This & That: December 7, 2018

Dec 06, 2018

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~1000 Books to Read Before You Die by James Mustich

A book about books! Released this past October, discover a list of fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoirs, travel writing, biographies, children’s books, history and more, but not necessarily all the classics you would expect are included. Rather James Mustich focuses on books that are a part of the world’s literary heritage. 

Organized alphabetically rather than by genre, you are sure to be introduced to a book title you had never heard of before. For example, Cormac McCarthy and The Road next to Robert McCloskey and Make Way for Ducklings, Alice Walker next to Izaac Walton. Also, (and I love this inclusion) the author offers extras to consider: best editions to read, other books by the author, “if you like this, you’ll like that” recommendations , and an interesting endnote of adaptations where appropriate.

~Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live and Love by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

SATC may have wrapped up 20 years ago and the women have certainly gone on their own signature career paths (Cynthia Nixon ran for New York state’s gubernatorial position this past primary season and Sarah Jessica Parker is selling shoes as well as has her own imprint), but, let’s be honest – for those of us who watched the series when it was new, it will always hold a place in our life journey (large or small). Written by the bestselling author of Seinfeldia, Sex and the City and Us shares with readers a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to be on the set during the show’s airing on HBO as well as take in how the world responded to each episode. With “exclusive new interviews with the cast and writers, including star Sarah Jessica Parker, creator Darren Star, executive producer Michael Patrick King, and author Candace Bushnell, this book is on my wishlist. 


~Mary Queen of Scots

After listening to an interview with Margot Robbie who stars as Queen Elizabeth in the film Mary Queen of Scots, I am looking forward to watching this new film which for the first time puts Mary at the helm, rather than Elizabeth. Regarding the two female monarchs who ruled at a time when being a woman in power was unheard of, NPR reviewed the film here, and be sure to look for it in theaters today. Have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Find

~Fulaar Écharpe Céleste silk scarf

In a recent Paris-based newsletter,  Parisian holiday gifts were included, and one was this beautiful scarf from Fulaar. Available in a couple of different colors and designs, it offers a modern, yet at the same time, classic style – and made in Paris, nonetheless. 

~Monty Don’s French Gardens

Oh my. I was delighted when I saw the image of the new-to-Netflix show Monty Don’s French Gardens – it was Les Jardins de Villandry located in the Loire Valley. Now there are numerous other gardens throughout the country of France that beloved English garden Monty Don explores, but having had the opportunity to recently visit the largest French potager garden in France, I was especially keen on watching this series. 

There are three episodes in the series available on Netflix now, as well as an Italian Garden series to put on your watchlist as well. Have a look at a healthy clip from one of the episodes below, and be transported to the countryside of France. Enjoy!

Monty Don’s French Gardens from Man Friday Films on Vimeo.

My tour/visit to Les Jardins de Villandry


~My recent photo captured during my visit to Les Jardins de Villandry~

~Paris Echo: The Novel by Sebastian Faulks

Released last month, international best selling author Sebastian Faulks’ new novel is set in Paris. An American historian named Hannah is determined to immerse herself in the history of World War II; however, after a chance encounter with Tariq, a Moroccan teenager whose visions of the City of Lights as a world of opportunity and rebirth starkly contrast with her own, the plot takes an unexpected turn for the protagonist. 


I will always be a fan of R. Nichols greeting cards, especially his holiday cards as they are playful and most of them include pups. Available for very reasonable prices – a box of 10 ($22), choose a single or boxed card set and always have on hand cards that will make whomever receives them, smile. 


I have been on the hunt for a large wood bowl for salad, but also something that was beautiful enough to stand on its own. This Mango Wood Bowl made by Be Home is precisely what I was seeking without really knowing it. By the way, does this look like something Will might have on his dining table in Will & Grace? I think he has a stone/marble one on the table now, but the shape is quite similar. 

I couldn’t resist sharing these pair of glasses for all of my fellow eye-glass wearers. Beautiful frames can make a wonderful signature style statement, but often the price for unique style is steep. With slashed prices on this frame, if you are in the market for a new pair or a new look, purchase the frames and take them to your local ophthalmologist to have them put your prescription in the frame. Voila! A whole new look. 

It may be winter in the states, but shopping for summer (especially when items go on discount) is a great idea, and this small straw tote looks perfect for doing some light errands, picking up a few items at the farmers market or just enjoying a beautiful day out and about. 

Another great sale find, Theory’s shoulder bags are unique, but classic. Available in a variety of colors and fabrics (suede and leather), this shoulder bag is a great on-the-go handbag for keeping those few simple items you always need with you without getting in your way. 

~recipe for Salted Chocolate Caramel Knot~

I do believe the boys and I will be hunting for a holiday tree to bring into the home this weekend. I must admit, I am looking forward to the annual ritual of playing favorite holidays tunes, sipping on homemade hot chocolate and returning home to dress the tree and the house for the festive, wintry season.

What will you be up to this weekend? Wherever your plans take you, wishing you a lovely weekend. Until Monday, bonne journée!

~It never hurts to be reminded of how to cultivate more optimism – 4 Simple Ways to Start Living a Positive Life [Life Hack]

~Good News Alert! Did you hear about the triple rainbow in Maine this past week? Yep! Learn how it came to be. [The Washington Post]

~A wonderful list of simple ways to enjoy stepping into the kitchen even more from a writer who was trained at The French Culinary Institute in New York [The Kitchn]

~A classic, yummy Flourless Chocolate Cake from David Lebovitz (listen to my interview with David Lebovitz last fall – #182)

~The 10 Essential French Cookbooks According to Chefs [New York Magazine]

~On a more serious, eye-opening note regarding women as projected in the media over the decades, The New York Times wrote an in-depth look of What the Movies Taught Me About Being a Woman

~Some awesome news for independent bookstores!

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