The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle: An Interview with Stuart Turton

A Bas Bleu Mysteries Book a Month 2019 pick, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle has the feel of a classic murder mystery, but with a unique twist: The protagonist, Aiden Bishop, is stuck in a time loop, where he inhabits the body of a different guest of an isolated country estate every day until he figures out who will murder/has murdered Evelyn Hardcastle. It’s an enthralling, poignant look at humanity wrapped up in an Agatha Christie-inspired whodunit. This week, we had the pleasure of (virtually) sitting down with the author, Stuart Turton, to chat about how his journalism career informed his fiction writing, the tricks he used to keep his complex plot in order, and how “killing your darlings” really can make a better book. Continue reading

Famous and Influential Librarians

Ask any avid reader where she first fell in love with reading and you will hear time and again: “at my local library.” No matter if they are big or small, these repositories of knowledge offer more than just stacks of books; they represent safety, freedom, a gateway into the wider world, to readers from all walks of life. And at the helm of those libraries—serving as guides, gatekeepers, and fierce advocates—are librarians. Continue reading

Books Recommending Books, Vol. 3

From time to time, fellow bluestockings ask us, “I really liked this book. Do you carry something similar?” As we welcome spring weather and look forward to moving our reading sessions out of the house and into the sunshine, we compiled a list of “books recommending books.” The titles in these pairings aren’t exactly alike: Yes, some have similar plots or subject matter, but others are kindred spirits in terms of character, theme, or mood. We hope you’ll find something new you’ll enjoy! (All of the suggested “try this” titles are available for purchase on the Bas Bleu website. Just click on the book cover.) Continue reading

Spring 2019 Reading List

collage of twelve book covers

Every Bas Bleu catalog is special to us—believe us when we say they’re all labors of love!—but we’re extra-proud of our Spring 2019 edition. It celebrates our 25th anniversary with special features, staff photos, and more. But never fear, dear bluestockings: Our Spring 2019 edition is brimming with plenty of wonderful new books and gifts, too! We were hard-pressed to narrow down our favorites, but our editors have assembled a fresh spring “bouquet” just for you, a dozen terrific reads to keep you captivated throughout the season. Continue reading

The Books That Shape Us: The Value of Fairness

wall of open books

From time to time, Bas Bleu’s editors will share with you some of the books that have had a profound impact on our lives. They won’t necessarily be grand literary classics or hard-hitting political tomes. They will be books that have stayed with us over the years and shaped who we are. If you’d like to share a significant title from your own life, feel free to do so in the comments section below.

When I was a child growing up in Tennessee, weekly trips to our local library were a summertime staple. My mother was (and still is) an avid reader, and the library was a book-filled haven where she could feed her literary appetite while her daughters camped out between the short stacks of the children’s department. It was there I met Trixie Belden, Cam Jansen, and Encyclopedia Brown; raced through yellow-spine Nancy Drew hardbacks; and generally allowed my mother an hour’s quiet respite. It’s also where I met Nellie Bly. Continue reading

Bas Bleu Family Photos

Our upcoming Spring 2019 edition marks a major milestone: twenty-five years of Bas Bleu! We mailed our first catalog in 1994, and the ensuing quarter-century has been an unforgettable journey made possible only by the support of our wonderful customers. In the coming months, we’ll celebrate our silver anniversary with special features—in our catalog, on our website, and here on the blog—including an interview with Bas Bleu’s founder, behind-the-scenes peeks into our warehouse and call center, profiles of our editors, special discounts and products, and more. In preparation for this monumental event, our editors recently spent an afternoon sorting through old Bas Bleu “family photos” and taking a walk down memory lane! We had so much fun, we’re sharing some of the pictures and memories with you. (Please don’t judge our photography skills; these snaps were shot by an amateur, not the pros who photograph our products!) Continue reading

10 Treats for Love Your Pet Day

photo of woman and dog sitting side by side on the shore of a lake at sunset

If you’re reading this with a four-legged family member sprawled in your lap or sitting on your computer keyboard, congratulations! You’re ahead of the pack celebrating National Love Your Pet Day. We’re not entirely sure how this day is different from the other 364 of the year; most of the pets we know are spoiled rotten all year long! But here at Bas Bleu, we think National Love Your Pet Day is a great opportunity for an extra snuggle with your furry friend…and the perfect excuse to peruse a handful of our purr-fect (sorry, we couldn’t resist) animal-centric offerings. Continue reading

14 Poems for Valentine’s Day

With its origins in the religious feast day of a martyred Roman saint, we’re a little fuzzy on how exactly Valentine’s Day evolved over the centuries into a popular secular celebration of love, romance, and chocolate. But no matter if you embrace the day with gusto or scoff at the oversized expectations it brings, devoted Bas Bleu readers can’t deny the power of a great love poem! Whether you’re looking to restore your faith in love, searching for the perfect words to inscribe in your sweetheart’s valentine, or turning your focus inward after a relationship ends, these fourteen poems for Valentine’s Day will make your literature-lovin’ heart beat a little faster. As always, feel free to share your favorite love poems in the comments section below. (To read each poem in full, click on the graphic.) Continue reading

To Market! Bas Bleu Goes Shopping

trade show booth designed to look like store fronts

How to describe Bas Bleu? In the simplest terms, we’re a catalog and internet retailer that sells books and gifts for avid readers. Last year, we told you a little bit about how we source our books. But what about the “and gifts” part? We pride ourselves on offering our readers fun, thoughtful, occasionally downright odd gifts, items you usually can’t buy at big-box stores or shopping malls. So…where do we find them? Continue reading