ ARCs so we can discuss all the little things that happen along the way and I can text her in the middle of the night and say things like ‘finally got to the snogging bit,’ or (commonly) ‘if (so and so) dies I will not be reading this anymore!’. Kate gravitates to different books to me but I have actually found that books that we have initially seen and discussed as being ‘right up Kate’s street’ have been some of my favourite Book Box Club books ever; books like Bone Gap and The Disappearances have really moved me and some of the lyrical descriptions have stuck with me ever since! I can’t talk about it yet, but our featured read for November is one of those books too – it was a real emotional roller-coaster and the writing was just so so beautiful.
Perseverance is not my middle name when it comes to reading and if I’m not enjoying something or I just haven’t been gripped, I have no qualms about chucking a book aside and starting something else. I have been known to read right up until the last chapter before giving up and before Book Box Club I was always a bit of a mood reader. I would mix up what I was reading with literary adult books and translated historical epics. I love books set in different places and I spent a good few years reading massive books about seafaring or Native Americans whilst mixing it up with YA for my dose of teenage angst. I am quite happy with my YA focused reading schedule at the moment because I have always LOVED YA, no matter how old I get, I don’t think I will ever outgrow a good coming of age story.
Hello lovely people. So I’m the other half of Book Box Club (I also get censored in book group but I do swear a bit more than Libby in real life so perhaps this is my comeuppance)!
When it comes to reading, unlike Libby, I’m a bit of a bandwagon avoider – sure I’ll jump aboard eventually (when I feel completely disorientated because everyone else is banging on about something I haven’t read) – but I love nothing more than being the person who discovers the great books. There’s no better feeling than finding something that’s a bit under the radar and championing it and then having everyone else discover that it’s awesome too. In this way Book Box Club makes me feel like a real superhero simply by circumstance, because we get to read a lot of proofs ahead of publication we naturally end up flying the flag for titles nice and early.
My reading taste pre Book Box Club days was mainly made up of historical novels, psychological dramas (but not really thrillers) and translated books (I love anything a bit exotic). Writing style and characters are the most important elements of a book for me. A book MUST be beautifully written for me to want to read it – I feel like if I could have written it myself (I’m not a writer) it’s probably not good enough! I want to read about characters that I can believe in, I don’t have to like them – in fact I’m a fool for a brilliant baddie – but I want them to have something complicated and real about them, otherwise I don’t feel invested in their story. Plots don’t bother me, I could easily read a book and not notice that absolutely nothing had happened!
I think my favourite thing about reading for Book Box Club is how much it’s made me appreciate books beyond my comfort zone. Libby and I have pretty different tastes, but we’ve both loved every book that we’ve sent out. This week I’ve been reading an ARC that I would never in a MILLION YEARS have picked up before we started Book Box Club. It’s 100% not my thing, but you know what – I’m loving it. There’s something so refreshing about reading books from all different genres, you never get too wise to what might happen and you begin to appreciate how books can be clever and interesting and funny and intriguing in so many different ways. Then we meet with our members in the Clubhouse for our book group and I find myself questioning and understanding the books we’ve picked in whole new lights thanks to the insights of our subscribers.
One of the things that made us want to set up Book Box Club in the first place was to chat about books with more people and being able to chat to other members and the authors in The Clubhouse is such a treat. We are so happy with our lovely little community, you guys are so warm and funny and really what make Book Box Club a club that we love being a part of. If you like the sound of being part of our gang (and you haven’t already subscribed) then head on over to our website now and join us for our Haunted Minds box. We only have a couple left for purchase and when we say that the featured read is one of our favourite ever, it isn’t an exaggeration! It is a compelling novel set in a beautiful autumnal orchard which follows the main character’s struggle to uncover a family secret that has been buried by generations of ancestors. It is atmospheric, emotional and seriously engrossing!
Our November boxes will also contain items that we have chosen specifically to soothe any frazzled minds out there. There will be something to do, something to smell (in the form of a lovely scented candle made exclusively for us by Just Fribble), something to use and something to relax with and we will be giving a nod to some of our favourite troubled protagonists in fiction. We can’t wait to start sending these November boxes out!
Have a lovely bookish weekend everyone!
Love, Kate and Libby xx