From the Bas Bleu Mailbag: 25th Anniversary

We’re celebrating 25 years of Bas Bleu (our catalog was “born” in 1994), and our editors and other staff have been touched by the anniversary messages we’ve received from our readers over the past few months. Snail mail, emails, comments on our Facebook page and on this blog… No matter the format, each and every message means so much to our team. This week, as we prepare to debut our Autumn 2019 edition—including a first glimpse at this year’s Christmas offerings!—we wanted to share a few of the “happy anniversary!” notes that landed in our mailbox. Are we bragging? No. (Well…maybe a little bit, because any company with such amazing customers should brag about them!) Mostly we’re sharing these to let you know that we do, in fact, read and value every bit of customer correspondence that comes our way. Your words always impact us and remind us time and again just how special Bas Bleu’s readers are. Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Creamy Gazpacho Andaluz

Vegetables Illustrated cookbook on wooden butcher block surrounded by fresh veggies

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!

Officially, the dog days of summer are right around the corner. But why does it feel like they showed up early??? Stepping outside feels like stepping into an oven, and the last thing we want to do at mealtime is turn on a real oven. So what’s a hungry bluestocking to do? Make gazpacho! Continue reading

Dear Mrs. Bird: An Interview with AJ Pearce

black and white photo of London during the Blitz overlaid by book cover of Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce

Dear Mrs. Bird, one of the twelve titles chosen by Bas Bleu’s editors for our Summer Reading Collection, initially was pre-selected for our upcoming Book a Month 2020 package. But we couldn’t wait that long to share this sparkling novel with you! Penned by debut novelist AJ Pearce, Dear Mrs. Bird follows Emmy Lake as she chases her dream of becoming a reporter…all the while trying to stay positive (and alive!) in London during the Blitz. This week, we’re chatting with Pearce about the impulse buy that inspired her novel, the crucial role of female friendships in women’s lives, and the importance of optimism even in the worst of times. Continue reading

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

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

Bas Bleu Family Photos

Our upcoming Spring 2019 edition marks a major milestone: twenty-five years of Bas Bleu! We mailed our first catalog in 1994, and the ensuing quarter-century has been an unforgettable journey made possible only by the support of our wonderful customers. In the coming months, we’ll celebrate our silver anniversary with special features—in our catalog, on our website, and here on the blog—including an interview with Bas Bleu’s founder, behind-the-scenes peeks into our warehouse and call center, profiles of our editors, special discounts and products, and more. In preparation for this monumental event, our editors recently spent an afternoon sorting through old Bas Bleu “family photos” and taking a walk down memory lane! We had so much fun, we’re sharing some of the pictures and memories with you. (Please don’t judge our photography skills; these snaps were shot by an amateur, not the pros who photograph our products!) Continue reading

To Market! Bas Bleu Goes Shopping

trade show booth designed to look like store fronts

How to describe Bas Bleu? In the simplest terms, we’re a catalog and internet retailer that sells books and gifts for avid readers. Last year, we told you a little bit about how we source our books. But what about the “and gifts” part? We pride ourselves on offering our readers fun, thoughtful, occasionally downright odd gifts, items you usually can’t buy at big-box stores or shopping malls. So…where do we find them? Continue reading

Last Christmas in Paris: An Interview with Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Bas Bleu’s December 2018 Book a Month pick, Last Christmas in Paris, is a heartfelt read any month of the year. But with Christmas only days away, and the multi-year commemoration of the World War I centennial drawing to a close, this historical novel by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb is a timely choice for your end-of-year reading. This week in the Bluestocking Salon, we’re talking with the authors about the technicalities of co-writing a novel (while living in different countries!), the importance of addressing PTSD when discussing WWI, and the unique benefits of old-fashioned letter writing. Continue reading