Hey guys! It’s that time of the month again where Carpe Librum releases yet another one of their amazing book subscription boxes!
So if you didn’t know, Carpe Librum is a bi-monthly book subscription service that costs $35 (including local shipping)and comes with a novel and a number of other bookish goodies.
This month, in conjunction with International Woman’s Day, which fell on March 8, Carpe Librum decided to honour women by creating a box that was completely for us girls.
Their theme this month was ‘Who Run The World: GIRLS!’ and they featured items that were inspiring and girly and simply perfect.
Today, I’m going to be unboxing it for you.
1. Dear Ljeawele, or A Feminists Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today–written as a letter to a friend.
A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response.
Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions–compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive–for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can “allow” women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.
Published: 7th March 2017
This month, we received a hardback of this new release by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a short book that I personally had never heard about before this box came.
Regardless, it really looks amazing and I can’t wait to dive in.
2. A CLGS #GRLPWR Tote Bag
The next item was a CLGS original tote bag with the words ‘Well-behaved women rarely make history’ emblazoned on it in a gorgeous red circle with beautiful typography.
Personally, I would be so proud to carry this bag because I truly believe in this quote with all my heart.
Let me tell you a little story that I have yet to address publicly because I was scared that this person would read it (I’ve learnt that I shouldn’t be scared. It was not my fault and I am not afraid). Also this needs some backstory so you can understand it better so bear with me.
So when I was in Youth.SG, there was a guy from my school who worked with me. Not in the editorial team but Youth was a small company so we basically worked together anyway. We were friends for 6 months. Myself and my other friends would often invite him to join us for lunch or we would include him in things. I thought we were friends.
Now around the time that this incident happened, I was doing a photo essay for my online journalism class and I had decided to go back to that same funeral company that I had interviewed when I was with Youth and spin it to focus on Sarah, the youngest local embalmer in Singapore.
However, as death goes, it’s unpredictable and because of that, instead of seeing an adult get embalmed, I saw a miscarried foetus being cleaned and placed in a coffin.
As a women and a journalist, that was both incredibly fascinating and also terribly sad.
At the end of the day, I was just in awe of what I had just witnessed and being me, I just wanted to talk about it. So I took one of the pictures that I had taken that had ended up being very blurry and put it on my Instagram story. The foetus was half cut off in the shot, blurry and you really couldn’t see much. I’d even reckon you couldn’t tell what it was if I hadn’t said it.
I posted it with text that talked about how humbling it was to be in the same room as an unborn child. To know that I once looked like that. To think of the life this baby could have had.
About a week later, a friend showed me a screen grab from this guy’s private Instagram. He has taken a screenshot of my picture with my caption, blurred out my name and posted it on his Instagram with a long caption that basically said that working with me was okay but that I had to be an absolute psycho to be able to do this. He criticised my ethics with this assignment (though permission was sought for both articles and faces were always blurred or cropped out) and finally, he ended off by saying that if he had to do what I did, he would have been affected greatly. His rant was disgusting.
Now this guy has a lot of friends. So all of a sudden, that picture got loads of likes and comments. People I knew and people I didn’t know were agreeing that I was crazy and that he should stay away from me and some people said they knew who he was talking about. They talked about my lack of ethics and it was so terrifying for me at that time and even now, looking back, it’s still scary.
Of course I immediately blocked him and turned my Instagram private. I’m guessing he realised I did that because shortly after, he tried to follow me with another one of his photography accounts (I didn’t accept of course). He’s also tried to say hi or smile at me in school many times since. I’ve ignored him very pointedly.
Some life tips: Don’t gossip about your friends. Private accounts are never truly private. If you want to stay friends with someone, protect them with all you have in you instead of feeding them to the wolves.
But the point of telling you this story was also to talk about that part where he said that if he had to witness a foetus being put in a coffin and the full embalming of an elderly woman, he would be really affected and he wouldn’t be able to do it.
It just really made this quote makes sense to me. Who was he to say that I couldn’t be brave and do this? Who was he to decide that just because he couldn’t do it, that should mean that I couldn’t too? I am clearly braver then him. I clearly have more guts to go out there and find a story. All while he sits behind his screen like a coward with his useless friends who encourage the fact that no one else has the guts to do what I did. Just because you can’t do something does not mean that you should criticise the people who do.
Another thing for my readers out there: Never ever ever ever let the opinions of someone else dictate what you can or cannot do. Never. You want to do something, you go and do it. Who cares what other people say or do. Who cares? You do it.
If you read that long story, thank you. Thank you for finally giving me the voice and courage to talk about something that really ripped me up and left me reeling for ages after. Thank you.
3. A Hand Brushed Poster
This month, Carpe Librum worked with @fuzzygreenlights to create this beautiful poster with a gorgeous quote on it. I adore it. Just that I don’t know where to put it yet.
The next item was another CLSG original. This was a very pretty button that you can put on bags, cases and other things. I love the design. Just wish it were a little smaller. I like my badges a bit more subtle. But that’s just a personal preference.
Actually now that I’ve said that, maybe CLSG did it because woman should loud and proud. Hmm. Makes sense. Or I’m reading too much into it.
5. A Lip Scrub
I have actually never used a lip scrub before even though I probably need it.
So receiving this lip scrub that was a collaboration between Nomi and Co and CLSG was such a treat.
It comes with all natural ingredients (you can look at the ingredients in the label above) and it actually tastes and smells amazing even though I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t be eating it.
So I tried it the other day and even though I got a lip sore the next morning (probably because I’ve never used one before so my lips were resisting) I think it was great. I think I might have scrubbed too hard or something but regardless, my lips were so soft and fresh afterwards.
It tastes sweet and pink. Did you know pink has a taste? And I loved it. I am certainly going to be using this again really soon (as soon as that lip sore goes away).
6. A Mystery Gift
I was completely not expecting this since I never win these kinds of things but I am so glad because they gave each of us a hand-sewn pouch. Astrid, who is also part of the CLSG team, made these pouches and they are gorgeous.
There is a sewn on fist on the front with ‘girl power’ sewn at the back. And inside is the most gorgeous printed material. The best part was that I think the inside material was different for each pouch but this material completely suits me. I saw that Huda had posted a pouch with blue lining inside and while that’s beautiful, blue isn’t really my thing. But somehow this pattern is just prefect and complements who I am perfectly.
Amazing job Astrid and Huda!
So that was all that was in this month’s box. Sorry my unboxing was ridiculously long this month. I mean, as a woman myself, this box meant a lot to me so I think I have permission to word vomit.
Special thanks to Huda for accommodating my schedule like she does every single time (I’m honestly the worst customer I swear haha). Huda had to courier the box to me on Monday because I was away on holiday last weekend and I felt so bad because she had to do a whole back and forth with the timings since I was starting my new job at the Straits Times on Tuesday.
So thank you Huda for not murdering me over the phone. Love you loads! 🙂
Also another exciting thing has happened. CLSG has officially got their website up and running. You can access it here though I think they are on hiatus for a bit.
That said, happy International Woman’s Day from me to all my beautiful female readers. I love you.