On Jane

Jane_Austen,_from_A_Memoir_of_Jane_Austen_(1870)

Portrait of Jane Austen, based on a sketch by her sister Cassandra, from A Memoir of Jane Austen by her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh.

Jane Austen, the author of six of the wittiest, most enduring, socially astute novels of Western literature, was a quintessential bluestocking. It’s no wonder that Bas Bleu and its literary customers are among her biggest fans. And we’re not alone in our admiration. Jane Austen’s novels are among the most widely read and adapted books in print today, inspiring films, television shows, stage plays, book adaptations, even erotica. 2013 has been a particularly banner year for the author and her legion of fans, thanks to bicentennial celebrations of Pride and Prejudice’s publication. Continue reading

Q&A: Felony & Mayhem

As founder of the publishing house Felony & Mayhem, “the best in intelligent mystery fiction,” Maggie Topkis knows a thing or two about great mystery novels. Her expertise and good taste have made her one of Bas Bleu’s favorite publishers—and F&M’s books some of your favorite reads. This week, Maggie took time out of her busy schedule to sit down and answer a few questions about rescuing out-of-print classics, bucking publishing trends, and fiction’s nagging habit of creating crime-solvers who are “no fun at parties.” Continue reading

New Life for Old Books

Readers have an instinctive aversion to anything that threatens our books, their stories, and the haven they create. So it should go without saying that we view book burning as sacrilege, have been known to dig through a stranger’s trash to retrieve a discarded novel, and generally take exception to anything that contributes to the destruction of our Beloved Ones.

We are willing, however, to suspend our righteous indignation when we come across someone who rescues old books and puts them to new and creative uses. Today in the Bluestocking Salon, we thought we’d share with you three of our favorite examples of literary “reincarnation.” Continue reading