Hello, friends! The summer is almost over but the heat is hanging on, for this week at least! I’m just back from a whirlwind tour of Cool Places Norther Than Me (Northumberland, Scotland, the Lake District), and what did I see on my desk when I got back to work?
That’s right! Sunflowers! I love the people I work with, they’re so awesome. Not pictured: the irises that were also on my desk to welcome me back. *heart eyes*
Oh yeah, and a parcel from Illumicrate!
Illumicrate is a quarterly subscription service for book lovers. Each box contains a couple of books – usually new releases or even pre-release copies – and some book-related swag. There are a bunch of great subscription boxes out there for book lovers, but for my first foray into this exciting world full of surprises I chose Illumicrate. They were taking orders for the August box while I was looking around, so they seemed the obvious choice, and I liked the emphasis on swag since I’m currently struggling for bookshelf space – I do not need help to hoard!
So, what’s inside? Spoilers ahead, obvs.
First off, I loved the presentation! There’s some yellow confetti in there, and everything is packed neatly so you’re unlikely to damage anything trying to get it out of the box. Plus, doesn’t that logo just lend itself perfectly to photo-taking??
The first thing under the presentation card was this taster sachet of strawberry tea from PostTea.co.uk. I appreciated the inclusion of instructions and tea filters, as it is a loose leaf tea and not everyone necessarily has the supplies for that! There’s also a discount code for their online shop, which I took a quick look at and oh my GOSH they do a tea advent calendar?? *grabby hands* I haven’t given this tea a try yet, but it smells amazing and I can’t wait to!
Underneath, I found these gorgeous coasters by Taratjah Art. I love the artwork, and who doesn’t want more Potter swag in their lives??
Then there were these poster cards for the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. I had never heard of these books *gasp* but I might just try them on the basis of how utterly stunning these prints are!
This was the teased Gilmore Girls item – a tote bag with ‘In Omnia Paratus’ (Ready for Anything) on it! It’s a great scene from the Gilmore Girls where Rory Gilmore and a secret society she’s reporting on jump off scaffolding with umbrellas for parachutes! It sounds terrifying, I know, but it looks like great fun. I actually gave this item to my mum – we’re both big Gilmore Girls fans but I thought she would appreciate it more.
These were the two books included! The Graces by Laure Eve, which I had heard a lot about at YALC and was super excited to read, and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, which I hadn’t heard about but which sounds amazing! Both came with signed bookplates (a lovely touch) and The Graces even came with a handwritten letter from the author!
Also included were discount codes for Non Pratt’s Unboxed, which again I had heard a lot about at YALC so will definitely get! and one for amazing bookmarks designed and created by Olena at mybookmark-shop.com. I love the look of these so I am absolutely getting one – it’s just a case of choosing! The final thing was two colouring cards inspired by Leigh Bardugo‘s Six of Crows and Grisha trilogies, which for some insane reason I didn’t take pictures of?? But I may colour them in and post them once they’re done!
In other news, I went to see the new Swallows and Amazons film with my mum and we both loved it. We go on holiday all the time to the Lake District – and had just been there like five days before! – so it was such a nostalgic homecoming feeling. It was great that it was all filmed pretty locally to where the book is actually set (Lake Windermere). You can read my garbles stream of immediate-aftermath tweets here. I have memories of my grandma buying me the next S&A book in the series every time we went on holiday together when I was little. She died not even three weeks ago, so obvs I cried when the credits rolled.
*pause for awkward sad pause* ANYWAY.
I’m going to start prepping for GollanczFest pretty soon (stop distracting me, TBR!). If you love SFF, come along! I think tickets are selling out pretty sharpish, but there should still be some left. Maybe see you there? Probably see you on Twitter 😉 Ta-ra!