Literary Insults

slate-blue zip top pouch illustrated with Shakespearean insults printed in various colors

Our parents always told us: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” It’s an excellent rule of thumb…but it can be very tough to follow when in the midst of an argument. If you can’t bring yourself to always turn the other cheek, why not add a little cheek to your next comeback? Inspired by the Shakespearean Insults Pouch featured in Bas Bleu’s new Summer 2019 edition, we collected fourteen literary insults sure to elevate your next contretemps to, if not a respectable level, at least a bookish one! Continue reading

Summer Reading List 2019

Sunscreen? Check. Frosty beverage? Check. Comfy hammock or lounge chair? Check. Summer reading list? DOUBLE CHECK. Whether you’re planning to spend your summer on the beach, by the lake, or in your own backyard, Bas Bleu is your one-stop shop for summer reading! Our new Summer 2019 edition is hot off the press, and it’s filled to the brim with books and gifts carefully chosen to help you while away the long, sweltering days. We’ve even curated a special Summer Reading Collection, with a special price: buy all twelve and receive 10% off the package price plus free shipping! (Bas Bleu Society members save 15% off the package price as well as individual titles.) Continue reading

A Mentor and A Friend

two women embracing and smiling

As we celebrate Bas Bleu’s 25th anniversary, we’re reflecting on our history and the wonderful people and (sometimes crazy!) early years that made our company what it is today. This week in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s longest-standing employee, brand manager Christie Hall (whom our readers know as CH), reflects on her arrival at Bas Bleu; the company’s early days; and the influence of her mentor and friend, founder Eleanor Edmondson. Continue reading

By Popular Demand

Long-time Bas Bleu readers know that each edition of our catalog—we publish Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Holiday editions every year—includes a mix of items that are new (to Bas Bleu) and items that are what we call “carryovers,” books and gifts that “debuted” in earlier editions of the catalog. For the last several years, customers have asked us to designate the new items in each edition, to help you zero in on fresh books and gifts…and to remind you which items you already ordered for, say, your book-loving best friend’s birthday or your mother-in-law’s Christmas stocking. Continue reading

10 Influential Children’s Books

trio of boys with books lying in grass

For modern readers, the idea that children’s books should be entertaining is a given. But that wasn’t always the case: In the late seventeenth century, philosopher John Locke’s suggestion that reading be fun for children—instead of simply instructional—was revolutionary. Bas Bleu has carried children’s books for twenty-five years, always with a mind to which stories would be most enjoyable to budding bluestockings. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week, we put together a short list of influential children’s books that have been enjoyed by generations of readers. We couldn’t possibly fit all of the worthy titles on one list, so feel free to add your favorites in the comments below! Continue reading

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