28 Lessons We’ve Learned from Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice 1895 edition illustrated by Hugh ThomsonJanuary 28 marks the anniversary of Pride and Prejudice’s publication in 1813, a cultural milestone that almost never was thanks to a dismissive publisher who rejected Jane Austen’s manuscript First Impressions in 1797. Sixteen years later, Thomas Egerton bought the rights to Pride and Prejudice for just £110…and the rest, as they say, is literary history. So today, the twenty-eighth day of January, in honor of P&P’s birthday, Bas Bleu is sharing our list of twenty-eight life lessons we learned from Miss Austen, Lizzie Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and, yes, even Mr. Wickham. Continue reading

The Books That Shape Us: Little House on the Prairie

Little House on the PrairieFrom 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.

This week, Bas Bleu’s senior buyer and reviewer AG tells us about a treasured reading experience from her childhood: Continue reading

Bluestocking Confessions

We know all of you bluestockings out there are true-bleu booklovers who share Bas Bleu’s passion for quality books, under-the-radar authors, and a quiet evening spent at home with a good novel. But over the years, we’ve been privy to many a bookish confession, shameful (or simply honest) secrets about your private reading lives. And you know what? These confessions only make us love our fellow bluestockings—and our own coworkers!—that much more. Because there’s no such thing as a “perfect” reader.

Lady Chatterley

Continue reading

January 2015 Book a Month: The Monogram Murders

The Monogram MurdersAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2015 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus materials to enrich your reading experience—for book clubs as well as thoughtful individuals. (We’ll do our best to avoid plot spoilers, but you should proceed with caution!)

Fans of contemporary fiction are no strangers to Sophie Hannah, the British author whose bestselling oeuvre includes The Telling Error, The Wrong Mother, and Hurting Distance. Yet with all due respect to Ms. Hannah’s previous accomplishments, January’s Book a Month selection, The Monogram Murders, may be her most ambitious undertaking to date.

After all, it’s not every day a novelist has the opportunity—or the guts—to take up the mantle of the queen of crime herself, breathing new life into Agatha Christie’s bombastic detective Hercule Poirot. (Did you know? Poirot’s “death” in 1975’s Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case earned him an obituary in the New York Times.) This week, Sophie stopped by the Bluestocking Salon for a chat about tackling an icon and appreciating the genius of Agatha Christie. Continue reading