This & That: April 22, 2022
Friday April 22, 2022

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A new series starring Julia Roberts, Viola Davis’ memoir, a French pastry and dessert cookbook from a favorite IG influencer, the return of a fun and full-of-chuckles British cozy mystery series, step out into the spring garden with a beloved British gardener in her new series, discover multiple new books worth checking out in a variety of genres and much, much more.


Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis

Being released this coming Tuesday, Viola Davis’ memoir is already a best seller. Davis writes, “This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me.”

I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times by Mónica Guzmán

Released just this past March, journalist Mónica Guzmán, “The chief storyteller for the national cross-partisan depolarization organization Braver Angels, takes you to the real front lines of a crisis that threatens to grind America to a halt—broken conversations among confounded people. She shows you how to overcome the fear and certainty that surround us to finally do what only seems impossible: understand and even learn from people in your life whose whole worldview is different from or even opposed to yours.”

Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir by Delia Ephron

Editors and readers are quite enjoying and praising Delia Ephron’s memoir, Left on Tenth released last week. “Delia Ephron had struggled through several years of heartbreak. She’d lost her sister, Nora, and then her husband, Jerry, both to cancer . . . She channeled her grief the best way she knew: by writing a New York Times op-ed. The piece caught the attention of Peter, a Bay Area psychiatrist, who emailed her to commiserate. Recently widowed himself, he reminded her that they had shared a few dates fifty-four years before, set up by Nora. Delia did not remember him, but after several weeks of exchanging emails and sixties folk songs, he flew east to see her. They were crazy, utterly, in love . . . and then a diagnosis of leukemia.” Written skillfully and honestly as only Deliah Ephron can, be sure to listen to her interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air as well.

Temples of Books: Magnificent Libraries Around the World

I know many TSLL readers are bibliophiles like myself, so I wanted to share with you this book released on March 29th. “Libraries are changing, but, as places that are fundamentally free and open to all, they’re also staying the same. Temples of Books explores the most stunning examples, but it also explores how varied the idea of a library can be. It can be a grand Baroque hall with leather-bound tomes or a mid-century masterpiece, but it can just as easily be a few shelves in a repurposed phone booth.”

The Verifiers by Jane Pek

Released on February 22nd, author Jane Pek introduces readers to “Claudia Lin: a sharp-witted amateur sleuth for the 21st century. This debut novel follows Claudia as she verifies people’s online lives, and lies, for a dating detective agency in New York City. Until a client with an unusual request goes missing. . . .”

British Finds

The Duke

Finally, The Duke hits theaters in the states. I have shared multiple times here on the blog about this film being worth watching and now we can enjoy it and delight in the story, based on true events, and the cast – Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren. Here again is the trailer.

Edmund Footstool, small, natural linen, Rowen & Wren (multiple fabric choices)

I love ottomans. Putting my feet up while I sit by the fire in the upholstered chairs or sipping my tea and concluding the day on the sofa. Rowen & Wren just revealed their new footstools (available in two sizes), and there are quite a few fabric options.

Gentleman Jack

Returning with Season 2 after many positive reviews of the first, Gentleman Jack premieres on Monday April 25th. Set in 1832 Halifax, West Yorkshire, if you didn’t watch the first season yet, it is inspired by a remarkable true story. This drama series follows the charismatic Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) as she attempts to revitalize her inherited home—and marry a wealthy heiress (Sophie Rundle). Check out the trailer for the new season below.

Shakespeare & Hathaway, Season 4 premiere (BritBox)

The wonderful, playful sleuthing pair of Shakespeare & Hathway has returned for Season 4 on BritBox. Watch now and enjoy slipping away to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Spring Gardening with Carol, Channel 5

British gardener Carol Klein’s new series, Spring Gardening with Carol premiered just yesterday on BBC’s Channel 5. If you have access to it, I highly recommend it. A great pairing with Gardeners’ World. Join Carol in her own garden, Glebe Cottage, in Devon, “where the signs of spring are with us. For gardeners, this is a time of hope and rebirth.”

For viewers in the states, I was able to find the first episode here on YouTube (not sure how long it will be available).

Francophile Finds

Sweet Paris: Seasonal Recipes from an American Baker in France by Frank Adrian Barron

Perhaps you follow Cake Boy Paris on Instagram, aka Frank Adrian Barron. Well, if you don’t, you might just want to check out his newly released cookbook if nothing else for all of the beautiful photography seen on his IG account and now paired with the recipes.

“In Sweet Paris, Frank brings together the best elements of French style and American baking. Inspired by the tradition of l’heure du goûter, a daily French tradition similar to British teatime, and autour de la table, the idea of gathering around the table with good friends and delicious food, Sweet Paris is a love letter to the sublime world of desserts and the City of Light. Enjoy 75 recipes for irresistible baked goods, organized by season, using the peak fruits and flavors of each, including:

Spring—Cherry Blossom Financiers, Coconut Pineapple Layer Cake, Rhubarb Tart, Very Vanilla Cake 

Summer—Strawberry Tart, Chocolate Cherry Layer Cake, Lavender Honey Madeleines, Pavlova with Summer Berries

Fall—Mirabelle Upside Down Cake, Apple Cardamom Tea Cake, Praline All Day Cake, Gâteau Opera

Winter—Medjool Date Cake in Orange Caramel Sauce, White Chocolate and Cassis Bûche de Noël, Lemon Meringue Cake, Blood Orange Mini Bundts, Alsatian Gingerbread”


Dishing on Julia, official companion podcast to the series Julia on HBO Max

A big thank you to a TSLL reader for bringing to my attention the companion podcast to the new series on HBO Max focused on the life of Julia Child, Julia. Similar to what other shows on HBO Max have done, Dishing on Julia releases a new episode following each episode of the show. Welcoming to each episode of the podcast are the writers of each episode as well as cast members and those who knew Julia Child, sharing with listeners even more about the woman so many people adore.

I recently listened to episode #4 with David Hyde Pierce, and I appreciated his sharing that in the series certain story-lines differed from the truth of what we know. He confirmed what I learned that indeed Paul Child was genuinely supportive and wholeheartedly behind Julia’s career, and not in the least reluctant or hesitant as depicted in the series itself. I look forward to catching up on the series this weekend and listening to a few more episodes.


Gaslit, series (Starz)

Julia Roberts stars as Martha Mitchell, the woman who took on Nixon. The series begins on Starz this Sunday with new episodes released each subsequent Sunday. “Gaslit: the insane, but shockingly true story.” Check out the trailer below.


A glimpse of our accommodations this past Monday located in the English countryside and the sunshine we were so fortunate to experience!

Above is one of the sitting areas in The Pig – at Bridge Place in Canterbury. Each room and common area, including the restaurant and outdoor spaces is a marvel of quintessential English country decor, and I delighted in every detail. I will be sharing a detailed post during TSLL’s 5th Annual British Week (May 15-22), but needless to say, if you wish to travel to the English countryside and stay a night or two, be sure to check out one of the eight locations around the country.

Arriving home late Wednesday night, my housesitter took such wonderful care of Le Papillon and most importantly Norman. The weather in Bend gave us rain, so the neighborhood glistened, and inside the house, a few lamps were turned on, the fireplace was alight and the exterior lights aglow as well to welcome us home. It was a most wonderful return to conclude an equally wonderful trip.

Norman and I settled right back into our daily routine on Thursday which was a delight and something I so enjoy knowing we can do. The garden is doing well as we had snow while I was gone, and now the warmth is scheduled to begin. I look forward to visiting a local nursery this weekend, filling my front porch pots, maybe even mowing my lawn. As well, catching up on Gardeners’ World episodes and just generally enjoying being home.

I wasn’t able to post on Wednesday as I had hoped. Each day in England following our time in Paris was full and the days just flew by, but do look for a new Saturday Ponderings . . . post this weekend. Also, on Tuesday, April 26th is when the first Book Chat and Q & A about The Road to Le Papillon takes place for a virtual gathering on Zoom. Roundabout Books will be hosting, and it all begins at 6pm (pacific time). I will send out the link to newsletter subscribers, but you can also save this page, as it has the link that you just need to click on when April 26th at least 6pm arrives (no need to reserve a spot). There will also be a video on YouTube of the event that will be uploaded later (I will be sure to share that here on the blog when it becomes available).

While I have many posts in the works inspired by my recent trip to both Paris and England that I will be sharing in the coming weeks, feel free if you are traveling any time soon to ask questions. The process of traveling during this ever-evolving time of Covid was quite seamless even though initially there were many questions. The negative Covid test we had to acquire prior to returning to the states was something our hotel did for us (they were trained and given permission to be accepted for the Fit to Fly test results), and while we did have to pay for it, being able to tend to this ‘have-to’ at any time by simply going to the lobby reduced the stress immensely. Go ahead and leave your questions in the Comments Section and I will be sure to answer them this weekend. Also, the mask mandate for the states changed in the middle of our trip, so when we returned, it was the first day where masking was optional (depending upon the airlines you were flying on – we flew with British Airways). This too was an interesting change of events, but being prepared ensured whatever was decided, we would be fine, and we more than were.

Thank you to so many of you who followed along on IG while we traveled about – plane, trains, walking and taking the Tube (find all of the IG Stories in the Highlights sections on IG), and look for detailed videos in May’s A Cuppa Moments and then detailed posts for individual places right here for everyone on the blog. Needless to say, British Week’s content is all set and then some. 🙂

Below are a few posts and a video you might enjoy. Thank you very much for stopping by today, and until tomorrow, bonne journée.

~I enjoyed this article especially after seeing so much aesthetic evidence in both Paris and England of how to decorate well – How to avoid the most common mistakes in decorating your house [House & Garden UK]

~France holds its final round of Presidential elections this Sunday and it will be a close vote if all reports are correct [Frenchly]

~Visiting The Tuileries last week was a treat as the tulips and blossoms were abundant. And yep, those iconic green Fermob chairs were everywhere! Here is the story behind these green chairs and how they came to be [Landen Kerr]

~9 French grammar tricks to make you sound like a local [The Local, subscription required]

~Something I have had on my list of ‘to-do’s for some time – Design ideas for organizing your bookshelves [House & Garden UK]

~Is it the end of suits for men? I hope not, but here are some thoughts. [The Guardian]

~To add drama and sophistication to a room, try painting the ceiling. It’s true! [The Washington Post]

~Ideas for slowing down your day and how it looked – a-day-in-the-life – for this writer [Stylist, UK]

~Inspiration in illustrations for taking gentle care of yourself in your everydays [Cup of Jo]

~We returned home from London to Oregon on the first day masks became optional in the states, and it was quite fascinating to compare, observe and learn how airports and airlines adjusted and how swiftly. Where to mask, as mask rules change again this week. [The New York Times]

~I am a week ahead on this one (it premieres on April 29th), but I couldn’t wait to share. Sad to see this series is ending, but oh, was it a fun one to watch. Here is the trailer for Season 7B of Grace & Frankie on Netflix.

~Check out last week’s This & That: April 15, 2022

The return of one of the most hilarious modern comedies I have watched in the past couple of years, a new series taking a different look inside the White House, a French handbag that caught my eye while shopping in Paris this week, a light-hearted French film to make you chuckle, summer dresses you will wear for years, cookbooks for small kitchens, one dish, and each for simple and delicious recipes, a new book on how life (and the female brain) really does get better as we age, and still, much much more, along with a few pictures from Paris as I returned this week to the City of Light. 

~Please note: Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here.

12 thoughts on “This & That: April 22, 2022

  1. The books have been added to my TBR list, I have downloaded last nights Spring Gardening (thank you for the heads up) and set it to record.. and I intend to catch up on Gentleman Jack and cannot wait for Gaslit! As well, the season finale of Grace & Frankie – I thoroughly love that series and it gives me hope for my own later years that they can be fulfilling and interesting. So refreshing to see a series that celebrates not just older women but the older generation (including Robert and Sol). I look forward to perusing the articles over the weekend.
    I thoroughly enjoyed following along on your trip with what you shared on Instagram and look forward to more insight in Cuppa Moments and British Week. I hope you had a wonderful time, as you sure know how to travel well and I take so much inspiration for my own future trips… The Pig, Claridges, The Savoy! And the gardens and Fortnums and Monet… what a wealth of enjoyment.
    Have a wonderful weekend in the garden, I will be joining you here in my own garden and in watching Gardeners World.

    1. Sarah, Good morning from Oregon! It seems hard to believe I was only just in your country two days ago. We had such a wonderful time in England. I already cannot wait to return. So happy I could help and give a heads up on Carol Klein’s show. I do wish I could figure out how to watch it here in the states. I so enjoy her and her garden. I think you especially would enjoy a stay at any of The Pigs – every detail is considered and to wake up in the beautiful countryside in rooms that are a luxury but also English country cozy, it was a wonderful find I was tickled to come across last fall. I look forward to sharing that post in May.

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend and losing all track of time while pottering away in your garden. 🙂

  2. Shannon~

    Welcome Home!

    And what a welcome to come home to it sounds like. I am so happy you were able to have your latest travel experience with your mother and I have delighted in following your IG. I, however, spent your vacation watching ALL THREE Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? adaptions on BritBox:) The latest was definitely my favorite of the three.

    I am so looking forward to May’s A Cuppa Moments and, of course, British Week as I have been living vicariously through you during your stay.

    Hopefully, I will be seeing you at your “book chat” on Zoom Tuesday evening.

    Enjoy the weekend.


    1. Thank you for stopping by Michelle. ☺️ Thank you for sharing you watched all three and Hugh Laurie’s is your top choice. I look forward to watching it as yep, the reviews are quite positive.

      I too look forward to see you and all of TSLL readers. Grateful for this opportunity. It should be fun and I cannot wait to see your faces!! 🙂

      Have a lovely weekend,

  3. Hi Shannon!! So much great stuff today, I don’t know where to start. But thank you very much for all you do to bring so much good to us!!And so wonderful about your trip with your Mom!! Glad you had a fantastic trip and are home safe and sound with Norman!!:)

  4. Shannon, welcome home. Loved your posts on IG.. My sister and have booked our trip, flying from Denver to Heathrow. She is coming here the day before. Thank you for mentioning about staying at a hotel that does the Covid tests. I did make a reservation at Hyatt Place which offers them onsite, so good to hear that worked for you. I watched the YouTube video of Spring Gardening with Carol and loved it, thanks for the recommendation. Loved the trailer for The Duke, hope it’s playing here. As you said traveling is wonderful but coming home is so special, glad Norman was well taken care of and you are back into your normal routines.

    1. Thank you Josanne. 🙂 I am excited for you and your sister to take your trip. What a beautiful time of year to travel. London was abuzz, but it felt entirely normal and lovely. With it having been almost 5 years since I was in London and the English countryside, while I knew I missed the country, I didn’t know how much. It was so good to be back in the land of Cuppas, birdsong, and driving on the left-side of the road! Bon Voyage! ☺️

  5. Shannon, glad you had a wonderful trip to Paris and London and the South East. Sissinghurst is on my list too. I was taken by your hotel so maybe I’ll venture South soon. Another great selection to savour this week.

    I know that Channel 5 has it’s own “on demand” service but it may be limited to the UK because of the TV licence issue.

    1. Nicola,

      Thank you for the info on Channel 5’s streaming service. I will be sure to check that out. Yes, definitely check out all eight of The Pig accommodations as there is likely one near where you would like to go in the South. You will, I have a confident feeling, appreciate their décor, grounds and their food – all sourced from a radius of within 25 miles, including their own gardens.

  6. Thank you, Shannon, for another great T&T! So glad all went well on your trip – logistically speaking, and I am now looking forward to the British Week. 🙂

    My favourites here:
    – Temples of Books – of course… 😉
    – The Duke – on my list “to watch”, hoping it will become available for EU soon;
    – R & W footstool – simple and sophisticate…
    – Gentleman Jack;
    – article on common mistakes on decorating home – always useful to do some “checking” with the pros of these things;
    – Grace & Frankie – only sorry that it is the last installment.

    Nice decor and ambience at The Pig! I do love me a proper English room indeed…

    All the best for your week, many pats to Norman! 🙂

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