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

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