November Book a Month: The Golden Age

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 November Book a Month selection, The Golden Age by Joan London (NOT Joan Lunden!), tackles a topic Americans don’t hear much about anymore: polio. Cheerful, right? Now, now, hear us out! Yes, The Golden Age revolves around Frank Gold, a young wartime refugee from Hungary who contracts polio in Australia. And, yes, the novel offers readers insight into the terrible infectious disease. But despite—or perhaps because of—his experiences in the war and in the hospital (which once was a pub), Frank is a passionate budding poet, and thus his story becomes an ode to beauty, love, family, life, death, and survival. Praised by our reviewer as “elegant and touching,” this quiet novel is a terrific choice for book clubs, promising rich discussions. Continue reading

Our 2018 Book a Month Packages Are Here!

Our Holiday 2017 catalog is arriving in mailboxes any minute now, and among the amazing gifts packed into its pages you’ll find our Book a Month packages for the coming year! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bas Bleu’s Book a Month program, the premise is simple: Treat your favorite bibliophile (who may be you!) to an entire year’s worth of terrific books, shipped either all at once or on a monthly basis throughout 2018. Continue reading

October Book a Month: Whom the Gods Love

As part of Bas Bleu’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 October 2017 Book a Month selection, Whom the Gods Love by Kate Ross, stars Regency-era dandy Julian Kestrel as an amateur sleuth charged with investigating the murder of a handsome, charming, and successful “golden boy” of Victorian London’s social scene. As the Regency dandy is a familiar figure to fans of historical fiction, we thought you’d be interested in learning more about that fine fellow…and his surprising role in English society and politics. For help, we turned to our friends at Felony & Mayhem, publishers of “the best in intelligent mystery fiction.” Here’s what they had to say: Continue reading

September Book a Month: Clementine

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!)

You may think you know everything worth knowing about Winston Churchill. But we suspect you don’t know just how responsible his wife, Clementine Churchill, was for his success—or how fascinating she was in her own right! Our September 2017 Book a Month selection, Clementine by Sonia Purnell, is an absorbing biography of the ambitious, opinionated, always stylish Mrs. Churchill, a clear-eyed portrait of a complex woman too long ignored by history.  Continue reading

2018 Book a Month Preview

Editor AG surrounded by a sampling of the books we’re vetting for our 2018 Book a Month packages

The dog days of summer are upon us, ripe with heat, humidity, and the overwhelming urge to do nothing but lie around and read. But while the weather outside may have you thinking about anything but Christmas, inside the Bas Bleu editorial office we’re already deep into preparations for our Holiday edition…and up to our eyeballs in candidates for our 2018 Book a Month packages! Continue reading

August Book a Month: Our Souls at Night

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!)

Aging is as inevitable as the turning of the seasons, and the potential loneliness that comes with it is a singular challenge. Our August 2017 Book a Month selection, Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, transcends the generational gap—though on the surface it’s a story about aging, all the characters, both young and old, struggle with friendship, love, trust, and second chances. Quietly compelling and brimming with joy and heartache, Our Souls at Night reminds us that, no matter our age, we long for deep relationships and real, lasting connection. Continue reading

July Book a Month: The Evening of the Holiday

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!)

First published in 1966, our July Book a Month selection, The Evening of the Holiday, is Shirley Hazzard’s debut novel. Short yet elegant, it follows the love affair between Sophie, an English-Italian woman visiting Tuscany, and Tancredi, an older Italian man separated from his wife and family. Renowned for her evocative language and stunning sense of place, Hazzard offers a sophisticated and incisive portrait of an ill-fated summer love affair.  Continue reading

June Book a Month: The Long-Winded Lady

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 June Book a Month selection, The Long-Winded Lady, is a collection of sketches written primarily for The New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town” column by Irish immigrant Maeve Brennan. Under the pen name “The Long-Winded Lady,” Brennan deftly captures scenes and vignettes of everyday occurrences in New York City, startling in their clarity, and mundane moments that nonetheless encapsulated the essence of New York City life. Brennan wrote for the column from 1954 until 1981. Continue reading

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

April Book a Month: Fauna and Family

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!)

Gerald Durrell is renowned throughout Great Britain for his work as a naturalist, conservationist, and zookeeper. But at Bas Bleu, he’s best known for the Corfu trilogy, a series of humorous memoirs about his childhood on the Greek island of Corfu. The third book in the trilogy, Fauna and Family, is our April Book a Month selection. Today in the Bluestocking Salon, we’re offering a brief biography of Durrell—for those curious to learn just where little Gerry’s Greek adventures led him later in life—along with a short list of discussion questions about Fauna and Family.

Continue reading