First off, let me start today’s post with some happy news! I am embarrassingly aware that I need to work harder to be more timely in my replies on this blog. I feel like I’m always playing catch-up. In fact, just a few days ago as I was clearing up my notifications I realized I completely missed my blog anniversary last month 😅
… happy second anniversary to Princess and Pages🎉
I’m so grateful to everyone who has joined me in this little space. I started a blog because my bookstagram page’s text capacity can no longer accommodate my bookish ramblings, and this has since evolved into a sacred personal space where I can comfortably think my thoughts and publish my musings. I have also learned a lot from the friends I’ve made through this page. BIG THANKS AND VIRTUAL HUGS 🤗
Moving on with today’s topic–I remember it was Christmas last year when a good friend kindly gifted me with a quarterly subscription to Fully Booked’s Fresh Read. Since this is a relatively new offering from one of the country’s largest bookstores, I figured some of you may be interested to know how the subscription went. A friend of mine also mentioned that she didn’t even know this service existed until she saw it in one of my Instagram posts this month. I hope this gives you more information and help you decide whether to sign up or not.
Basically, Fresh Read is a monthly subscription wherein newly released titles will be delivered directly to your doorstep. The book will be a surprise, but you do get to choose which genre you prefer to receive (Children’s Intermediate, Fiction, Non-Fiction), and if you want a 3-month (3 books!) or a 6-month (6 books!) subscription. I chose Quarterly + Fiction.
These are the books I received:
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
From the author of The House of the Spirits, this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home.
In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires.
Month 1 Bonus merch: Discussion Guide, a pretty bookmark and a decorative magnet. This sounds really epic and I am planning to pick it up by November or December. For no specific reason, I feel like this might be a good holiday read.
Weather by Jenny Offill
From the author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation–one of the New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of the Year–a shimmering tour de force about a family, and a nation in crisis.
Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. She’s become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of western civilization.
Month 2 Bonus merch: Note to the Reader, artsy promotional prints, and just getting a hardback is a bonus for me! This is the only book I’ve read so far from this list, and I highly recommend this if you are looking for experimental, contemporary writing.
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.
Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on an island in British Columbia. Jonathan Alkaitis works in finance and owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent’s half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship. Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of northern Vancouver Island, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.
Month 3 Bonus merch: Exclusive Q&A with the Author and a lovely key chain. I am excited to buddy read this with a friend from book club this month.
Some honest feedback: You’ll have to be very patient if you do sign up for this. Especially now that we are struggling with a pandemic, the shipping time is just a bit unpredictable. Fully Booked’s Customer Service team is accommodating in terms of follow-ups and inquiries, but they can also experience a long queue of requests, so like I said: patience is key.
Personally, I trust Fully Booked to deliver the goods as soon as they can, and the books have all been worth the wait. I love their curation so far, and if you compute the savings of only Php799 per book instead of Php800-Php1000 (with shipping), it’s definitely sulit (worth it!). You even get bonus items and exclusive merchandise along with the savings.
I hope this post helps you if you are Philippine-based and looking for new book subscriptions. As for me, I will definitely renew my subscription once I have the funds!😆 Please don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have any. I’ll be waiting at the comments section and I will do my best to reply as soon as I can ✌
When you’re ready to subscribe or if you’re looking for more specific info, you may go here.