This & That: March 13, 2020

Mar 13, 2020

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A Francophile podcast to help you dive deeper into French history, three new cookbooks, a film set in Britain about a moment in history that disrupted the patriarchy, Patrick Stewart on the piano and so much more.


The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger

After reading an excerpt of Jonah Berger’s new book in The Wall Street Journal last month, I was intrigued. Released earlier this week, The Catalyst “is designed for anyone who wants to catalyze change. It provides a powerful way of thinking and a range of techniques that can lead to extraordinary results. Whether you’re trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst”.

Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free: The Ultimate Guide to Telling the Truth, Creating Connection and Finding Freedom by Nancy Levin

Released in January, life coach Nancy Levin shares with readers how to traverse past the fear of short-term discomfort in order to “establish clear and healthy boundaries”. Helping readers to let go of the assumption that “setting boundaries will lead to conflict and to realize that by doing so [they] are actually choosing ‘long-term unhappiness'”, she will provide tips and guidance for setting the boundaries in your everyday life that will set you free.

British Find

Entertaining with Mary Berry: Favorite Hors D’oeuvres, Entrées, Desserts, Baked Goods and More by Mary Berry and Lucy Young

An updated version of one of British Bake-Off judging alum’s Mary Berry’s most popular cookbooks, discover “new photography and bonus festive recipes. Discover how Mary cooks for her family and friends during the Christmas party season, and for other occasions and celebrations throughout the year. Entertaining with Mary Berry, which was released last week, shares timeless guidance and expert tips will help you cater successfully on a small scale for dinners and lunches around a table, or on a larger scale for drinks parties, buffets and teatime”.


Modern Comfort Food by Barefoot Contessa

Just announced! Barefoot Contessa’s new cookbook will be released later this year on October 27th. Modern Comfort Food is full of 85 recipes which include Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, Roasted Sausages, Peppers, and Onions and Boston Cream Pie, Banana Rum Trifle, and Black and White Cookies. Yum! My copy is soon to be reserved. 🙂  

Open Kitchen: Inspired Food for Casual Gatherings by Susan Spungen

A recent episode of a podcast I enjoy listening to, Inside Julia’s Kitchen, introduced me to cookbook author, writer and recipe developer Susan Spungen. Did you know she was the food stylist on the film Julie & Julia? I especially enjoyed this part of her conversation on the podcast when she talked about a couple of scenes, avid fans of the film will remember vividly.

Her new cookbook, Open Kitchen, was released last week, and the concept is something I appreciated as it offers a more informal, yet absolutely delicious approach to cooking. “Perfect for occasions that call for simple but elevated comfort food, whether it’s a relaxed gathering or a weeknight dinner, [her cookbook] shows readers how to maximize results with minimal effort for deeply satisfying, a little bit surprising, and delicious meals”. Sounds like a simply luxurious find!


France & Son Jeanneret Hand Cane Lounge Chair, on sale

Inspired by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret’s design, France & Son’s lounge chair caught my eye during my search for my own matching lounge chairs. Currently on sale, these chairs are made of solid acacia wood, and certainly will be eye-catching, yet classic and functional as well.



Released last month, Coda stars Patrick Stewart, a famous pianist who is now struggling with stage fright after his beloved wife of many years has died. Enter Katie Holmes, a free-spirited music critic whose presence calms his fears and helps to dissipate his pain. Critics were not too fond of this film, but I certainly am looking forward to viewing it when/if it visits Bend. Have a look at the trailer below.


Premiering today in Britain, Misbehaviour stars Keira Knightley, Jessie Buckley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Greg Kinnear as Bob Hope. Introducing me to a glimpse of history in Britain I was not aware of, but was intrigued to learn more, check out the film’s synopsis below.

“In 1970, the Miss World competition took place in London, hosted by US comedy legend, Bob Hope. At the time, Miss World was the most-watched TV show on the planet with over 100 million viewers. Claiming that beauty competitions demeaned women, the newly formed Women’s Liberation Movement achieved overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast of the competition. Not only that, when the show resumed, the result caused uproar: the winner was not the Swedish favourite but Miss Grenada, the first black woman to be crowned Miss World. In a matter of hours, a global audience had witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head”. Have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Find

The Land of Desire, podcast

I was recently introduced to a podcast that has been around for a couple of years now and is hosted by Diana, a twenty-something who lives in San Francisco but who has a predilection for French history. A big thank you to TSLL reader and podcast listener La Rae for bringing this show to my attention. I have enjoyed it immensely. Most recently, episode #23 (which aired last year, I have a long ways to go to get caught up!) which detailed Claude Monet’s life titled “Four’s Company”. You can subscribe on Apple podcasts here, and rest assured, if you are a lover of the French culture, you will want to check it out.



A new podcast that just became available for bibliophiles is Bookable. “Bookable features established authors and emerging talent in conversation with host and author Amanda Stern, perhaps best known for creating the Happy Ending Music & Reading Series at New York’s famous Joe’s Pub and Symphony Space. With an immersive sound experience designed around each episode, Bookable takes you on an audio exploration of a book—usually new, sometimes classic and occasionally obscure but always worth knowing about”.


Sarah Flint Natalie pointed-toe leather flat (many colors)

Stylish, classic and offering a touch of feminine flair, these leather pointed-toe flats are eye-catching and will be sure to be enjoyed for years to come.

~recipe for Rhubarb Frangipane Tart~

What a week, but now the weekend, and a deep breath of appreciation and time to be home and prepare for spring (or fall)’s arrival. In just five days, a new season will arrive, and with it an opportunity to shift forward as well. Yes, admittedly, the pandemic is on our minds, as it should be, but it need not be all consuming if we are staying vigiliant and taking care of ourselves. Perhaps we can find the opportunity in this most unexpected event. I will be doing my best, and I know you will as well.

I will be spending more time in the yard after spending an hour or two last weekend which was so therapeutic and wonderful. The birds are beginning to sing ever more and the daffodils are growing taller and taller. Soon they will be blooming, and I cannot wait.

Below I have gathered together articles you might enjoy and a trailer for a film that will be arriving in May. It looks like fun, and we can all use a bit more of that these days. Until Monday bonne journée!

20 Essential French Foods to Enjoy during your next trip to France [Fodor’s]

—And the winner of the best baguette in Paris for 2020 is!!!! Click here to find out. [Sortir à Paris]

—Save this one for your next trip to Paris – How to Shop for Cheese and Wine in Paris [Wine Enthusiast]

—Cookbook author and American expat living in France Susan Hermann Loomis shares her experience with the country’s Social Safety Net amid the fears of Coronavirus [NPR]

—Ensure your emails at work are read with this handy how-to guide [The New York Times]

How to Receive the Love You Want [Maria Shriver]

How our solo homes became cocoons [Curbed]

5 Ways Hiking is Good for You [Greater Good]

Precautions you can take right now to prevent the coronavirus and why it is important to stay calm [Medium]

~How to stock your pantry the smart way [The New York Times]

Dance, Garden and Swim your way to a better brain [CNN]

~Mark your calendars for May 1st – Blithe Spirit – starring Dame Judi Dench, Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens and Isla Fisher. The music alone will be fun and the time-period clothing as well. Enjoy!

—The stars of The Last Tango in Halifax, Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid, talk about their roles in their hit BBC drama.

6 thoughts on “This & That: March 13, 2020

  1. Happy Weekend! So many great articles, books, and movies to explore. The Blithe Spirit movie looks delightful…just the kind of light but smart comedy I adore. Thank you. ?

  2. The NY Times article on writing more effective work emails is fantastic – as my company moves to remote working over the next few weeks (due to C-19) this is a great starter I’ll be sharing with my team. Thank you!

  3. A lovelt list Shannon. As we’re now isolating in France it will keep my mind off the crisis. It is a difficult time for all but as Spring is here it is a very welcome distraction. Being in the garden and seeing all the new growth and hearing the bird song is so uplifting. Stay safe?

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