“Lost in Austen”
We got “Lost in Austen” this December with our LitJoy Crate which included some unique bookish items celebrating the beloved classic author. Here’s what was inside:
Starting, as per usual, with my favourite item – “Talk Darcy to Me” socks. These fuzzy slipper socks have this hilarious expression on the soles of the feet … one of my personal favourite literary quips. These fuzzy socks are perfect to slip on after a bath.
Of course when harkening back to the times of Austen, one cannot help but think of tea and so the clever ladies at LitJoy included a tea cup + saucer set. The tea cup has the expression “I would rather have nothing but tea”, by Jane Austen and the saucer has a wild rose. While very clever, this is an insanely small tea cup that really isn’t very useful for anything but a shot of espresso in my opinion. This item will be part of an ongoing collectors set for 2020, but I do caution that the LitJoy pamphlet says the cups are microwaveable, but there is a ring of metallic gold along the rim. It might not have any actual metal in it, but I’d be wary to microwave these cups.
2020 Book Lover’s Calendar. This desk calendar is full of seasonally selected, literary quotes designed by Catarina Book Designs. I think this is a great concept and would’ve been a slam dunk except for the obvious printing errors with my copy … a lot of the quotes are chopped off a bit at the top and the whole calendar is incredibly blurry. I’m guessing this was a small batch problem because I haven’t heard many comment about this issue … without the printing errors I think this would have been a great item.
Jane Austen book tray. This melamine book tray has various Jane Austen titles, with artwork by Peter Walters. I like the artwork and hope I can find a good use for this tray … maybe it’ll just be for display on a bookshelf.
Pride and Prejudice wax-seal stickers. These are a fun little item … very realistic wax seal stickers featuring two designs. 1 – “most ardently” and 2 – a book with a feather pen on top. I love stickers and these were really cute … two of my stickers were unfortunately cracked, so I can’t say the quality is exceptionally high. Although maybe this is just Canadian mail this month being a bit rougher than usual!
The monthly trading cards were from The Hunger Games (not seeing the Austen connection here to be honest) featuring Katniss and Peeta. Artwork for the 2020 trading cards is done by Tamar Vashadze (niruskyart).
The book pick for December was Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen and came signed, with an author letter, artwork in the book, and gorgeous reversible dust jacket art. Both dust jacket artwork and tip-in artwork was completed by Andrea Arce.
Overall Rating: B-
Talk Darcy To Me Socks: 3/3
Tea Cup + Saucer: 2/3
Desk Calendar: 1/3 (great idea, but really terrible printing on mine is practically unusable.)
Jane Austen Book Tray: 2/3 (I personally don’t like melamine trays … they remind me of baby plates, just a personal preference though!)
Wax Seal Stickers: 2/3 (Cute idea, a few of mine were cracked and broken.)
A miss for me this month, which is really unfortunate because I was quite excited for this Austen theme! But quality was definitely an issue with the calendar quotes being blurry, not centred, and sections chopped off. Also the cracked, broken wax stickers and the itty bitty tea cup … I was left a bit wanting.
Of course on top of this LitJoy is the most expensive book box out there for Canadian customers with their higher shipping cost, the tax charge at the door that they won’t address, and now an overall higher cost to the box. Going forward I will not be renewing my LitJoy subscription after January 2020. This is sad, because I feel their boxes are really unique and feature fabulous artwork & artists.