This & That: November 27, 2020 + Black Friday Sales

Nov 27, 2020

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A new much anticipated novel set in 17th century England, a new podcast for gardeners who love Gardeners’ World, two new documentaries critics are applauding, cookbooks for slowing down, working with Mother Earth and enjoying each meal, Monet’s cooking journal, an art exhibit for Francophiles in the states, and of course, a loooooong list of Black Friday sales not to miss. Yep, and there is still more!


The Best of Me by David Sedaris

If you are a fan of writer and keen observer of life David Sedaris, you will want to pick up his latest book, The Best of Me which was released earlier this month. A compilation of his best essays and stories, including one new essay, enjoy twenty-five years of his witty prose.

Dark Tide: A Novel (2) (The Fairmile Series) by Phillippa Gregory

Tidelands, the first novel in the Fairmile Series, became a bestseller when it was released a couple years ago and critics are hedging the second will do the same. While this novel is also a British Find, I wanted to include it here so to be sure you see it. The plot – initially set in the “poverty and glamour of Restoration of London in 1670, Midsummer Eve begins when two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir.” The plot continues on to “the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America. This is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home.”

British Find

Gardeners’ World NEW Podcast

I just finished listening to the first episode of Gardeners’ World magazine’s new podcast. Monty Don is the first guest, and what he shares is wonderful insight into his past relationship with gardening, how gardening contributes to one’s mental health and how it can filter in to how we live other aspects of our life as we move along our journey. Definitely worth a listen.

The New English Kitchen: Changing the Way You Shop, Cook and Eat by Rose Prince

I happened upon one of food journalist and author Rose Prince’s books while visiting Devon three years ago as it was on the shelf in my vacation rental. I immediately became a fan of her writing. However, her books were at that time hard to find in the states. Thankfully, her many cookbooks and explorations into living well with the earth as we choose what we eat and cook are far easier to find (I have shared her most recent cookbook below), and I wanted to include the book I read through and highly recommend.

“A modern day household gem, giving a lifetime of stylish, beautiful, good tasting food and most of all making the most of food’s usefulness. The New English Kitchen is a cookery book for our times. You do not need to be a millionaire to eat the finest food on offer, nor do you need to spend forever slaving in the kitchen. This book shows you how to make your meals go further, revealing practical ways to make the highest quality food fit inside a tight budget. Good food relies on skillful shopping, and The New English Kitchen is a hard-hitting guide to the most controversial food issues, helping you make the right decisions whether buying tuna or veal, milk or prawns. It also brims with suggestions, from exploring the flavours of unexploited fish, choosing inexpensive cuts of meat, to cooking with the new artisan British cheeses. With over 280 easy and distinctive recipes, and a mine of quick ideas, Rose Prince shows how everyone can eat economically and well, every single day.”

Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell

Scottish bookshop owner since 2001 in Wigtown Shaun Bythell’s latest book was just released this Tuesday, and I have been enjoying a chapter a night since it arrived. Witty, smart, dry, pedantic at times but in the most necessary and hilarious of ways, Bythell’s Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops is a treat. While the title states seven, there are actually many sub-versions of each of the seven types of people, and Bythell has examples from his nearly two decades of working in a bookshop to provide detailed comical anecdotes. If you devoured his first took books – Diary of a Bookseller (2018) and Confessions of a Bookseller (2020), you will want to pick up this book – shorter, smaller, but just as wonderful to read.

Watching The English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior by Kate Fox

A big thank you to a TSLL reader for sharing with me social anthropologist Kate Fox’s book which has been revisited ten years after her first edition to share the “strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and bizarre codes of behavior. She demystifies the peculiar cultural rules that baffle us: the rules of weather-speak. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex apology rule. The paranoid pantomime rule. Class anxiety tests. The roots of English self-mockery and many more. An international bestseller, Watching the English is a biting, affectionate, insightful and often hilarious look at the English and their society.”


Autentico: Cooking Italian, the Authentic Way by Rolando Beramendi 

While not French or English, good Italian food is just good food, non? Beramendi’s cookbook which was published in 2017 is perfect for the foodie or cook on your gift list who wants to dig deep into the true flavors of Italian food. “Rolando details how to make classic dishes from Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe to Risotto in Bianco and Gran Bollito Misto as they are meant to be – not the versions that somehow became muddled as they made their way across the globe. Among the 120 recipes, you’ll find Baked Zucchini Blossoms filled with sheep’s milk ricotta; Roast Pork Belly with Wild Fennel; Savoy Cabbage Rolls made with farro and melted fontina; Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe; Risotto with Radicchio; and a Lamb Stew with ancient Spice Route flavors that have roots from the times of Marco Polo and could have been served to the de’ Medici during the Renaissance. And of course, there are dolci (desserts): Summer Fruit Caponata, Meringata with Bitter Chocolate Sauce, and a simple, moist, and succulent Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cake.”

Dinner & Party: Gatherings. Suppers. Feasts. by Rose Prince

As mentioned above, Rose Prince’s most recent cookbook (2018) (most of her books were released a decade ago), is all about making cooking and dining just as fun for the host as the guests and doing so with simplicity and offering seasonal flavor. “Rose’s stance on entertaining is that the cook shouldn’t be banished to the kitchen; cooking for guests needn’t be fussy or hard to juggle, but instead made up of dishes – some classics, some novel – that can be prepared in advance, dressed up to impress last minute and enjoyed by everyone . . . With sample menus, including an innovative guide to putting the right dishes together through the seasons, this is the friendly, practical guide to making entertaining easy in the 21st century, bringing everyone together.”


Audrey: More Than An Icon

As shared earlier this month, the new documentary detailing the life of actress Audrey Hepburn will be available in the UK on November 30th, December 15th in the US and December 16th in Australia. Other international markets from February 8th 2021. Have a look at the trailer below.

Between the World and Me

One of the memoirs taught in our English department is the highly acclaimed, and National Book Award winning non-fiction book by Ta-Nehisi Coates Between The World and Me (2015). Written as a book for his son, Coates has become, with good reason, the trusted voice of his generation on the matters of being black in America. As you will hear/see in the trailer below, while the book was bestselling, the producers of the film felt his message would be better known to a wider audience if it was made into a documentary, and that documentary has just been released on HBO Max. You can now view it for free.

“There is an urgency and a call to action for justice. There is also an urgency and a call to action for joy.”

Dash & Lily

A light-hearted new series now available on Netflix, meet Lily, a young girl with a sunny disposition about life, and her foil, Dash, a cynical young man who begin to exchange messages and dares in a red notebook which they hide in various places through New York City during the holiday season. Young, bright and fun. Certainly a great idea this season. Have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Finds

Monet’s Table: The Cooking Journals of Claude Monet by Claire Joyes (1990)

While written a couple of decades ago, Monet continues to pique my curiosity after having seen his garden and home (especially his kitchen) with my own eyes a couple of years ago (enjoy the tour here). As Monet’s career blossomed during the second half of his life, he was able to “indulge his passion for comfort and good living”. Here is the description of the book – his dinner party guests alone seem but a dream:

“A moody, reserved, and very private man whose daily routine revolved totally around his painting, Monet nevertheless enjoyed entertaining his friends, many of whom were leading figures of the time. As well as his fellow Impressionists — in particular Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Degas and Cézanne — other regular guests included Rodin, Whistler, Maupassant, Valéry, and one of Monet’s closest friends, the statesman Clemenceau. 

They came to dine in almost ritual form, first visiting Monet’s studio and the greenhouses, then having lunch at 11:30 (the time the family always dined, to enable Monet to make the most of the afternoon light). Tea would later be served under the lime trees or near the pond. Guests were never invited to dinner; because Monet went to bed very early in order to rise at dawn. All the guests were familiar with Monet’s rigid timetable. The recipes collected in his cooking journals include dishes Monet had encountered in his travels or had come across in restaurants he frequented in Paris as well as recipes from friends, such as Cézanne’s bouillabaisse and Millet’s petits pains.

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Chicago

If you happen to live in Chicago or nearby, perhaps you have already taken the opportunity view the much raved above immersive exhibit of Van Gogh’s works. Currently the #1 art show in the world (it debuted in Paris with more than 2 million visitors attending and has been in Toronto as well), the exhibition is custom designed to Chicago’s Germania Place, and is designed and conceived by Massimiliano Siccardi, with soundtrack by Luca Longobardi, both of whom pioneered immersive digital art experiences in France with Atelier des Lumières.


Leopard Loafer, Margaux (20% off site-wite)

Don’t worry, the long list of Black Friday sales are listed below, but one to note is Margaux’s. While I picked out this pair of loafers specifically (as I admittedly need to add a pair to my wardrobe), be sure to shop their entire site and use promo code GAUXTIME to save 20% off site-wide through 11/30.

Slouchy python-effect boots, 30% off

Paired with skinny jeans, worn with a dress or a skirt, and certain to keep your toes and ankles warm while still staying stylish, these slouchy boots are now 30% off.

Black Friday Deals

Now to ALL of the Black Friday sales. I have gone through and alphabetized the brands, sharing the amount you will save and the promo code you will need, if any. Most of the sales run through 11/30, but some are shorter and one longer. Wishing you great savings and worthwhile finds!

The savory scents of gruyére filled gougéres, the apéro bites I cannot wait to enjoy, and an herbed Cornish hen waft throughout the house. Gradually they have made their way to my office where I have vowed to finished this post before sitting down to enjoy my Thanksgiving meal. So far, I am still sitting and typing. 🙂 If you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope you had a delicious and celebratory day regardless of whether it was what you had hoped. The stunningly calm day and blue sky filled with sunshine certainly made yesterday uniquely special as I caught up with friends and family on the phone and neighbors outside as we each made our way outdoors to soak up some sun.

November has nearly wrapped up and the holiday season is fully moving forward. Decorations indoors and out are up for many and have been for some time as we find comfort in the annual tradition of cheer. It helps, and it will certainly enable us to focus more fully on the present.

Below I have gathered up more than 10+ articles and posts as well as two videos you might enjoy. Thank you for choosing to stop by TSLL blog today, and wishing you a wonderful weekend. Bonne journée.

~40 Reasons You’re Amazing and Worth Appreciating [Tiny Buddha]

~Thanksgiving may be over, but hey, taking a good nap is a great skill to have – 6 Steps to a Great ‘Thanksgiving’ Nap [The New York Times]

~For fellow gardeners, this post is for you8 Things to Be Grateful for in 2020: The Grateful Gardener [Gardenista]

~Speaking of gardens – garden jobs for Lockdown 2.0 [House & Garden UK]

~Since we cannot be in France, let’s pretend – How to Pretend You’re in Paris Tonight [The New York Times]

~Viewing material for Francophiles – 10 French Movies That Can Transport You to Paris [The New York Times]

~Everyone seems to be talking about this article in The New Yorker, and in case you haven’t read it, here it is – ‘Emily in Paris’ and the Rise of Ambient TV

~40 Simple Yet Beautiful Moments to Remember to Appreciate [Marc & Angel]

~Take a look at what Paris looks like without tourists [Fodor’s]

~The Duchess of Sussex shared her pain and strength in a recent op-ed in The New York Times about her miscarriage – read it here – The Losses We Share [NPR]

~If you are feeling relieved about the shift in holiday gathering expectations, you are not alone – These Women Are Secretly Relieved to Be Off the Hook For the Holidays This Year [The Washington Post]

~Any guesses as to what Oxford’s Word of the Year Is? It’s Too Hard to Isolate [The New York Times]

~Jeopardy! announced their first guest host [NPR]

~Escape to the English countryside and tour Vogue editor Robin Muir’s South Downs’ 18th century home. The decor details, the books, the space, the cosiness – all of it, lovely [House & Garden UK]

Two cooking and kitchen videos you might enjoy.

~The first is a day late, but not if you are planning on serving Turkey for upcoming holiday meals in December, so I thought I would share anyway. And I adore Samin Nosrat 🙂 –

~Step inside Ina Garten’s kitchen with Ina in this eight minute video shared with The New York Times

~Please note: Some items, books and films earn TSLL a small commission upon purchase; however, all items, books, films, etc. are shared and/or recommended because they caught my attention and I sincerely enjoy(ed) or look forward to exploring myself.

14 thoughts on “This & That: November 27, 2020 + Black Friday Sales

  1. When I read that Gardener’s World had a new podcast, you’d have thought I’d won a pair of tickets to The Chelsea Flower Show. And the first episode with Monty Don. Well. The man is an absolute treasure.
    I fell head-over-heels for Samin Nosrat after devouring her Netflix series Salt Fat Acid Heat, and prattled on about her & the show so much, that-hurrah!-her cookbook appeared under the Christmas tree that year.😁
    And doesn’t Monet’s routine sound absolutely perfect?! That book is DEFINITELY going on the Christmas Wish List!
    I have to tell you, I am quite enjoying this Thanksgiving weekend. For the first time in 25 years, I am not working the madness and chaos that this weekend has become. The company I work for closed its bricks-and-mortar and shifted all sales(retail & wholesale) online, so it has been WFH since July. It is a soft gray, misty-moisty day here and I just enjoyed a cuppa with some gingersnaps. The year has not been without it’s challenges, but how very nice to be able to let the small things work their magic on our souls, eh? Life is good. ☺
    Awesome list Shannon, thanks so much, hope you and the boys are enjoying a blissful weekend as well. XOXO

    1. Rona, so happy to hear you are having a wonderful, restful and festive Thanksgiving week. Your excitement shared made me smile upon reading.😌 Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend.

  2. I loved Dash & Lily!! So perfect and cute for the season.

    I found the New Yorker article about Emily in Paris very interesting – and disturbing! Although, I do think the author seems to miss the fact that some of these shows resonate with people for different reasons. While I agree Emily in Paris is “fluff”, the author insinuating that Chef’s Table is ambient TV had me indignant! As a food & wine writer, I hang on every word throughout chef’s table to understand how these artists come up with their dining concepts and what their inspiration and story is. It’s all very motivating to me. My phone is off and eyes are glued to the tv for that one. The casual viewer probably isn’t as invested if food isn’t their passion.

    Great content as always, Shannon!

    1. Dash & Lily was a treat. I highly recommend it. Festive, smart, well done. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your reaction to the article. It is certainly causing quite the conversation, and I agree with what you have shared as well. Thank you for your comment Sydney.

  3. In spite of all the negatives about living in times of pandemic, there are some positive aspects. Sometimes we just have to sit back and see them. They are there, some most likely have always been there, but we have been too “busy” to see. One of my favorite pastimes is reading and classical music and I have used this time to explore a bit more and experience some different elements of a thankful life. Following your advice I have ordered Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops. Over many years I have spent time watching other shoppers and have my own categories, I am anxious to see what Shaun has to say! And, I just finished binging The Queens Gambit. Loved it. Both my sons were tournament chess players though certainly not on this level! In addition, I know a former world Grand Master and his ironic sense of humor could only be found near a chessboard! Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Hi Shannon! I thought you’d like to know that Palais Des Thes is having a good Black Friday sale … 30% off everything on its website. Just use the code BF2020 at checkout. I stocked up on my favorite teas, decided to try some new ones & purchased a new red Guy Degrenne teapot (I already have a white one). Thank you for all of the lovely post & great recommendations, as usual. Hugs to you & the boys.

  5. This and that this week was splendid. Between the world and me looks wonderful. I cannot imagine an America without African American citizens. I cannot fathom it.

    I especially enjoyed the how to bring Paris into your home. I have previously shared when I visited Paris I cried when I saw the eiffel tower. Oh how I long to go back.


    1. Stacy, Good morning and thank you for stopping by.😌 Oh my how know how you feel and I am sure many TSLL readers feel similar. Will will be able to return and when we do, it will be all the sweeter because of this time away.❤️🇫🇷

  6. I have purchased a few items from this week’s This and That. But the inspiration I have drawn from your carefully curated selections week after week has reminded me that I have yet another reason to be grateful this year. Thank you Shannon and happy belated Thanksgiving.

    1. Alicia, Thank you for sharing and so tickled to hear you have found items in today’s post that spoke to you. The feelings are mutual. Incredibly grateful for readers such as yourself. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. 🙂

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