May Book a Month : The Improbability of Love Q&A with Hannah Rothschild

As part of Bas Bleu’s 2017 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!)

Our May Book a Month selection, The Improbability of Love, is a high-energy romp through London’s art world, a multi-character saga—one of the novel’s narrators is a centuries-old painting with a very high opinion of itself—that is by turns romantic, heartbreaking, and laugh-out-loud funny. Recently, we chatted with novelist Hannah Rothschild about her inspiration, the cultural value of art, and more. Continue reading

The Detective’s Daughter: Q&A with Lesley Thomson

In Bas Bleu’s Autumn 2016 edition, we featured Lesley Thomson’s mystery The Detective’s Daughter, which our reviewer hailed as “one of those page-turning, satisfying mysteries that may have you canceling plans in favor of staying in to read.” Our readers snapped it up, so we added the other three installments in the series to our line-up…and you loved those too! Recently, we reached out to the British novelist to find out more about what housekeepers and detectives have in common, how photography aids her writing, and her love of the subway. Continue reading

Hissing Cousins: Q&A with Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer

Peys_9781101971628_cvr_all_r1.inddWe’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

February Book a Month: Lilac Girls Q&A with Martha Hall Kelly

lilac-girlsAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2017 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!)

More than seventy years have passed since World War II ended, yet stories of heroism and horror during that global conflict continue to emerge. Novelist Martha Hall Kelly tapped a real-life, little-known story of one American’s wartime efforts in order to write Lilac Girls, our “riveting, sometimes brutal” February 2017 Book a Month selection. The novel traces the experiences of three women—American socialite Caroline Ferriday, Polish teenager Kasia Kuzmerick, and concentration-camp doctor Herta Oberheuser—during and after the war. Recently the author took a break from her busy writing schedule to answer several (we had so many!) questions about this remarkable story. Continue reading

A Bluestocking in Malawi

Teachers 1In 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.

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Girl Waits With Gun: Q&A With Amy Stewart

Girl Waits With GunAs 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

Artist Profile: Julie Franklin

Twain New Year's CardsWe’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

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

Author Q&A: Mary Miley

PHOTO CREDIT: Michaele White

Since we cracked the first chapter of Mary Miley’s debut novel, The Impersonator, we’ve been smitten with whip-smart vaudeville star Leah Randall. A pragmatic daredevil who doesn’t suffer fools easily, Leah’s crime-fighting adventures in 1920s America make for awfully fun reading. Recently, Bas Bleu chatted with novelist Mary Miley about her fascination with impersonators and mistaken identities, her research process, and the books that inspire her.  Continue reading

March 2015 Book a Month: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

Liar Temptress Soldier SpyAs 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!)

William Faulkner once wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” In this month’s Book a Month selection—Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War—author Karen Abbott guides readers through a pivotal period of American history, chronicling the lives of four inimitable women whose extraordinary choices helped to shape our nation’s bloodiest conflict. This week, Karen stopped by Bas Bleu’s Bluestocking Salon to talk about her proclivity for writing about rule-breaking women, paying homage to “soldiers” who fought in the shadows, and even to offer us a few book suggestions. Continue reading