Adult 2019

Hover over the photo of the wrapped gifts to see the complete unboxing underneath!

Be Yourself

December Box

Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie
  • Page 7
    "From her shoulder hung an oversize leather tote bag the color of a caramel latte. The tote's leather was thick and sturdy. It had white edge stitching so tailored and precise Holly was sure this minute piece of detailing was what catapulted the tote to "it bag" status. The tote was gorgeous. Accomplished. A neutral, yes, but a confident neutral. If Holly were a tote bag, she'd want to be that tote bag. From the tote, Penelope pulled a giant cellophane gift bag, tied with a wide silk ribbon and filled with what appeared to be coupons and store flyers."
    - an oversized brown, faux-leather tote bag with white stitching, containing three coupons inspired by shops in the fictional Village of Primm.
  • Page 60
    "After much searching, he pulled a folded piece of paper from one of his side pockets. "Here: the Wilhelm Klaus film contest I was telling you about. Wilhelm Klaus. Can you believe it? All the way from Germany in, like, six weeks. Bringing a troupe of German puppeteers too. They're performing Grimm fairy tales for the children of Primm this Halloween." Ella rolled up onto tippy-toes to have a look as Holly read the flyer."
    - a flyer designed to replicate the flyer Caleb hands Holly featuring the Wilhelm Klaus Puppet show.
  • Page 272
    ""Right, okay," said Jack, reaching to take three coffee coasters from a stack on the table. He lined them up side by side, three in a row."
    - a coaster set that can be constructed in the shape of a cactus (or the topiary's from the front cover!).
  • Page 325
    "Eventually, the timer went off on the first set of pies. Holly opened the oven, and the smell of glory and fresh-baked pies filled her home."
    - a custom designed pie plate celebrating female empowerment paired with a recipe for Holly and Greta's cherry pie.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Be Careful Who You Let In

    November Box

    The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
  • Page 25
    "She takes the little cardboard box from him and pulls the flaps apart. It is filled with shreds of torn newspaper. Her fingers find something solid and silky. She brings it from the box and lets it dangle from between her fingertips. It's a rabbit's foot hanging from a gold chain."
    - a faux rabbit's foot hanging from a gold chain.
  • Page 102
    ""Do you know the people? The ones who got me this passport?" She runs a finger under her eyes and then looks up at him, pathetically, but hopefully still alluringly. "Well, gosh, not really. No. But, look, I'll try." He pulls the passport toward him. "Leave it with me."
    - a custom designed passport case and faux passport notebook with her photo on the front page.
  • Page 179
    "By the time I turned fourteen in May 1991, we had rules. Not just normal family rules like no feet on the furniture or do your homework before you watch TV. Not the story of rules we'd had for all our lives. No, now we had crazy, despotic rules, written out in black marker on a large poster that was taped to the kitchen wall. I can still remember them to this day."
    - the list of rules.
  • Page 265
    "David fumbled for the key to the bedroom in the folds of his tunic. I saw as he did so that beneath his tunic, he wore a cross-body leather purse."
    - a custom designed crossbody wallet-bag.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Girls Can Do Anything

    October Box

    Today We Go Home by Kelli Estes
  • Page 74
    "Sarah's possessions were now stacked along the wall in Larkin's bedroom, except for one box in the middle of the floor that they were sorting through. "What about this? Jenna asked, pulling off the cap of a silver lipstick tube and twisting it to reveal an inch of dark pink."
    - a custom created tube of lipstick inspired by Larkin's favorite color.
  • Page 291
    "Forcing herself to not think about all the offensive things that might be lingering on the cot, Emily lay on her side and unfolded the letter from her aunt. Tears stung her eyes when she saw Aunt Harriet's familiar handwriting."
    - a recreated letter from Aunt Harriet to Emily.
  • Page 316
    "She found Kaia in the kitchen cooking what looked to be yellow pancakes in a cast iron pan on the stove. The smell of maple syrup and coffee filled the room and reminded Larkin she hadn't eaten breakfast. "Hey, whatcha makin'?" She opened the fridge to look for leftovers. "Johnnycakes," Kaia answered as she pushed her bangs back with her forearm, spatula in hand. "I'm playing with some old Civil War recipes. These were popular because they didn't use flour or sugar and could be topped with syrup, or molasses, or jam.""
    - a package of Johnnycake mix in a custom bag and spatula.
  • Page 343
    "Gabriel crawled the short distance to his pallet in the corner and withdrew something from under his blanket. When he returned, he held Emily's diary. The sight of it made her gasp. And then, not bothering to hide her actions from the kids, she unwrapped the leather thong, popped off the cover to the secret compatment and felt a rush of emotion upon seeing Willie's handkerchief tucked safely inside."
    - a custom designed A5 journal with ID slots, pen slot, and 'secret' compartment containing Willie's handkerchief and ring.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Everyone Has a Story

    September Box

    A Thousand Roads Home by Carmel Harrington
  • Page 7
    "I know what this one is,' DJ said, as he pulled the paper off the last gift. He nodded in satisfaction when it revealed a book of raffle tickets. A sticker, with a message written in Ruth's neat handwriting, covered the front of the book: One strip can be redeemed for a hug at anytime. He didn't have a birthday memory that didn't include a version of this gift...He pulled a strip out of the book and handed it to her."
    - One Hug Coupon: Redeemable at anytime, inspired by the hug coupons Ruth gives DJ.
  • Page 67
    "DJ's voice whispered in her ear, 'It's going to be okay, Mam. Go to sleep and it will all be better when you wake up.' Ruth closed her eyes as she felt her son's soft hands gently place her headphones on her head, as he had done hundreds of times before. And while she could not thank DJ at this moment, she was grateful more than he would ever know."
    - an exclusive pair of wireless, bluetooth headphones featuring the Once Upon a Book Club logo and quote from the novel.
  • Page 227
    "He ignored her and used his teaspoon to scoop up the sweet frothy milk that sat at the bottom of his cup; he was not leaving that behind for anyone. "What would Cathy say if she saw you now?" Ruth asked. He ignored her question. "She would be upset that you have decided to live your life like this." He threw his teaspoon onto the table, the sound of the clash making Bette jump."
    - a gold and pink, metal spoon.
  • Page 398
    "The walls began to shimmer and move. They were closing in on him. He picked up the small scratchy jumper pillow and rubbed it against his cheek. He packed a rucksack with some essentials, placing the pillow into it."
    - a grey and white pillowcase for an 11.5" x 18.5" pillow.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    The Nanny

    August Box

    The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  • Page 56
    "I stood there for a moment, chewing my lip, and then opened up one of the drawers in the bedside table, hoping against expectation that a previous guest might have left a charger behind. Not a charger, but a charging lead. That was all I needed - and there was a USB port built into the socet. With a sigh of relief I untangled the lead from the leaflets and papers in the drawer, plugged it in, and attached my phone. I was about to turn off the torch and lie back down when I noticed that something had fallen out of the drawer onto my pillow. It was a piece of paper, and I was about to screw it up and throw it on the floor, but before I did, I glanced at it, just to check it was nothing important. It wasn't. Just a child's drawing. At least..."
    - a multi-outlet charging lead with a micro-USB port, C-drive Port, and an iPhone port wrapped in a child's drawing as written in the novel.
  • Page 213
    "As I made my way across the hall to the kitche, I found I was picking up a treasure trail of the girls' possessions - a scatter of crayons on the hall rug, a My Little Pony abandoned beneath the breakfast bar, and then-oddly-a single purple flower, wilting, in the middle of the kitchen floor. I bent down, puzzled, wondering where it had come from. It was just a single bloom, and it looked as if it had fallen from a bouquet or dropped from a house plant, but there were no flowers in this room. Had one of the girls picked it? But if so, when? It seemed a shame to let it die, so I filled a coffee mug with water and stuck the stem into it, and then put it on the kitchen table. Perhaps it would revive."
    - a custom marbled mug with a quote from the book in rose gold with a single purple flower inside it. (handwash only, not microwave safe).
  • Page 304
    "And there it was, strewn innocently across the floorboards among the rest of that pathetic pile of detritus, the light from my phone torch glinting from one of its curves. My necklace. My heart was beating fast in my throat as I picked it up, unable to believe it. My necklace. My necklace. What was it doin here, in the darkness?"
    - a silver initial pendant in the letter "R" to represent Rowan as described in the book.
  • Page 335
    - a letter pulled directly from the final pages of the book.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Birds of War

    July Box

    The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad
  • Page 14
    "As he swooped by the cottagem he reached into his jacket and pulled a note that was tied to a small piece of wood. He released the package. It gently fell to the a grass clearing several yards from the shoreline. The girl ran to the package, untited the string, and read the note."
    - a custom written note as mentioned in the book wrapped around a pen resembling a small branch.
  • Page 156
    "She retrieved cold towels for Bertie's knees to control the swelling. But the damage was done. His kneecaps were red and the size of melons. He grimaced as the towels touched his skin."
    - a clip-on, screw top water bottle containing a custom printed cooling towel.
  • Page 260
    "Madeleine stepped outside. She looked down at the pigeon and asked, "Has she returned?" Ollie shook his head. "Never left." Madeleine pointed to the canister. "Have you checked?" Ollie hesitated, then removed the canister from Duchess's leg. He unscrewed the top, expecting to find his note. But what he found was a rolled piece of yellow stationary, quite different from the military-issued paper in the drop cages."
    - a small, red pill container holding a secret coded message as written in the book.
  • Page 345
    "Reluctantly, she began sorting through the pile of junk mail - soliciations for credit cards and mounds of coupons 0 which she tossed in the trash. Then she settled into her living room chair with the stack of newspapers. With her legs propped on a cushioned ottoman, she put on her readers and flipped through the oldest edition, searching for the article that Clover had mentioned."
    - a rolled newspaper, featuring a real article from an old newspaper as written in the book.
  • Page 363
    "Were your promises merely a symptom of the war? Didn't you feel the same way about me?" And she realized that her precious memories, created under the duress of Luftwaffe bombs may have been distored dreams. Lies. Suddenly, her elation was buried in an avalanche of heartbreak. She wanted to cry. But despite how much the truth would sting, she needed to know what had happened. "Be an egg," she whispered to herself. She took a deep breath, attempting to gather her fortitude, then led him to the cottage. A few minutes later, they sat in the kitchen with a pot of freshly brewed tea. Susan's hand trembled as she stirred milk and sugar into his cup."
    - a custom designed ceramic and wood mug printed with a quote vital to the book. (handwash only, not microwave safe).

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Pride and Prejudice (Bollywood Style)

    June Box

    Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
  • Page 1
    "A young woman wearing a purple hijab, blue button-down shirt, blazer, and black pants ran down the steps of the middle townhouse, balancing a red ceramic travel mug and canvas satchel."
    - exclusively designed red ceramic coffee mug with a quote from the original Pride and Prejudice. (handwash only, not microwave safe).
  • Page 197
    "Ayesha ripped open the wrapping and her hands caressed a notebook bound in supple blue leather. It was the sort of notebook she'd always pictured carrying, perfect for writing poetry but too expensive and impractical. The sort of notebook no one else had ever thought to buy for her."
    - exclusively designed Pride and Prejudice notebook with a message on the first page as written in the book.
  • Page 272
    "Ayesha heard the rustle of paper from the kitchen. She picked up the thick white envelope, weighing its heft. Curiosity wrestled with anger and won. She read the letter upstairs in her room."
    - a letter as written in the book.
  • Page 306
    "Aziz was looking at Farzana, aghast, and Imam Abdul Bari had his head in his hands. Farzana took a flash drive from her pocket and plugged it into the laptop. "I have proof!" she said as she clicked on a video file."
    - exclusively designed custom flash drive to look like a copy of Pride and Prejudice.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Nature Boy

    May Box

    Clover Blue by Eldonna Edwards
  • Page 81
    "Stardust starts up the pathway toward us, her bangles and bells jangling. The sister-mothers exchange eye rolls as Stardust approaches wearing big hoop earrings, a colorful headscarf, and a jingly belt on her hips."
    - a pair of white, bohemian earrings and a colorful, floral headband.
  • Page 139
    "I hang Willow's and Rain's macrame designs on hooks before placing handwritten sandwich board signs along the road several yards apart."
    - a macrame wall hanging similar to one that Willow and Rain would have made.
  • Page 328
    "I pour a cup of coffee and carry it toward Annie's art studio, her refuge, where she spends most of her days. I watch from the doorway as she works on apainting of a teenaged Rain for Heidi's graduation gift."
    - an oversized bohemian art print of Rain.
  • Page 332
    "As we approach the village, I retrieve Heidi's senior picture from my wallet and hand it to Tashi. He turns it over and reads the inscription-Heidi Rainbow, age 17- then hands it back to me confused."
    - a small photo of Heidi with the inscription on the back.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Women of Power

    April Box

    The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst
  • Page 170
    "Flush with the success of not dying the day before, they took a new path the next day and were met with a new wonder: huge pink and black crystals that speared the room, crisscrossing at all angles to create a labyrinth of translucent stone."
    - a set of two, crystal soaps in pink and black, respectively.
  • Page 237
    "The Silent One had said her name. Out loud. Mayara stopped. She pulled her thoughts back, treading water. The tree dolphin spirits didn't attack. Instead, they circled around her as if corraling her. "You spoke." The Silent One glanced right and left. And then she removed her mask."
    - a mask reminescent of those that the Silent Ones wear throughout the book.
  • Page 276
    "He secured the door behind them with a stone that he rolled in front of it. Running to the windows, he slammed the shutters closed. The were still damaged from the last spirit storm, but he thought maybe they would hold one more time. Gathering up charms that still lay scattered around the floor, he began draping them around the interior of the perimeter of the studio. Without peaking, Asana's parents joined him, stuffing charms into cracks and hanging them over the shuttered windows."
    - a seashell windchime charm similar to the kinds of charms Kelo would have hung in the studio.
  • Page 311
    "She then grabbed from Mayara's pocket, stepped forward, and flung powder into Queen Lanei's face. Lanei collapsed, and Garnah pried her mouth open and dumped a vial of purple liquid that sloshed out around her lips."
    - a vial of lavendar essential oil.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Lights! Camera! Action!

    March Box

    The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio
  • Page 72
    "The woman pulled sunglasses off her face and glanced up, her eyes looking toward North Island."
    - a pair of glamourous, pearl studded sunglasses.
  • Page 121
    "But suddenly, one photograph stopped Kate in her tracks and she gasped. A close-up of a handsome young man and a stunning woman on his arm. She was smiling, and her hand covered her mouth as if she had just had a roaring laugh over soemthing. On that hand was a ring. A ring that Kate knew all too well."
    - a suspended, double-sided frame with gold accents, encased with the photo of the young man and woman.
  • Page 170
    "Miss Monroe stood up. She walked over to the dining room table, where one of the many kimonos was laid out. She put her arm through, pulled it around herself, and in one motion, dropped the sheet and tied the belt around her waist."
    - a replicated, silky kimono inspired by one Marilyn Monroe would have worn.
  • Page 285
    "One envelope, however, contained a letter that was different from the others. It did not address Marilyn Monroe in any kind of starstruck manner but in the language of someone who worked in business."
    - a replicated letter from this scene in the book.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    The Bridge of Secrets

    February Box

    The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald
  • Page 115
    "He trust an arm under the bed and pulled out a small white plate - one from the kitchen set downstairs. It had been used as an ashtray, a cigarette crushed in the middle of a pile of cement-gray ash."
    - a custom printed plate paired with a cigarette pen.
  • Page 222
    "I unwrapped the pink paper and lifted the lid on the box. Inside was a tiny silver heart charm with our initials etched on either side. "I know you always wear the bracelet your mom got ou, so I thought you could add this charm to it." I slipped the charm on the bracelet."
    - a silver charm bracelet including three charms plus the new heart charm with their initials etched into it.
  • Page 251
    "I stood abrupty and grabbed a small bottle of lotion from a drawer near Olivia's head. I took her hand in mine and worked the lotion into her cold, dry skin."
    - a bottle of fragrance free body lotion.
  • Page 337
    "He settled Zoe in my arms, then reached inside a large plastic bag and pulled out a framed picture, setting it on the ground in front of Zoe and me."
    - a sketch of baby Zoe inside a wooden, suspended frame.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    The Orphan of Romania

    January Box

    The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos
  • Page 74
    "Yet when she tore away the paper, a delicate velvet box rested in her hand. She had opened it slowly, gingerly, almost afraid to peek in, not expecting anything so breathtakingly lovely. A pair of ruby earrings, each with three crimson buds encased in the most exquiste gold, glimmered like stars in the intermittent flicker of the Christmas-tree lights."
    - a pair of gold and ruby-toned earrings.
  • Page 131
    "There was a rustling of sorts too, far off in the distance, like a tumble of weeds. It may have been no more than that, but she was already running, she was running recklessly, at full speed, toward the empty horizon, waving her scarf frantically in the air."
    - a custom printed golden square scarf.
  • Page 195
    "The second envelope she plucked from the folder was much smaller, the kind that was used for everyday correspondence. Someone had scribbed a date across it: February 20, 1944. There was no return address, only a strange, faded stamp she strained to make out - Geneva, Switzerland."
    - a replicated letter exact to the description in the novel.
  • Page 334
    "Then, from what seemed like thin air, something materialized in his hand. He placed it before her, right in the sand, and she just looked at it for a few moments, knowing that when she picked it up, she would be peeling away another layer, revealing another truth. A journal of sorts, old, with a cover curling around the edges. There was a mug stain in the shape of a half-moon right in the center, and the spine had been secured with a glossy band of tape. There on the first page, a photograph had been pasted, a black-and-white of a baby girl with darkish curls and fat cheeks, wearing a familiar bonnet."
    - a vintage, leather journal with the photo pasted on the front page exactly as described at the moment in the story.

  • images by @The_Bookish_Runner