The Red Notebook: Discussion Questions

Red NotebookAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2016 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus material about our Bluestocking BAM selection 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!)

Our December Book a Month selection (and the final title in our 2016 series) is The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain, a sweet romantic comedy rolled up in a mystery, with a protagonist who would be creepy if he wasn’t so self-aware, and a wonderfully fun cast of supporting characters. Yes, this novel is brief, straightforward, and (some might say) predictable, but that doesn’t take away from the humor and simple pleasure the story brings. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a love story set in Paris! Continue reading

Editors’ Choice 2016

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It’s almost December, which means it’s time for book reviewers near and far to release their literary “best of” lists, heralding what they think were the best/most important books published in 2016. We don’t do that at Bas Bleu: 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 individuals on our staff. So today in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s editors (that’s us above) are sharing a few of our personal favorites from our 2016 catalogs. Continue reading

With Thanksgiving

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It’s that time of year again, bluestockings! No, we’re not talking about turkey or football or friendly family squabbles over the last slice of pie. (Though those are excellent traditions too.) We’re talking about taking a moment—before the merry mayhem of the Christmas season overtakes us—to sit back and count our blessings.

We thoroughly enjoy our work here at Bas Bleu, but ours is not an easy business. Bookselling has always been more a labor of love than an opportunity for enormous profit, especially as algorithm-driven deep discounters have grown to dominate the industry. That’s why every single day of the year (and twice on Thanksgiving!) we count our lucky stars to have customers like you.

For more than twenty years, you’ve supported our “bookseller by post”—even when you had bigger, cheaper options—because you share our love for interesting, out-of-the-ordinary, occasionally odd little books and gifts. We’re thankful for every purchase, no matter the size, as well as every book recommendation, Reader Review, and handwritten note you send our way. We’re even thankful for your critiques, because they help us improve our products and our service to you.

George Colman wrote, “Praise the bridge that carried you over.” Dear bluestockings, you are the bridge that carries us over. We know 365 days a year just how fortunate we are to have the customers we do, but Thanksgiving seemed like the right time to tell you: Thank you. You’ll never know just how much you—your patronage, your trust, your good humor, and your devotion to good books—mean to all of us at Bas Bleu.

So from our family to yours: Happy Thanksgiving, and happy reading!

 

Read, White, and Bleu: Vote Today!

vote buttonElection Day is here, bluestockings!

In January, we announced Bas Bleu would host our own 2016 presidential election, with your favorite literary characters as the candidates. You sent in your nominations, then helped us narrow down the nominees to six teams. Since then, we have presented our readers with the candidates’ biographies, platform issues, and schedules of campaign events. Continue reading

O My America!: Q&A with Sara Wheeler

O My AmericaAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2016 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus material about our Bluestocking BAM selection 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!)

In our November Book a Month selection, the exuberant historical narrative O My America!, Sara Wheeler introduces six British women of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who bucked convention and created impressive “second acts” for themselves by packing up and moving to America in their later lives. Our reviewer CH, nearing fifty years old and a “second act” of her own, drew great inspiration from the intrepid trailblazers and their unique experiences in a young and fascinating America. In an exclusive interview with Bas Bleu, author Sara Wheeler offers insights into her spirited multi-biography, discusses modern women she admires, and more. Continue reading

Read, White, and Bleu: Harry Potter and Hermione Granger

In January, we announced Bas Bleu would be hosting our own 2016 presidential election, with your favorite literary characters as the candidates. We’ve narrowed your nominees down to six teams, and in the months leading up to Election Day in November, we’ll be presenting you with the candidates’ biographies, platform issues, and a schedule of campaign events.

potter-granger500 Continue reading

Our 2017 Book a Month Packages Are Here!

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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

In Search of the Perfect Man: Jane Austen’s Heroes

Those of us with an affinity for Jane Austen’s novels—the sly wit, the razor-sharp social commentary, the forgiving empire-waist dresses—also have a soft spot for Austen’s leading men. But while these half-dozen gentlemen all share a strong sense of honor and an affinity for bright, independent-minded women, they aren’t interchangeable. So which Austen hero is right for you? Continue reading