10 Treats for National Book Lovers Day 2018

August 9 is “officially” National Book Lovers Day! We say “officially” because—let’s get real—every day is National Book Lovers Day for avid readers. But just as Valentine’s Day serves as a special day once a year to go all in for the person you love most (even if that person is you!), why not take this occasion to celebrate your devotion to books and treat yourself? In honor of this special day, Bas Bleu’s editors put together a collection of ten items we think particularly capture that bookish love we all know so well. Continue reading

Literary Friendships: Celebrating Best Friends in Books

Jane Austen once wrote, “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends.” Since Sunday, August 5, is National Friendship Day, we thought this week was the perfect occasion to celebrate some of our favorite literary friendships. In honor of this very special day, Bas Bleu’s editors have selected ten of our favorite pairs—and sometimes trios—of kindred spirits from classic literature. Check out our list (beware spoilers!) then tell us about your favorite literary friendships in the comments section below. Continue reading

Which Literary Destination Should You Visit?

Vacation season is here! And while European tours and coastal getaways are nice if you can swing them, avid readers don’t need to budge beyond the comfort of our reading chairs to embark upon extraordinary adventures. Inspired by a recent Bas Bleu Facebook poll (“What fictional place from literature would you like to visit on your summer vacation?”) and PBS’s fun “travel posters based on famous novels,” we crafted this handy quiz to help you decide which literary destination YOU should travel to this summer. (Results not based on science; with a book, you can travel anywhere!) Continue reading

Summer Reading List 2018

Henry James wrote, “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” We’d have to agree…especially when we get to spend that summer afternoon reading! Bas Bleu’s Summer 2018 edition lands in mailboxes today, and we’ve made it our mission to fill your summer afternoons with delightful literary treats. You’ll find light and cheerful page-turners, enchanting historical fiction, heart-racing thrillers…and those are just the novels! (Be sure to check out our special fiction-only Beach Reading Bundle online; buy all twelve and save 20%!) Continue reading

Calling All Anglophiles!

England is enjoying a prime spot on the world stage this month, as tourists, journalists, and royal watchers descend upon London for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. But for devoted Anglophiles, the island kingdom William Shakespeare hailed as “this royal throne of kings. This scepter’d isle,/This earth of majesty…this precious stone set in the silver sea” holds a special place in our hearts year round. Longtime Bas Bleu readers know our catalog is a rich resource for British books and gifts; we’re inspired by our literary namesakes, the bluestockings, those learned mid-eighteenth-century women (and men) who gathered in the great salons of London for intellectual conversation and witty banter. This week, as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles prepare to play host to the world, we’ve rounded up a selection of some of our most popular England-centric books and gifts, perfect for the Anglophile you know…including you!

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Why Read Poetry?

If you, like Bas Bleu’s reviewers, were an English major in college, chances are good you owned at least one poetry anthology the size of a large brick. Some of us still have one, lugging it from dorm to apartment to house as time passed and our personal libraries grew. But how many of us crack it open on a regular basis, poring over the tissue-thin pages to soak up the words of William Shakespeare, Christina Rossetti, Rainer Maria Rilke, Emily Dickinson, Rumi, Pablo Neruda, e. e. Cummings, Anne Sexton, and Audre Lorde? And how many of us count World Poetry Day among our favorite holidays? Continue reading

The Books That Shape Us: Animalia

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.

I can’t remember exactly how old I was when I first discovered Animalia by Graeme Base in our local library. The book was first published in 1986, so it’s quite possible I stumbled upon it fairly young. What I do remember is checking it out many times and spending hours upon hours engrossed in its oversized pages, often with my siblings or my mom, seeing all that we could discover in the bright, elaborate illustrations. Continue reading

21 Pride and Prejudice Quotes to Remind You Why You Love Jane Austen

We’ve yet to meet a true-bleu Jane Austen fan whose sole exposure to her canon is Pride and Prejudice, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that Austen’s most famous novel usually tops the list as the most quotable. In honor of Pride and Prejudice’s upcoming 205th birthday (observed by Bas Bleu on January 28, the anniversary of its 1813 publication), we collected twenty-one of our favorite quotations, exchanges, observations, bon mots—even one or two epic burns—from Austen’s literary masterpiece. (Your fave didn’t make the cut? Share it with us in the comments below!)

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