Bas Bleu and a documentary

6 Feb
Real life kind of overwhelmed me the past few days, and my amount of reading done was slim indeed. So, in lieu of a new book review, I’ve got a couple of fun links to tickle your fancy. I probably (read: definitely) spend more time on the Internet than I should and I’ve collected a couple of interesting links to use in just such a case as this.

For anyone who used to read the bestest, most fabulous book catalogue ever, A Common Reader, their folding in 2006 was a huge blow. I LOVED their catalogue – it showcased eclecticism at its finest, highlight for me innumerable literary oddities that made their way onto my bookshelves. I heard about the strange, little Philosopher’s Diet by Richard Watson through A Common Reader. What I loved most about them were the little mini-reviews written by the staff for each book they sold – you could tell how personal their reading experiences were and, to me, it was a precursor to the book blogging world today. I recently discovered another mail-order book catalogue called Bas Bleu. They too have a varied offering of books, with some accessories and gifts thrown in. (I want their Pride and Prejudice sweatshirt HARD.) I like to get their physical catalogue, rather than shop online, because I’m old school like that. I’m so happy to have found another small staff of people who are passionate about books and want to promote obscure little books, as well as more popular ones.

Ok, this next link involves an investment of time, so feel free to bookmark this for when you have 40 minutes to sit down and watch this. I promise you, it is amazing. Vice News journalist Shane Smith filmed a short documentary on his visit to North Korea. This guy got to witness one of the most insane places on earth on a government-sanctioned tour, but he was frustrated at his inability to actually talk to North Korean people without a government representative glued to his side. After finding out that North Korea ships citizens to labor camps in Siberia, he went on a trek to find these elusive camps and finally find out from an actual North Korean what their lives were like. The harrowing, hilarious, and bizarre trip is mesmerizing – Shane Smith is both fascinated and repulsed by many of the people he meets and the situations he encounters. The drunk Russian guys on the train were worth the 40 minutes alone. If you have the time, invest in watching this short documentary. I promise you won’t regret it.

Hopefully, I can muster some time to really devote myself to the book I’m currently reading, His Majesty’s Dragon. It is fantastic so far and all I hoped it would be. I can’t wait to finish it up so I can share its Jane Austen/Napoleanic Wars/dragon fabulousness with everyone.

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7 Responses to “Bas Bleu and a documentary”

  1. Mary Jo February 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I liked this post Amanda. I love to find new sources! Got any suggestions for a business that locates books? I want a copy of Gladys Taber’s Stillmeadow Daybook. I LOVE this book and I lent or lost it (same thing) a long time ago.

    • Amanda February 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      You don’t mean The Book of Stillmeadow, do you? Because…um…I have it. You loaned it to me a long time ago and apparently I never gave it back. Awkward!

  2. Rebecca February 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Now might be a good time to try a Robin D. Owens book. Tranquility shall flow into your life…or you’ll at least have a nice, easy read with a fun story.

    And your comment thread above was the best laugh I’ve had all day!

    • Amanda February 9, 2012 at 8:04 am #

      I think you may be right. Any particular title I should start with, or am I good to go with any of them?

      • Rebecca February 9, 2012 at 8:38 am #

        I think that you could read the series in any order and not be lost, but primary characters in each novel are often used as secondary characters in successive books, so it’s helpful to read them in order so you don’t encounter spoilers.

        The first one is Heart Mate. And, when you get to the later ones, you’ll find they’re error-free (hopefully) without any anachronisms or misplaced modifiers…yeah, I got to work on a few of these books, and it made my year last year.

        • Amanda February 9, 2012 at 8:42 am #

          You did?! I didn’t know that! Look at you, all famous and ***t.

          • Rebecca February 9, 2012 at 8:48 am #

            She’s at the top of my list of authors I love that I’ve edited, but I also have worked on a few MaryJanice Davidson books and a P.C. Cast. I do feel a step away from fame when I’m working on their projects. 🙂

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