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

One Shadow on the Wall: An Interview with Leah Henderson

 

Bas Bleu’s July Book a Month 2018 selections transport readers around the world, including to Africa in our Young Readers pick, One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson. Set in modern-day Senegal, the novel follows a young boy named Mor as he struggles to support himself and his two sisters after the death of their parents, endeavoring to honor his promise to his father to keep their little family together. With an endearing protagonist and a touch of magical realism, One Shadow on the Wall is a heartfelt story about perseverance, loyalty, and family. This week in the Bluestocking Salon, we’re chatting with author Leah Henderson about her literary inspiration, her globetrotting adventures, and the children’s books that influenced her. Continue reading

Artist Profile: Merrie Buchsbaum

Books are our first love at Bas Bleu, but our longtime readers know we have a soft spot for unique gift items as well. When our buyers spied Merrie Buchsbaum’s handmade Garden Pens—pretty writing instruments made from real flowers—at a trade show last winter, we knew we’d found something special. Roses, hydrangeas, and lavender are blooming now in our summer gardens, but these beautiful pens will keep their beauty year round. Today in the Bluestocking Salon, we’re chatting with artist Merrie Buchsbaum about creating these cool pens and how she earned her hard-won reputation as “the flower lady.” 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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Design for Dying: An Interview with Renee Patrick

Film and fashion fans know Edith Head as the Academy Award-winning costume designer who dressed Grace Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Hedy Lamarr, and other silver-screen starlets. In Bas Bleu’s June Book a Month 2018 selection, Design for Dying, Edith is still an up-and-comer at Paramount Pictures when she meets Lillian Frost, the narrator of this “effervescent whodunit.” Together, the two women join forces to solve a murder in 1930s Hollywood, in a historical mystery penned by the husband-and-wife team of Rosemarie and Vince Keenan under the pseudonym Renee Patrick. This week in the Bluestocking Salon, we’re chatting with Rosemarie and Vince (referred to collectively as Renee) about the allure of Hollywood, the importance of Edith and Lillian’s friendship, and how they stay married while writing a novel together. Continue reading

BookExpo 2018: A Convention of Readers

Ever since Bas Bleu mailed our first catalog in 1994, readers have asked: “How do you find these wonderful books?” The truth is our editors are always on the lookout for books we think you’d like, perusing magazine and newspaper book reviews, exploring recommendations from friends and customers, browsing local libraries and used bookstores, even skimming authors’ and book lovers’ blogs, Facebook posts, and Twitter threads. One essential resource for us is the publishing industry itself, staffed by passionate bibliophiles who spend their days creating and promoting books. We’re in contact with our publisher sales reps throughout the year, but every spring we get the chance to meet in person at BookExpo. 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