book subscription box

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Ninja Book Box NOVEMBER 2016 Unboxing -“Slightly Surreal”

Published December 18, 2016 by bibliobeth

Hi everyone! This post today will show you my opening of the very first Ninja Book Box which was delivered to me in November. I first talked about The Ninja Book Box a while ago but just to remind you, it’s a quarterly book subscription service that supports independent publishers and includes a whole host of other bookish goodies, usually connected to the book for that month. For more information please go to the official site HERE where you can also sign up to receive the February box, the theme of which is A Shakespearean Mystery. Also, please check out my previous post HERE if you’re interested where I talk about The Ninja Book Box in more detail.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the unboxing!





A box of joy! Ooh, what could be inside?






The first thing I noticed was how nice the box was. I know, sounds silly but just seeing the words Ninja Book Box on the side made me stupidly excited for the contents within! On opening the box, it was a huge surprise. I was expecting a couple of extra goodies for being a funder of the Kickstarter campaign for this project but the amount of goodies that I did receive was incredibly generous and thoughtful. So what was there?


There was a lovely little bookmark (from Skinny Hues), a nifty little keyring which had a brilliant surprise on it – one one side was the words Ninja Book Box (of course!) and the second, the tag-line from my blog main page which had me thoroughly delighted! The green item? A lily pad of course and what should sit on it but a little frog charm, perfect for a bracelet if you have one, if you don’t like me, it’s just a beautiful object.





Close up pic of the keyring and little frog charm







But wait, there’s even more. A card with a street map of Cardiff (by Crafty Bacon Studios) a coaster with a star on (from J Talbot Designs) and a “Starry Skies” tea towel (from Blinkin’ Imp). Can you figure out the theme yet? I’m starting to feel thoroughly spoiled.


I was excited to discover that the book provided with the Slightly Surreal box was Star Shot by Mary-Ann Constantine published by Seren Books (a small Welsh publisher) which looks and sounds fabulous according to the GoodReads synopsis:

“Part fable, part mystery, Star-Shot is a stylish debut novel set in and around Cardiff’s National Museum in a time that is almost, but not quite, our own. As their paths cross in a circumscribed world of benches, parks and galleries, a handful of characters reveal their stories of obsession, loss and recovery, creating a fragile network of relationships which will help to resist the inexorable channels of silence eating into the city.

A brittle young woman sits on a bench in Gorsedd park, conscious of the powerful building behind her; a tall man carries a box full of a strange organic substance up the entrance steps; a young father explains the formation of stars to his tiny son. As university researchers try to map and understand the destructive silence snaking around them, it becomes clear that the linked lives of these and other marginal characters offer ways of countering its effects. Poignant and humorous, Star-Shotis an exploration of how objects and images can focus our grief and desire; it is also a meditation on the regenerative power of garden ponds, and the cosmic significance of frogs.

Beautifully illustrated with woodcut-style motifs by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, this is a subtle urban novel with a supernatural twist.”

Also provided was a great little interview with the author which I’m saving to read after I’ve finished the book for fear of spoilers, a review from Bex (Ninja Book Box developer extraordinaire) and her recommendations for other Cardiff based books/TV series and further books with a similar feel to Star Shot. The second book in this box was Busker by Liam Murray Bell and was an extra reward for funding the Kickstarter campaign. This also looks brilliant and is set in my home country of Scotland, an additional bonus for me!:

“Three cities, two years, one chance: from the author of the critically acclaimed debut So It Is ? shortlisted for best first book at the Scottish Book Awards 2013 ? comes the hard-hitting story of a young man determined to find his voice. Plucked from obscurity in Glasgow, Rab Dillon is about to become the next great protest singer. Seduced by promises of stardom, carrying only the guitar given to him by the girl who broke his heart, he travels down to London. There he records the debut album that will speak to the dispossessed, the disenfranchised and disheartened. One year later, he is sleeping rough on the streets of Brighton. A modern-day ballad set across three cities and two years, The Busker is a richly comic expos(r) of the music industry, the Occupy movement, homelessness, squatting ? and failing to live up to the name you (almost) share with your hero. It is also the story of what survives when the flimsy dreams of fame fall apart.”

One final little surprise, another reward for funding the Kickstarter campaign – an excellent mug which sums up everything I want from life.


Oh yes! So to sum up my first Ninja Book Box I would use two words – ROARING SUCCESS! I loved that there was a mixture of items and that there was a connection to the book from each item. The book itself looks excellent and is one I’m really looking forward to diving into. I’m eagerly anticipating the Shakespearean Mystery Box in February and highly recommend this new book subscription box service to everyone! A huge thank you to Bex and all the companies, publishers involved in this venture for this amazing first box, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

COMING UP IN FEBRUARY: Ninja Book Box Unboxing – A Shakespearean Mystery 


Book And A Brew – Book Subscription Box – November 2016

Published November 21, 2016 by bibliobeth


Hello everyone! Today I’d like to tell you about a fabulous new book subscription service that I’ve recently signed up to and I was so excited to receive my first box over the weekend. The company is called Book And A Brew and each month they send out a lovely hardback book and a box of tea to drink along with it. You pay £12.99/month for this service, boxes are shipped on the 15th of every month and for me, it’s an absolute bargain. The book itself is usually worth more than this without even taking into account the price of the box of tea! You can also buy a single box, perfect for a gift for the price of £14.99. Fantastic if you’re struggling for Christmas presents this time of the year, right?

There’s nothing more exciting than getting your first Book And A Brew box. You have no clue what you’re going to be getting and the anticipation of it all is indescribable. The packaging is lovely, the entire box covered with Book And A Brew stamps and sealed with their special sticker.


When you open up the box, everything is wrapped nicely in tissue paper, prolonging the anticipation even more but the first thing I saw was the tea, this month from Joe’s Tea Co, The Earl of Grey and described on a leaflet that also tells you about your book (which I didn’t read until I had opened my book so I didn’t spoil myself!):

“Dust down your best china and silver-up the spoons as you refresh your senses with this elegant blend. Black tea, finely fragranced with bergamot orange oil.”

And then time for the book – this month, the fantastic sounding The Glasgow Coma Scale by Neil D.A. Stewart. Here’s a little synopsis:

Lynne once dreamed of being an artist, but whose promotion to supervisor at a call-centre in Glasgow is sucking the soul out of her. When Lynne hands a fiver to a homeless man on the street in town one day, she is shocked to recognise Angus – her former art teacher on whom she once had a crush. What on earth could have reduced him to life on the street? In a gesture of uncharacteristic rashness, she invites him home. 

So begins The Glasgow Coma Scale, this is a taut, ticklish, tender and truly unexpected story of art, of the city, of feelings, and about the redemptive power of an unconventional kind of love.


Yup, I’m happy! It’s a book I confess I’ve never heard of but sounds like something I would thoroughly enjoy. I can also confirm that the tea is absolutely delicious and I shall be enjoying that for the rest of the month. So, in conclusion, I am over the moon with my first Book And A Brew subscription box and I shall definitely be continuing my subscription for the forseeable future. Actually can’t wait to see what delights the December box will hold!

You can subscribe to Book And A Brew on their website where you have 22 days from today to order December’s box for yourself or a friend/loved one. Why not also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? (@bookandabrew) I highly recommend them!

Book & A Brew – Delivering A Monthly Mystery Box Filled With A Perfect Page Turner & Drinkable Delights.



Blog Tour – Introducing The Ninja Book Box

Published October 1, 2016 by bibliobeth


Hello everyone! I recently did a post on the Ninja Book Swap which I’m an eager participant of but today I’d like to tell you about a new venture run by the lovely Bex who organises the Ninja Book Swap. She began a Kickstarter campaign to fund her idea, a quarterly subscription box – The Ninja Book Box, that ships worldwide, featuring books from independent publishers. Bex says:

“We aim to introduce excellent books (both backlist and new releases) particularly those which our team & the publishers we work with feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve, and help you find favourites in genres you wouldn’t necessarily pick up for yourselves. Supporting primarily UK based small businesses, each box will contain a book (often signed by the author & with additional material) plus at least two gift items and lots of other fun extras and will take its theme from the book. We want to support excellence and promote exploration and discovery in all aspects of the box. Subscribers will also gain access to lots of additional community perks.”

She first came up for the idea for the box when she couldn’t find a book subscription box service in the UK that didn’t primarily focus on young adult fiction. The point of The Ninja Book Box is that it will span a wide variety of genres from science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, graphic novels etc… and include books from authors or publishers that you may not necessarily notice or pick up on your own. Back to Bex:

“As you might expect from the co-founder of a book swap, I love getting books in the post. Subscription boxes particularly are the best, because while nobody enjoys getting random stuff they don’t want, receiving a box of books and related goodies based on a theme and genre which interests you can be a really great thing. The fun of opening the box and discovering all the goodies inside along with the added bonus of a surprise book is something that I really get excited about, but when I looked around I couldn’t find any boxes based in the UK which didn’t focus primarily on young adult fiction. There are many ‘one book a month’ type subscriptions available, but I wanted to have the more immersive experience of a box of things which relate to and teach you about the world of a book, rather than just another great book to add to my shelf. I like to have context for a book, particularly if it features an event, country, character or period I don’t know much about.”

Sounds awesome, right? I’ve been thinking about signing up to a book subscription box for a while and this one got all my bibliophile senses tingling. I’m happy to announce that Bex has surpassed her original target of £500 on Kickstarter and has at the time of writing, 40 backers for the project. For more information sign up to her newsletter, or check out the website for details of how to get the first box! To back Bex’s project (deadline OCTOBER 2ND) please visit her Kickstarter site HERE. I’m an enthusiastic backer of the project myself and am so excited to get the first box in November so look out for a special post sometime next month as I open the very first box.

Convinced yet? Well, how about this teaser of a potential box?? Click HERE.

Final words from Bex:

“With this project I am making something that I not only really want to exist but also which I absolutely believe in and think will make people happy. This box could be a thing of greatness. I will do my utmost to make it a phenomenal experience each quarter, with lots of awesome and crazy extras, but there’s no point in me doing that for nobody. I need you to support the project with your finances, your blogs, social media, and word of mouth, your recommendations and your belief. If you’ve been involved with any of my past and ongoing projects then you know that I can make this great, and if you haven’t then please check out the hashtags and the websites and trust me. Get behind me and the project and add a little bit of Ninja Joy to your life.”

A huge thank you to Bex for coming up with this brilliant idea and all her hard work in preparing for it. She has also arranged a fantastic giveaway for us lucky individuals where you can get The Ninja Book Box FOR FREE. What are you waiting for? Click the link below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why not visit some other bloggers to get their take on the Ninja Book Box?