A Brief History of the Advent Calendar

KillingerhausNext Sunday, November 29, marks the beginning of Advent, the four-week period in the Christian calendar leading up to Christmas. Derived from “adventus,” the Latin word for “arrival,” Advent began approximately sixteen hundred years ago as time for Christians to prepare, often by fasting, to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Today many people around the world count down the days to Christmas via specially made Advent calendars. Continue reading

Veterans Day Reading List

veterans-day flagEvery year on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we commemorate the 1918 armistice with Germany that marked the end of World War I. Ninety-seven years later, Veterans Day in the United States is an occasion to celebrate the dedicated service of U.S. military veterans from all conflicts. In honor of the day, Bas Bleu has compiled a list of eleven celebrated works of fiction that capture the experience of war from the perspective of the men (and in one instance, a woman) on the front lines. And to all of our veterans out there: We thank you. Continue reading

“The Last Dream of My Soul”: Literary Words of Love

book page heart

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, dear bluestockings, and whether you’re a soft-hearted romantic or that guy who blames the holiday on greeting-card companies, there’s no denying the importance of celebrating the lifeblood of human relationships: LOVE. Last year, in honor of Cupid’s day, we shared Bas Bleu’s picks for our favorite literary couples. This year, on behalf of you lovers seeking the perfect words with which to woo your valentine, we’ve gathered sixteen soul-stirring quotations from—where else?—classic literature. Continue reading

Christmas Reading List

Charles_Dickens-A_Christmas_Carol-Title_page-First_edition_1843Christmas is coming! If you’re decorated, shopped, and all ready for Santa—heck, even if you’re not—Bas Bleu’s advice to you is simple: Cue up a little Bing Crosby, pour yourself a cup of cheer, and kick back with a good book. Today we’ve compiled a short list of holiday reading that (we hope!) will help you shake off the anxiety of mall traffic and invading in-laws so that you can enjoy the spirit of season. Continue reading

Bookish Holiday Crafts

book pages pumpkin

Thanksgiving is just two weeks away—better start basting that turkey!—and Christmas is hot on its heels. Because you’ve probably already made your gift list and checked it twice (if not, we can help with that), now is the time to turn your attention to what really matters: holiday decorating! Here in Bas Bleu’s Bluestocking Salon, we believe books make everything better. Why not your holiday décor? In keeping with the spirit of life as bibliophiles, we’ve rustled up several festive craft projects that are sure to add a literary flair to your seasonal celebrations!  Continue reading

Deer Me! (Or, Holiday Trivia)

Reading Reindeer OrnamentBecause Bas Bleu’s customers are awesome, helpful people, we received quite the flurry of correspondence after our Autumn 2014 issue debuted. Mostly you told us that you loved the new books and gifts we chose for the catalog. But several eagle-eyed readers pointed out what you feared was an editing mistake on our part: referring to our Reading Reindeer Ornament as a “she.” If there’s one thing we remember from childhood—thank you, Julie Andrews!—it’s that a doe is a deer, a female deer. But how, you asked, can our hooved bibliophile be a doe when she has antlers?  Continue reading

Happy Anniversary, Bas Bleu!

Anniversary CoverThis week, our Spring 2014 catalog lands in mailboxes around the country, signifying—we hope!—the end of a long, hard winter and the beginning of those sunny, fragrant days that beckon us outside with a good book. And in addition to introducing you to more than one hundred new books and bookish gifts, our Spring issue celebrates something extra special: Bas Bleu’s 20th anniversary! Continue reading

Love Between the Covers

LoveIntheTimeofCholeraWhen it comes to literary lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, and Rhett and Scarlett get a lot of (well-deserved) press. In honor of Valentine’s Day—which is Friday, in case someone still needs to make a dinner reservation—we’re paying tribute to ten other memorable romances from classic and contemporary fiction. Not every couple on this list gets a happy ending, but sometimes love hurts, right? Continue reading