Can You Decipher These Book Titles “Written” in Emojis?

The Metamorphosis written in emojis

We’re true-bleu word lovers here at Bas Bleu, but we aren’t above slipping the occasional emoji into a text message or tweet. These digital pictographs first popped up on Japanese mobile phones in the late 1990s—the word “emoji” is derived from the Japanese words for “picture” and “character”—and have gained global popularity over the past decade. In honor of World Emoji Day today, we concocted a little quiz for our readers. Can you identify these twenty book titles “written” in emojis? (Hint: Some are literal interpretations of the titles while others include plot details.) Continue reading

Dear Mrs. Bird: An Interview with AJ Pearce

black and white photo of London during the Blitz overlaid by book cover of Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce

Dear Mrs. Bird, one of the twelve titles chosen by Bas Bleu’s editors for our Summer Reading Collection, initially was pre-selected for our upcoming Book a Month 2020 package. But we couldn’t wait that long to share this sparkling novel with you! Penned by debut novelist AJ Pearce, Dear Mrs. Bird follows Emmy Lake as she chases her dream of becoming a reporter…all the while trying to stay positive (and alive!) in London during the Blitz. This week, we’re chatting with Pearce about the impulse buy that inspired her novel, the crucial role of female friendships in women’s lives, and the importance of optimism even in the worst of times. Continue reading

Summer Poems: 12 Verses for the Season

excerpt from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "The Throstle"

On a hot summer day, we love nothing more than to settle down in a cool corner with an engrossing novel. But while perusing A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year, from Bas Bleu’s Summer 2019 edition, we began thinking about how the intensity of the season—the blanket of heat, the endless symphony of insects, gardens bursting with fresh produce, the long days that somehow add up to much-too-short months—is perhaps best captured in summer poems. Today, as the furnace blast that is July in Georgia engulfs our editorial office in Atlanta, our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite summer poems with which to surrender yourself to the season. (To read each poem in full, click on the title or image.) Continue reading

Classic Novels Set During the Summer

Every season has its own personality, but there’s something about summer—the steamy heat, the long slow days, the interruption of school and work routines, travels away from home—that sets it apart. In literature as in life summer has become synonymous with love, adventure, and self-discovery…and, occasionally, heartache. This week, as the Bas Bleu editors prepare our Autumn 2019 edition (yes, it’s only June!), we’re savoring the season here and now with a list of ten classic novels set during the summer. (By the way: SPOILER ALERT!) Continue reading

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