Reading to Find Life vs. Like

It happens more often than we’d like: While swapping book recommendations with friends, someone inevitably says, “I tried reading that, but the main character was just so unlikable.” At Bas Bleu, we believe that every reader is entitled to his or her opinion, but the frequency with which we hear the above statement begs the question:

Does a protagonist’s likability determine whether or not a novel is worth reading? Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Sangria Prawns

book cover

From time to time, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff “samples” recipes from cookbooks and other culinary guides found in our catalog. Our efforts are amateur at best: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the tendency to scatter flour everywhere. But we know delicious when we taste it, and if you try your hand at these recipes we think you’ll agree!

If you’re like us, you are destined, most weeks of the year, to be an armchair traveler, exploring exotic locales and cultures in the pages of your favorite books. Cookbooks serve as particularly excellent literary “passports,” and Tori Haschka’s A Suitcase and a Spatulain which the Australian-born food and travel writer shares her favorite recipes from around the world—is no exception. Continue reading

Art Imitating Life

Lucky-DucklingsBaby animals are adorable. Crazy adorable. We know it and you know it, so there’s really no point in denying it. Just like there’s no denying those YouTube videos we’ve all surreptitiously watched, probably while we’re supposed to be working. The kitten playing with a baby hedgehog? Seen it. Puppies chasing laser pointers? Watched it on repeat. Animal moms adopting animal babies of a different species? We cry every dang time.

That said, you shouldn’t be surprised that we bluestockings really love books about baby animals, especially when those books are based on real-life critters. Continue reading

“When in the course of human events…”

US_flag_13_stars_–_Betsy_RossIn 2012, Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed The Declaration of Independence debuted in the Bas Bleu catalog. Our readers loved it, and since then we’ve added Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed The United States Constitution and the trivia-packed Stuff Every American Should Know. All three books were penned by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese, to whom we will be eternally grateful for reminding us just how much fun American history can be.

This week, in honor of Independence Day, Denise and Joe were kind enough to sit down with Bas Bleu’s editors and answer a few questions about the Founding Fathers, their legacy, and what contemporary politicians still have to learn from the men who created our great nation.  Continue reading