Unboxing | Books that Matter: Earth is my Sister | October 2021

What a lovely box this one was! The first box I’ve received with the new BTM branding, this was a very enjoyable package to open. Let’s get into it!

This month’s theme was Earth is my Sister, and it’s themed very much around being eco-friendly and protecting the planet. Both the book and goodies reflected the theme very well, in my opinion!

This month, we received…

  • Hibiscus and elderberry tea
  • Hip Oat Milk chocolate bar
  • “Mylk” chocolate milkshake
  • Scence lip balm
  • 3x reusable cotton pads
  • Books that Matter newsletter
  • Bookmark
  • Consumed by Aja Barber
  • And the main book: How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

The Items

Now that we’ve seen them, let’s talk about what I liked and didn’t! I’m going to split this into three sections, and we’ll start with…

Eco-friendly products! I have been using both the lip balm and cotton pads since I received them. The cotton pads are well made and with makeup remover take off makeup very well. I also use them with just water to remove my foundation! The lip balm is very moisturising, though unscented, which some don’t like.

Edibles! I really like how BTM promotes vegan products! I’m glad they included milk chocolate products because I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate. And I think having tea and a cold drink is really interesting, because some don’t like tea, and some don’t like cold beverages! Personally, I only like fruit tea with a bit of honey, so when I drink my tea I’ll be adding some in too.

Paper bits. As always, we received our newsletter which is packed full of articles as well as adverts and interviews. The bookmark is super cute, and we also received a little pamphlet of an essay by Aja Barber. I think I’d like to read the full novel by Barber too, because I am becoming increasingly interested in consumerism.

The Book

We should have known the end was near.” Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells of a people living in fear amid environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of cleanup and financial reparations to the villagers are made—and ignored. The country’s government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interests. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. Their struggle will last for decades and come at a steep price.

Told from the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community’s determination to hold on to its ancestral land and a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom.

I have heard of this book before and I am absolutely fascinated by this story. Eco-thrillers and eco-crime are, I think, going to be a rising genre in years to come. I’m intrigued to get my teeth into it and enjoy this story, though I do think it’s going to be a very harrowing read.


I did really enjoy this box, and I really like boxes where I actually use the items I receive, as I have just donated some items from other boxes I’ve never used before! It does seem like BTM reads my mind, because I wanted a reusable grocery bag, and one appeared a couple of boxes ago, and then I wanted to get some new lip balm and some reusable cotton pads, and lo and behold, they appear! I really would like a million pounds…

Thanks for reading this post! Do you get any book boxes? Would you have liked to receive Earth is my Sister in October?

Until next time,

Hannah

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