Book of the Month Club review

Book of the Month Club review

I love Book of the Month and I’m always excited to hear their five selections on the first of the month. (This post contains my affiliate link but is not sponsored; I’m a happy paying customer.)

Here’s a quick look at what’s on tap for February:

1. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Inside scoop: coming soon (very soon!) to a podcast near you. I just loved this one; it reminded me so much of Ursula, Under, another historical novel I devoured. If I had to pick just one book this month that I thought MMD readers would love, this would be it.

2. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. I have so much to say about this one! Let’s start here: some marketing genius dreamt up the tag #WTFThatEnding for this book, which gives you a pretty darn good idea of what you’re getting into. The cover of the British edition says “a tenner says you’ll never guess the ending.” I’d bet you more than that!

Sarah Pinborough spoke about this story when I was in Savannah. (Her novel is dark and twisty but she was absolutely hysterical.) She told us how the premise was inspired by one of her girlfriends: when her partner cheated on her with another woman, Sarah’s friend became completely obsessed with her new rival.

High literature this is not, but if you love domestic noir and want a fun read that will keep you pinned to the couch on a wintry afternoon, this is it. And yeah, you will definitely want to talk about the ending with your fellow readers, so talk a friend into reading it with you.

3. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker. Imagine Rich and Pretty meets Hillbilly Elegy. I read the first hundred pages of this last night, and I’ve decided that—at least for now—it’s not for me. (Interesting story, wrong tone.) This is a debut, and I do love that the author lives in my town.

4. Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson. From the author of The Family Fang. I’ve never read anything by Wilson, but I’m intrigued by Maris’s description.

5. The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy. The reviews on this are pretty weird, but I tend to like Liberty’s picks. Maybe I’ll give it a try?   

I get asked all the time if Book of the Month is worth it. Of course that depends on you, but I do think for most U.S. readers who do buy the occasional book, the answer is yes. All plans include one hardcover book each month, with free shipping. They always have a small, nicely curated selection of additional hardcovers that you can add to any shipment for $9.99 each. And the clincher for me: if none of the current selections appeal to you, you just skip that month, effectively extending your membership.

I went with the annual plan, to get my price-per-book down as low as possible (with that plan, the price-per-book is a little under $12), but they have shorter plans available, and their introductory plans are terrific: get any one book for $5, or your first 3 months for $9.99 each. (That 3-month plan comes with goodies: a free tote bag and a hardback copy of The Grownup by Gillian Flynn.)

If you’re building your library, this is a nice way to do it. If you want an easy way to get your hands on new books and don’t care about keeping them long-term, the resale value for new hardcovers at places like Half Price Books is pretty darn good. I’ve also found BOTM gift subscriptions to be a fun and easy gift for bookish friends.

I’d love to hear your Book of the Month tips, questions, and February picks in comments.

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34 comments

  1. Josalyn says:

    I love book of the month. Its like Christmas comes every month. I have read some really awesome books from the subscription service but I also have picked some duds. Only having 5 books to pick from gives me a chance to change up my normal reading habits.

  2. Sarah says:

    I am so very glad that you did this post! I loved when a few months ago you recommended a BOTM book on Instagram during ordering time, and check every month before I order my BOTM books to see if you have suggestions 🙂 I have really been enjoying BOTM club but am getting behind with the books. It can sometimes feel like more pressure to me as it just adds more to the TBR pile, but I still order every month – ha! Thanks again for this!!

    • Sarah says:

      haha I know exactly what you mean! I am behind two months in BOTM books, and I was given one by a co worker who subscribes too! But I’m just slowly making my way through the pile..
      I also tend to reserve books, or add myself on wait lists at the library based one suggestions from Anne, further increasing the pile; but I don’t mind!!

  3. Sarah says:

    I was also super excited for this month’s selections! Last month left me wanting more, but this month I almost could not decide! Funny enough, I ended up choosing Pachinko and my co worker who also subscribes chose The Possessions. We tend to switch after completing our own choice. I’m glad you find Pachinko to be “the one” as well. In reagrds to The Possessions, I found the reviews said the Possessions was very original, and I’m keeping an open mind to reading that as well because it is something I would not normally pick. As much as I enjoy a good thriller, Behind Her Eyes theme does not appear to be too unique. I read a preview and found the writing style was a little off to me. But hey to each her own. 🙂 Thank you so much for writing about BOTM! I always rave about it to all my friends!!

  4. Pam Pomar says:

    I loved BOTM when I was a teenager.But that was when I would read what was available and not nearly as picky as I am now. Most importantly I must read on a device now to get the font large enough for my impaired vision. I am so grateful for kindle which began production just in time for my deteriorating optic nerve and retina. Back to BOTM! It was the source of my copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn which I had never heard of before. So special.

  5. Kim McCulley says:

    My son and daughter-in-law (okay, let’s be honest… My daughter-in-law is the thoughtful gift-selector. My son may not have even known what was given)… Anyhow, they gave me a 6 month subscription to BoM for Christmas. I’m loving it! It’s exciting to choose my book and when my package arrives it’s like a party in my mailbox. I’m reading things I wouldn’t have chosen on my own and expanding my world. I’m especially looking forward to Pachinko.

  6. Michelle says:

    I think different things work for us at different stages of our lives. Frankly anything that keeps me and my family reading is a good thing so I’ve always tried to budget both time and money for it. I really enjoyed BOTM when the kids were quite young, library lending didn’t include the internet, Audible and Amazon wasn’t in anyone’s regular vocabulary, and time to browse in bookshops (both new and used) was nil & none. We lived in a much more rural area so our library trips were weekly in the summer, but when socked in with snow in the winter we were lucky to get there twice a month. Now I’m an empty nester (yes this does sneak up on you) and I use our library e-lending, buy used books from Amazon/Salvation Army/local bookshops, and get great deals on ebooks (thanks to great bloggers like you!). I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way, simply the way that works for you right then. The important thing is to be reading, to enjoy what you’re reading, not how anyone else is doing it. Thank you for always keeping us updated on great options for keeping our reading life fresh, updated, and as accessible as possible in as many ways as possible!

  7. RK says:

    The ending of Behind Her Eyes totally shocked me! I’d highly recommend it to anyone in the mood for a well-written, twisty psychological thriller. I’m also looking forward to reading Pachinko and The Animators. 🙂

      • RK says:

        Sarah – It’s definitely worth the read, especially for the zinger of a twist at the end. I’ve read quite a few psychological thrillers and I haven’t been as impressed since Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.

        I recommend avoiding any summaries/reviews of the book and just diving right in so as not to be spoiled. Hope you enjoy if you decide to read it.

  8. Fonda says:

    I have loved my BOTM subscription and have not yet chosen to ‘skip’ a month since joining last year. It takes me out of my predictable reading habits and exposes me to different genres and authors. My mom, who now lives in assisted living, is the true avid reader in our family. Due to her limited availability of books in the facility library (most of the books are at least a decade old), as well as the long wait time at her public library for new releases, we gifted her a subscription for Christmas and she loves it. Now she and I both donate our BOTM selections to the assisted living library for others to read, which makes letting go of my books a little easier. 😉

  9. Katie says:

    I’m so glad that I chose Pachinko as my selection this month! I was waffling between that and The Animators. I love Book of the Month but can never seem to help myself and end up adding at least one selection to my box each month. The TBR pile just keeps growing but man, I love books!

  10. Susan in TX says:

    Michelle’s comment above really resonated with me. Gotta be honest, I love the idea of BOTM and was a member for a long time (30 years ago). I did a three month trial this past summer, and enjoyed the books that I read. That said, I didn’t renew for many reasons not pertaining to this discussion, but ONE of the reasons I didn’t was because I didn’t feel like the blurbs were giving me enough info for me to make my selection in the 5 day window — I didn’t know the judges reading tastes enough to know if their “likes” would resonate with mine. If I had had something like this blog post – someone whose reading recommendations I know how to gauge a little better as they relate to mine – I’d have been “all in.” So Anne, any chance you’d do this monthly — either here or in the MMD book club forum? 😉

    • Anne says:

      There’s great BOTM discussion every month in the Book Club! I’ll think about doing it monthly. I know I share thoughts on the picks often, but not always.

      • Adding my thanks too Ann! This was perfect and helped me finally make up my mind this month (I skipped the last two months because I couldn’t choose). I would love it if you did a quick summary/review like this each month. Like Susan, I’m often still not sure which book is the right fit for me even after reading the judges’ blurbs. I have often thought how great it would be if I could just pick up the phone and ask you 🙂 I’ve learned to trust your thoughts on the effects of a book on your readers. I’m not necessarily looking for “choose this one” as much as “this is what is really going on with this book and if you like that, then this one might be a good choice for you”.

  11. Beth B. says:

    My husband’s an animator! I just subscribed to the 3-month plan (I’m a sucker for a tote bag) and picked THAT book. You convinced me 🙂

  12. Ashley S says:

    Whew! I picked Pachinko before I saw this post! I’m new to BOTM but it definitely exposes me to books I’d never have picked otherwise.

  13. I like Book of the Month. I have a membership with them, too.
    I’m reading Pachinko right now and it’s a beautifully written book. I’m only 100 pages in, but I can’t wait to keep reading. I hate putting it down!

  14. Bridget says:

    This month was so hard. I wanted the special edition of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. So I picked Perfect Little World and Behind Her Eyes. I still MUST have Pachinko. And I know that next month there will be 5-amazing books so I just don’t know what I’ll do. I love this club so so so much but man it is hard to choose. I wish we could just get them all :).

  15. Deanna says:

    Oh wow. This post is DANGEROUS. Seriously. There are two books that intrigue me. Plus it sounds fun, a monthly book.
    I placed myself on a book buying ban for at least six months and maybe a year – in order to focus myself on reading the books I already own, and to decrease the cash outflow that quickly adds up with book purchases. This post though has me conjuring up ways to make BOTM fit into my book buying ban. I almost convinced myself. (rolling eyes at myself). I will wait and join in on the fun once my ban is lifted.

  16. Liesl says:

    I picked behind her eyes this month. I almost always pick Liberty’s book, so I might have to get that from the library, but the “erotic” description she gave Linda turned me off of it. I might have to check out pachinko off your rec too!

    • Candace M Chatman says:

      Honestly, Thank you for that reminder! There might be quite the waiting list for these but this month’s selections seem worth the wait!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Anne, we need your recommendations for the March book of the month! It’s so much (awesome) pressure to choose!

  18. Lacey says:

    Would an older man enjoy this? My dad’s an avid reader and just mentioned that he’s just about read everything on his shelf so I’ve thought about gifting this to him.

    • Anne says:

      Every month they always have at least one selection that makes me think, “Oh, Will would really love that!” and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. 🙂

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