Banned Books Week 2015

BannedBooksWeek2015From September 27 to October 3, the American Library Association is observing its annual Banned Books Week. You may have noticed it’s an event Bas Bleu mentions every year, because we’re firm believers in celebrating the freedom to read, as well as the role of libraries as access points to knowledge for, well, everyone! But while the ALA certainly does yeoman’s work tracking censorship attempts in America, Banned Books Week isn’t just about protecting access to the books themselves; it’s a great opportunity to think about why we reject certain books in the first place. Continue reading

Q&A: Sissipahaw Leather Company

Leather librarian toteOne of the perks of working at Bas Bleu is that we get to meet and work with writers and artists whose passion shines through in the wonderful products they create. In our Autumn 2015 catalog, we debuted the Leather Librarian Tote, a luxurious bag created by Julia Sumner at Sissipahaw Leather Company in Taos, New Mexico. It’s a small business in the truest sense of the term: Sissipahaw’s leather goods are produced entirely by hand by Julia and her intern in her small home studio, lovingly crafted for a lifetime of durability and beauty. Continue reading

Because Every Day Should Be International Literacy Day

IntlLiteracyDay2015Yep, we missed it.

Tuesday, September 8, was International Literacy Day, but we’ve been so hard at work on Bas Bleu’s upcoming Holiday catalog that the occasion just whizzed right by. We felt guilty at first, but then we thought about it: Why should there only be one day “officially” devoted to advancing the cause of literacy around the world? That’s a cause worth fighting for 365 days a year! Continue reading

September 2015 Book a Month: Crossing the Borders of Time

Crossing the Border of TimeAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2015 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus materials 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!)

It’s probably safe to say that few, if any, of us know what it’s like to be forced to abandon the people and homeland we love to save our own lives. Yet during World War II, countless people did just that, many of them Jews persecuted during the Nazis’ Third Reich. In this month’s Book a Month selection, Crossing the Borders of Time, an American journalist delves deep into her family’s past to investigate her Jewish mother’s wartime experiences, particularly her star-crossed relationship with a young Catholic man. (You may also enjoy this 2012 interview with Maitland from PBS’s News Hour, but beware spoilers!) Continue reading