Thursday, June 10, 2010

Literary Gifts

bas bleu (French) [bɑ blø]
[Fr., blue stocking; bas, stocking, bleu, blue.]
A literary woman; a bluestocking

My Bas Bleu catalog arrived in the mail yesterday!  If you've never experienced this lovely catalog you simply must, must, must subscribe, or if you prefer...check out their online catalog.

While I do shop online (quite often actually) nothing compares to thumbing through a catalog, steaming mug of tea (or ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper--whatever your pleasure) in hand leisurely reading the witty snippets about each item.  This company is delightful and I feel like a better, smarter, more literary version of myself just perusing their offerings. 

My wish list is a bit ridiculous at this point.  I had a short conversation with my darling husband, who is a bit, well...gifting challenged ...and mentioned that I marked several items I liked should he ever feel the need to purchase a small gift for me.  One can hope.  I have also marked several items that would make perfect gifts for friends and family members who shall remain nameless as *hopefully* they are reading this post.  ;)

I'd love to share a few of my favorite things with you all.  Although there are no raindrops on roses, nor whiskers on kittens, perhaps you might come away with a few brown paper packages tied up with strings.

With images and words from their website; Enjoy!

"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" Board Game

#HG3312 $42.50

This is officially Bas Bleu’s favorite board game ever! The concept is simple: Your opponent reads you the first sentence(s) from a work of great literature—categories include children’s books, mysteries, nonfiction, novels, poetry, Shakespeare’s plays, and short stories—and you name the title and/or author. If you answer correctly, you get a cute little book token…collect eight and you win. The production value of “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” is top tier, from the wooden pawns and tokens to the “library card catalog” of clue cards. The difficulty of identifying the opening lines varies greatly, and we think giving clues makes the game more fun. For adults, two to four players or teams.

 (seriously, how awesome is that! although just between you and me I think I'd need to read the cards before playing the game--otherwise my lack of memorized knowledge could be a bit embarrassing)

Napoleon's Hemorrhoids: And Other Small Events That Changed History

Phil Mason
#UC9202 Hardcover, 253 pages; 2009 $22.95

This quirky collection of historical tidbits reveals how minor incidents can have momentous consequences. It’s a world of fascinating hypothetical contemplation. For example, what if the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna had accepted young Adolf Hitler’s application and he had become an artist or architect? And can you believe that heroin was created as a cold remedy and legally marketed as a wonder drug (starting a mass addiction in the process)? Sure to both amuse and amaze, Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids outlines all sorts of remarkably serendipitous—and disastrously unlucky—little occurrences that had big ramifications in the realms of politics, international relations, science, art, business, sports, and more. (CH)

(okay, so I'm a history buff as well...but the title alone makes me want to add this to my addiction, er...I mean collection of books)
Bag Ladies Novel Teas

#UC9842 $12.95

This handsomely packaged collection of twenty-five tea bags—with literary tags—invites you to “read ‘em and steep!” Each bag of tasty English Breakfast tea is adorned with a bookish quote from the likes of William Faulkner, C. S. Lewis, and Dr. Seuss. What a warm and witty way to add a little literary flair to every day! The box makes a great gift, too, for all your tea-sipping, book-loving friends.

(read 'em and steep...I love that!  See what I mean...witty!)

William and the Magic Ring: A Shadow Casting Bedtime Story

Laura Robinson
Illustrated by Laura Robinson and Suzanne Simson
#UC8412 Spiralbound, 32 pages; 1998 $19.95

Cuddle up tight for this one! You and your little one will have a delightfully spooky time with William and the Magic Ring. Just shine the powerful little flashlight (provided) on the laser-cut illustrations to cast cool spectral silhouettes on the bedroom wall. The eerie story, written in verse, is about facing your fears—but, rest assured, William inspires bravery and his adventure has a safe and happy ending! This gorgeously produced, enchantingly entertaining book really is a special treasure. For ages 4 and up. (CH)

(lovely, and I'm not altogether sure if I want it more for my daughter or for myself)
Be sure to check out this company. They have fabulous finds for literary friends of all ages. 
Read on, gentle readers; read on & shop. ;)

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