New Year, New Look, New Books!

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The clock is ticking down to midnight, the fireworks are primed, and the champagne is chilled and ready to pour. On this last day of 2014, we’re counting our blessings for Bas Bleu’s banner year—all thanks to you, our amazing customers!—and eagerly anticipating the new year of reading to come.

In the interest of making a fresh start this January, we’ve “redecorated” the Bluestocking Salon. Perhaps you noticed? We think the new design makes our blog easier to read and easier to navigate. (The big, pretty pictures are just a bonus.) We hope you’ll enjoy the new format…and bear with us as we experiment with it in the coming months. For those of you who received—or gifted to yourself—our 2015 Book a Month collection, drop by the Bluestocking Salon again next Wednesday for a closer look at our first selection, January’s The Monogram Murders. Consider it an amuse-bouche for what’s already shaping up to be a wonderful year!

Now to get down to the really important stuff: Continue reading

Christmas Reading List

Charles_Dickens-A_Christmas_Carol-Title_page-First_edition_1843Christmas is just seven days away! If you’re decorated, shopped, and all ready for Santa—heck, even if you’re not—Bas Bleu’s advice to you is simple: Cue up a little Bing Crosby, pour yourself a cup of cheer, and kick back with a good book. Today we’ve compiled a short list of holiday reading that (we hope!) will help you shake off the anxiety of mall traffic and invading in-laws so that you can enjoy the spirit of season. Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Christmas Cookies!

VeryMerryCookiePartyFrom time to time, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff “samples” recipes from cookbooks and other culinary guides found in our catalog. Our efforts are amateur at best: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the tendency to scatter flour everywhere. But we know delicious when we taste it, and if you try your hand at these recipes we think you’ll agree!

The holiday season is in full swing, and to celebrate, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff gathered on a chilly December afternoon to bake Christmas cookies. Continue reading

December Book a Month: Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie

ChristmasPuddingAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2014 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions about the 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!)

In a 2011 edition of the Guardian, journalist Rachel Cooke wrote, “I am not going to lie. There are times—they grow more frequent as I get older—when I find that I would much rather read minor Mitford than major Other People. Times like right now, for instance, when the days are too short, and good jokes—or any jokes at all—are in such pitifully short supply.”  Continue reading