This & That: April 5, 2024
Friday April 5, 2024

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Just released on March 21st, Joseph Hone takes readers back to London, 1932 when “Thomas James Wise is the toast of the literary establishment. A prominent collector and businessman, he is renowned on both sides of the Atlantic for unearthing the most stunning first editions and bringing them to market. Pompous and fearsome, with friends in high places, he is one of the most powerful men in the field of rare books.

“One night, two young booksellers – one a dishevelled former communist, the other a martini-swilling fan of detective stories – stumble upon a strange discrepancy. It will lead them to suspect Wise and his books are not all they seem. Inspired by the vogue for Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes, the pair harness the latest developments in forensic analysis to crack the case, but find its extent is greater than they ever could have imagined. By the time they are done, their investigation will have rocked the book world to its core.” Now this looks like a fascinating story to learn more about.

Buy from Blackwells here or Amazon here.


Tim Spector has become one of the leading experts in food science and following his previous two books, The Diet Myth and Spoon-Fed, in Food for Life released last March (2023), he “draws on over a decade of cutting-edge scientific research, along with his own personal insights, to deliver a new and comprehensive guide to what we should all know about food today.

“Taking a wide-angle lens on everything from environmental impact and food fraud to allergies and deceptive labeling, Spector also shows us the many wondrous and surprising properties of everyday foods, which scientists are only just beginning to understand.”

Being released on April 8th, a book to take us into the shoes, so to speak, or should I say lives, of the librarians and booksellers, I have a feeling so many of my fellow bibliophiles have imagined becoming at some point in our lives .

Being released next week, The Stoic Mindset: Living the Ten Principles of Stoicism “applies the teachings of Stoic masters including Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus to the twenty-first century, Author and gold medal Olympian Mark Tuitert empowers readers to discover how Stoicism can change their lives and help them reach their full potential. Tuitert distills thousands of years of Stoic philosophy into ten short principles (see below), with an action item at the end of each chapter to help readers actualize theories.”

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Released on March 22nd, Bill Nighy stars as “Mal the manager of England’s homeless football team who takes his players to Rome with the hope of being crowned champions of the Homeless World Cup. He brings with them a talented striker, Vinny, who could give them a real chance at winning.” Have a look at the trailer for The Beautiful Game below.

Oh my, this film is certain to be one to talk about. I have a feeling, we here in the states know less about this event that caused all sorts of chaos and significant decisions to be made by Queen Elizabeth for her son Andrew, but no doubt Brits are well aware of what Scoop is all about.

Rufus Sewell stars as Prince Andrew and Gillian Anderson as one of the reporters, Emily Maitlis, who while working on Newsnight secured the Prince’s infamous 2019 interview. Have a look at the trailer below and look for this film to premiere today on Netflix.

I am quite looking forward to watching this dark comedy, written and directed by Matt Winn, and also co-starring Rufus Sewell (he’s a bit of everywhere this week :)). The Trouble with Jessica follows a “successful professional London couple Sarah (Shirley Henderson) and Tom (Alan Tudyk) who are in deep financial trouble. Their situation takes a terrifying nosedive with the shocking behavior of uninvited dinner guest, Jessica (Indira Varma). Faced with the moral dilemma of their lives – and dragging their best friends Richard (Rufus Sewell) and Beth (Olivia Williams) with them – they make a series of choices that could either be their salvation or destruction.”

I learned about this film in this past weekend’s Financial Times, and while it debuts in England today, I am not sure if it is in the states just yet, but I have a feeling it will be here soon. Have a look at the trailer below. The writer and director are definitely have a poke of fun at the London “elite” in society. Here are a few reviews from British papers – The Guardian and The Times.

Valerie Bertinelli turned 60 recently and with this new cookbook she said, “‘Enough already!’ and ended her battle with the scale for good. She stopped counting calories. She stopped thinking of certain foods as good or bad. She quit saying no and began saying yes, finally learning how to enjoy the pure pleasure of being alive – starting in the kitchen.  In short, she learned how to indulge.

“In Indulge, released this past Tuesday, Valerie shares her secrets for indulging so you can start living your best, most fulfilling life too. Whether it’s splurging on fresh produce at the farmer’s market, cooking an extravagant steak dinner for one, or serving an ice cream sundae bar at a dinner party, this book is a reminder that indulging can take many shapes and forms.

“You’ll discover the delicious recipes she cooks for her friends and family, including favorites like Garlic Confit BLT, Oven “Fried” Okra, Sausage and Olive Cheese Bites, Spaghetti al Limone, Salmon Burgers With Quick-Pickled Vegetables, Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce and Chocolate Peanut Butter Dates, and more.”

Released on March 26th, Gisele Bündchen shares 100 delicious and approachable recipes based on everyday ingredients. The cookbook focuses on kickstarting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while finding balance and intention.

Nourish shares “thoughtful guidance on how to create a routine filled with positive intention, nourishing food, and gratitude to support a healthy lifestyle. The first part of her cookbook walks readers through adjusting to this new mindset and offers practical guidance. Many of the recipes include suggestions for light and hearty pairings, as well as tips for making meals ‘kid friendly’:
• Everyday Fruits: Papaya-Almond Smoothie; Acai Bowls; Banana Ice Cream
• Breakfast + Breads: Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo); Veggie Frittata; Coconut Milk Two Ways
• Salads: Steak Salad; Beet and Arugula Salad with Herby Goat Cheese
• Soups: Sneeze-Be-Gone Soup; Ramen-Style Soup with Vegetables
• Everyday Vegetables: Summer Rolls with Ginger-Cashew Dipping Sauce; Pizza Night; Pesto Chicken Wrap
• Favorite Proteins: Grilled Ribeye with Chimichurri; Sheet Pan Squash and Chickpeas; Chicken Meatballs
• Crunchies + Condiments: Maple-Harissa Cashews; Tamari Dressing 3 Ways
• Sweets: Pecan Bars; Banana Dream Pie; Carrot Muffins”

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I wanted to bring this to your attention because I was elated when I found, after setting my budget for either a Chelsea boot or a boot to hit just below the calf shoes to work in the garden when the wellies are just too much, one of Le Chameau’s Bottillon (marine blue) to be on sale for $99 (also on sale on the British site). And while in the future I would have paid the full price, as these boots are well made and will last so definitely worth the investment, I just couldn’t do it right now.

With that said, I will take the blue! There are only two sizes available in this color, but thankfully one was mine (which never seems to happen, so I took it as a nudge to purchase ;). There are four different colors, one of the those is below – Chameau Green, and as I have this color in their classic wellie (you can see me wear it here during my trip to England this past October when I took the walking tour of the Lake District as well in the photo below with the list of links), is is a great boot.

Ideal for working in the garden, slipping on and off, but also ensuring no dirt or water gets into your socks while you potter about, perhaps this is the garden boot you too are looking for!

Being released this coming Tuesday, the founder of La Cuisine Paris Jane Bertch, a cooking school in Paris for foreigners like herself that she opened in 2009, now has a book to share her journey – The French Ingredient. Prior to opening her school, she did face skepticism from the French, as well as real-estate nightmares, and a long struggle to find and attract clients”; however, she kept persevering. “Now the school is thriving, welcoming international visitors to come in and knead dough, whisk bechamel, whip meringue, and learn the care, precision, patience, and beauty involved in French cooking.

The French Ingredient is the story of a young female entrepreneur building a life in a city and culture she grew to love. As she established her school, Jane learned how to charm, how to project confidence, and how to give it right back to rude waiters. Having finally made peace with the city she swore to never revisit, she now offers a love letter to France, and a master class in Parisian cooking—and living.”

My copy has been preordered since last fall, and I cannot wait to begin reading it. 🙂

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I recently received this new cookbook and really a travel guide as well to Paris as a birthday gift from a beloved TSLL reader (thank you again Sarah H!) and had to share with you as well. At the Table in Paris, just released on February 8th, “takes readers on a culinary stroll through the City of Light, along the Seine, over the Pont Neuf, to the Eiffel Tower, while taking little pit stops at street cafés to experience the food and drink on offer.

“With 40 typical French recipes, from breakfast right through to dinner and dessert, as well as information on what to do and where to go, this is a cookbook like no other. Discover the best green spaces to enjoy a picnic and feel inspired by time spent at the city’s famous bistros to whip up your own version of Moules Frites, Coq Au Vin, or Crème Brûlée. At the Table in Paris celebrates all this city has to offer when it comes to food, drink, and must-see places.”

Aerin Lauder now has a new collection exclusively available at Williams-Sonoma, and if you are looking for a touch of blue, white, green and floral detailing, this is the collection to explore. Along with classic outdoor furniture to beckon you to spend more time outside, I have a shopped a few finds that caught my eye below – the frame collections especially are a treat, and if you are looking for statement, but grounded in timeless style frames, she may just have what you are looking for.


A simple summer tote to be used again and again, year after year. Adding a touch of style with the stripes, Bembien’s Franci bag is one to welcome into the summer and spring rotation. Be sure to shop Halsbrook’s site as they have a 25% promo code on this bag, FF2024.

Simple, summery, light-weight and available at a great price.

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Add a statement to your style when you wear this dress. 🙂

The dress does the talking so that the accessories can be minimal and simple (or not ;).

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I love having cotton tanks such as these in my closet to wear under my blazers during the spring and early fall. Having the go-to colors that are simple and easy to mix and match, Me + Em’s crewnecks keep it professional and protect my neck from the sun. 🙂

Adding light-weight fabric in a stripe print (this looks black, but it is navy) to a work outfit paired with pants that flatter your silhouette, is a choice that will work for years as it is timeless and also, with this item, quite comfortable as well for spring style attire.

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Patricia Striped Shirtdress, G.Label by goop

Had to show you more stripes this week as they just kept popping up. Again, a classic option – shirt dresses and stripes and I love the midi-length.

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Available at a lower price point than the Veronica Beard top shared above, these short-sleeve striped tees as they are describing them as well provide a timeless, yet casual look while also dressing it up a bit for spring as we go about doing our errands or want a high/low look.


Sleepy Jones Marina Pajamas Set in Green, Navy & Cream Stripe, Marina

Having purchased in the past and loved Sleepy Jones pajamas, I perused their site recently and discovered they have SO many more prints and colors available now. While I selected their Marina stripe color, if you are looking for classic, breathable pajamas and also want a touch of fun, this is a brand to explore.

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A simple, yet elegant touch, a bud vase that is as beautiful as the single flower you place within it.

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Having just learned about this new play that opened this past March on Broadway, I wanted to bring it to your attention just in case you might be in New York this spring and summer and will have the chance to watch it. As someone who taught quite a bit about Alice Paul and American women’s fight and eventual success for voting rights in 1920 during my years of teaching, this play looks to tell that story of eventual, but not without fraught dilemmas, delays and struggles.

And as the video I will link in the next paragraph points out, the term to use is suffragists, not suffragettes, as my UK readers will know, this the title Suffs. I wish I could go watch it.

Watch a segment profiling the musical here from CBS Sunday Morning


Oh my, spring is beginning to bring the beauty ever so gently and gradually in the garden, and this past weekend, I had a fantastic time pottering about in it. From planting new roses, moving existing ones, dividing plants and thus giving myself free plants that would have cost a pretty penny had I gone to the nursery to pick up more, it was an absolute joy to be outside and the time just flew by.

TSLL Gardeners! A reminder, if you are looking to pick up your own Sussex Trug (three styles are available this year in four different sizes – garden, flower and harvest), the preordering window began on Monday – April 1st and will close this Sunday, April 7th, so be sure to explore this post and then email me with your selection so I can get shipping prices calculated and let you know the exact price. Payment will need to be made by Sunday if you are still interested in purchasing.

This week on the blog drew much inspiration from the garden, but you need not be a gardener to find motivation and application in your own unique life journey. Wednesday’s podcast episode -#378, discussed how and why to Choose to Compost Your Past: How the Arrival of Spring is a Metaphor for Life, and even the Petit Plaisir involves a bit of reference to gardening as well, but it may not appear so on the surface. And while not directly discussing gardening, but rather the gardening of knowing ourselves, Monday’s Motivational post discusses the importance of doing so and how it really does assuage (or prevent) much pain from being felt that need not be ours to carry.

TOP Tier Members, this month’s A Cuppa Moments is up on the blog as we talk about the meaning of ‘home’ within ourselves, quite a few Francophile books, and many others as well and much more (walks with the pups too!).

I hope this first week of April has kicked off well for you, and you are looking ahead to a wonderful weekend full of nibbles on fresh fruit from the garden – rhubarb perhaps!, or simply letting yourself be swept away by the beauty of the spring blossoms. Or maybe you are getting away this weekend to have fun and do something you’ve been longing to do. However you are choosing to spend it, I wish you a wonderful time and many everyday moments to savor. Thank you for stopping by today and until Monday, bonne journée. Below are a few articles and one video I think you might enjoy ☺️

~I enjoyed listening to this episode of FT’s Life & Art podcast, travel tips for spring getaways – for all of us – with kids, without kids, with our pets, on our own, you get the idea. 🙂

~Thank you Janet B., a long-time friend of TSLL and someone I had the chance to meet in person this past fall. As a fellow gardener and Francophile she found this article and wanted to share! Merci ! Gardening in French: How to Grow Your Own Jardin Français. [Frenchly]

~How to keep the sense of wonder you felt while traveling [WSJ, a subscription may be required]

~On Jane Goodall’s birthday, a gathering with fellow dog lovers, 90 in fact – pups with their person! Have a look the pic and read the interview with the now nonagenarian [NYTimes, gift link]

~An expert’s guide to finding the best cheese in Paris [BBC]

~Spring graceful colour trends to try this season according to Who What Wear UK.

~A home tour to love! A 16th century farmhouse in Surrey with oodles of English charm and careful attention to detail. [House & Garden UK]

~How to design a garden from scratch in 17 steps [H & G UK]

~Yesterday I visited for the first time the Tulip Fest right in my backyard (I will share all sorts of photos and videos in April’s Garden post, and be sure to follow my garden IG account – @lepapillongarden for peeks – a look below at the recent posting), and perhaps you have one close to you as well – The Best tulip festivals to visit in 2024. [Gardens Illustrated] Here is a list for the best tulip festivals in the US [Country Living]

~9 Habits of Happy HSPs [Sensitive Refuge]

~Haha! Loved this short video made by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. Be sure to watch it all the way to the very last second. 🙂


~~Please note: TSLL is supported by you, readers who take the time to stop by (merci!), peruse and sometimes welcome into your life mentioned and recommended finds. Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL when you purchase. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here.

7 thoughts on “This & That: April 5, 2024

  1. Great T & T! 🙂
    What caught my eye:
    – The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians
    – The Beautiful Game
    – The Trouble with Jessica
    – Bembien Franci Bag, Stripe
    – Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo 😀
    – 9 Habits of Happy HSP.

    Beautiful tulips! 🙂

    Have a lovely weekend! XO

  2. Ahhh I work in advertising and I honestly felt like laughing and then throwing something while watching the Frida and Van Gogh video. That was so true to life! 😂

  3. Really wonderful T&T, Shannon, and taking a cue from Isabel🙏🏼💕, what I love and what intrigued:
    Van Gogh & Frida Kahlo short– WHAT A HOOT!!
    The Book Forger–I have never heard of this story, MUST HAVE
    The Secrets of Booksellers and Librarians–so yes
    The Beautiful Game–looks to be a hidden treasure, very much looking forward to viewing
    Le Chameau–I don’t NEED any wellies at the mo, but a pair is definitely coming my way at some point😍
    House & Garden UK–just yes. Finally got a subscription because I was always buying a copy at my local bookstore when they had it. I save issues and treat as reference.
    Nine Habits of Happy HSPs
    Wow, those tulips. Thank you, Shannon!
    xx 🌞

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