I received May’s Sweet Reads Box in exchange for an honest review. This post also appears on A Year of Boxes.
Annnnd we’re back. I hope you had a good weekend. I didn’t get to half the things on my to-do list but that’s okay. Instead I watched a thoroughly entertaining movie (Knives Out); listened to some amazing covers by the Ohio State University Marching Band, The Buckeye Battle Bangers; and read the first half of May’s wonderful Sweet Reads pick, The Music of Bees. If you’re new to Sweet Reads Box, it’s a Canadian book box that delivers me time each month with a new novel, something delicious to eat and drink while you’re reading, and some other bookish items related to the story or the theme of the box (think mugs, bookmarks, stationery and other super fun surprises). Subscriptions and single boxes are available to try (or gift) along with limited edition, stand-alone boxes released throughout the year. Let’s look at May’s offering.
“Be like the honeybee who gathers only nectar wherever it goes. Seek the goodness that is found in everyone.” — Mala Amritanandamayi
Each box includes product card. One side describes the contents (that side is always packed face down in case you want to be surprised as you take out the items) and the other has a quote related to the story. Some people can guess the book from the quote alone but it’s almost always a surprise to me.
Look at that gorgeous cover! May’s pick, The Music of Bees, was just released April 27. A story about bees, a community and the environment. We loved this story and its rich characters — Alice, Jake and Harry. Each character on a journey of their own who are brought together by the magic of bees. A chosen family, a fight against pesticides and the healing power of friendship and belonging.
Here’s the description from the publisher:
Three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life’s curveballs, are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing–and maybe even a second chance–just when they least expect it.
Forty-four-year-old Alice Holtzman is stuck in a dead-end job, bereft of family, and now reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. Alice has begun having panic attacks whenever she thinks about how her life hasn’t turned out the way she dreamed. Even the beloved honeybees she raises in her spare time aren’t helping her feel better these days.
In the grip of a panic attack, she nearly collides with Jake–a troubled, paraplegic teenager with the tallest mohawk in Hood River County–while carrying 120,000 honeybees in the back of her pickup truck. Charmed by Jake’s sincere interest in her bees and seeking to rescue him from his toxic home life, Alice surprises herself by inviting Jake to her farm.
And then there’s Harry, a twenty-four-year-old with debilitating social anxiety who is desperate for work. When he applies to Alice’s ad for part-time farm help, he’s shocked to find himself hired. As an unexpected friendship blossoms among Alice, Jake, and Harry, a nefarious pesticide company moves to town, threatening the local honeybee population and illuminating deep-seated corruption in the community. The unlikely trio must unite for the sake of the bees–and in the process, they just might forge a new future for themselves.
Beautifully moving, warm, and uplifting, The Music of Bees is about the power of friendship, compassion in the face of loss, and finding the courage to start over (at any age) when things don’t turn out the way you expect.
I’d never seen the book before I opened the box and it’s been such a wonderful surprise.
Bee Magnetic Bookmark (Crafted Van) We couldn’t resist adding this cute bookmark to the box. The perfect friend to keep your page. 🇨🇦
Crated Van is a Sweet Reads favourite and mine too. Honestly could this one bee any cuter?
Oh and the Canadian flag indicates a Canadian product. 🇨🇦 Sweet Reads proudly supports Canadian makers and companies by including many Canadian-made items in each box. Spoiler alert: every item in this box (apart from the book) is made in Canada. 🇨🇦
Canadian Breakfast Tea (Pluck Tea) Is there anything better than tea and honey? We think not, so we included this special tea from our friends at Pluck that supports Breakfast Club of Canada. 🇨🇦
Pluck makes wonderful tea and this Canadian Breakfast blend is delicious. So much smoother than my usual bagged brew and loose-leaf tea always feels special.
Mango Maracuja (Squish Gummies) While we couldn’t bring the taste of the orchards to you, we thought these delicious gummies would be perfect for enjoying while reading this sweet novel. 🇨🇦
I’ve had these particular Squish several times and (at the risk of repeating myself) they’re a favourite too. The company’s treats are one of my go-to’s for gifting.
Drizzle Turmeric Gold Raw Honey (Drizzle) Stir this remarkable honey into steamed milk, tea, smoothies, or use in cooking and salad dressings. An anti-inflammatory blend of raw honey we know you will love. 🇨🇦
Look at the colour of that honey! Isn’t it gorgerous? I’m curious to try it in a few recipes. I don’t like honey in my tea or hot milk but it’s brilliant in refrigerator jam and so many baked goods. I wonder how this turmeric kind will affect the taste. The brand has a granola recipe that calls for this one and it sounds scrumptious.
Milk & Honey Cleansing Bar (Perth Soap Co) Whether you are cleaning up after working outside or taking a luxurious bath, enjoy the goodness of nature in this beautiful soap. 🇨🇦
Another perfect fit for the box! I like the soft, subtle fragrance and it feels lovely and moisturizing.
Lemon Drop Lip Balm (Swift Acres)
Swift Acres made the beeswax wraps in April’s Sweet Reads Box and this balm is fantastic too. I love how it melts into your lips and the lemon smells amazing. This one wasn’t on the product card but it’s one of my favourites in the box. 🇨🇦
Healing Bracelet (Native Northwest) We chose these beautiful healing bracelets for their connection to the earth and their representation of the healing process the characters in the novel are experiencing. 🇨🇦
You can tell Sweet Reads puts a lot of care and thought into the curation of their boxes and this bracelet illustrates that beautifully. I love the connection to the novel and the colours and construction of the bracelet itself. It feels cool and substantial. Grounding. The card says the charm is a hummingbird heart, chosen because “hummingbirds teach us to find the nectar in life [and] uplift our spirits.”
May’s Sweet Reads Box is a honey of a delivery. 🍯 I’m thoroughly enjoying the book and all of the products carefully packed alongside (‘tho I still need to try the turmeric gold), all thoughtfully chosen and delivered to my doorstep. Makes a great gift for yourself, for a special occasion, or just bee-cause. 🐝
Single monthly Sweet Reads Box: $80
Three-month subscription: $230.97
Six-month subscription: $443.94
12-month subscription: $863.88
Sweet Reads Box ships Canada-wide and shipping is included.
And you can save 10% on three- and six-month subscriptions when you sign up for the Sweet Reads Box mailing list. The co. also shares bookish news, discounts and info on upcoming boxes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
What do you think of May’s Sweet Reads Box? Do you like the bee theme?