The Books We Never Outgrow

BubbaandBabbaWhen my sister was a baby, she received a gift destined to become a treasured family keepsake: a hardcover first edition of Bubba and Babba, Maria Polushkin’s adaptation of a Russian folktale about two lazy bears whose idleness threatens to get the better of them. My parents read us that story so many times my sister memorized it, convincing several family friends she could read at a ridiculously tender age. (She ruined the con at a dinner party when an eagle-eyed guest noticed she turned the page too early.) To this day, that beloved—and, sadly, out-of-print—book serves as a sort of family shorthand, cheekily referenced whenever one of us oversleeps or balks at doing the dishes. Continue reading

Princesses Behaving Badly

Princesses Behaving BadlyIn Bas Bleu’s Spring 2014 catalog, we debuted Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—Without the Fairy-Tale Endings, an engaging collection of mini-biographies of some of history’s most intriguing royal women. This week we sat down with author Linda Rodriguez McRobbie to discuss the challenges of separating truth from fiction, America’s fascination with the British, and why being a princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Continue reading

Love Between the Covers

LoveIntheTimeofCholeraWhen it comes to literary lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, and Rhett and Scarlett get a lot of (well-deserved) press. In honor of Valentine’s Day—which is Friday, in case someone still needs to make a dinner reservation—we’re paying tribute to ten other memorable romances from classic and contemporary fiction. Not every couple on this list gets a happy ending, but sometimes love hurts, right? Continue reading

February Book a Month: Glimpses of the Moon

GlimpsesoftheMoonAs part of our 2014 Book a Month program, we’re offering discussion questions about each month’s 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!)

Saving the best for last? Edmund Crispin wrote our February selection, Glimpses of the Moon, a jaw-dropping twenty-six years after The Long Divorce, which until that point had capped his series starring the delightfully smug, compulsively quipping, crime-obsessed Professor Gervase Fen. Continue reading