NinjaBookBox August Review

If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll probably know that I enjoy treating myself to the odd subscription service (or ten)

There’s something great about the idea of coming home from work and, instead of just finding bills & junkmail, discovering a box or envelope full of surprises is awaiting you.

One of my most looked forward to subscription treats is definitely my Ninja Book Box.

So, What IS a #NinjaBookBox ?

A NinjaBookBox is a particularly special kind of subscription service.

Each bimonthly box is available as either a full box, containing a book and a selection of themed or associated gifts and extras, or as a mini box featuring the book and a few of the ninja-created extras.

The August GOING HOME Box

The book is never revealed prior to box delivery, and the first clue to a box theme is when the name & an associated image is released on social media.

Image © Ninja Book Box

I tend to try and avoid spoilers, so a little clue as to the theme of the book and other associated box contents is enough to whet my appetite!

Finally, delivery day came, and my box arrived.

I couldn’t wait to delve in and discover just how we would be Going Home

The Book Ninjas very cleverly always seal the accompanying newsletter featuring book info, interviews with the authors, and recommended additional reading etc, in a spy-proof envelope.

Just one of many thoughtful touches! So, are you ready? Let’s explore….

  • In addition to the enclosed newsletter, there’s always a little “Welcome to this month’s box” note, which is nice.
  • The book, and some of the other contents of the box are tissue-wrapped. This means the actual book remains a surprise right up until you open it! I like to explore all the other bits first, in an attempt to guess the book, author or genre.

Actually, that brings me to another point that shows just how much care and attention is spent on selecting the perfect items to accompany the books included in Ninja Book Boxes. Did you know that the Ninjas read each shortlisted book, then read it again once chosen, to get inspiration directly from the book? How cool is that?

  • The first thing that caught my eye was this cute little card & envelope with fun quote print from A Spoonful of Sugar & Co
  • Next was an item which is included in every box. Each theme has an associated charm, and you can add to your collection with each box. I’m eager to discover just how this cute little scooter links to the story.
  • Another item which makes a regular occurrence is the Ninja Recipe Card. Again, the Book Ninjas attention to detail shines here, each box including a recipe directly inspired by the book. I spotted another clue to the book here, as the card mentions it is set in Tulsa.
  • Next to be unwrapped was this adorable pouch/pencil case, custom made for Ninja Book Box by Curious Miss Clay. Isn’t that sketchy monochrome print gorgeous?
  • The next wrapped gift is extremely intriguing, this Writing Map promises to inspire writing of all sorts including stories and poems during a trip to an art gallery.

On opening it out, I discovered a large double-sided brightly coloured selection of prompts.

  • Unable to put it off any longer, and quite frankly now beside myself with excitement, it was time for the book reveal…

A Map Of Tulsa, written by Benjamin Lytal and published by And Other Stories, is a book I hadn’t yet heard of; but the blurb sounds like it could be an interesting read.

A stunning debut novel of first love set against the art scene of late-90s Tulsa by a former New Yorker editorial staffer.

The first days of summer: Jim Praley is home from college, ready to unlock Tulsa’s secrets. He drives the highways. He forces himself to get out of his car and walk into a bar. He’s invited to a party. And there he meets Adrienne Booker; Adrienne rules Tulsa, in her way. A high-school dropout with a penthouse apartment, she takes a curious interest in Jim. Through her eyes, he will rediscover his hometown: its wasted sprawl, the beauty of its late nights, and, at the city’s center, the unsleeping light of its skyscrapers.

In the tradition of Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Map of Tulsa is elegiac, graceful, and as much a story about young love as it is a love letter to a classic American city.

This is yet another reason I particularly love the #NinjaBookBox. Because the books are always from small presses and/or independent publishers, they are often relatively unknown, thus adding to the surprise and widening my reading horizons.

  • Since it was now safe to do so, I returned my attention to the Spoilers! envelope inside which I found the usual newsletter with a short Ninja Review (& reasoning behind selecting this particular book for inclusion), suggestions for recommended reading either also set in Tulsa or with a similar feel, and a useful list of suppliers and where to find them. Also included was a lovely hand-drawn map that I am assuming was created by the artistically blessed sister of Head Ninja, Bex.
  • Last, but not least, there was also a little teaser slip for November’s box which; as it coincides with Ninja Book Box’s 1st birthday; promises to be something special!

I want in, How do I get one?

That’s simple! Head on over to NinjaBookBox.com and order one!

Ninja Book Boxes ship quarterly (in February, May, August, and November) and each box becomes available for individual purchase on the 1st of the month before (January, April, July, and October).

The site is easy to navigate, and as well as box subscriptions, they have an online store which stocks various books and bookish gifts.

Current Prices:

  • Individual Boxes £29.99 per box (£15 Mini Box)
  • Annual Subscription £27.50 per box (£13.75 Mini Box)
  • Quarterly Recurring Subscription £26 per box (£14 Mini Box)

Subscriptions are always available, except when the current box is sold out.

The Ninjas champion Indies, all the books included in the boxes are from Independent publishers, and all the gift items are either created in-house or sourced from small business makers, so you are guaranteed to find a few unusual little treasures.

DISCOUNT CODE

Do you know what I like even more than a subscription box? A discount code! So here’s one for you to use in the Ninja Book Box online shop.

Enter HEATHER15 at the checkout to receive 15% off any shop purchases over £5.

At present, discount codes won’t work on recurring quarterly subscriptions, but you can use them to get 15% off stand-alone boxes, such as the GRAND ADVENTURE Summer Reading Box, or any of the other goodies instore.

And the best bit? Unlike most discount codes that are one-use only, you can use my referral code as often as you like, so you can claim your 15% off EVERYTIME you shop! (I also receive a point each time you use it, so I can accumulate rewards too)

Have you tried the #NinjaBookBox yet? If not, have I tempted you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, or any other bookish boxes you’ve tried.

As always,

Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

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[MailCall Monday] 28th August 2017

Well, the week started off rather nicely with not one but two items of fun mail waiting when I got home from work on Monday!

First up was my #NinjaBookBox.

The Ninja Book Box is an awesome quarterly bookish subscription service. Each box has a theme, this one being GOING HOME.

Each box contains a book related to the theme, together with a small selection of items carefully chosen and created to match the theme.

The books are always from independent publishers, and the curated items are sourced from small businesses and independent makers. This championing of indie suppliers is integral to the Ninja Book Box ethos and is definitely something to be applauded.

There’s always so much to explore in a Ninja Book Box, that it’s probably best that I do a standalone post dedicated purely to my unboxing.

But, in the meantime, if you need a bookish fix; remember code HEATHER15 gets you 15% off orders over £5 in the #NinjaBookBox shop!

Next was a surprise gift:

LUCKY DIP CLUB X HELLO DODO

Mr Crafty actually purchased this for me as a lovely surprise.

I have received Lucky Dip Club boxes in the past, but after taking a baby break, Leona has returned to the subscription market with an update.

I must admit, I was intrigued when I heard about this collaboration with HELLO DODO, as I love their prints.

Inside I found an intriguing soft lightweight item, wrapped in sunshine yellow tissue; and a brightly coloured zine.

When I opened the tissue-wrapped gift, I discovered the most adorable bold flamingo print adorning a fab fabric zippered pouch.

  1. I adore flamingos
  2. I love puns
  3. Summery ice-cream shades are fab
  4. You can never have too many storage bags

I haven’t decided just yet what exactly I’ll be storing in my pouch; make-up bag or pencil case seem good options but I don’t want the inside to get dirty!!

Later on in the week was Boxcitement day…

Boxcitement is a lovely monthly subscription box which features a gorgeous selection of stationery, jewellery, housewares and decorative items; all curated around a theme, which this month is FANTASY ISLAND.

Again, look out for a full unboxing post coming soon!

BookMail

The first BookMail of the week was this fantastic foil-embellished, signed copy of INVICTUS by Ryan Graudin.

I received this Sci-Fi Fantasy; likened to Doctor Who meets the Guardians of the Galaxy; as part of a Twitter Giveaway, hosted by the Bournemouth Waterstone’s store .

Time is running out . . .

Farway McCarthy was born outside of time. With nowhere to call home and nothing to anchor him to the present, Far captains a crew on a dangerous mission into the past. When he collides with Eliot – a mysterious, secretive girl, whose very appearance raises questions about time itself – Far immediately distrusts her. But he must take a leap of faith, following Eliot on a race against time, if he is to protect everything he’s ever loved from disappearing forever . . .

A fast-paced, heart-stopping journey that will leave you breathless.

Via ReadersFirst; I received an ARC of Vince Cable‘s debut novel, OPEN ARMS; a political thriller which spans all the way from the parliamentary buildings of Westminster to the slums of Mumbai.

Kate Thompson – glamorous housewife-turned-MP – surprises everyone with her meteoric rise at Westminster. When Kate is sent as a trade minister to India, she hopes it will be her moment to shine. But, embroiled in a personal scandal, she gets drawn into a dangerous world of corruption and political intrigue… Billionaire Deepak Parrikar – head of an Indian arms technology company – is magnetically drawn to the beautiful British minister. But while their relationship deepens, India’s hostilities with Pakistan reach boiling point, causing more than just business and politics to collide. In the race to prevent disaster, can their conflicting loyalties survive being tested to the limit? Open Arms is an explosive thriller which circles from Whitehall to the slums of Mumbai. Cable’s sweeping tale combines unrivalled political detail with international intrigue, desire, and the quest for power. An electrifying debut.

Published by Corvus, OPEN ARMS is due to be released on 7th September 2017, and I’ll be reviewing it soon.

So, that was the contents of my mailbox for the week, did you receive any fun mail? Share in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Hugs, Crafty xxx

DISCLOSURE

  • Although I have a referral code for #NinjaBookBox, I receive this box through my personal paid subscription.
  • I also receive Boxcitement via a paid subscription.
  • The Lucky Dip Club item I received was purchased as a gift.
  • I regularly receive Advance Reader Copies of upcoming releases from ReadersFirst, these are sent free of charge, on the understanding I will read and review them; giving my honest and unbiased impression.
  • The signed copy of Ryan Graudin’s INVICTUS I received was won via a randomised draw hosted by the Waterstone’s store.

[MailCall Monday] 22 May 2017

The last week started off pretty slow in terms of interesting mail…

Like everyone else’s letterbox in the UK at present, there were a fair few electioneering flyers & some very tempting takeout menus.
Towards the end of the week, however, the fun stuff started arriving.

This is a NinjaBookBox​ Month.

NinjaBookBox is a quarterly subscription that includes a book and a selection of associated goodies. The items are all sourced from Independent publishers and small businesses, making for an unusual & exciting box. 
You can see my full unboxing post later this week, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek…

Also, feel free to use my referral code HEATHER15 to get 15% off any purchases over £5 in the Ninja Book Shop. You can even use it to get a discounted ‘A Grand Adventure’ Summer Reading Box

The Rest of This Week’s Bookmail 

The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman is a contemporary fiction tale, full of love, obsession, and alternate realities.

Twins Aidan & Diane live in a small American town, next door to Collin; artist, actor, misfit.

Collin becomes involved with Aidan’s teacher, Nina and this is where the web woven by Arkadia; the large gaming company which dominates the town; tightens around it.

Nina, is the daughter of Arkadia’s owner.

Both Aidan & Collin become increasingly immersed in Arkadia’s online gameworld, Everwhen.

When Aidan receives a mysterious black boX which allows him to physically enter the gameworld, he finds both the reality and his perceptions of the two worlds become skewed.

As Collin also finds himself pulled deeper into the game, Nina begins to suspect there is something far wrong but doesn’t know how to help.

When the two world collide, everyone involved find their lives changed, and their loyalties torn.

 

In exquisite detail, Allegra Goodman explores what happens when an alternate reality takes over one boy’s life, and the forces at work behind his obsession: the all-encompassing gaming realm that becomes more authentic than his real world.

This gritty and thought-provoking read seems to me to be reminiscent of the storylines of Tron, or the Spy Kids 3D movie; or Superpowerless, by Chris Priestley. 

It is recommended to readers who enjoy works by Margaret Atwood, Lionel Shriver, Maggie O’Farrell, Donna Target, Jonathan Franzen, or Anne Tyler.
I was very taken by the gorgeous cover, and I can confirm that that bright explosion of colour is even more beautiful in real life!

Look out for my review of it nearer the publication date of 1st June 2017!
So, that was the contents of my mailbox this week, what about yours?

Hugs, 

Crafty, xx