From Page to Screen: Daphne Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel

In 2017, a big-screen adaption of Daphne du Maurier’s novel (and Bas Bleu favorite) My Cousin Rachel landed in theaters, with English actress Rachel Weisz making her mark on the role Olivia de Havilland debuted in 1952.  Recently, one of our reviewers volunteered to check out the movie and report back to the rest of the Bas Bleu team. Here’s what she had to say:

I’m not always a fan of seeing movies based on books I’ve enjoyed. While it can be fascinating to see a beloved story reimagined in a different medium, there’s also inevitable disappointment when the filmmaker’s vision doesn’t match my own mental interpretation. But when the 2017 film version of Daphne du Maurier’s 1951 novel My Cousin Rachel came out, I decided to give it shot. Truth be told, by the time I saw the movie it had been a while since I’d read the book, but the irresistibly beguiling character of Rachel and the sense of sinister foreboding that pervaded the novel were memorable, and seemed well-suited for the screen. Continue reading

Marcel’s Letters: Q&A with Carolyn Porter

Carolyn Porter never set out to become a biographer…or a detective! A graphic designer for more than twenty years, she had long entertained the idea of designing her own font. But what she thought would be a small side gig blossomed into a fifteen-year labor of love—and the inspiration for one of our January Book a Month selections, Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate—when she stumbled upon a collection of letters written by a Frenchman imprisoned in a German labor camp during World War II. The adventure that unfolded is by turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, resulting in what our reviewer hailed as a “one-of-a-kind memoir.” Today in the Bluestocking Salon, Carolyn chats with us about the emotional legacy of her transcontinental quest to learn Marcel’s story, what it takes to be a type designer, and the importance of handwritten letters in a digital age.  Continue reading

Winter Reading List 2018

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. We have the perfect solution: new books! Bas Bleu‘s Winter 2018 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, cold months. We’ll even deliver your books to you, so you don’t have to venture out into the snow! Today, we’re sharing a dozen of our favorite picks, perfect for hibernating with this winter.

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Reading Resolutions for 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, we’re feeling reflective about the year that was…and excited about the year to come. If you’re making New Year’s resolutions for 2018, don’t just focus on the usual suspects—exercise every day, learn a new language, be nicer to your sister-in-law. Make a few New Year’s reading resolutions while you’re at it! Because even avid readers need to shake things up every once in a while. To help you get started, Bas Bleu’s editors came up with a list of eighteen “reading resolutions” to try out in 2018. They’re only suggestions, and you already may practice some (or all!) of them. Whatever you’re reading…keep it up! Continue reading

Editors’ Choice 2017

Christmas and a new year are just around the corner, which means book reviewers everywhere are releasing their literary “best of” lists for 2017. We do things a little differently 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. Today in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s editors (that’s us above) are sharing a few of our personal favorites from our 2017 catalogs. These aren’t all of our top picks: We limited one another to two books and one non-book item, for the sake of space!

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Q&A with Our Youngest Book Reviewers

Bas Bleu‘s annual Book a Month packages deliver a year’s worth of wonderful reads to your door; simply choose from Bluestocking (a mix of fiction and nonfiction), Life Stories (biographies, memoirs, and histories), or Mysteries (whodunits, thrillers, and cozies). This year, we introduced a fourth package: Young Readers, for budding bibliophiles ages 9-12. To make sure we were choosing books that kids actually want to read, we recruited two young readers from the extended Bas Bleu family. Caroline (age 13) and Eliza (age 11) both contributed reviews to our Young Readers package. Recently, we sat down with them to get their opinions on books, the joy of reading, and life in general. Continue reading

December Book a Month: A Man Called Ove

As part of Bas Bleu’s 2017 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!)

We know December is a busy month for many, as preparations for and celebrations of the holiday season take a serious toll on your downtime. But we think you’ll appreciate the extra assignment that comes with our December Book a Month selection! After you’ve read Fredrik Backman’s novel A Man Called Ove, watch the Academy Award–nominated Swedish film of the same name. (Yes, it has subtitles, but they’re easy to get used to.) Then, take a look at editor KG’s reflections on the book versus the film. (WARNING: Spoilers ahead!) Continue reading

2017 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! Continue reading

Feeling Thankful

Thanksgiving is less than twenty-four hours away, and whether you’re basting a magnificent bird or tucking in to a convenient take-out meal, this annual celebration of bounty and blessings is always a good opportunity to stop and take stock of all we have to be grateful for.

2017 has been a difficult year in so many respects: Anxiety and fear fueled by global unrest and national political and social upheaval have been exacerbated by devastating hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. Faced with such challenges, it’s natural to wonder what difference we can make as individuals…or, in Bas Bleu’s case, as booksellers. Continue reading

Jólabókaflóð: Your New Favorite Christmas Tradition

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