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

By Popular Demand

Long-time Bas Bleu readers know that each edition of our catalog—we publish Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Holiday editions every year—includes a mix of items that are new (to Bas Bleu) and items that are what we call “carryovers,” books and gifts that “debuted” in earlier editions of the catalog. For the last several years, customers have asked us to designate the new items in each edition, to help you zero in on fresh books and gifts…and to remind you which items you already ordered for, say, your book-loving best friend’s birthday or your mother-in-law’s Christmas stocking. Continue reading

Amplifying Female Voices

October 11 is the International Day of the Girl Child, an event created by the United Nations in 2012 to “highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.” This occasion, combined with recent events in the United States, has us thinking about female voices and how they are reflected and recorded in our culture. In our case, that means thinking about books. Continue reading

Our 2017 Book a Month Packages Are Here!

bluestocking-book-a-month-2017

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

Why Bas Bleu?

6 Reasons to Shop at Bas Bleu

Last week Bas Bleu reached 6,000 followers on Facebook! That may not seem like a big deal when you see how many companies boast hundreds of thousands of followers, but for our little catalog family—whose social-media presence is managed by a small team of editors, not some fancy digital-marketing agency—it’s a pretty exciting milestone.

In honor of this red-letter day, and in recognition of the fact that readers have a lot of options for buying books these days, we’ve compiled a list of six reasons why we think Bas Bleu is worthy of your consideration.

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Small Acts of Christmas Kindness

The 13th Gift

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.

Original post:
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.

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Bas Bleu’s Book a Month 2016…Times Three!

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

Because Every Day Should Be International Literacy Day

IntlLiteracyDay2015Yep, we missed it.

Tuesday, September 8, was International Literacy Day, but we’ve been so hard at work on Bas Bleu’s upcoming Holiday catalog that the occasion just whizzed right by. We felt guilty at first, but then we thought about it: Why should there only be one day “officially” devoted to advancing the cause of literacy around the world? That’s a cause worth fighting for 365 days a year! Continue reading

April 2015 Book a Month: And Only to Deceive

And Only to DeceiveAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2015 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus materials to enrich your reading experience—for book clubs as well as thoughtful individuals. (We’ll do our best to avoid plot spoilers, but you should proceed with caution!)

Emily, the heroine of April’s Book a Month selection, And Only to Deceive, is a girl after our own hearts: She uses the Victorian period of obligatory mourning for her dead husband (she hardly knew him!) as the perfect excuse to stay home and read. But waiting until after your husband is dead to really get to know him is tricky stuff, as Emily soon finds out when surprising truths about Philip, the late Viscount Ashton, begin coming to light in this mystery. Continue reading