World War I Armistice: A Centenary Reading List

single red poppy in a field of wheat for World War I armistice centenary

In the United States, November 11 is commemorated as Veterans Day, the annual recognition of our nation’s armed-forces veterans. But Veterans Day (named a national holiday in 1954 by President Eisenhower) has its roots in Armistice Day, the anniversary of the armistice signed by the Allies and Germany to end World War I. The signing famously took place at eleven o’clock in the morning, “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice, a solemn remembrance of the war that military historian Gary Sheffield calls “the single event that more than any other can be said to have shaped the world in which we live.” In honor of the World War I armistice centenary this month, we’re spotlighting a selection of Bas Bleu books (and one mug) that tackle the heroism, sacrifice, and brutality of the Great War…and its lasting legacy. Continue reading

13 Halloween Books and Gifts

Halloween is just around the corner! And as much as we enjoy carving pumpkins, stockpiling snack-size candy “for the kids,” and taking laps on our brooms, Bas Bleu’s favorite part of the season is indulging in spooky reads. From ghost stories, twisty mysteries, and tales of murder most foul, our Halloween book stacks cast long shadows, beckoning us out of the sunshine and into moonlit reading chairs. Today in honor of the spook-tacular season, we’ve put together a list of thirteen (of course!) books and gifts that are perfect for your Halloween revelries. Continue reading

18 Literary Quotes to Celebrate Independence Day 2018

Happy Independence Day, America! To celebrate our nation’s birthday, we’ve selected eighteen quotations from novelists, poets, and other men and women of letters reflecting on freedom, democracy, and independence. Bas Bleu‘s editors are taking today off to commemorate this special occasion with family and friends, but we’ll be back in action on July 5, hard at work on our upcoming Autumn 2018 edition!

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Celebrating Women’s History Month…with Books!

March is Women’s History Month, an occasion to celebrate the important—and too-often overlooked, ignored, or flat-out denied—contributions of the female half of the world’s population. To honor the spirit of our namesake bluestockings, those learned literary women of the eighteenth century, Bas Bleu has long championed books by and about extraordinary women. (If you don’t already know, Bas Bleu was founded by a woman, and our editorial and purchasing departments are staffed entirely by women.) You can find female-centric reads in the pages of our catalogs and on our website year-round, but today we’re highlighting ten titles we think are worth moving to the top of your TBR pile during Women’s History Month. Continue reading

Pick-up Lines for Book-Lovers

We believe reading books makes everyone more attractive, and books are great icebreakers when you’re longing to strike up a conversation with someone who’s caught your eye. Plus, readers tend to be really smart, empathetic people; who wouldn’t want to meet more of us? In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together a list of fourteen pick-up lines designed expressly for literature lovers: some are silly, some are saucy, others are lifted straight from the pages of beloved books. We hope all will make you smile. (And if you see someone browsing through the Bas Bleu catalog on the subway, in the library, or in a coffee shop? You definitely want to meet that person; walk over and say hi!) Continue reading

10 Great Reads for Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and while the stories of Americans of color deserve reading year-round, this annual observation is a good reminder to make room in our To Be Read piles for a diversity of voices and experiences. Not sure where to begin? We’ve compiled a list of titles by and about black Americans, from the Bas Bleu shelves as well as other sources. Is this list comprehensive? Not by a very, very, very long shot. It’s merely a jumping-off point for bluestockings looking to broaden their literary horizons! Continue reading

Reading Resolutions for 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, we’re feeling reflective about the year that was…and excited about the year to come. If you’re making New Year’s resolutions for 2018, don’t just focus on the usual suspects—exercise every day, learn a new language, be nicer to your sister-in-law. Make a few New Year’s reading resolutions while you’re at it! Because even avid readers need to shake things up every once in a while. To help you get started, Bas Bleu’s editors came up with a list of eighteen “reading resolutions” to try out in 2018. They’re only suggestions, and you already may practice some (or all!) of them. Whatever you’re reading…keep it up! Continue reading

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! If you’re like us,  you vow every year to get a jump-start on your shopping before the craziness of the season sets in. And every year December creeps up more stealthily than ever before. Because you’d probably prefer to spend the holiday season enjoying yourself—decking the halls, baking delicious treats, visiting with friends and family, and (of course) reading—rather than rushing through the mall and sitting in traffic, make Bas Bleu your one-stop shop for everyone on your gift list! Continue reading

Feeling Thankful

Thanksgiving is less than twenty-four hours away, and whether you’re basting a magnificent bird or tucking in to a convenient take-out meal, this annual celebration of bounty and blessings is always a good opportunity to stop and take stock of all we have to be grateful for.

2017 has been a difficult year in so many respects: Anxiety and fear fueled by global unrest and national political and social upheaval have been exacerbated by devastating hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. Faced with such challenges, it’s natural to wonder what difference we can make as individuals…or, in Bas Bleu’s case, as booksellers. Continue reading