Unboxing: My Bookish Crate November 2016

I am typing this up pretty late, but I’ll try my darnest to be somewhat coherent.

But first, the basics:

My Bookish Crate is a UK book box subscription that ships worldwide. Each box is £28 + shipping, and will feature a newly released YA book along with a selection of bookish goodies from different fandoms and/or pertaining to the book of the month.

The November theme took us down the Rabbit Hole to Wonderland, with this gorgeous spoiler card art.

Okay, so… Let’s be honest here, shall we? I knew what book I’d be getting when I ordered this. There was like a 0.00001% of doubt in my mind, which also made it pretty easy to avoid any of the other bookboxes who were probably going to feature the same book. Nevertheless, I’m doing this the same way as always, so nanananananana, I applaud your patience.

The items:

The Mad Hatter’s Tea from Book&Nook is a loose leaf blend of strawberries, cream, vanilla and rosehip. It is said to be perfect for a tea party. Now, I’ve never attended a tea party, but you know… If a gorgeous Mad Hatter wanted to volunteer to teach me how it goes down, then I am so up for it.Or you know, if the Mad hatter is at least kinda cute, then that’d be totally fine with me too.

Confession: I have never brewed a cup of tea that wasn’t in a pre-packed tea bag. I ranted a bit about it in a particularly sleep deprived moment this past weekend, and Moon_Kenstrel was such a sweetie to show me how to brew a cup in her own instagram story. I have yet to try this, but apparently, not much is needed at all. And I did get those pretty useful disposable tea bags from the Fairyloot box earlier this month. I will surely update you when I finally get to actually try any of the blends I’ve received.

And because My Bookish Crate wanted to make sure the tea party went down without a hitch…

This Queen of Hearts mug designed by T J Lubrano is inspired by the book of the month. It includes a gorgeous illustration of the Queen, some sugary treats, and I do spot the Cheshire cat lurking as well.

The quote is one of my favorite things about this mug, it reads:

– I fear this heart shall be mended Nevermore.

How heartbreaking is that? I’m calling it: This mug will be the perfect heartbreak mug. Like, with the cute kitty, the pretty dress, the comfort foods, and that absolutely heart wrenching quote?

I’m almost waiting for a chance to be dumped now, simply so I can make the mental montage of me staring longingly out of the window, sipping my tea, without noticing the single tear sliding down my cheek.

JUST KIDDING, btw. Please don’t dump me ❤

This cute and mischievous Cheshire Cat coaster was designed by Liza from BookOtter.

And to further prove my theory about this mug being the Heartbreak Mug of all Heartbreak mugs, there’s only one coaster.

It’s the ultimate set up for a tea party—for one.

When I think about it that way, it kinda makes sense, in a very sad and doom-like way.

But really, why only one? I have to admit, this coaster is a pretty good quality, so I kinda understand if it’s not the cheapest item to produce. But I mean, come on! If that cute-ish Mad Hatter actually drops by to teach me the tea-ish ways, what am I going to do? There isn’t one for him!

It is a very cute coaster, though. I’m a fan. Mostly because it’s a cat. And I love cats.

Have you seen my cat? He’s gorgeous.

My very own Cheshire Cat 💙

Right, sorry ’bout that. Back to the unboxing…

From My Bookish Crate themselves, I received two Wonderland Pins and a Wonderland inspired Bookmark. Both items are gorgeous, and who can argue with that pin?

We are a little mad around these parts—at least I am.

Mad About Books! Booyah!

Okay, that was kinda bad, sorry.

And the final item, which also happened to be the first item I pulled from the box…

An Alice in Wonderland Totebag from Pan Macmillian Publishers.

Confession: Despite being a self-proclaimed Wonderland lover—with a ton of retellings on my TBR—I actually haven’t read the original Alice in Neverland. I don’t even own it. Sure, I have seen the movies, but that doesn’t really count, does it? I should really change this.

And finally…

Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

You knew, right? Of course you did. It was obvious. I am actually super excited about this book, and not just because I loved the author’s Lunar Chronicles series.

The title doesn’t bode well, though. I’m preparing for a session with that mug. Because, surely, if it’s a devastating read, this heart will not be mended.

Ever.

It is a gorgeous book, though.

So, the verdict? I was super excited about this theme, and I probably ordered it seconds after I read the email with the theme.

With that said, I wasn’t sure what to think about the selection of goods when I received the box. I feel like there could have been a lot of different things done with this theme, (And it did, just look up the different book boxes with the same theme).

My favorite items are probably the tea party for one. At first, I might have been a bit off about it, because I s’pose I was still holding out hope for the cute Mad Hatter. But, after I began typing up this post, the selection does make more sense.

It wasn’t as obvious as the previous box from My Bookish Crate, though. In fact, I only realized this connection right this moment.

As for the bookmark and pins? They’re nice, and I’m definitely a fan, but they do seem like one of those “extra” items that book boxes often throw in to spoil us.

I’m not saying this to be mean, by the way. It’s just a fact. I love these things—I do.

They just don’t seem to reach the same level of awesomeness as the tea-party-of-one items.

And the tote? I’m mentally sighing here.

It is gorgeous, and it is a pretty high quality tote. Sturdy, spacey, and gives a nod to the classic.

I am just not a tote-bag kinda girl. Out of all the things I’ve said that about, (hardcovers, tea, coasters, candles) totes are probably the only thing that hasn’t grown on me.

I am fully planning to kidnap my mom’s sewing machine, just to make the tote bags into bookish pillows instead.

Unfortunately, I can’t do that with this bag. It is too sturdy. Which is great for a tote, but not for pillows.

Of course, this could change in the future when I actually have to go grocery shopping alone. But even then, I’m not sure I would ever take one of the precious bookish totes.

We’ll see. Maybe if I go to a book signing one day. There are definitely possibilities.

On another note: I’ve already ordered the December’s “Fear The Reaper” box, and the January theme was revealed this week. My funds are unfortunately low at the moment, so I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance to get the January box. We’ll see about that in 2017.

You don’t have to wait, though. Pop over to www.mybookishcrate.com to order your box now.

Did you receive a wonderland box? Which book box subscription did you get? Let me know in the comments.

Also, if that gorgeous cute Mad Hatter happens to be reading this, then I’d totally give you a sip from the heartbreak mug. Call me, kay?

Unboxing: Illumicrate November 2016

Despite being severely late, I have finally gotten around to actually write the November Illumicrate Unboxing.

First, the basics:

Illumicrate is a quarterly YA book box subscription based in the UK. There’s no set theme for these boxes, but they promise to send out a fantastic new release, along with other bookish goods.

Each box is £29.99 + shipping (Free UK delivery)and is renewed on the 15th in the month following the last box.

Note: This is my second illumicrate box, and my opinions are based on this. For more information, and to peek at past boxes, take a look at the Illumicrate website.

I have to admit that I’m pretty pleased to see this cardboard holder for the box.

Most boxes stuff their boxes with shredded paper worms, but even then, there’s no guarantee that shipping won’t take it’s toll on the items inside. This small cardboard keeps stuff in place, and I definitely approve. Plus, it’s pretty.

The items:

An exclusive Coffee Cosy from Sparrow + Wolf.

In one of the teasers, we were promised something to cosy up with.

I’m not the biggest coffee drinker, and apart from the occasional Baresso Iceblend, I’m not really one who buys those drinks. I suppose the cosy could easily be used with an iced drink, as well.

Plus, it is super pretty, reusable, and environment-friendly.

Honestly, I don’t mind when I receive something that I had no idea existed. In these past months, I’ve found quite a few goodies that surprised me. And now this Cosy can be added to the list. I’m sure I’ll find an occasion to use this.

Either that, or I’ll simply stuff it in my bag and take a trip to the café.

Keeping up with the “cosy” theme, I also received this pair of socks from Happy Socks.

From the various unboxings I’ve seen, there were several designs sent out. And mine were pretty colorful.

This is the second pair of socks I’ve received in a book box, and I have to admit: I’m a fan. Especially now when it’s getting colder. I have a splendid talent for misplacing “the other sock”, so these are welcome.

With that said, I’m not sure how “bookish” they are. It’s not a big thing, and it doesn’t bother me—but for future references: How about some knee high fandom socks? Would definitely be a hit for #SockSunday.

Note: I really need to stress this point. I am not unhappy with the socks in this box. In fact, they’re high quality and kinda pretty.

I am just suggesting for any book box founders out there, to look into fandom merchandise. I am also aware that this is a risk, as well. Since not everyone runs in the same fandom circles, but I’m mostly speaking for myself.

Now, consider those Night Court socks so I can now before no one but Rhysand’s crown 😉

From Meraki Candles, I got this exclusive Aidan candle. Inspired from Illuminae, it has a lovely and sweet fragrance.
I honestly love how “easy-on-the-nose” that Meraki Candles are, and my collection is slowly growing with each book box she’s featured in.

It’s funny, when I got my first book box from back in June, I was pretty clear that I wasn’t a fan of candles.

That has definitely changed since then. I suppose it’s not just that it’s a favorite in book boxes, but they come in so many fandoms that I absolutely love. And to be honest, I far prefer candles to wax melts.

But mostly because I still haven’t gotten my hand on one of those wax melt burners. (And because I still don’t get the point of wax melts?”

From House of Wonderland, I got this Evil Plans Note Book.
I’m a fan of notebooks and especially when they have exclusive designs on them. They’re great to have lying on the sofa table for when an idea just strikes.

Plus, when they say something witty, like this one, it’s always a great topic of conversation on the rare occasion that I have guests over.

I know that not everyone os as big a fan of these notebooks like I am. So maybe, if any of you creative people are reading, consider adding something new?

Whether it’s some cool foot note on the pages, a questionnaire on page 1, or even a reading log with an outline for writing reviews. You could even try a calendar.

Just, something new would be great.

Extras:

One of the ways that Illumicrate differs from other book boxes, are also because they were the first book box I saw that added extra swag from the publishing houses. If you’ve read any of my book box club unboxings, you know that this is a total hit for me. And my poor little fangirl heart skips several beats when I see additional swag.

Six of Crows Card holder

I JUST LOVE LEIGH BARDUGO

I mean… I’m a big fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, and I’ve recently read all of her books. So ANY Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, or Grisha Trilogy swag is welcome with me. If you’re not a fan and happen to have a lot you need to get rid off? Then by all means, send them to me. I love this world.
Not sure what to use a Card holder for though. I’m pretty certain that its intended purpose is holding cards (I know, I’m a genius for deducting that).

But I don’t think this pretty should be hidden away in a wallet. Maybe if I had, like, twelve of them. 😀

I could use it to store some of the many visit cards from the various book boxes. I have a tendency to save it, and they always end up everywhere.

Replica Mini Poster

This Replica mini poster was designed by Yasminwithanedesigns. It took some tracking down, but she has made some pretty awesome posters for several of my favorite books.
It might just be me, but when I read quotes from books, I always get more excited to read it. I just need to know the context.

The One memory of Flora Banks sampler

It sounds like a good book. Might have to check it out.
Wolf by wolf temporary tattoo

Fun Fact: This was apparently the first book that Illumicrate featured. The subscribers who has been there since the start, also received the sequel in this box as a small thank you for staying with them.
And a bunch of promotional postcards:

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

This book is already on my wishlist. And it does look pretty awesome.
Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt

I have no idea what this book is about, but I love the postcard.

All the bright places and Holding up the universe by Jennifer Niven

I recently read All the Bright Places, and I am super excited to get my hands on Holding Up the Universe. These cards are so gorgeous, and I think more books should do these as promotional swag.
The only problem, is that they’re double sided. Now, what should I do when I want to show case both of the pretties?

Seriously, I need the people who makes these to stop, because my indecisiveness can’t bear to choose between two points of awesome. Either that, or stuff two sets in.

Note: There was a small bookmark from “I’ll be Home for Christmas” by Tom Becker that for some reason isn’t pictured. It’s on the full unboxing photo, though.

And Finally…

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

A teaser promised to deliver a book with a truly unique main character. And from what I can see, this book lives up to that. I’m pretty happy about this choice of book, because it was on my wishlist. Granted, my wishlist probably spans several kilometers, but that’s beside the point.
If you want to know more about the book, check out the goodreads page.

Also included was a letter from the author explaining the origin of the story, a bookmark and a signed bookplate.

For some reason, I received two book plates. Not that I’m complaining. Not at all.
So… this was the full Illumicrate box. I know I gave a lot of “but’s” in this post, and I hope I didn’t offend anyone. I honestly love this box and the items. All of my opinions, suggestions and ideas is only meant to help improve the box. (According to me, of course.)

Next box is sent out in February, and I’m already so excited for it.

In case you want to subscribe to this box of awesomeness too. Just jump over to Illumicrate.com and get started.
Have you tried Illumicrate? Did you recieve this box?