Keep Calm and Color On

At-home entertainment has been both a blessing and a challenge in the last few months, with theaters, museums, stadiums, and other public venues shut down and people sticking close to home. Those readers staying at home are racing through piles of books, binge-watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, enjoying virtual cocktail parties with friends on Zoom, and working puzzles just as fast as Bas Bleu can ship them! Maybe you’ve been making use of your time to learn a new skill or hobby—raise your hand if you’re currently nursing a sourdough starter—or to revisit neglected ones. Some of our customers tell us they’ve pulled out their adult coloring books and put colored pencil to page again, both as a screen-free way to pass the time and as a respite from an unrelenting news cycle. Coloring can’t resolve the big issues we’re facing today, but some psychologists argue it may help to alleviate stress and improve concentration. Continue reading

Summer Reading List 2020

blog header for Summer Reading List 2020 post; pictures a woman reading on a beach

If you’ve lost all track of time, let us reassure you: Summer is coming! Bas Bleu’s new Summer 2020 edition sails into mailboxes this week, because if ever there was a time to escape with books, it’s now. A new trio of Summer Reading Collections will transport you to England, Australia, Iran, Japan, Poland, Scotland, Iraq, and Denmark (no passport required!), and a plethora of other books and gifts will brighten your day along the way. To help you create your summer reading list, our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite picks.  Continue reading

How is Bas Bleu Handling the COVID-19 Crisis?

Old Try "Work from Home" Covid-19 poster on door

Two months ago, the COVID-19 crisis arrived on our doorstep. (We much prefer to receive book deliveries, thank you very much!) It’s been a whirlwind experience for Bas Bleu’s staff, just as it has been for most Americans. We’ve received a lot of questions from customers over the last few weeks, asking how is Bas Bleu handling the COVID-19 crisis? We thought we’d answer a few of your most common questions here in the Bluestocking Salon.

Q: Is Bas Bleu still open?
A: Yes! We’re packing and shipping orders five days a week. Continue reading

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is just two weeks away! (Where has April gone?) If you’re planning to celebrate in person with your favorite mom, lucky you! But we know many families will be kept apart by enduring shelter-in-place orders. Bas Bleu is open for business—albeit with stringent safety measures in place—and ready to help you brighten Mother’s Day for your mother, grandmother, aunt, wife, or any other lady you love who deserves extra-special treatment on May 10. We created this Mother’s Day gift guide to make shopping a little more convenient…and, yes, to show off some of the wonderful new books and gifts that landed on our shelves this week! Continue reading

Tackling the Classics on Your Literary Bucket List

row of leatherbound classic novels

Last month, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought much of the world to a grinding halt, the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper ran a story about how self-isolating readers are making the most of the shelter-in-place situation by tackling their literary “bucket lists.” According to the article, British readers are taking the opportunity to finally delve into such formidable tomes as James Joyce’s Ulysses (730 pages), David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (1,079 pages), and Hilary Mantel’s Tudor Trilogy (a cumulative 1,756 pages). Continue reading

Spring Poems: 12 Verses for the Season

In Atlanta, the birthplace of Bas Bleu, pear trees and redbuds are blooming, tulips and irises are unfurling their brilliant petals, and birds are singing on dogwood branches. But we know not all of our readers have witnessed these signs of spring this year; let’s see if we can call them forth for you! April is National Poetry Month, so our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite spring poems with which to surrender yourselves to the season…and maybe, just maybe, coax it into your backyard. (To read each poem in full, click on the title or image.) Continue reading

Social Distancing Supplies for Readers

We’re going to come right out and say it: The last week and a half has been weird. A lot of us may be feeling overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, even a little scared by the COVID-19 situation. Here at Bas Bleu, we can’t provide you with epidemiological data or medical advice. We can’t answer questions about what the stock market or Congress is going to do. And we certainly don’t know when you’ll be handing your kids’ education back over to trained professionals.

So what can Bas Bleu do? Send books, puzzles, games, and other goodies to your door to keep you and yours in good spirits and entertained at home. Check out these “social distancing” supplies…for readers! Continue reading

Spring Reading List 2020

At long last, winter begins to thaw…only to leave us facing the twin challenges of a contentious election season and something called a “novel coronavirus.” (The first “novel” we never want to read.) But whether you’re stockpiling books to hide from the world—we do this year-round, so we’re not judging!—or simply hankering for engaging stories to keep you company on warm, sunny days, Bas Bleu’s new Spring 2020 edition is loaded with fantastic reads. Choose one of our three Spring Reading CollectionsNovels, Mysteries, and Nonfiction—and save 20% off the package price. (Bas Bleu Society members, remember you receive 15% off the regular cover price of all books + free standard shipping, so feel free to create your own book set.) Continue reading

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: An Interview with Kim Michele Richardson

It’s not unusual for Bas Bleu to receive multiple Reader Reviews or customer recommendations for a single title…but usually these roll in over the course of several years. Last fall, our editors noticed a decidedly steady influx of Reader Reviews for Kim Michele Richardson’s novel The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. One reader even sent us a copy of the book! We took a closer look and were immediately enchanted by the moving fictional tale of Cussy Mary Carter, a young woman born with unusual blue-tinted skin who defies poverty and prejudice to serve her community as a pack horse librarian in rural 1930s Kentucky. Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with the author about the incredible real-life people who inspired her characters, the importance of recognizing overlooked women in history, and the librarian who made a difference in her life. Continue reading