September 2019: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
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Our September read is the highly anticipated The Testaments by Canadian icon Margaret Atwood! This dystopian novel narrated by 3 characters takes place 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale.
Our first artisan vendor this month is Satene Naturals in Kamloops, BC who custom blended for us a unique Gilead body butter. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred uses actual butter to moisturize, so we thought you’d enjoy this sumptuous take.
The pencil set from local vendor Rainbow Punch Press is a fun way to signify how women were kept illiterate in Gilead, as well as to represent the feminist themes of Margaret Atwood and her writing — she has certainly done her share of creating herstory!
One of the most symbolic phrases in The Handmaid’s Tale is Illegitimi non carborundum, which means “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” It symbolizes hope, fight, and even camaraderie. To that end, we found these lovely stainless steel bracelets etched with this powerful phrase.
Our bookmark this month includes one of our favourite quotes from The Handmaid’s Tale.
Also included in the brochure is a fun word scramble puzzle based on life in Gilead, again because women were not allowed to read or write, and Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale loves to play Scrabble.
August 2019: Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong
Internationally bestselling Canadian author Kelley Armstrong has written a gripping thriller with Wherever She Goes. Every parent’s worst nightmare comes true when Aubrey sees a young boy get kidnapped at the local park, but when she reports the crime, she isn’t even believed. Aubrey has to decide whether to risk having her own secrets revealed and keep investigating or do what everyone is telling her to do, which is to leave the matter alone.
Wexford Candle Co is our first artisan vendor, supplying the hand poured, 100% soy wax Evergreen Candle. Aubrey first met the boy she later saw kidnapped playing hide and seek with his mom in the woods at the local park and these candles bring the feeling of being in the woods to life.
Squish, our second artisan vendor, makes artisanal gummy candies and these Brainstorm Gummies reminded us of how smart Aubrey is and how she used her brain to solve the mystery of what happened to the boy she saw kidnapped. We also think that Aubrey’s daughter Charlie would have enjoyed munching on gummies at her tea parties.
The Flash Drive represents the important flash drive in the book and the mad computer skills that Aubrey has.
Computers and hacking are a big part of the book, so these Computer System Fail Sticky Notes are a fun way to remind us how hard it can be to work with computers sometimes.
The bookmark for this month has one of the best lines we read in the entire book.
Finally, Kelley Armstrong was kind enough to answer a few questions about this exciting book for us in an exclusive author interview.
July 2019: The Traveling Triple-C Circus by Alanna McFall
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Our July selection is The Traveling Triple-C Incorporeal Circus by Alanna McFall. Two ghosts and a mute mime go on a road trip across the country to attend a wedding in this unique, funny, thoughtful adventure. The unlikely trio explore life, death, love, family, friendship, and ultimately, what it is that keeps us going.
Island Nut Roastery on Vancouver Island, BC, our artisan vendor this month, supplied us with the ultimate road trip snack: delicious Sea to Sky blend trail mix.
One thing you always need on a trip is a good bag, so we’ve included a gorgeous canvass tote with a fun map of the world on it to spark your own dreams of adventure (the actual bag may vary, but will have a world map on it).
Walking across the country is no joke, and our human protagonist had very sore feet, so we’ve represented this with the socks. The cute kitties on it are for the kitten they befriend along the way and the paw prints represent their journey.
And what would a trip be without postcards to send home to your family and friends? We’ve designed some special ones for you.
There’s a lovely bookmark perfectly paired for this book.
And Alanna McFall has graciously answered a few of our questions for you in our exclusive author interview.
June 2019 Box: Bina, A Novel in Warnings by Anakana Schofield
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Our June pick is Bina: A Novel in Warnings by Anakana Shoefield. This Canadian novel is a darkly humorous, forthright, and entertaining exploration of one ordinary woman with an extraordinary voice and all that comes with it – including the messy business of living, violence, friendship, women’s voices, death, and courage. The compelling and uniquely told narrative will get you thinking and keep you turning the pages.
Our artisan vendor this month is Nuts 4 U Granola who supplied us with their wonderfully decadent grain-free chocolate peanut butter granola. We imagine that this is something the “Crunchies” squatting on Bina’s property would eat as they, without being welcomed, attempted to stand up for her.
The tea towel is covered in words of courage and empowerment and reminded us of Bina, using her voice to audaciously tell her story.
The envelope notepad directly reflects how Bina told her story, on the backs of envelopes.
Not only does the enamel pin featuring a David Bowie quote echo the book’s theme of life and death, Bina frequently dreams of the iconic pop star.
We couldn’t let a book of warnings pass without creating one of our own, so we’ve made fun warning stickers to caution people who might interrupt your reading!
Our custom bookmark this month follows the theme of writing your story wherever is convenient.
Anakana Shoefield was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about Bina for our author interview.
And, because June marks Callisto Crate’s 1-year anniversary, we have included a bonus item, a lovely pen for you to write your notes and warnings with.
May 2019 Box: Flowers Over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti
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Our May title is Flowers Over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti and translated from the Italian by Ekin Oklap. We adored police detective Teressa Battaglia. She is a no nonsense, strong woman who has fought her way to her position of authority, but who is relatable with her health problems, tenacity, and temper. Here, this accomplished profiler, must solve gruesome murders where the murderer, uniquely, can’t be profiled. This is a fantastic and compelling twist in the police thriller genre.
Our first artisan vendor for May is Sew Studio Co in Winnipeg, MB who hand made these gorgeous book sleeves. The are a wonderful floral design, calling on the title of the book, and they are like a cozy blanket for your book, reminiscent of having to wrap up in the icy mountain setting of the novel.
Our other artisan vendor is Zack’s Coffee in Kamloops, BC. They roasted the rich espresso beans, not quite the coffee that Teressa drinks in the book, but Italian and definitely delicious.
The Licorice Wheels came from The Licorice Parlour in Vancouver. They are European licorice and are the same kind that Teressa keeps in her pockets and offers to the children she interviews.
This month we did something different for our box – we made a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada and they sent us these sweet packages of forget-me-not seeds. Teressa is having trouble with her memory in the book and fears a disease such as Alzheimer’s, so we thought it was fitting to support this worthy cause.
Our bookmark this month features one of our favourite quotes from the book.
Check out the brochure for our exclusive author interview with Ilaria Tuti. We found her answers to our questions as lovely as the writing in her book.
April 2019 Box: Woman 99 by Greer Macallister
Our April read is the historical thriller, Woman 99 by Greer Macallister. Set in the 1880’s in San Francisco, Charlotte, raised knowing exactly what her social climbing mother expects of her, has to decide what she is willing to risk to save her sister after she is exiled to an asylum. Mental institutions are notorious for accepting women not only because they are insane, but because they are inconvenient or embarrassing, and Charlotte is determined that her sister won’t be cast aside, no matter the cost to her own well being.
Forest Garden Soap and Sundry in Kamloops, BC, our artisan vendor for the month, has made a gorgeous lavender soap, reminiscent of the ones made by the inmates at the mental institution in the book.
The women in the asylum are not given the dignity of their names, but have a number chalked on their backs every day and Charlotte’s sister is a passionate artist, embellishing the walls with colourful murals. The chalk pastels represent both of these. We have also included a sketchbook for your own artistic creations.
The inmates are fed terrible food. We’ve included some BC-made potato chips as a yummy treat representing the often-rotten potatoes they were served.
The asylum was divided up according to the 9 Muses from Ancient Greek myth in the hopes that each Muse would help a specific type of mental illness. We’ve made our own version of Muse Cards for you, explaining the art & responsibility of each goddess.
The beautiful bookmark this month features an inspirational quote from the book.
Greer Macallister was kind enough to answer some of our questions in an exclusive author interview you will find in the brochure.
December Box: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
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Our December pick is Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. This cold, wintery fantasy is set in a mythical kingdom and has three strong women whose stories intertwine in this beautifully told tale. It draws loosely on the Rumpelstiltskin story where a young woman boasts about being able to turn silver into gold, and it compels you with heroines who are smart, fierce, and willing to do whatever it takes to survive. This is a perfect, magical book for those long winter nights.
- Our local vendor this month is Global Goddess who supplied us with the delicious smelling essential oil, blended specifically for us. It includes tangerine, cinnamon, clove, and coconut oils for that cozy, wintery feel.
- You can use your oil by putting a few drops on the felt discs and inserting them into the silver tree necklace. The silver tree plays a large part in the book and one of the characters wears a necklace made of fairy silver.
- We have included milk chocolate gold coins and milk and dark chocolate bells from Purdy’s Chocolates here in BC for you to nibble on while you read. The gold coins are what the fairies are after and they always arrive to the sound of bells.
- The fluffy reading socks are the perfect accompaniment to this cold winter’s tale so that you can be warm and cozy while you read (the pattern on the socks may be different than pictured).
- You will also find a lovely, icy bookmark with a great quote from the book.
June Box: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeywell
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Our June book is the internationally acclaimed novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This is a book that could have been sad and tragic, but is made funny and quirky by the writing, which brings out the humanity in the characters. We love Eleanor and her unique way of looking at things helps us to understand what she is going through and that she is persevering in the best way she knows how.
Included with the book is:An adorable elephant tea strainer that represents Eleanor herself, who is the elephant in the room.
Fragrant, organic Darjeeling tea from Teaberry’s Fine Teas in Kelowna, BC. You’ll quickly see why this is Eleanor’s favourite tea.
Eleanor is always carrying around her shopper and has a frog pouf in her apartment — both of which are represented in the handy frog shopping bag.
For convenience’s sake, Eleanor makes the same dinner every day — pasta with pesto. We’ve found a yummy, locally made organic pesto mix from Made With Love in Kamloops, BC.
The lovely bookmark features a quote from the book and also a little monkey charm, reminiscent of how Eleanor sees her therapist.
The crossword puzzle included is inspired by Eleanor’s love the crosswords and by the animal themes in the book.
There is a gorgeous, original watercolour of an elephant holding a yellow tulip by Tara Pastro because Eleanor hates tulips.