Mailbox Monday | Featuring Health Tea Book Crate

Time for Mailbox Monday! Technically I’m on a self-imposed book-buying ban, since I have exactly 50 unread books on my shelves. I am failing myself, because I keep making excuses like: “but these thrift store books are SO cheap, it would be stupid NOT to buy them!” Okay, let’s talk book subscription boxes, since they aren’t REALLY counted when you’re on a book-buying ban – are they? As you may have read in my first ever blog post, it was a book subscription box (Novel Editions) that really renewed my love of obsession with reading.

I have had a hard time finding a box that I adore as much as I did Novel Editions. There are countless YA boxes, but YA is not really my preferred genre. I also dislike receiving items that are not useful. Candles, bath bombs, tea, soap, bookmarks, stationery, tote bags etc. are all items that I love, because I will actually USE them. I am not really inclined to “collect” things, and I don’t think there’s any book/series I love enough to want art prints of its characters (even Harry Potter/Outlander/GoT don’t make that cut!). Of course this is 100% personal preference, but it is honestly difficult to find good book boxes that don’t have a YA or specific book/fandom theme to them.

1This brings me to my most recent snail mail on this Mailbox Monday! I don’t remember how I came across Health Tea Book Crate, but I may have fallen in love just by browsing through their Instagram feed. Tea and books are two of my favourite things (along with brown paper packages tied up with string). Add in the vintage aesthetic they’ve got going on, and I was hooked! I was ready for the impulse buy, but when I went to check out I saw that they only shipped within the U.S.A. Fraught with disappointment, I instantly DM’d them on Instagram, expressing both my adoration and lamentation, and guess what!? They added international shipping: WIN!

Without further ado, here is the aesthetically delightful unboxing of the July Health Tea Book Crate. Spoilers ahead!

Included in the July Health Tea Book Crate:

EVERY item is absolutely gorgeous. When opening this box I felt perfectly pampered. Everything was packaged in such a lovely manner, and it is clear that such care and thought went in to every little detail.  Of course the most important aspect of the box is the book, and I am so excited to start A Place for Us. 

Since I’m located in Canada, and this is a box from the United States, the only downside is the higher cost due to the exchange rate and customs. I can pretend that I care for a few moments, but then I just look at how beautiful it all is!

Do you subscribe to any book boxes? Which are your faves!?  What do you like to receive in subscription boxes?


Tuesday: First Chapter, First Paragraph

I’m going to join in on the First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros fun, hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach.  Each Tuesday, she shares the first paragraph(s) of a current read, or book she will soon be reading. Such a great idea! When I am going through the ridiculously difficult ordeal of choosing which book to read next, I often read the first page of a few books and go with whichever one intrigues me the most!

I’m sharing the first few paragraphs of a book I just started: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes.




York, England

Late Spring, 1604

I wasn’t ready to turn to stone.

I leaned so close to the small wall mirror that my nose left a grease spot on the glass, but I held still. Or tried to. I couldn’t control the trembling. The grease spot smeared.

My right eye reflected a bright blue iris, but it was the left side of my face that held me a whisper away from the mirror. Cracked stone blossomed from the chiseled marble that should have been an eye. The ball didn’t move, the lid didn’t blink. I lifted shaking fingers to my face. Petrification tickled the hairline of my eyebrow. A single infected hair protruded like a stone needle.

The plague was spreading.

I am only on chapter three of Fawkes, and I am definitely enjoying it so far. I love when history blends with fantasy, and I have a good feeling about this one!

Goodreads synopsis: 

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?