I received May’s Sweet Reads Box for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart.
I’ve been reading a book about anti-gravity — I just can’t put it down! Ha ha ha. Okay so I haven’t been reading about anti-gravity, but I have been enjoying the first bit of this month’s Sweet Reads Box selection and some of the clever tie-ins that came with it. (If you’re new to Sweet Reads Box, it’s a Canadian book subscription box service that comes with a contemporary novel and five or six treats related to the story.) Let me show you what’s inside the May box. I’m curious to hear what you think!
Each box comes with a guide to the contents. There’s a quote related to the book on one side and a description of each item and where to find it on the other. This month’s quote comes from the English poet, Robert Browning: “Love, hope, fear, faith — these make humanity; these are its sign and note character.”
I’m a Will Ferguson fan from way back (his funny memoir about hitchhiking across Japan is one of my faves), so I was excited to see his latest book in the May box. The Canadian author’s received several distinguished awards for his work including the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. The Shoe on the Roof is about a med student and researcher and a psychological experiment gone wrong. Here’s the description from the the back of the book:
Ever since his girlfriend ended their relationship, Thomas Rosanoff’s life has been on a downward spiral. A gifted med student, he has spent his entire adulthood struggling to escape the legacy of his father, an esteemed psychiatrist who used him as a test subject when he was a boy. Thomas lived his entire young life as the “Boy in the Box,” watched by researchers behind two-way glass.
But now the tables have turned. Thomas is the researcher, and his subjects are three homeless men, all of whom claim to be messiahs—but no three people can be the one and only saviour of the world. Thomas is determined to “cure” the three men of their delusions, and in so doing save his career—and maybe even his love life. But when Thomas’s father intervenes in the experiment, events spin out of control, and Thomas must confront the voices he hears in the labyrinth of his own mind.
Have you read it? What did you think?
My favourite addition to the box is this pair of shoe erasers from Fred and Friends. Sweet Reads Box founders Kerrie and Mark say “We loved this shoe as an obvious connection to the title of the book and a metaphor for what Thomas is trying to do with his past and his experiment subjects, erase the Messiah and find the man inside.”
Every Sweet Reads Box comes with something to eat and drink. Bonus points when that includes chocolate — in this case, a chocolate-covered bar of English toffee from Sweetsmith Candy Co. “Nibble away on this treat as the suspense builds in the book. Will Thomas cure these men? Will he get the girl? Will he finally get out of his father’s shadow?”
I’m trying to savour the bar so I’ve nibbled a third and tucked the rest out of sight. For now.
I don’t drink coffee but my better half does so I think he’ll enjoy the Colombian Irish Cream coffee from Kyoto Coffee. “With Boston’s reputation of being home to many people of Irish descent [the book is set in Boston] we took this as our inspiration for an Irish Cream flavoured coffee from our favourite local roaster.”
Another local addition: the Leather and Vanilla soap from Perth Soap Company. “The three homeless men needed some cleaning up after Thomas took them into his care to begin his experiment. We felt soap like this would be precisely what Thomas would have in his bathroom.”
While I don’t dislike the scent, I find it really strong and I think it might be overpowering in our tiny bathroom. My hubby likes it but I might “accidentally” misplace it (and by that I mean give it to someone who’ll use it).
And last but not least: three samples of Week From Hell hand lotion from Ontario’s Walton Wood Farm. “While the novel covers more than a week, we couldn’t resist the name on this lotion after the hell that Thomas goes through in the book.”
The samples are small but a little goes a long way. My mother-in-law’s visiting so we split a pack and one of them made all four of our hands nice and smooth. And the name is hilarious. I can think of a bunch of people who’d get a kick out of it.
Sweet Reads Box makes a thoughtful gift for book lovers celebrating birthdays, housewarmings, showers and holidays, and a great (you could say novel, ha ha) idea for parents and caregivers who take up a collection for teacher’s gifts. A single box costs $54.99 CAD + shipping, with a 10% discount on three- and six-month subscriptions. You’ll find Sweet Reads Box on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to all three to make sure you don’t miss out on bookish news and special discounts!
What do you think of the May box? Who in your life would love to receive one?