After ten years in our current office, our editorial staff is preparing to move into new, larger digs next month. (We’re bursting at the seams!) In the midst of packing up paper clips, catalog archives, and so many books, we were delighted to rediscover boxes full of archived customer correspondence from Bas Bleu’s earlier days. In the 1990s and early 2000s, before e-mail was as widespread as it is today, many of our customers directed their inquiries, book recommendations, and, occasionally, criticisms to us via snail mail.
We’ve published the Bas Bleu catalog for twenty-three years, but we can’t always predict which books will resonate with our readers. (You never fail to surprise us, and we love that about you!) When Hissing Cousins: The Lifelong Rivalry of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth landed on our shelves, we thought it offered a unique perspective on two influential women…which is right up our alley. Yet we were caught off-guard (delightfully so) when Hissing Cousins became a surprise bestseller in our Winter 2017 edition! This week, we’re going behind the scenes of this “compelling and entertaining saga,” reaching out to authors Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer to learn more about why and how they created this fresh take on the complex relationship between the Roosevelt cousins. Continue reading
It’s almost December, which means it’s time for book reviewers near and far to release their literary “best of” lists, heralding what they think were the best/most important books published in 2016. We don’t do that at Bas Bleu: For starters, we don’t carry books in our catalog unless we think our readers will love them, value them, and enjoy sharing them with others. Plus, many of our books aren’t recently published titles; we love digging up old favorites or spying those literary gems that fly under the radar.
But though we love all of our books, some do resonate more strongly than others with individuals on our staff. So today in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s editors (that’s us above) are sharing a few of our personal favorites from our 2016 catalogs. Continue reading
Books are our first loves at Bas Bleu, but you’ve probably noticed we’ve got a soft spot for cute bookish gifts too. To source them, we visit trade shows, comb the internet, talk to our merchandise vendors, even keep our eyes peeled for great finds while on vacation. And from time to time, when we don’t find exactly what we’re looking for, we say, “We’ll make it ourselves!” Continue reading
In April, Bas Bleu editor AG’s beloved mother, Karen Kimball—invaluable grandmother to her kids and Bas Bleu “mom-tern” extraordinaire!—embarked on a life-changing journey to Malawi, Africa, where she would stay for six months in order to start up an educational program providing literacy training to teachers. Since Bas Bleu’s readers are ardent devotees of the written word and such great ambassadors for the importance of literacy, we thought you might be interested in Karen’s extraordinary adventure, so we reached out for an interview.
Last week Bas Bleu reached 6,000 followers on Facebook! That may not seem like a big deal when you see how many companies boast hundreds of thousands of followers, but for our little catalog family—whose social-media presence is managed by a small team of editors, not some fancy marketing department—it’s a pretty exciting milestone.
In honor of this red-letter day, and in recognition of the fact that readers have a lot of options for buying books these days, we’ve compiled a list of six reasons why we think Bas Bleu is worthy of your consideration.
Bas Bleu’s readers and friends regularly ask our editors: Which items from the catalog are your favorites? The question is posed often enough that we thought it was high time to stop saying, “We love them all!” (because we really do) and start making some hard choices. In all honesty, each editor has multiple favorites from every catalog we mail, but for the sake of brevity we limited ourselves to one book and one non-book item each.
First up: Our picks from Bas Bleu’s Winter 2016 edition! Continue reading
As part of Bas Bleu’s 2016 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus material about our Bluestocking BAM selection 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’ve been fans of author Amy Stewart for years; when Bas Bleu featured her book The Drunken Botanist, she even created a cocktail just for us—the delicious Bluestocking’s Crush. So of course we snatched up her debut novel, Girl Waits With Gun, as soon as it hit our shelves. A fictional take on the true story of America’s first female deputy sheriff, this novel has it all: nuanced characters, family secrets, mystery, gangsters, humor, danger…and, yes, one amazing girl with a gun. Recently, Amy took a break from her busy national book tour to talk about her heroine Constance Kopp, separating fact from fiction, and even her take on the 1910s cocktail the Automobile. Continue reading
We’re big fans of New Year’s cards here at Bas Bleu. We use them for thank-you notes, to send holiday greetings to those friends we accidentally left off our lists, even in lieu of Christmas cards when December is just too crazy. Plus, we’re suckers for snail mail and pretty stationery!
Earlier this year, when our editors decided to expand our New Year’s card offerings, our research turned up two terrific quotations we thought would be perfect. Continue reading
It’s December, which means it’s time for book reviewers near and far to release their literary “best of” lists, heralding what they think were the best/most important books published in 2015. We don’t do that at Bas Bleu: For starters, we don’t carry books in our catalog unless we think our readers will love them, value them, and enjoy sharing them with others. Plus, many of our books aren’t recently published titles; we love digging up old favorites or spying those literary gems that fly under the radar.
But though we love all of our books, some do resonate more strongly than others with individuals on our staff. So today in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s editors (that’s us above, decked out in our best winter pajamas for a recent photo shoot) are sharing a few of our personal favorites—two books, plus one non-book item—from our 2015 catalogs. Continue reading