Autumn Reading List 2020

open book on wooden bench with apples

The mercury may feel stuck at “blazing hot summer,” but Bas Bleu‘s new Autumn 2020 edition is blowing into mailboxes like a cool breeze! Inside you’ll find engrossing new books to refresh your TBR stack, along with wonderful little gifts to captivate your imagination…and to jump-start your holiday shopping. This time we’ve included four Autumn Reading Collections: Novels, Mysteries, Nonfiction, and one collection dedicated to “vintage” Bas Bleu booksellers. To help you create your autumn reading list, our editors have selected fifteen of our favorite picks, including several absorbing reads by authors of color.

Earlier this summer, several customers asked why Bas Bleu doesn’t carry a more diverse assortment of books. This is something we’ve discussed at length over the years and especially recently. In the past we’ve been disheartened because books by and about people of color generally did not sell very well. Our decisions on what to carry forward into future catalogs have been based solely on numbers. However, we agree that it is important, indeed necessary, for individuals as well as businesses to work to dismantle the inequality that centuries of systemic racism have wrought in our country. Beginning with our Autumn edition, we are actively trying to include more books by people of color, both nonfiction addressing issues of race as well as fiction exploring experiences outside of a white perspective.

We’re always delighted to receive book recommendations from our readers, and we’d love your help expanding our point of view. Feel free to suggest books in the comments below.

Happy reading, bluestockings, and be well!







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4 thoughts on “Autumn Reading List 2020

  1. So happy to see the two books I just finished are here in your new books for fall: Warmth of Other Sons by Isabel Wilkerson was a mind-opening read. Her narrative prose is eloquent, her research exhaustive. Although I am not a history buff, this book read like a novel. And the second book I have read 3 times in the last few years–Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. His work as an attorney fighting wrongful convictions of marginalized populations is inspiring and daunting! Thank you for including these two titles. I would like to suggest that Isabel Wilkerson’s new book Caste, slated to be published this fall, will be a great choice for your next offering! Thanks for the great work you do! I love supporting an independent bookseller!

    • Thank you for your support, Evelyn! The Warmth of Other Suns appears to be a daunting read, because it’s so big, but you’re right that it reads like a novel. We raced through it! And our brand manager gave extra copies of Just Mercy to friends after she read it. We definitely want to look at Caste; early reviews are great!

  2. My recommendation is The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami. Four men survived the Narvaez expedition from Spain to North America in the 1530s. Three were Spanish hidalgos and the fourth was a Black African slave. For eight years they wandered from Florida to what became the American southwest, living with various Indigenous groups, becoming healers, and eventually encountering Spanish settlers. Their story has come to us as told by Cabeza de Vaca, one of the hidalgos. But how would it have been reported by Estebanico, alias Mustafa, the Muslim African slave? This novel makes that leap of imagination, not only of their experience with pre-contact Indians, but what Mustafa must have known and felt going from free man to slave, to independence among the Indians, to slave status again when they were “saved” by the Spanish. This is a very unusual and thought-provoking tale.

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