August Book of the Month Unboxing


I love Book of the Month so much. For August I decided to go a bit crazy (in the most vanilla way possible) and select three books.

If you’re new to Book of the Month, they are an absolutely wonderful monthly book subscription box. Each month, they select five books that you can choose from for $14.99, and you can add up to two additional books for $9.99 each. The books are all new releases and good-quality hardcovers with Book of the Month branding, which I adore.

One of the things that I love the most about Book of the Month is that I’ve consistently been finding titles that are brand new to me, that I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise.

If you want to give Book of the Month a try, here’s my link to get you started. Trust me, it’s so freaking worth it.

Here are the three books that I chose for August:

Well Met by Jen DeLuca


I selected this as my first choice the second that my eyes landed on it, and it’s one of my most highly-anticipated books of the summer. It’s a hate-to-love romance that takes place at a Renaissance Faire. That’s all I need to know.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig


This book wasn’t even on my radar until I heard Chelsea Palmer raving about it on her YouTube channel. My reading tastes seem to align with hers pretty frequently and the novel also sounds nice and dark, so I’m really looking forward to this one.

One Day in December by Josie Silver


Book of the Month lets you select their backlisted titles as add-ons until they’re sold out, and that’s what this one is. I’ve had my eye on this romance novel for a hot minute and decided to just go for it. I’ve heard it compared to Love Actually which is my favorite romance movie ever made.

Want to see more hauls?

September Book Haul | Why You Should Shop at Thrift Stores

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Why You Should Shop for Books at Thrift Stores

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning that I was really anxious about, so to cheer myself up I decided to swing by Goodwill on my way home for some (discount) retail therapy. I intended to try to find some new work clothes but ended up leaving with two bags full of books, and a single polka-dot dress.

I spent $24, $4 of which was on the dress, and came home with 12 books, mostly hardcover, and almost all of them in nearly perfect condition. It was such a great day that I’m already planning a trip to a different local Goodwill tomorrow to see what else I can find.

Let’s get right into it. Here are the twelve books I found at Goodwill this morning, for just $20!

Book Haul, discount books, book blog, great books, best book, read yourself happy, penny wright

From top to bottom:

Horton’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans

Goodreads | Amazon

This was the only book that I picked up without knowing anything about it first. Honestly, I just really liked the cover of it, as it reminded me of the art of Edward Gorey. This middle-school novel follows Stuart Horten, who is searching for a mysterious, magical workshop that once belonged to his great-uncle Tony, a famous magician who disappeared without a trace.

What is the What by Dave Eggers

Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve heard amazing things about this book, so I was happy when I found a copy. It’s about the Lost Boys of Sudan, children who were forced to give up their childhoods and become child soldiers. Valentino Achak Deng gets resettled in the United States in this novel and faces new challenges in this drastically different world.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Goodreads | Amazon

I actually just purchased a copy of this for my Kindle, but I like physical books better, so finding a copy at Goodwill was a good excuse to buy it again. The main character, Hazel, has terminal cancer, and she thinks it’s the end of her story, but then she meets Augustus Waters at the Cancer Kid Support Group. I’m also looking forward to reading John Green’s other book, Turtles All the Way Down, which I just bought a few weeks ago on Amazon.

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

Goodreads | Amazon

Cold Mountain is one of my favorite books. I lived in the Appalachian mountains for all of my twenties, and I have a huge soft spot for any book that takes place there. I’d seen mentions of this book around the internet, but I didn’t know too much about it. When I finally read the synopsis of it upon getting home, I got very excited: “At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and is sent on a journey through the uncharted wilderness of the Cherokee Nation.” I’ve already added this to my November TBR pile.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Goodreads | Amazon

Most people probably read this book in school at some point, but I don’t remember having read it, so I figured it was about time.

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

Goodreads | Amazon

Max Brooks is the author of World War Z, which I enjoyed, and this book seemed really fun. My friends and I frequently discuss our plans for the inevitable zombie apocalypse, so this is definitely a must-have.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Goodreads | Amazon

This is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and although I’d read this series years ago, and had all three books on my Kindle, I’ve been wanting the physical editions. While I did find Mockingjay as well, unfortunately, I didn’t see the first book there. Two out of three isn’t bad though!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Goodreads | Amazon 

See above.

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Goodreads | Amazon 

When this book came out last year, I remember immediately adding to my TBR list. And then… I sort of forgot about it. When I saw it at Goodwill this morning, I remembered that it was about a world suffering from the effects of climate change, which is one of my favorite genres, so I immediately picked it up. It’s not in the best condition, but it’ll do for $1.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Goodreads | Amazon 

I originally read this book on the plane on my way to Chicago last year, and I loved it. I’ve always been interested in mountain climbing, primarily because I have absolutely no interest in physically doing it. It’ll be nice to reread this.

Why Kerouac Matters by John Leland

Goodreads | Amazon 

Jack Kerouac has been one of my favorite authors since someone urged me to read both The Dharma Bums and On the Road in my early twenties, a time when I was restless and figuring out who I was. This book is a deeper look at On the Road.

Imzadi (Star Trek: The Next Generation) by Peter David

Goodreads | Amazon

Star Trek is the best thing in the world, so obviously I was going to pick this one up. I already have a small collection of Star Trek books that I’ve picked up second hand, but I hadn’t seen this one before.

Overall, I’m thrilled at the books I found today. What’s the best book you’ve found at a thrift shop?

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September Book Hauls – Book Outlet & Book of the Month!

I was fortunate enough to obtain some really great books in the month of September, most of them from Book Outlet, as well as a couple from my first Book of the Month box.

Book Outlet

I just recently learned about the discount book website Book Outlet, and I’m officially obsessed. I spent at least an hour browsing their massive selection, before settling on seven books, which ended up costing just $35, including shipping and tax. Yes, really.

The important thing to note about Book Outlet is that their stock rotates frequently, so if you see a book you really want, you should purchase it as soon as you’re able to. I just got this box of books, and many of them are already sold out, so for those, I’ve included links for you to purchase them on Amazon.

Another quick note: many of the books available on Book Outlet are bargain books or scratch and dent copies. I chose the bargain books, some of which have a small scratch or line marked on the top or bottom of the pages.

Here are the books I got, and why I’m excited to read them:


  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
    This is one of two from this haul that I’ve started reading already and, despite being only halfway through it, I’m in love. I’ve been craving a great high fantasy novel, and this certainly is that. It takes place in a world where people who could do magic, called Magi, once ruled. Now, however, the magic is gone, and those Magi are being repressed and killed. We follow the story of Zelie Adebola, a young girl who is given the chance to bring magic back and save people like her.
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
    In this collection of poems, Woodson talks about growing up as an African American in the 60s and 70s. The prose is beautiful, and the topic is an important one.
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
    I don’t know much about this book but purchased it because I’d heard from a plethora of sources that it was an incredible story. It follows a couple, one of whom is accused of a crime that they didn’t commit.
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
    It’s been ages since I’ve read historical fiction, and I really want to get back into it. When I came across this on Book Outlet, I checked ratings on Amazon, and it’s rated 5 stars with over 37,000 reviews. So yeah, I bought it.
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman
    This is the first part of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. The second book, Thunderhead, was also available, so I’m actually going to be placing a second order next month to get that. The trilogy sounds so interesting – it’s a world where scythes are the only people who can end a life, which they do to keep the population under control.
  • Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
    The first sentence of the synopsis of this book had me hooked: “In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism.” I can’t wait to read it.
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
    When I went back to Book Outlet today to grab the link to this book, I saw that The Night Masquerade is now available as well, which is book five in this series. I’ve seen my favorite author, Neil Gaiman, write good things about this series, and I trust his judgment, so I wanted to give it a shot. I’m not sure about the rest of the series, but book one is very short – more a novella than a novel, so I feel like I’ll be able to finish it in a just a few hours.

Book of the Month


I’m obsessed with subscription boxes. I love coming home from a long day at the call center where I work to find a box full of goodies waiting for me. There are so many I would love to subscribe to, although subscribing to all of them would definitely be way outside of my current budget.

Thus, I ended up choosing two to start with: Book of the Month and OwlCrate. While my OwlCrate subscription is starting in October, I did receive my first Book of the Month box in September.

The thing that attracted me to Book of the Month was its simplicity and affordability. For $14.99 per month, you get to pick a book out of their monthly selection, and extra books from their backstock just add $9.99. The books are hardcover editions, so that’s quite a bit cheaper than buying the books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

For my monthly selection, I chose The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, even though it was a tough decision between that and The Mermaid and Mrs. HancockThe Silence of the Girls takes place during the events of The Illiad and is told from the point of views of the women who are captured and enslaved, including Queen Briseis.

I also got to choose a free book because I had a discount code, so I selected The Line that Held Us by David Joy. I’d never heard of that book before, and selected it on a whim, but when I received it, I was excited to see that the author is from Sylva, NC, which is where I went to college. I’m looking forward to reading it.

If you want to try out Book of the Month, I have a referral code you can use!

I hope you enjoyed this book haul! I’m thinking about doing them more often since I frequently find myself in situations where I impulse buy discount books. Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? What were your thoughts?

Penny is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to