The Summer 2023 Box Unpacked

The Summer 2023 Box Unpacked

This summer's Drift + Focus box was curated around the theme TRUE, another big, broad topic that allowed us to look at public life as well as the deeply personal.

Truth is a slippery concept and there were lots of juicy angles to explore: disinformation and fake news, reality, secrets and lies, whistleblowers, living a life that's authentic and true to ourselves. Let's dig in!

At the heart of every Drift + Focus box is the books...

Non-fiction books - reading subscription box

Book One

The Chaos Machine by Max Fisher

Max Fisher is an international reporter for the New York Times where he covers global trends and major world events. In The Chaos Machine he meticulously unpicks the technology that the big social media companies have unleashed on the world to understand the unexpected results it's having on human behaviour.

Described by The Guardian as "a stark warning about the extent to which Facebook et al distort our perception of reality."

Book Two

Small Town Girl by Donna McLean

For two years, Donna McLean lived a life she loved with a man she planned to marry and have children with. But that life was a lie. Her partner, Carlo, was actually a police officer working deep undercover to infiltrate activist groups around the UK.

Small Town Girl is McLean's attempt to make sense of what happened and rebuild her relationship with the truth, while helping to blow apart the story of state-sanctioned spying.

Reading notes

Reading notes for non-fiction book subscription

Both books came with fold out reading notes, to give subscribers more information about each author and talking points to consider while reading. There's also space on the back to jot down thoughts and ideas.


We love creating a magazine for our subscribers and the feedback we get is that they love it too. It's a chance to expand on the theme and explore other angles not covered in the books and, of course, to include pages of further reading.

Drift and Focus subscriber magazine - book box

The cover of this summer magazine is by editorial illustrator, John Holcroft.

Drift and Focus magazine cover illustration by John Holcroft


We went a bit extra with this quarter's piece of print and included a whole magazine. What can we say? We're magazine lovers and we know our subscribers are too.

Delayed Gratification magazine - gift in summer Drift and Focus book box

Plus, when a box is exploring the subject of truth, how could we not include a copy of Delayed Gratification, the Slow Journalism magazine that makes a virtue of being last to the news so their journalists can bring depth, perspective and considered analysis to the stories they cover. The very antithesis of misinformation and disinformation.

Two independent magazines - non-fiction subscription book box

We included an interview in our magazine with Delayed Gratification editors, Rob Orchard and Marcus Webb, to get their views on fake news and the impact of social media on traditional journalism. Fascinating.


This quarter our subscribers got a sweet little gift by award-winning textile designer, Elvira van Vredenburgh: a set of notecards to use when they want to tell someone their true feelings in writing, send some thoughtful words to a true friend or perhaps make a declaration of true love!

Notecards by Elvira VV Designs

Digital library

As usual, each box was packed by hand and topped with a personalised welcome card where subscribers can find the QR code to unlock the digital library of playlists and podcasts that expand on the theme.

Drift and Focus subscription book box

Like what you've seen?

We only make up as many boxes as we have orders, so if you want to get your hands on our autumn box - dispatching in September - make sure you order before the cart closes on August 31st.

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