Book Haul TBR Unboxing

My September Book HookUp Unboxing

Last Christmas, my husband gifted me a subscription to The Strand’s The Book HookUp. We had visited New York City for the first time the previous Christmas, stopping in at The Strand bookstore, of course, so it was the perfect gift. What I love about this subscription is that it’s quarterly, so not a huge commitment. Boxes ship out in March, June, September, and December. The box comes with two books—typically one is a signed currently hyped book and the other is an advanced reader copy. And then it’s packed with bookish and local goodies. So it’s a bit of New York delivered right to my door!

I was distressed to see The Strand share that they are in need of help to remain open. I’ve included their Instagram post at the end of this post. It would be terrible to see such an iconic place close.

If you’re a fan of the holiday book Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, you’ll be excited about the new adaptation to be released on November 10th on Netflix. And they filmed in The Strand. Check out the trailer here!

My September box arrived on time, but I’m just late sharing it. 😉 It didn’t have as many items as my June box, but the included items were more expensive ones. I should be getting another box in December!

Let’s wander in!

My box is a young adult box, but you can choose from a variety of boxes, including fiction, classics, and sci-fi. However, the prices differ for some of the boxes. There’s also a spoiler link on the website where you can see what the main title will be in your next box. I can never resist a peek. I was excited to see that We Are Not Free would be included!

What I found inside:

1 & 2

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee (Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it included a signed book plate instead of a signed copy of the book, which is perfectly understandable.) And an advance reader’s copy of The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige.


“All around me, my friends are talking, joking, laughing. Outside is the camp, the barbed wire, the guard towers, the city, the country that hates us. 

We are not free.

But we are not alone.”

From New York Times best-selling and acclaimed author Traci Chee comes We Are Not Free, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II.

Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.

Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.

Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.

In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.



Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches.

For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet….

When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.



Harney & Sons Japanese Sencha Tea


Cavallini & Co. Journalino Leather Journal This smells amazing—if you love the smell of leather. 😉 I’m still trying to decide what to use this for. Any suggestions?


The Spring 2020 Edition of Zoetrope: All-Story Magazine (including contributions by JR, Sarah Hall, Stephen Millhauser, and Ling Ma) – I wasn’t sure what this was when I opened it, but after some research here’s what I discovered:

Founded by Francis Ford Coppola in 1997, Zoetrope: All-Story is a quarterly print magazine of short fiction, one-act plays, and essays on film. Among the most celebrated literary periodicals in the world, it has won every major story award, including four National Magazine Awards for Fiction, along with a number of design commendations. The magazine’s contributors comprise the most promising and significant writers of our era: Mary Gaitskill, Colum McCann, Rachel Cusk, Jim Shepard, Elena Ferrante, Daniel Alarcón, Karen Russell, Yiyun Li, Jonathan Lethem, Wes Anderson, Elizabeth McCracken, David Mamet, Ha Jin, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood, Pedro Almodóvar, Ethan Coen, Yoko Ogawa, Charles D’Ambrosio, Neil Jordan, Haruki Murakami, and many more.

Zoetrope: All-Story is also an art magazine—the editors invite a different artist to design each edition in its entirety. Past guest designers include David Lynch, Zaha Hadid, William Eggleston, Agnès Varda, Kara Walker, David Bowie, Ed Ruscha, Iggy Pop, Guillermo del Toro, Abbas Kiarostami, Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, PJ Harvey, Elizabeth Peyton, Gus Van Sant, Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, Julian Schnabel, Mary Ellen Mark, David Byrne, Helmut Newton, Lou Reed, and John Baldessari, among others.

My September box wasn’t as full as usual, but there were some quality items, not to mention the great books I’m excited to read. What’s your favorite subscription box? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

10 thoughts on “My September Book HookUp Unboxing”

  1. Omg, that would make me so sad! When I visited NYC a few years ago that was one of the first places that I visited and I didn’t want to leave 😂 It would be absolutely devastating to see it close… This book box looks incredible and I wish they did international delivery LOL! We Are Not Free is also on my TBR but I surprisingly haven’t seen much hype for it? I hope you enjoy everything in this box, Dedra!

    1. I know!! Thankfully, it looks like their effort to reach out for help has worked for now. I’ve also been surprised I haven’t heard more buzz for We Are Not Free. Hopefully I can get to it soon! <3

  2. Sounds like a great book box! That it’s quarterly is pretty cool. I subscribed to Scribbler for a quarter, and that’s a nice box for writers, but it can be a lot of money, especially when your family is unemployed.

    1. I do appreciate that it’s quarterly. I’ve never heard of Scribbler, but it sounds like a fun one! We’re very thankful and fortunate that my husband’s job has been able to survive the pandemic. I know so many others are struggling. Since this is a gift he purchased before the pandemic, I’m trying to enjoy the boxes I get because I know it’s not something we’ll be able to do indefinitely. And it does feel nice to help out the independent book stores when they’re struggling, as well. <3

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