Tournament of Classics 2016: Championship (Updated!)

And we have a winner! After a deadly battle for dominance, Lord Voldemort bested Sauron in this year’s literary battle royale. We’re not entirely sure what this means for the fate of the world (for goodness sake, someone call Harry Potter!), but as always it was a fascinating and fun bookish twist on March Madness. Thanks to everyone who voted in Bas Bleu‘s Tournament of Classics 2016!

Winner 2016

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Tournament of Classics 2016: Final Four

Things have become…dark. But that’s probably par for the course in a battle royale between literature’s most conniving villains! The NCAA’s March Madness may have ended with a  buzzer-beater on Monday night, but Bas Bleu‘s Tournament of Classics is still going strong! We’re down to the Final Four now–and we don’t want to imagine what methods these four foes employed to make it this far in the game. Continue reading

Tournament of Classics 2016: Elite Eight

We shouldn’t be surprised: Of course literature’s wickedest villains fight dirty! After a fearsome battle that left eight contenders in the dust, a leaner (by half) pool of players has clawed their way into the Elite Eight bracket of Bas Bleu‘s Tournament of Classics 2016. You know the drill: Vote in the polls below to determine who will advance to the Final Four of our literature-themed March Madness!

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Tournament of Classics 2016

Every March, as the country goes bracket-crazy for basketball, Bas Bleu celebrates March Madness with our own nail-biting, buzzer-busting, book-based Tournament of Classics! In years past, we’ve concentrated on the books themselves—novels, children’s stories, mysteries and thrillers. But this year, we’re taking the tournament to another level, diving deep into literature to pit our favorite villains against one another in a “big dance” for the ages!

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April Book a Month: Hons and Rebels (Also, the Elite 8!)

HonsAndRebelsAs part of our 2014 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions about the featured work—for book clubs as well as thoughtful individuals. You may use the questions to reflect back on each book once you’ve finished it or to guide you as you read. Either way, we hope these features will enrich your reading experience. (We’ll do our best to avoid plot spoilers, but you should proceed with caution!) 

If there is a more fascinating family than the Mitfords in recent history, we have yet to meet them! Our April selection, Hons and Rebels, is the “fabulously true story” of Jessica “Decca” Mitford, the fifth of six aristocratic English sisters whose personal and political scandals during the early- and mid- twentieth century continue to captivate us today. In this “gloriously entertaining” memoir, Decca recounts her unconventional childhood, her elopement with Winston Churchill’s nephew, and their adventures in Spain and the United States. Continue reading

Tournament of Classics 2014

Happy birthday, Bluestocking Salon! You’re one year old today. (They grow up so fast, don’t they?) Some of you may remember we launched this blog in 2013 with Bas Bleu’s Tournament of Classics, a literary take on the NCAA’s annual March Madness extravaganza. The result was a battle royale so intense that, in honor of the Bluestocking Salon’s big 0-1, we decided to play again!

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Way back when, epic poet Homer recounted the tale of Odysseus, a Greek king taking his sweet time sailing home from the Trojan War. Along the way, he faced dire situations and tough choices, not the least of which was running the gauntlet between Scylla (a six-headed sea monster) and Charybdis (a deadly whirlpool). Three thousand years later, novelist William Styron wove his own tale of impossible choices, about a woman named Sophie forced to decide which of her children would die at the hands of the Nazis.

Today we’re proposing a series of considerably less awful—yet still book based—conundrums in a gleeful little game of Would You Rather, Bas Bleu style. (Thanks to the folks over at Book Riot for the idea.) So, dear bluestockings, gather your book club, your dinner guests, or your carpool crew, and play along if you dare! Continue reading