The Detective’s Daughter: Q&A with Lesley Thomson

In Bas Bleu’s Autumn 2016 edition, we featured Lesley Thomson’s mystery The Detective’s Daughter, which our reviewer hailed as “one of those page-turning, satisfying mysteries that may have you canceling plans in favor of staying in to read.” Our readers snapped it up, so we added the other three installments in the series to our line-up…and you loved those too! Recently, we reached out to the British novelist to find out more about what housekeepers and detectives have in common, how photography aids her writing, and her love of the subway. Continue reading

Tournament of Classics 2017: Elite 8

Wow! After five days of fierce literary debate (nearly 1,000 votes from avid readers), eight competitors still stand in this year’s Tournament of Classics. All are giants of the book world and beloved role models for many a bluestocking…but only one will be crowned champion of Bas Bleu’s literature-themed March MadnessTM. You know the drill: Vote in the polls below to determine who will advance to the Final Four! Continue reading

Tournament of Classics 2017

For those readers new to the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s Tournament of Classics is our annual tribute to college basketball’s March Madness™, in which we pit literary classics against one another in a “big dance” to victory. In years past, your favorite classic novels, children’s stories, mysteries/thrillers, and literary villains jockeyed for the grand prize. This year, the tournament belongs to the women, as sixteen beloved and unforgettable literary heroines face off. (Click on bracket to enlarge.)

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Spring Reading List 2017

Spring sprang early in our neck of the woods, and we’re celebrating the best way we know how: with a fresh crop of new books! We think they’re perfectly suited to enjoying outside, surrounded by cheerful daffodils, emerald-green grass, and singing birds. If you’re among Bas Bleu’s readers struggling to dig out from beneath a foot of fresh snow, we hope the books and gifts in our Spring edition (due in mailboxes today) will lift your spirits and tide you over until the new season finally blooms. Continue reading

Women in (Literary) History

Throughout time, women have overcome countless barriers to rise up and make their mark on humanity. March is Women’s History Month, and today is International Women’s Day, and Bas Bleu could think of no better way to celebrate than by recognizing ten of the myriad of women whose writings have impacted the world. Some names are probably familiar, while others may be new to you, but all of these women wrote works that influenced the course of history—literary or otherwise. Continue reading

March Book a Month: Laura

lauraAs 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!)

Our March Bluestocking Book a Month selection comes with an extra assignment: After you’ve read Vera Caspary’s 1942 novel Laura, watch (or re-watch!) Otto Preminger’s Academy Award–winning 1944 movie adaptation of the same name. Then, take a look at editor AG’s reflections on the book versus the film! (WARNING: Spoilers ahead!) Continue reading

Letters of Note

One of our very first customers sent us this homemade flag during Bas Bleu's first year of business, "as a reminder of your cheering section, and to keep the flag of literacy flying."

One of our very first customers sent us this homemade flag during Bas Bleu’s first year of business, “as a reminder of your cheering section, and to keep the flag of literacy flying.”

After ten years in our current office, our editorial staff is preparing to move into new, larger digs next month. (We’re bursting at the seams!) In the midst of packing up paper clips, catalog archives, and so many books, we were delighted to rediscover boxes full of archived customer correspondence from Bas Bleu’s earlier days. In the 1990s and early 2000s, before e-mail was as widespread as it is today, many of our customers directed their inquiries, book recommendations, and, occasionally, criticisms to us via snail mail.

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Hissing Cousins: Q&A with Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer

Peys_9781101971628_cvr_all_r1.inddWe’ve published the Bas Bleu catalog for twenty-three years, but we can’t always predict which books will resonate with our readers. (You never fail to surprise us, and we love that about you!) When Hissing Cousins: The Lifelong Rivalry of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth landed on our shelves, we thought it offered a unique perspective on two influential women…which is right up our alley. Yet we were caught off-guard (delightfully so) when Hissing Cousins became a surprise bestseller in our Winter 2017 edition! This week, we’re going behind the scenes of this “compelling and entertaining saga,” reaching out to authors Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer to learn more about why and how they created this fresh take on the complex relationship between the Roosevelt cousins. Continue reading

Literary Leading Men

wooden-hearts

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which is all the urging we need to indulge in a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, and a stack of our favorite literary romances. In the past Bas Bleu‘s editors shared some of our favorite literary couples, unforgettable romantic words from literature, and lessons in love we’ve learned from books. This year, we’re sighing over ten golden-hearted romantic heroes from classic novels. Continue reading

February Book a Month: Lilac Girls Q&A with Martha Hall Kelly

lilac-girlsAs 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!)

More than seventy years have passed since World War II ended, yet stories of heroism and horror during that global conflict continue to emerge. Novelist Martha Hall Kelly tapped a real-life, little-known story of one American’s wartime efforts in order to write Lilac Girls, our “riveting, sometimes brutal” February 2017 Book a Month selection. The novel traces the experiences of three women—American socialite Caroline Ferriday, Polish teenager Kasia Kuzmerick, and concentration-camp doctor Herta Oberheuser—during and after the war. Recently the author took a break from her busy writing schedule to answer several (we had so many!) questions about this remarkable story. Continue reading