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

O My America!: Q&A with Sara Wheeler

O My AmericaAs 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!)

In our November Book a Month selection, the exuberant historical narrative O My America!, Sara Wheeler introduces six British women of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who bucked convention and created impressive “second acts” for themselves by packing up and moving to America in their later lives. Our reviewer CH, nearing fifty years old and a “second act” of her own, drew great inspiration from the intrepid trailblazers and their unique experiences in a young and fascinating America. In an exclusive interview with Bas Bleu, author Sara Wheeler offers insights into her spirited multi-biography, discusses modern women she admires, and more. 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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When Books Went to War: Q&A with Molly Guptill Manning

When Books Went to WarAs 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!)

Every day at Bas Bleu, we celebrate the extraordinary power of books to shape the lives of those who read them. So is it any wonder we fell in love the moment we read our May Book a Month selection, When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II? It’s the fascinating true story of the influence of books on the U.S. armed forces during World War II, and includes an inspiring account of the lengths the American government, local libraries, and private citizens went to provide inspiration, entertainment, and solace to our fighting forces. This week in the Bluestocking Salon, author Molly Guptill Manning explains how she uncovered this heartwarming story, what it teaches us about war that history textbooks can’t, and the novels she fell in love with along the way. Continue reading

Murder at the Brightwell: Q&A with Ashley Weaver

Murder at the BrightwellAs 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’re “broad-spectrum” mystery fans here at Bas Bleu, equally thrilled by hardboiled whodunits, old-school procedurals, and cozy mysteries. Our April Book a Month selection, Murder at the Brightwell, falls in the latter category: It’s the sparkling debut of amateur sleuth Amory Ames, a charming and sophisticated young woman who finds herself caught up in a murder mystery at a posh resort in 1930s England. Our reviewer was smitten by Amory, as well as by the witty dialogue and myriad plot twists novelist Ashley Weaver wove through the story. This week in the Bluestocking Salon, Ashley talks with us about her literary inspirations, her favorite childhood mysteries, and how Amory chose her writer. Continue reading

The Distant Marvels: Q&A with Chantel Acevedo

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!)

Veteran readers know the power of a good story. We allow ourselves to be carried away every time we open a book, yielding our own realities to the events and emotions brewing between the pages. So it’s no wonder Bas Bleu’s March selection, The Distant Marvels, captivated our reviewer from the very beginning, when a gathering storm forces strangers to become allies, and a skilled storyteller is the only one capable of calming their fears during the crisis. Thus unfolds narrator María Sirena’s epic tale of growing up as the daughter of revolutionaries in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Cuba. Recently, author Chantel Acevedo took a break from her teaching schedule at the University of Miami to discuss her novel’s take on the Cuban War for Independence, her family’s storytelling legacy, and her childhood affection for Anne Shirley. Continue reading

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