At Bas Bleu, we think books make the best gifts, be they for birthdays, graduations, Christmas, or just because. So when we first learned about Jólabókaflóð, Iceland’s annual Christmas “book flood,” we were delighted…and envious! A nationwide tradition of giving books as gifts to family and friends on December 24? After which everyone spends Christmas Eve sitting around reading? Is it too late to book our flights to Reykjavik?
Jólabókaflóð has its roots in World War II, when wartime restrictions on imported goods severely limited Icelanders’ gift options for the Christmas season. Continue reading
Our Holiday 2017 catalog is arriving in mailboxes any minute now, and among the amazing gifts packed into its pages you’ll find our Book a Month packages for the coming year! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bas Bleu’s Book a Month program, the premise is simple: Treat your favorite bibliophile (who may be you!) to an entire year’s worth of terrific books, shipped either all at once or on a monthly basis throughout 2018. Continue reading
Our Holiday 2016 catalog is arriving in mailboxes any minute now, and among the amazing gifts packed into its pages you’ll find our Book a Month packages for the coming year! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bas Bleu’s Book a Month program, the premise is simple: Treat your favorite bibliophile (who may be you!) to an entire year’s worth of terrific books, shipped either all at once or on a monthly basis throughout 2017. Continue reading
Updated December 2018:
This blog post originally was written in conjunction with a title from our Book a Month 2015 package. The Thirteenth Gift is no longer available in our catalog, but we think the holiday message it shares—and the acts of kindness it inspired—are worth revisiting even without the book in hand.
As our regular readers know, each month we offer discussion questions or author interviews about Bas Bleu’s Book a Month titles, to enrich the reading experience for individuals or book clubs. But for our December 2015 Book a Month feature, we’ve opted to do something a little different, inspired by the spirit of goodwill and friendship at the heart of this month’s selection, The Thirteenth Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle.
In the autumn of 1999, journalist Joanne Huist Smith’s husband, Rick, died suddenly, leaving his wife and three children grief-stricken and utterly devoid of Christmas spirit. Joanne remembers:
I absolutely understood Scrooge now. I want to go to bed tonight and wake up on December 26. No shopping. No baking. No tree with lights. I’m not in a mood to make memories. The ones I have just hurt; I can’t imagine new ones will feel any better.
Next Sunday, November 29, marks the beginning of Advent, the four-week period in the Christian calendar leading up to Christmas. Derived from “adventus,” the Latin word for “arrival,” Advent began approximately sixteen hundred years ago as time for Christians to prepare, often by fasting, to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Today many people around the world count down the days to Christmas via specially made Advent calendars. Continue reading
Our Holiday 2015 catalog is due to land on your doorstep any day now (if it hasn’t already), and among the amazing gifts packed into its pages you’ll find not one, but three Book a Month packages for the coming year! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bas Bleu’s Book a Month program, the premise is simple: Treat your favorite bibliophile (who may be you!) to an entire year’s worth of terrific books, choosing between six- or twelve-month packages that we ship either all at once or on a monthly basis throughout 2016. Continue reading
Christmas is coming! If you’re decorated, shopped, and all ready for Santa—heck, even if you’re not—Bas Bleu’s advice to you is simple: Cue up a little Bing Crosby, pour yourself a cup of cheer, and kick back with a good book. Today we’ve compiled a short list of holiday reading that (we hope!) will help you shake off the anxiety of mall traffic and invading in-laws so that you can enjoy the spirit of season. Continue reading
From time to time, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff “samples” recipes from cookbooks and other culinary guides found in our catalog. Our efforts are amateur at best: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the tendency to scatter flour everywhere. But we know delicious when we taste it, and if you try your hand at these recipes we think you’ll agree!
The holiday season is in full swing, and to celebrate, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff gathered on a chilly December afternoon to bake Christmas cookies. Continue reading
Thanksgiving is just two weeks away—better start basting that turkey!—and Christmas is hot on its heels. Because you’ve probably already made your gift list and checked it twice (if not, we can help with that), now is the time to turn your attention to what really matters: holiday decorating! Here in Bas Bleu’s Bluestocking Salon, we believe books make everything better. Why not your holiday décor? In keeping with the spirit of life as bibliophiles, we’ve rustled up several festive craft projects that are sure to add a literary flair to your seasonal celebrations! Continue reading
In last year’s Holiday catalog, Bas Bleu launched our inaugural Book a Month program, which allowed you to treat your favorite bibliophile—or yourself, because you deserve it!—to an eclectic collection of books for bluestockings. At the time, the program was something of an experiment, but our readers loved it so much we’ve brought it back this year! For 2015, we’ve carefully chosen another top-notch mix of fiction and nonfiction, sure to please all kinds of bookworms. Continue reading