We come to you from the frozen tundra of Book Riot HQ, where we are seriously considering building an ice palace, blanketing ourselves in books, and hibernating until spring.
As I look outside at the stunning balmy weather of Los Gatos, I can't help but feel so damn smug.
This time around, we've chosen a chilling theme to go with the oh-so-chilly weather. Hunker down, huddle up, and wrap your mind around some matters of life and death and the in-between.
So a dark, gothic box? Or just a box obsessed with death? Cool.
HALF-RESURRECTION BLUES BY DANIEL JOSE OLDER
Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.
One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.
But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death.…
This sounds like fun - just my kind of book! Accompanying the book is a bookmark drawn by the author. I will no doubt lose it in the very near future, but it's a nice idea.
BEING MORTAL: MEDICINE AND WHAT MATTERS IN THE END BY ATUL GAWANDE
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
This book has been selling very well at our bookstore as older Baby Boomers begin to face their mortality as they say goodbye to their parents and move into the roles of family patriach and matriach. I probably wouldn't have bought it on my own, but it looks interesting and I did plan to read it eventually.
OUT OF PRINT NOTEBOOK
It's a standard composition notebook. Kinda underwhelming, to be honest. A few months ago, Book Riot sent out this exact same library card design on a make-up bag. Out of Print has a cool banned books line, and they do reproductions of famous vintage book covers as notebooks, too. There was no reason for Book Riot to repeat themselves.
Maybe I'd be more excited if I hadn't just gotten another blank journal from the Indiespensable box...
LIQUID COURAGE FLASKS #BOOKSANDBOOZE
Oh cool, a flask! I am rather delighted with this one. I have long wanted a flask for smuggling coconut rum into Disneyland to mix with a Dole Whip float, because that is an amazing flavor combination, and now I can do it. (Not that I would do any such thing, Disney Legal! I just like knowing that I could.) As far as I can tell, the flask was custom-made for the subscription box - it's not available on either the Book Riot or Liquid Courage websites.
This isn't the most exciting box I've gotten from BookRiot; it seems scaled down somehow. One book didn't have a bonus item attached to it, which was disappointing; the other had a bookmark but that doesn't offer fresh insight into the novel itself. The flask is cool, and may even end up with a collectible value if this was the only way to get it. I'm not much of a hard liquor drinker, so even though I like to joke about using this I probably never will. Also, not sure what a library card notebook has to do with the overarching 'chilly' theme.
Hopefully the next box will be more exciting as the folks at Book Riot thaw out and bloom in the spring sunshine.
Quarterly Co. is a subscription box service company that partners with celebrities to "curate" boxes, usually themed around food or fashion or cool gadgets, which are mailed out four times a year. For their book-themed box, Quarterly partnered with Book Riot.
At $50.00 per quarter, the box isn't the cheapest subscription box service out there, but the curators promise that the retail value of the items you receive will be more than the cost.