A Brief History of the Advent Calendar

KillingerhausNext Sunday, November 29, marks the beginning of Advent, the four-week period in the Christian calendar leading up to Christmas. Derived from “adventus,” the Latin word for “arrival,” Advent began approximately sixteen hundred years ago as time for Christians to prepare, often by fasting, to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Today many people around the world count down the days to Christmas via specially made Advent calendars. Continue reading

Veterans Day Reading List

veterans-day flagEvery year on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we commemorate the 1918 armistice with Germany that marked the end of World War I. Ninety-seven years later, Veterans Day in the United States is an occasion to celebrate the dedicated service of U.S. military veterans from all conflicts. In honor of the day, Bas Bleu has compiled a list of eleven celebrated works of fiction that capture the experience of war from the perspective of the men (and in one instance, a woman) on the front lines. And to all of our veterans out there: We thank you. Continue reading

November 2015 Book a Month: Land of a Thousand Hills

Land of a Thousand HillsAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2015 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus material 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!)

We first encountered this month’s selection, Land of a Thousand Hills, in 2014, when co-author Ann Howard Halsey’s sister-in-law sent us a review copy. Our catalog manager needed only a few pages to become hooked by the incredible true story of Rosamond Halsey Carr, a fashion illustrator who moved to Africa in 1949 as a newlywed. Ultimately, Rosamond’s love for Rwanda would outlast her marriage, and she lived in Africa until her death in 2006. She was able to share her inspiring life with readers, thanks to the dedication of her niece Ann. Recently we chatted with Ann about her extraordinary relative and the living legacy of Roz’s humanitarian work in Rwanda. Continue reading