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

A Bluestocking in New York

Winter is “show season” for Bas Bleu, when our editors travel to trade shows to source new products for our catalog. Earlier this month, editor KG headed to New York to attend NY Now, the National Stationery Show, and Shoppe Object. Three shows in two days is no mean feat—sensible shoes and a hearty breakfast are key!—but she couldn’t travel all that way without squeezing in a little sightseeing, too. Here are a few highlights from our very own bluestocking in New York: Continue reading

Famous Poems Read by Famous People

Audiobooks gain fans every day, helping readers while away long commutes, road trips, workouts, and more. Even bibliophiles who prefer the printed page value those bookish recordings as a way to squeeze extra reading into busy days. How do you think the Bas Bleu editors tackle so many books?) But sometimes what we need most is to stop what we’re doing—if only for a few minutes—and concentrate on nothing but the words. Poetry is ideal on those occasions: Its concise form demands that every word count. And because the only thing better than reading poetry is listening to people read poetry to us, we’re celebrating World Read Aloud Day with seven famous poems read by famous people. Continue reading

Puzzles and Books to Celebrate National Puzzle Day

Jigsaw puzzle pieces

Did you know? Today is National Puzzle Day! In our experience, avid readers also tend to be avid puzzlers, whether whiling away a quiet afternoon bent over a jigsaw puzzle—raise your hand if your family tackles one on summer vacation every year—or flexing those little gray cells with challenging word games and riddles. Puzzles and puzzle books are a staple of the Bas Bleu catalog, for kids as well as adults, so we’re highlighting a few of our favorites with this list of puzzles and books to celebrate National Puzzle Day. Continue reading

10 Important People in the History of the Book

close-up view of a weathered leather book

Modern readers treasure the physical object known as “the book,” a steadfast constant in a rapidly changing world. But a long view of literary history reveals a dynamic creature: From tablet to scroll to ancient codex, from leather-bound luxury item to mass-produced paperback to digital tablet, the book has evolved over millennia. But how did this epic transformation occur? And who can we thank for it? Today in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s editors are tipping our hats to 10 (of many!) important people in the history of the book. Continue reading

Winter Reading List 2020

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, January feels like a letdown. But don’t despair: Those cold winter days stretching before you are the perfect excuse to hibernate with the books on our winter reading list. Lucky for you, Bas Bleu’s Winter 2020 edition arrived with the new year, and it’s filled to the brim with terrific new books and gifts. You loved last year’s Winter Reading Collection, so this year we curated three packagesNovels, Mysteries, and Nonfiction. Purchase all six books in a package and receive 20% off the package price; each title is also available for individual purchase at its regular cover price. (Remember, Bas Bleu Society members, you receive 15% off the regular cover price of all books + free standard shipping, so feel free to create your own set.) Continue reading

Christmas Reading Recommendations

open book with holly sprig and red Christmas ornament laid on top

On December 5, we hosted a Christmas book giveaway on the Bas Bleu Facebook page. To enter, readers shared their favorite Christmas read. The result? An impromptu, “crowd-sourced” holiday reading list from the Bas Bleu community! Several beloved classics made the list (Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is an overwhelming favorite). Other books have been featured in past editions of the Bas Bleu catalog. And we were thrilled to see so many titles we weren’t familiar with…because our editors love recommendations, too! With December 25 just around the corner, we compiled a list of these Christmas reading recommendations for your holiday bookshelf. Feel free to tell us in the comments section about your own favorite seasonal reads! Continue reading

2019 Holiday Gift Guide

child's hands holding wrapped Christmas gift

We’d hardly made a dent in the Thanksgiving leftovers when we realized: December is here! But there’s no need to panic. We know you’d rather spend the holiday season enjoying yourself—decking the halls, baking delicious treats, visiting with friends and family, and (of course) reading—instead of rushing through chaotic big-box stores and sitting in mall traffic. That’s why we’ve made Bas Bleu your one-stop shop for everyone on your gift list. Just check out our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide! Continue reading