Editors’ Picks: Winter 2016

editors picks W16

Bas Bleu’s readers and friends regularly ask our editors: Which items from the catalog are your favorites? The question is posed often enough that we thought it was high time to stop saying, “We love them all!” (because we really do) and start making some hard choices. In all honesty, each editor has multiple favorites from every catalog we mail, but for the sake of brevity we limited ourselves to one book and one non-book item each.

First up: Our picks from Bas Bleu’s Winter 2016 edition! Continue reading

From Page to Screen: Bookish Films for 2016

BennetSisters PPZ

On February 28, Hollywood’s glitterati will gather at the 2016 Academy Awards ceremony to find out who will go home with Oscar. Among the films up for major awards, seven are adapted from books, including five of the eight nominees for Best Picture. A cynic may chalk this up to a lack of imagination on the part of movie execs, but more optimistic bluestockings attribute it to a truth—we hope—is universally acknowledged: that literature’s long legacy of entertaining us with compelling stories and complex characters continues.

Here at Bas Bleu, we’re the first to argue that the book is (usually) better than the movie. But that doesn’t prevent us from enjoying a good literary film adaptation! In case you agree, we’ve put together a quick list of just a few of the books coming to a theater near you in 2016. Continue reading

14 Love Lessons from Literature

Red Love letters

One of the great joys of reading is that it enables us to experience situations and emotions on the safety of the page that we may not have the chance—or the inclination—to experience in life. That’s how so many bluestockings fall in love time and again with fictional characters whose romantic trials stir our souls, touch our hearts…and teach us to live and love more wisely after we’ve closed our books and returned to the real world. In honor of Valentine’s Day on February 14, Bas Bleu’s editors have put together a list of fourteen love lessons that we’ve learned from some of our favorite literary classics. Continue reading

The Receptionist: An Education at the New Yorker Discussion Questions

ReceptionistAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2016 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus material about our Bluestocking BAM selection 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!)

Our February Book a Month selection, The Receptionist: An Education at the New Yorker, transports readers back to the acclaimed magazine’s heyday through the eyes of receptionist Janet Groth. During her twenty-one-year stint at the New Yorker, Groth forged relationships with John Berryman, Joseph Mitchell, Muriel Spark, and other literary luminaries, all the while struggling to determine her own identity as a young woman in New York during the 1950s and 60s. Less juicy tell-all, more coming-of-age tale during a pivotal era, The Receptionist offers insight into a privileged literary world and how it helped to shape one employee’s life. Continue reading