This & That: August 27, 2021
Friday August 27, 2021

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Books to take you to the south of France, to a small English village bookshop, tips on boosting your everyday vitality as well as finding time and the benefit of pausing more regularly to reclaim your creativity. A few clothing items to whet your palate for TSLL’s upcoming Fall Shopping Guide, a British historical series with WWII in the backdrop and a contemporary film with the coronavirus in the backdrop. As well, dog parents, I have found a chic bed from Britain and it’s that time of year again, my favorite calendar is about to be released and it is only available in limited quantities. Still, there is more. 🙂


The Bookseller’s Secret: A Novel of Nancy Mitford and WWII by Michelle Gable

The British literary icon, perhaps her name rings a bell as her books were adapted into Emily Mortimer’s mini-series In Pursuit of Love, well another adaptation of sorts is about to be released into the form of a novel by Michelle Gable. Beginning in 1942 during WWII, and Mitford, estranged from her husband, steps away from her writing and toward a new life as a bookseller when “eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.

Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…”

Everyday Vitality: Turning Stress into Strength by Samantha Boardman, MD

One of a handful of books I am exploring for Season 8 content of the podcast, psychiatrist Samantha Boardman’s Everyday Vitality (released earlier this month) shows readers “how to find strength within their stress and how to transform full days into more fulfilling days.” Now I must admit, I am a bit skeptical, because as Seth Godin points out in a linked article at the end of today’s post, the solution to stress is not managing it, but reducing it; however, I am open to reading what she has to share as she shares skills for managing negative emotions, building coping skills and boosting productivity. You never know, between both reduction and adding these key tools to our approaching to living, indeed life would be enhanced. 🙂

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

Being released on August 31, The Last Chance Library (a novel) is set in a small English town and centers around a “lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.” Forced to change, and perhaps all for the better in more respects than one.

A Minute To Think: Reclaim Creativity, Conquer Busyness, and Do Your Best Work by Juliet Funt

Released earlier this month, and another book I am reading for Season 8 of the podcast, “in A Minute to Think, Juliet Funt, a globally recognized warrior in the battle against busyness, provides a powerful guide that will give you the permission, framework, and specific direction you need to do the following:

  • Regain control of your overloaded, caffeinated, inbox-worshiping workday
  • Liberate yourself and your teams from burnout and busywork
  • Reclaim creativity and focus despite the chaos around you
  • Bring thoughtfulness into designing your next work norms
  • Tame the beast of email and escape the mire of meetings
  • Find your precious minute to think

British Find

Mrs. Wilson

I recently learned of this mini-series based on a true story from a list of Period British series to watch that have been released in the past 10 years. Released in 2019, Mrs. Wilson centers around a man who lead two lives, and it isn’t until his death that his two wives find out. Learn more about the history which inspired the series, and check out the trailer below. Subscribe to PBS Masterpiece ($2.99/mo) to view.

Nicholas Engert Oval Dog Basket, Small (UK)

I happened upon Nicholas Engert’s dog beds while perusing through the most recent issue of The English Home, and as I type Norman is snoring underneath my desk in a bed we have had for more than . . . well, for longer than Norman has been alive. Needless to say, it may need an upgrade soon, and this bed caught my eye. There are other sizes available.



Being released today, Together starring James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan. The plot centers around a husband and wife forced to re-evaluate themselves and their relationship through the reality of the COVID-19 lockdown. Take a look. It certainly caught my eye.

Francophile Find

Maison Sarah Lavoine Black Boots

Fall is coming and so too is TSLL’s Annual Fall Shopping Guide (being released next Wednesday here on the blog), so while I don’t have many clothing items in this week’s T & T, I wanted to include a few, and these classic knee-high boots (brown suede is also available) are a capsule wardrobe must in my closet. Perhaps yours as well.

Sunlight and Shadows: Writers in the South of France by Julia Carter

Jean Cocteau. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Aldous Huxley. Katherine Mansfield. Somerset Maugham. Edith Wharton. Released this past June, “Sunlight and Shadows explores the lives and works of these six best-selling twentieth-century writers who lived, loved and wrote in the South of France. For many it was a cheap place to live well; for others, the climate was good for their health; while some were fleeing romance, addiction, and even prosecution. They all found a haven of sunlight and beauty and they all found the space to live in their imaginations and write their masterpieces – but what terrible secrets did they bring with them?”


Giant Paper Clips, set of 3, Anthropologie

La Rentrée is nearly here and that means time to step back into being a bit more organized. Available to use for a variety of purposes, these large paperclips would work well in my planner, holding back previous months, or holding on to notes I need to keep with me.

Inslee’s 2022 Calendars

The exclusive illustrator for TSLL is a talent I am grateful to work with, now for ten years and counting! And it has always been her calendars that have been a foundation piece of her regular offerings.

Get ready because they sell out quickly. On Wednesday September 1st, Inslee’s 2022 calendars will go on sale. I do love welcoming one into my home each year. I am not entirely sure what her designs will be, but the boxes are certainly cheerful. Follow her on IG to stay apprised of exactly when they are released.

J.Crew Blazer-jacket in English Wool Houndstooth

Fall, houndstooth. Possibly the most perfect match for autumn sartorial choices. At least, you cannot go wrong. And while oversized blazers have been in vogue for the past couple of years, thankfully, they are hanging around again.

Mid-Year Planner, Papier (on sale and more colors), personalized

Ready to start fresh with September? Papier has you covered with their mid-year planner, capable of being personalized and sturdy as ever. I have three of their journals personalized for a variety of notes on my home and garden, and I recommend their work highly. This Le Agenda planner caught my eye, and now it’s on sale and available in even more colors than the green seen above.

Could it be the end of August already? Well, nearly, but let’s enjoy one more weekend, shall we? 🙂

The peaches delighted me this week, and while they still have a few more days to ripen, simply seeing them on the tree the size of baseballs and slowly growing ever larger, brings a smile to my face each time (view 12 more things that made me smile this month here).

The guest bathroom is so close to done, I can see the bubbles in the bath in my mind’s eye. The tiler will be coming on the weekend (the weekend! oh, thank goodness!) to finish the counter, and then all that is needed is putting up the lights, anchoring the sink, situating the faucet, and hanging the mirror, racks, and hooks. It is my hope with all fingers and toes crossed, to be able to bring you the tour of the guest bath during next Wednesday’s A Cuppa Moments and a detailed post later in early September.

But the weekend has arrived, and with it hopefully some time for reflection on the week that was with time in the near future to relax, rest and savor a few things you most enjoy partaking in.

The weekly and monthly newsletter will be sent to subscribers (they are both free!) later tonight, and being subscribed to both is not a bad idea as the monthly receives the exclusive letter of inspiration from the editor never shared on the blog, while both the newsletters keep you up-to-date on the week/month’s postings on the blog. Learn more here.

I will be stepping into the kitchen this weekend to tape a couple more episodes of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen (look for the first episode of season 4 on Saturday September 11th), and enjoying what I will be making. If the skies clear up, Norman and I may go on a paddle as we only have a few more weeks of warm water left, but mostly, I will be staying home, relaxing and maybe, maybe, by weekend’s end, soaking in a hot bubble bath. 🙂

Thank you so much for stopping by today, and I do hope you have a wonderful weekend. Below are a few links and one video you might enjoy as you settle in wherever you find your cozy. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~The 8 best chocolate shops in Paris, according to experts [Frenchly]

~This recipe, cozy, yum and I cannot wait to try – Honey Almond Lemon Cake (gluten-free) [Nik Sharma]

~I appreciate Seth Godin’s point about stress and how to handle it, or as he points out, is it more a matter of reducing it . . . uh, that makes so much sense!

~Did you know? The Arc de Triomphe is about to be ‘wrapped’ in memory of two artists? [Frenchly]

~The difference between thinking deeply and overthinking [Introvert, Dear]

~Where to eat in London to make you feel like you are in Europe [House & Garden UK]

~This tour of a historic home in Seattle is worth checking out – I’ll take the bathroom with the free standing tub please. 🙂 [Rue Mag]

~Have you watched the French film from the sixties coming back into Vogue this summer at New York City’s Film Forum? More than a few have and it remains being played long passed what was expected because the audience keeps wanting to view it. [The New York Times]

~A Paris Travel Guide [Travel + Leisure]

~31 of the best British Period Dramas from the past decade [I Heart British TV]

~Season 2 of The Morning Show on AppleTV+ premieres on Friday September 17th. Here’s the trailer . . . | The Simply Luxurious Life

18 thoughts on “This & That: August 27, 2021

  1. Books. A British film I recorded when it showed on TV and need to watch. oh and the second long awaited series of The Morning Show! I cannot wait for this to arrive. Thank you for so much cultural inspiration again this week Shannon. This & That is my Friday treat. I hope you thoroughly enjoy your long awaited bubble bath!
    Sarah x

    1. Sarah, Good afternoon in England and happy Friday! I cannot wait for The Morning Show’s second season either. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by as always and wishing you well. *fingers crossed* on the bubble bath happening, but the good news is at least it will be done in the next week for sure. 🙂

  2. Love the stress quote. I have been trying to re-vamp my schedule and this was added inspiration! Maybe off to the kitchen this weekend for some “cooking therapy” 🙂

  3. The Booksellers Secret and Mrs. Wilson, are both very good recommendations, I always look forward to your Friday post. Don’t laugh, I make lists. Lists of ideas, books, music, programs on television as well as movie releases. There is so much information floating around I often have difficulty sorting it all out into categories that I would appreciate. You do a brilliant job helping with that. Have a lovely weekend. Hugs to the furry friends.

    1. Lucy and Shannon…I’m a compulsive list maker as well. They soothe me and help me feel more centered and in control. (that said…I also merrily sidestep many items on my list I feel like avoiding) I have my to-do lists…to dream lists…movie, books, to cook, to buy…lists for pretty much everything. Love my lists!

  4. Am excited to see the reveal of your bathroom. Hope that you get to indulge in a bath full of bubbles in the coming days.? Many good suggestions for shows to look out for. How wonderful it would be to be able to sample an item from each of the chocolate shops described in Paris! Enjoy the weekend. ?☕️?

  5. I have seen Mrs. Wilson and it is well worth watching. It is well acted and skillfully directed, with surprises and twists throughout, right through literally the last minute. I highly recommend this mini-series. Thank you for sharing this information with your TSLL readers. Cheers, Susan

  6. Sacred Sunday involves my Diptyque candle, hot coffee, gentle music and reading This and That. I then proceed to making my list of your recommendations–ha ha.

    Happy Sunday and thank you, Shannon!

  7. Thanks, Shannon, for the lovely inspirations. I hope you had a good weekend.

    I am really enjoying this going-on “series” about novels related to libraries or bookstores. I have read some, listed others, and two more to add today.

    Important point about the difference between thinking deeply and overthinking. Cannot say that I am not “guilty” of that one. Oops.

    That basket is really cool. I am sure even my feline daughter would approve. 😉

    And yes, I absolutely make lists and take abundant notes here at TSLL…

    Have a good week, everyone! 🙂

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