This definitely wasn’t my favorite month of selections with Book of the Month, which made me so happy, because that meant there was room for me to add the other two titles I couldn’t have in my box last month to my February crate, so no harm done, y’all. Absolutely none. In fact, I’m happy none of the titles spoke to me because last month left a fricken crater in my chest.
You guys know Book of the Month is one of my favorite crates. It’s one of the top-rated book crates on the market for a reason. I discovered my favorite book on planet earth, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things through them, and I’m currently reading another amazing selection from November, Nicotine.
Needless to say, I’m hooked.
This month’s selections were:
- The Animatore by Kayla Rae Whitaker
- The Possessions by Sarah Flannery Murphy
- Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
- Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
HOW IT WORKS
FIVE NEW SELECTIONS
On the first of each month, we announce five monthly selections, carefully chosen by our Judges.
CHOOSE YOUR BOOK
By the sixth of the month, choose which books you would like to receive or easily skip the month if you prefer.
Extended picking period for new members. Join today and choose your first book by January 22nd.
BOXES SHIP – HURRAY!
On the seventh of the month, we ship you your box. Happy reading!
This month I selected:
- Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED
By Judge Maris Kreizman
At a time when dystopian novels are all the rage, what a delight to read a novel about striving for perfection, no matter how short the effort may fall. If I could choose one author to write about a flawed yet earnest attempt at utopia, Kevin Wilson would be at the top of my list. Even as he relishes the absurd details in his characters’ lives, he never mocks them, never treats them with anything less than compassion.
Perfect Little World is the story of an ambitious sociological experiment called “The Infinite Family Project.” Dr. Preston Grind, a young and idealistic child psychologist, heads up the study with funding from an elderly big box store magnate, taking the “It takes a village” model of co-parenting to a new level.
Dr. Grind picks ten newborns, along with their parents, and stashes them all in a beautiful complex deep in the Tennessee woods to find out what happens when the children grow up parented collectively by all participants. No child will learn who his or her birth parents are until the sixth year of the study. All parents and children will be well provided for, from education and healthcare, to job training for the parents.
Told from the point of view of the only single parent to take place in the experiment, a young mother named Isabelle Poole, Perfect Little World follows the members of this makeshift family as the study evolves over years. We see the development of both the children and the parents, and also the jealousies and broken hearts, petty fights and larger conflicts that emerge as the years pass. It’s a novel that’s so fun to read that you might forget how fundamentally philosophical it is: What is a family? Do more parent mean more love? How long can such a community maintain its harmony? And ultimately, which are the ties that truly bind?
There are darker questions that arise as well: How does a science experiment differ from a cult? How fallible is human nature? And most importantly, will people separated from regular society want to make out with each other all the time? The novel aims to answer these questions, but it never devolves into satire because the author is too generous for that. Ultimately, the novel’s most enduring question might be: isn’t it better try for an idealized version of the world, than not to have tried at all?
- Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh (January Selection)
- Lucky You by Erika Carter (January Selection and BOTM Exclusive Title)