When I first signed up for Book of the Month, I expected my subscription to be a short one. Unlike the old Book of the Month Club which offered hundreds of books every month, only a few books are featured each month under their new business model. A panel of judges reviews and recommends books from thousands that are submitted from dozens of publishers. They choose from a broad range of genres and offer a mix of both fiction and non-fiction. Each judge recommends a book they consider exceptional, sometimes with a short paragraph that explains their rationale for choosing the book.
The featured book selections are announced on the first of each month, then you have six days to choose the one you want. (If you don't pick one, they will select one for you.) During that time, they show the percentages of subscribers who have chosen each book. I'd like to think that doesn't affect my decision but of course, it does! The monthly membership includes one book but you can purchase up to two additional books to be added to your box. In the FAQ's on the site, the price for the additional books is stated as $12.99; however, additional books have been recently offered for $9.99. As these are usually recently published books, you generally can't find them at that low a price anywhere else. (Trust me; I checked.)
Once the monthly book is in your hands, you can participate in a public discussion forum on their site. To my surprise, I've found that to be quite interesting whether you chime in with your own comments or just read what others have to say. It really does help lend perspective, especially when the narrative is complex.
For January, I chose "The Verdict" by Nick Stone which was selected by 36% of members. I couldn't bypass the great add-on deal so also chose "The Sound of Gravel" by Ruth Wariner which was chosen by 18% of the members. The judge for the first book was Liberty Hardy, an editor at Book Riot. The second book was chosen by Book of the Month. No box is as exciting to me as one that I know contains books...that hasn't changed since I was 8 years old!
Book of the Month packages their books beautifully. Each book is shrink wrapped onto a piece of cardboard with a book mark quality card containing comments from the judge attached to the front. This is what "The Verdict" looked like right out of the box:
And here's "The Sound of Gravel":
Since I had just finished a book and was needing something new to read when the BOMC box arrived, I picked up "The Verdict". It's a legal thriller by Nick Stone, an author who has been compared to John Grisham. The plot revolves around a law clerk who is brought in to assist with a murder case involving someone from his past whom he loathes. He is put in the position of having to defend this person who betrayed him and in the process, secrets from their shared pasts are revealed and moral dilemmas must be resolved. This is a big complex 500 page novel. I'm only 50 pages in and I'm already hooked. The narrative style is tight and fast paced with enough twists and turns to keep me up late reading every night. As a courtroom drama set in London, there is the added element of interest for U.S. readers in seeing how the British legal system works.
I haven't removed "The Sound of Gravel" from its packaging yet but it's a memoir about a girl who grew up in a polygamist colony in Mexico and the neglect suffered by the children due to a lack of resources to support their huge family. By the way, the lowest available price on Amazon for this book was about $18.18, which is why I thought it was a bargain at BOMC's add-on price of $9.99.
If you would like to try Book of the Month, click here and use code BOOK15 to save $12.00 on a three month membership, making it just $8.99 per month. If you're a voracious reader like I am, this is an unbeatable price on some of the very latest fiction and non-fiction!
Thanks for reading,
Disclosure: Views and opinions expressed in this blog are
strictly my own. Product discussed in this post was purchased by Lone
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