Unpacking bookish fun with Book Riot Quarterly box #BKR03

Unpacking bookish fun with Book Riot Quarterly box #BKR03

Book Riot’s third Quarterly subscription box showed up on my doorstep last week, and I’m unpacking it for you today. Imagine Birchbox for books: subscribers receive at least one book and other bookish goodies once a quarter. The cost is $50, and they promise they’ll send you goods worth more than your purchase price.


This quarter’s theme was “shuffle your reading deck,” and it contained way more books than previous shipments. Here’s what my enclosed notes said:

When Riot readers tell us about the kinds of books they are most hesitant to try, they mention romance, sci-fi/fantasy, and young adult more than any other genres or categories. So here’s one of our favorites of each type.

They were:

• Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King (young adult).

The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin (fantasy).

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean (romance).

I’m not sure about this. While I love discovering new books, my to-be-read list is already blown up. I have my summer reading list, and my smarty-pants summer syllabus, and those are just my short-term lists!

I’m also tempted to say, categorically, that I don’t read romance, but that sounds a little too much like this … so I’ll just say it’s a genre I don’t spend much time exploring.

I’d  love to plow through these picks, and soon, so I can evaluate Book Riot’s recommendations—but I’m not sure that’s how I want to spend my reading hours this month. (Have you read any of these?)


Book Riot promises to include book fetish items in every shipment. This is usually my favorite part. This box included:

• Out of Print library card pouch. This 6×9 canvas pouch is adorable, could be used for anything, and will immediately be used to corral my notebooks and pens that keep hiding in the bottom corner of my giant tote.

(I’m in love with their whole library collection, especially this phone case.)

Literary Aces playing cards. Way more fun than your usual deck of cards (though just as serviceable) because every face card is illustrated with a literary great. Check out the queens: Flannery O’Connor, Zora Neale Hurston, Virginia Woolf, and Jane Austen.


Just like last time, some subscribers’ boxes contained bonus items, and I was among the lucky ones. I unpacked the YA book The List by Siobhan Vivian, and based on its description, this bonus book is the one I’m most excited about reading from this shipment.


Every box also included a code for two free months of Oyster’s ebook subscription service, which typically costs $9.95 per month. I’m looking forward to trying this out.

The next Quarterly box ships in the third quarter; sign up here by August 28 to reserve yours. (But they’ve been selling them out, so I would sign up soon if you want one.) Peek inside previous Book Riot Quarterly boxes here and here.

P.S. For an adult reader, the possible verdicts are five. And the latest book I read in a day, which I predict 92% of you will love.

Reminder! The next Twitterature link-up will be Sunday, June 15. Get your posts ready!

(Quarterly gave me a complimentary box, but before they offered, I’d already signed up with my own cold hard cash. As always, all opinions are my own.)

This post contains my affiliate links. Thanks for supporting MMD!


  1. Audrey says:

    I just discovered your blog and I am in big trouble. You see, these things called work and family and friends and sleep are there and I just don’t have time to read everything I want to. And now you have contributed to my dilemma!! 🙂 Thanks for all the great selections!!

  2. I’ve been debating on signing up for this ever since they first started, but I haven’t been able to justify the $50 for a random grab bag when I could be spending that money on books that have been languishing on be to-be-read list for.ev.er. It’s nice to see all the fun bookish items you get besides books, though!

  3. Louise says:

    I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to say you never read a particular genre – there are some genres that don’t strike a spark with my imagination and so I don’t read, and there are some (such as horror) that I just plain can’t do. Everyone’s personality is different, and everyone should feel just as free to say they personally don’t care for something as they should feel free to say they do!

    Having said that, I do think it’s a great idea to offer books to people outside their normal genres to encourage everyone to stretch. But no shame to anyone who decides that genre still isn’t for them!

  4. Kristin says:

    So glad I signed up after the last box… This box was a great treat and I’m looking forward to reading the YA book choice. I also use my pouch for pens and school supplies and I’ll use it in my bag for my grad classes.

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for the links! I’ve enjoyed Zarr’s works (especially The Lucy Variations) but have never listened to the podcast. I’m glad you found The List interesting, and to discover Zarr’s podcast.

  5. Molly says:

    Oh how fun!. I got to see what you unpacked last time, and since then I’ve been wanting to sign up. I recently was hired for a job that will begin in the fall. I won’t be able to sign up for the Aug. 28 box, but I will definitely be purchasing the one after that. For now I’m chipping away at the titles I have on my shelf and Kindle.

  6. Katie says:

    I’ve never heard of that fantasy author. It sounds interesting enough, but I do wonder what made them pick a debut novel (I think) from a political blogger rather than a classic or a book from a well-established fantasy author. Maybe it’s just that good. I might see if the library has it.

    I categorically don’t read romance either. You have to narrow down that TBR list SOMEHOW.

  7. I have that library pouch! It’s so cute, isn’t it?

    I read another Sarah Maclean. It was ok, but a bit much on the sexy stuff for me. Plus, I just can’t read regency stuff after reading Georgette Heyer. Anyone else pales in comparison.

    (Have I already told you this?? If not, go acquire The Grand Sophy or False Colours by Georgette Heyer IMMEDIATELY. I’ll wait.)

  8. Vanessa says:

    Please Ignore Vera Dietz was a pleasant surprise for me. I really, really enjoyed it. Here’s my Goodreads review in case you’re interested: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/769540314

    But I know what you mean about not enough hours to squeeze in books you feel lackluster about. I’m still learning to give up on books halfway through that are not “grabbing” me. It’s hard because for some strange reason I feel bad for giving up on them.

  9. Kendra says:

    This is tempting! Do you know of a similar subscription service for books for Tweens? Or do they often include tween/young adult? I have 4 kids ages 6-13.

  10. Misty says:

    This was my first one, and minus the library bag and playing cards, I wasn’t impressed. I did NOT get the bonus book, but it sounds awesome and that I may have loved. The books i did get aren’t books I would read and honestly, my reading is really versatile so that surprised me a little… I’ve seen the boxes they normally do, which is what swayed me to join. Bummer!

  11. Ginger says:

    I wasn’t too into this quarterly’s… I might give The Killing Moon a try, but the romance novel went directly into my garage sale pile. Sad, but there are just too many great books to read on my list.

    They mentioned in the accompanying letter that the three genres people are the most trepidatious about are romance, fantasy, and YA. I just wish they might have spread out the “deck shufflers” so that we didn’t potentially get three un-readable novels in one box.

    This is only my second BR box, so I’ll keep looking forward to the future, but I was kinda disappointed this time around. (Loved the little pouch and cards though!)

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