Which Literary Destination Should You Visit?

Vacation season is here! And while European tours and coastal getaways are nice if you can swing them, avid readers don’t need to budge beyond the comfort of our reading chairs to embark upon extraordinary adventures. Inspired by a recent Bas Bleu Facebook poll (“What fictional place from literature would you like to visit on your summer vacation?”) and PBS’s fun “travel posters based on famous novels,” we crafted this handy quiz to help you decide which literary destination YOU should travel to this summer. (Results not based on science; with a book, you can travel anywhere!) Continue reading

Summer Reading List 2018

Henry James wrote, “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” We’d have to agree…especially when we get to spend that summer afternoon reading! Bas Bleu’s Summer 2018 edition lands in mailboxes today, and we’ve made it our mission to fill your summer afternoons with delightful literary treats. You’ll find light and cheerful page-turners, enchanting historical fiction, heart-racing thrillers…and those are just the novels! (Be sure to check out our special fiction-only Beach Reading Bundle online; buy all twelve and save 20%!) Continue reading

Summer Reading Challenge

As bookish kids, Bas Bleu’s editors tackled summer reading with gusto! We were big fans of our public libraries’ summer reading programs, accruing points and vying for prizes as we devoured story after story. Rainy days stuck indoors were often spent working our way through the stacks we carted home from our weekly library trips. We spent hours perched in shady trees or hammocks, immersing ourselves in books. Continue reading

Summer Reading List 2017

“Sailboat Reader” ©2017 Adam Severin

Summer is here! And with it come hot days, balmy nights, and every excuse we can think of to kick back in the shade with a good book. If you’ve been debating about which books to pack for your beach trip, lake trip, airplane trip, or just the trip to the your back deck, Bas Bleu has you covered. Our new Summer edition (in mailboxes today!) is a first-class ticket to explore the world via books. Continue reading

The Dangers of Summer Reading

Caution banner

If you think summer reading is an innocent pastime—spending long, lazy days getting lost in a book—think again. Summer reading is dangerous stuff, folks. Sure, the ability to focus intently on a clutch of printed paper and immerse yourself in unseen worlds populated by unseen people may seem harmless—especially in a year as fraught with violence and upheaval as this one—but it’s not a lifestyle to be undertaken lightly. There is a price to pay…albeit one with immeasurable dividends: intellectual development, increased empathy, broadened horizons, entertainment, and much, much more!

That said, Bas Bleu’s editors would be remiss if we didn’t alert you to some of the dangers of summer reading. Forewarned is forearmed, after all! We’ve limited our cautionary list to fifteen warnings, in honor of those fifteen precious weekends between (and including) Memorial Day and Labor Day.

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Summer Reading List 2016

Read books here

Memorial Day weekend may be widely regarded as the kickoff to summer, but we’ve been dreaming of those hot, lazy days for months now. Dreams of reading on the beach, reading by the pool, reading on the boat, reading in the hammock…the possibilities are endless! Fortunately, all you have to do is pick your reading spot and pour a cold drink. Bas Bleu has your reading list covered with our Summer 2016 issue, which is moseying its way to your mailbox right now.

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Summer Reading List 2015

beach babe mosaic

School’s out, the pool is open, and the iced tea is nice and frosty. What more do you need to enjoy the long, hot, lazy days of summer? A fresh stack of terrific new books! This year, whether you’re hitting the road on vacation or sticking close to home, you’ll find plenty of great new reads and fun gifts to choose from in Bas Bleu’s Summer 2015 issue. Even better, we’re offering some seriously cool sales—because it’s too hot to pay full price! Continue reading

Book a Month: The Summer House

SummerHouseAs part of our 2014 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions about the featured work—for book clubs as well as thoughtful individuals. You may use the questions to reflect back on each book once you’ve finished it or to guide you as you read. Either way, we hope these features will enrich your reading experience. (We’ll do our best to avoid plot spoilers, but you should proceed with caution!)

As the temperatures start to rise around the country, we thought The Summer House would be an appropriate choice for our July Book a Month selection. An elegant and darkly comic British novel, The Summer House drew in reviewer AG from the beginning. Part of the novel’s appeal is its unusual format: It takes the form of a trilogy of novellas, each one presenting a distinct point of view on the build up to what seems to be a doomed wedding.  Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Fresh Goat Cheese and Basil Clafoutis

Food Lovers Guide to Paris

Gianluca Tamorri/Food Lover’s Guide to Paris

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!

If you’ve ever dreamed of eating your way across Paris, we’ve got your map right here. The New Food Lover’s Guide to Paris gives travelers a local’s knowledge of more than 450 restaurants, cafés, markets, and specialty food shops hidden throughout the City of Light. It’s a treasure trove of culinary information, made all the richer by the fact that author and veteran food critic Patricia Wells sprinkled fifty mouthwatering recipes throughout the guide. On our menu this week: this delectable clafoutis (pronounced “kla-foo-TEE”). A traditional clafoutis is a baked cherry tart, but Wells’s savory version is made with goat cheese and fresh summer basil instead.  Continue reading