Book Subscription Review: NB Magazine

Welcome back!

Last month I was strolling around London Book Fair and spotted, from afar, a stand for NB magazine. Their tag line is: “Literary. Quarterly. Independent.” Curious, I headed over to find out more. I’ve read many literary magazines over the years but, honestly, found them far too heavy going.

NB is totally different. It’s for anyone and everyone who loves reading, talking about books, and curling up with a good thriller, romance, or memoir (or your genre of choice, of course).

The team on the stand were kind enough to give me a copy of issue 99 and information on how to subscribe to the magazine. By the time I got home, I was totally sold on subscribing and headed to the website. And that’s when I spotted it. An option to subscribe to the magazine and receive a book every month.

The lovely Syd at NB was kind enough to send me a sample of the premium subscription, which I am so excited to review. In this blog post I’m just going to focus on the book subscription and do another post on the magazine.


About NB

NB is a literary magazine and online platform for book lovers, book clubs and all round bibliophiles. In print and online with our editorial content, features and bank of thousands of independent reviews we aid discerning readers with those all-too-difficult book buying decisions.

Our newest version of the website and magazine, NB, has evolved and grown over the eighteen years we’ve been in print, from the original New Books Mag, and represents our full integration of the review site

NB stands for New Books, for Nudge-Book and, finally for nota bene too. Nota bene is a Latin phrase, often truncated to simply NB, meaning take note and has been used as a mark to encourage readers to pay particular attention ever since.

NB is, and has always been, here to help you take note of the very best books.

I just love the ethos behind NB. They’re a small team, fiercely independent and with a shared love of books and reading.

Subscription options

The subscription options for NB are fairly simple:

  • NB magazine annual subscription (receive copy of NB every quarter),
  • NB magazine annual subscription as above with a direct debit discount,
  • NB magazine premium paperback subscription (quarterly magazine plus one paperback gift-wrapped book per month), or
  • NB magazine premium hardback subscription (quarterly magazine plus one hardback gift-wrapped book per month.

If you opt for a premium service, you will be asked to complete a form so the team can get a better understanding of your reading preferences. You also receive some other perks when subscribing which I’ll cover in my next post.

I opted to receive a hardback sample and went for a lucky dip – this meant I could receive fiction or non-fiction. I really didn’t mind. I also had the opportunity to narrow down my preference of genre.


Let’s get onto what you’re all here for! Fast forward a couple of weeks and a parcel turns up – it’s heftier than I was expecting. On opening the mailing bag, I found this gorgeous treasure inside:

A picture of a wrapped parcel. The wrapping paper is a green-blue colour with gold ferns. There is a sticker on the parcel which reads NB Recommends. The parcel is on a wooden floor.

So pretty. I also had a note:

I was so excited to discover that I had not just received one book, but two: one fiction, and one non-fiction. Normally, you will receive one book per month, and in my note it states that a second book has been included as a thank you for my support.

Firstly, we have the fiction option, Joanna Nadin’s The Queen of Bloody Everything. I have to confess that I’d not even heard of this book, nor do I think I would’ve picked it for myself. I read the first paragraph. And then a page. And then a chapter. And I was hooked. I’m not done with it yet but it is beautifully written and quietly tragic.

On my preferences form I stated that I enjoy reading History and Politics under the non-fiction category. The first thing I noticed was the Atlantic Books logo on the spine. I literally got goosebumps. I love Atlantic Books. If I had a library I would have an entire section dedicated to their publications.

The book I received is Why We Get the Wrong Politicians by Isabel Hardman. I’m very intrigued by this book as someone who is politically active and a party member. But I may have to wait, as my partner spotted it and immediately liberated it from my possession for his own reading pile!

Final thoughts

Putting aside the subscription and magazine to begin with, I just want to say that everyone at NB are so lovely. They’re quite clearly proud of what they do and have a wonderful ethos. Dealing with them at London Book Fair and during the run up to this post has been an absolute pleasure.

In terms of the subscription, all of the options are excellent value for money. I felt like my preferences had been taken into consideration and it struck that balance between being something I’d be interested in but also pushing me slightly beyond my comfort-zone (which is what I want).

Both books are fairly recent releases with excellent reviews, so you can be confident that the books they are sending you really are good reads.

Recommended? Absolutely.

You can find out more about NB here and their subscription options are here. You can also find NB on Twitter.

This book subscription sample was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

Book parcel

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