Book Lovers’ Cold-Weather Survival Kit

snowy road through winter forest

In news that will surprise no one: It is cold, y’all. Winter arrived with a vengeance last week, and we’re not handling it well. Much of the country is frozen in January’s grip—we’re sending thoughts, prayers, and hot toddies to our friends in the Midwest today—so Bas Bleu’s editors put together this book lovers’ cold-weather survival kit to fuel your winter hibernation and see you through to spring. (Please note: If you’re looking for recommendations for snow blowers or ice scrapers, you’re better off calling your local hardware store.) 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

Our Mysteries Book a Month 2019…Revealed!

Stop right there! Did you receive Bas Bleu’s Mysteries Book a Month 2019 Ship Monthly package for Christmas, your birthday, or just because you’re awesome? If so, lucky you. Also, you have a choice to make: Keep reading and learn the identity of all twelve books in the collection OR stop reading and enjoy the suspense of waiting for your mystery book to arrive each month. Think hard…there’s no turning back… are you ready? 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

Editors’ Choice 2018

Bas Bleu's four editors seated in front of bookshelves

Christmas and a new year are just around the corner, which means book reviewers everywhere are releasing their literary “best of” lists for 2018. Bas Bleu‘s annual Editors’ Choice list is a little bit different, because Bas Bleu is a little bit different. For starters, we don’t carry books in our catalog unless we think our readers will love them, value them, and enjoy sharing them with others. Plus, many of our books aren’t recently published titles; we love digging up old favorites or spying those literary gems that fly under the radar.

But though we love all of our books, some do resonate more strongly than others with our staff. Today in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s editors (that’s us, above) are sharing a few of our personal favorites from our 2018 catalogs. These aren’t all of our top picks: We limited each other to two books and one non-book item, for the sake of brevity! Continue reading

Last Christmas in Paris: An Interview with Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Bas Bleu’s December 2018 Book a Month pick, Last Christmas in Paris, is a heartfelt read any month of the year. But with Christmas only days away, and the multi-year commemoration of the World War I centennial drawing to a close, this historical novel by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb is a timely choice for your end-of-year reading. This week in the Bluestocking Salon, we’re talking with the authors about the technicalities of co-writing a novel (while living in different countries!), the importance of addressing PTSD when discussing WWI, and the unique benefits of old-fashioned letter writing. Continue reading

Bas Bleu’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

wrapped packages for Bas Bleu's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! If you’re like us, you vow every year to get a jump-start on your shopping before the craziness of the season sets in. And every year December creeps up more stealthily than ever before. Because you’d probably prefer to spend the holiday season enjoying yourself—decking the halls, baking delicious treats, visiting with friends and family, and (of course) reading—rather than rushing through the mall and sitting in traffic, make Bas Bleu your one-stop shop for everyone on your gift list. Just check out our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide! Continue reading

Gratefully Yours

In the midst of the cooking and the shopping and the party-going and the travel-planning, it can be easy to forget that the holiday season is intended to celebrate gratitude, joy, fellowship, and other non-monetary gifts. At Bas Bleu, we’re not about to dissuade you from holiday shopping—we believe our eclectic selection of books and gifts will make Christmas a little brighter—but we do want to stop for a moment in our Thanksgiving preparations to tell you how grateful we are for you, our readers.

Continue reading

The Great Hibernation: An Interview with Tara Dairman

black and white photo of author Tara Dairman

Mystery and adventure blend with kid-friendly political suspense in The Great Hibernation by Tara Dairman, a Bas Bleu Young Readers Book A Month 2018 pick. This wonderful novel is set in St. Polonius-on-the-Fjord, a tiny coastal town with some bizarre traditions—like the eating of the sacred bear liver on every Founder’s Day, a practice that, due to a town ordinance, is mandatory for every citizen twelve and older. But when a mysterious slumber falls upon the town, it’s up to twelve-year-old Jean and the rest of St. Polonius-on-the-Fjord’s kids to keep the town running until they can solve the riddle of their parents’ slumber. In our exclusive interview with author Tara Dairman, she talks about why she chose to write for middle-grade readers, how traveling informs her writing, and how learning to cook from a book changed her life. Continue reading

World War I Armistice: A Centenary Reading List

single red poppy in a field of wheat for World War I armistice centenary

In the United States, November 11 is commemorated as Veterans Day, the annual recognition of our nation’s armed-forces veterans. But Veterans Day (named a national holiday in 1954 by President Eisenhower) has its roots in Armistice Day, the anniversary of the armistice signed by the Allies and Germany to end World War I. The signing famously took place at eleven o’clock in the morning, “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice, a solemn remembrance of the war that military historian Gary Sheffield calls “the single event that more than any other can be said to have shaped the world in which we live.” In honor of the World War I armistice centenary this month, we’re spotlighting a selection of Bas Bleu books (and one mug) that tackle the heroism, sacrifice, and brutality of the Great War…and its lasting legacy. Continue reading