I only did one quarter of the Strand to try out. It's a bit pricey but has little extras and two books (one hardback, signed). They also unveil their main book pick for the quarter--which is nice because you still get a surprise book but (in my case) it's good to know if its the type of mystery I want to read.
They also have different genres (NINE total), including 'mystery and suspense', 'fiction', 'Young Adult', 'sci-fi and fantasy', and 'political and nonfiction'. I choose the 'Mystery and Suspense' because that is my favorite genre and the book they unveiled looked pretty good.
For 'spoilers' for all genres, click here
For past books in the Mystery and Suspense, click here
For the main Strand Book Hook-Up page, click here
I ordered at the end of this (July's) quarter and the box shipped VERY fast after they closed it up. The model is a quarterly model, so there are four boxes each year. You can do annual or one-offs or a recurring payment plan. I'm not sure there's any discount for annual to be honest, it's $200 or $50 each.
The "extras" for this quarter were a mix of stationary, food items and a game. All were new to me and there was a cat.
The bookcovers are gorgeous. Which is not how you're supposed to pick books.
But it's how I pick about 40% of my books. Maybe more. I like pretty covers. I'm kinda digging next quarter's Fantasy selection. It has a pretty cover too.
There's a good chance I'll switch it around and do one subscription every once in a blue moon (or full moon) depending on the releases. Also, as long as my TBR pile is going down.