Volume 48: The Great Glass Sea
Since 2008, Powell's Books of Portland, OR has run a book club/subscription service that sends a new hardcover book, in a custom slipcase, and a couple of bookish surprises every six weeks to its subscribers. Sound cool? It gets better. Each book also comes with a booklet containing an interview with the author about the book - not just a couple of quick questions about their favorite book or personal biography, but questions that dig deeply into the novel and provide real insight into the book's creation.
I only recently found out about Indiespensable a few weeks ago, and signed up immediately because nothing beats a surprise package in the mail, right? (These subscription thingies are an addiction, I swear!) Powell's reveals the title of the book when you sign up, so I knew that my first book would be The Great Glass Sea, but I had no idea what else would be sent. Here's what I pulled out of my box when I ripped into it a few minutes after my mail carrier dropped it on my doorstep:
The Great Glass Sea by Josh WeiI: The hardcover book, I believe, is the standard edition that one would buy at any bookstore, but Indiespensable readers get the cool slipcase, which really does make the book seem more special. Still, it's the inside content that counts, and the plot description makes me want to start reading this immediately:
Yarik and Dima are twin brothers living in an alternate and dystopian version of Russia. Inseparable as children, their adult lives begin to divide along lines of power, ideology, and fortune. Drawing strong influence from Russian folktales, The Great Glass Sea is a gorgeously written, intricately detailed look at how community, individuality, and love evolve in one imagined future.
Indiespensable Booklet: The Great Glass Sea: This companion guidebook contains an interview and Q&A with Josh Weil. It slides neatly into the slipcase next to the hardcover book, and really adds to the reading experience.
BPA-Free Nalgene Water Bottle: Literature: My dad always carried Nalgene water bottles when he took my brother and me hiking when we were kids, so their water bottles are very nostalgic for me. I know, it's weird. But combine my irrational fondness for them with the literature-themed water gauge and this item is a real winner. But whatever will I fill this with? Water can get so boring, sometimes...
Mighty Leaf Teabag Sampler: Mighty Leaf was one of the first tea companies to start using "whole leaf pouches", bags that have more room to allow leaves to expand as the tea brews, creating a richer and more intense flavor. This sampler came with three flavors: Vanilla Bean (black tea and Madagascar vanilla), White Orchard (white tea with peach and melon), and Chocolate Mint Truffle (herbal rooibos). They all sound amazing, and voila! I have something to brew in my water bottle! I wonder if Nalgene bottles can be used to make sun tea...
What a fun box! The Great Glass Sea sounds like just the sort of book I'd pick out if I was shopping for my next read, and I loved the extra items that Powell's selected to go with it. Between Powell's and Book Riot, I'm pretty well stocked on reading for the rest of my summer - and yet I'm already starting to wonder what will be in the next Indiespensable box...
Powell's Indiespensable subscription costs $39.95 per box. To learn more and check out books previously selected for subscribers, visit the Indiespensable page at Powell's Books.