Literary Insults

slate-blue zip top pouch illustrated with Shakespearean insults printed in various colors

Our parents always told us: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” It’s an excellent rule of thumb…but it can be very tough to follow when in the midst of an argument. If you can’t bring yourself to always turn the other cheek, why not add a little cheek to your next comeback? Inspired by the Shakespearean Insults Pouch featured in Bas Bleu’s new Summer 2019 edition, we collected fourteen literary insults sure to elevate your next contretemps to, if not a respectable level, at least a bookish one! Continue reading

Summer Reading List 2019

Sunscreen? Check. Frosty beverage? Check. Comfy hammock or lounge chair? Check. Summer reading list? DOUBLE CHECK. Whether you’re planning to spend your summer on the beach, by the lake, or in your own backyard, Bas Bleu is your one-stop shop for summer reading! Our new Summer 2019 edition is hot off the press, and it’s filled to the brim with books and gifts carefully chosen to help you while away the long, sweltering days. We’ve even curated a special Summer Reading Collection, with a special price: buy all twelve and receive 10% off the package price plus free shipping! (Bas Bleu Society members save 15% off the package price as well as individual titles.) Continue reading

10 Influential Children’s Books

trio of boys with books lying in grass

For modern readers, the idea that children’s books should be entertaining is a given. But that wasn’t always the case: In the late seventeenth century, philosopher John Locke’s suggestion that reading be fun for children—instead of simply instructional—was revolutionary. Bas Bleu has carried children’s books for twenty-five years, always with a mind to which stories would be most enjoyable to budding bluestockings. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week, we put together a short list of influential children’s books that have been enjoyed by generations of readers. We couldn’t possibly fit all of the worthy titles on one list, so feel free to add your favorites in the comments below! Continue reading

Famous and Influential Librarians

Ask any avid reader where she first fell in love with reading and you will hear time and again: “at my local library.” No matter if they are big or small, these repositories of knowledge offer more than just stacks of books; they represent safety, freedom, a gateway into the wider world, to readers from all walks of life. And at the helm of those libraries—serving as guides, gatekeepers, and fierce advocates—are librarians. Continue reading

Books Recommending Books, Vol. 3

From time to time, fellow bluestockings ask us, “I really liked this book. Do you carry something similar?” As we welcome spring weather and look forward to moving our reading sessions out of the house and into the sunshine, we compiled a list of “books recommending books.” The titles in these pairings aren’t exactly alike: Yes, some have similar plots or subject matter, but others are kindred spirits in terms of character, theme, or mood. We hope you’ll find something new you’ll enjoy! (All of the suggested “try this” titles are available for purchase on the Bas Bleu website. Just click on the book cover.) Continue reading

Spring 2019 Reading List

collage of twelve book covers

Every Bas Bleu catalog is special to us—believe us when we say they’re all labors of love!—but we’re extra-proud of our Spring 2019 edition. It celebrates our 25th anniversary with special features, staff photos, and more. But never fear, dear bluestockings: Our Spring 2019 edition is brimming with plenty of wonderful new books and gifts, too! We were hard-pressed to narrow down our favorites, but our editors have assembled a fresh spring “bouquet” just for you, a dozen terrific reads to keep you captivated throughout the season. Continue reading

The Books That Shape Us: The Value of Fairness

wall of open books

From time to time, Bas Bleu’s editors will share with you some of the books that have had a profound impact on our lives. They won’t necessarily be grand literary classics or hard-hitting political tomes. They will be books that have stayed with us over the years and shaped who we are. If you’d like to share a significant title from your own life, feel free to do so in the comments section below.

When I was a child growing up in Tennessee, weekly trips to our local library were a summertime staple. My mother was (and still is) an avid reader, and the library was a book-filled haven where she could feed her literary appetite while her daughters camped out between the short stacks of the children’s department. It was there I met Trixie Belden, Cam Jansen, and Encyclopedia Brown; raced through yellow-spine Nancy Drew hardbacks; and generally allowed my mother an hour’s quiet respite. It’s also where I met Nellie Bly. Continue reading

Library Shelfie Day 2019

close-up photograph of antique leather books on a shelf

Once upon a time (in a not-so-distant, selfie-obsessed past), the good folks at the New York Public Library launched Library Shelfie Day, an annual occasion to share portraits of personal—and, often, creatively arranged—book collections. Reading is such a personal experience for so many of us, informed by our individuality, our life experiences, even our schedules, that it’s no surprise our bookshelves can offer a revealing window into our literary souls…or, at least, a peek into our book-organization methods! Continue reading

Winter 2019 Reading List

picture of woman in orange sweater and colorful winter socks reading a book

Happy new year, bluestockings! Now that the champagne has been drunk and the confetti swept up, you may be wondering how to keep the celebration going as the bluster and chill of January settles in. Bas Bleu has the perfect solution: new books! Our Winter 2019 edition lands in mailboxes this week (if you don’t already have yours, you lucky duck), and it’s full of terrific books and gifts guaranteed to keep you occupied throughout the long, dark months. We’ll even deliver your books to you, so you don’t have to venture out into the cold! Today, we’re sharing a dozen of our favorite picks, perfect for hibernating with this winter. And be sure to check our special Cozy Winter Reading Collection! Continue reading