This & That: July 21, 2023
Friday July 21, 2023

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Some big films being released this weekend, along with a feel-good film being released later next week. Books for cozy mystery lovers, food memoirs, three salad and vegetable cookbooks for cooking with the seasons, a book to provide inspiration for prioritizing the value of being well-rested year-round, two global sporting events of note kick-off, clothing finds for summer style as well as a summer handbag that you will have for years. AND my favorite linen pjs are on sale! Still, there is more.


The Little Village of Book Lovers: A Novel by Nina George

If you enjoyed the bestseller The Little Paris Bookshop (2015), I have a feeling you will greatly enjoy the author’s second book released this coming week, The Little Village of Book Lovers.

Set in “a little town in the south of France in the 1960s, a dazzling encounter with Love itself changes the life of infant orphan Marie-Jeanne forever.

As a girl, Marie-Jeanne realizes that she can see the marks Love has left on the people around her—tiny glowing lights on the faces and hands that shimmer more brightly when the one meant for them is near. Before long, Marie-Jeanne is playing matchmaker, bringing true loves together in her village.

As she grows up, Marie-Jeanne helps her foster father, Francis, begin a mobile library that travels throughout the many small mountain towns in the region of Nyons. She finds herself bringing soulmates together every place they go—and there are always books that play a pivotal role in that quest. However, the only person that Marie-Jeanne can’t seem to find a soulmate for is herself. She has no glow of her own, though she waits and waits for it to appear.”

Mise en Place: A Memoir of a Girl Chef by Marisa Mangani

Released last year, a true story about chef Marisa Mangani’s journey that “takes readers [with her] through the mostly men’s club of restaurant kitchens as she travels from Hawaii to Oregon, New Orleans, Canada, Australia, and Florida”. A bestseller in three different categories, Mangani’s writing is engaging and ideal for both those who love food and restaurants as well as travelers who appreciate an engaging travelogue. If you have been enjoying The Bear, I have a feeling you might want to explore Mise en Place and if you want a deeper appreciation for the food on your plate at your favorite restaurant, this book will certainly provide just that.

Well-Rested Every Day: 365 Rituals, Recipes and Reflections for Radical Peace and Renewal by Jolene Hart

Released this past spring, Jolene Hart’s daily entry for each of the 365 dates on the calendar provides wisdom, inspiration and insight into how it really can be possible to feel well-rested every day. Have a look at two excerpts below.

British Finds

The Yorkshire Moorland Mystery by J.S. Fletcher

Joseph Smith Fletcher was a journalist and author who lived between 1863-1935, and he wrote more than 200 books and short stories. One hundred of them at least were detective novels, and The Yorkshire Moorland Mystery is one of them. “A classic detective plot, the mystery begins “when a renowned American book collector is found dead at the foot of Harlesden Scar, [as] it appears to be a tragic accident. But his nephew and Captain Mannering are convinced it’s a mysterious and sinister homicide, potentially linked to a long-neglected tome in the doctor’s possession. Determined to uncover the truth, the pair embark on a perilous chase, desperate to catch the killer that has thus far eluded even Scotland Yard.”

There many more titles available to explore that caught my eye and maybe yours as well, so be sure to explore further each one of them here.


Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession by Jess Damuck

Released back in March 2022, a cookbook to have on hand not only during the summer when fresh produce is more readily available, but year-round. Salad Freak was one of the most anticipated cookbooks of the previous year and for good reason. “Offering more than 100 inspired recipes, recipe developer and food stylist Jess Damuck shares her passion for making truly delicious salads. Salad Freak encourages readers to discover and embrace their own salad obsessions. With the right recipes, you will want to eat salad for every meal and never get bored. By playfully combining color, texture, shape, and, of course, flavor, Damuck demonstrates how a little extra effort in the kitchen can be meditative, delicious, and fun. The recipes—such as her Citrus Breakfast Salad; Tea-Smoked Chicken and Bitter Greens Salad; Caesar Salad Pizza Salad; and Roasted Grapes, Ricotta, Croutons, and Endive Salad—are meant to be hearty enough for a meal all year round but versatile enough to be incorporated into a larger menu.”

Salad Seasons: Vegetable Forward Dishes All Year by Sheela Prakash 

With farmers’ markets open, now is a wonderful time to be inspired by the seasons and be reminded that it is possible to eat seasonally and deliciously when it comes to vegetables year-round. Released this past April, “the recipes in Salad Seasons not only span all four seasons, but show off salads’ versatility as both vibrant main dishes—such as Brown-Buttered Brussels Sprouts and Orecchiette Salad and Smashed Potato and Chorizo Sheet Pan Salad—and as fresh side dishes, like Israeli Corn Salad and Bittersweet Radicchio Salad. Also included are a handful of playful fruit salads, like Strawberry-Rhubarb Salad with Lavender Honey and Brûléed Citrus Salad, which make for unfussy, modern desserts.” So much deliciousness! What a great resource this cookbook would be in the kitchen.



It may surprise you at first glance that I am including a movie about a toy doll, but Barbie is sooo much more than what it appears to be on the surface. The primary reason I took a close look at this film is because of who the director and co-screenwriter is – Greta Gerwig (Oscar nominated director for Little Women). Co-written with Noah Baumbach (her life partner and also an Oscar nominated director), the film directly states it is for those who love Barbie and those who don’t (shared in the trailer below). And the same can be said for critics – you either loved the intentional satirical attacks on capitalism and the patriarchy or you didn’t. You either felt it didn’t go far enough with the subtle pokes and jabs or were made uncomfortable by how far it did go, but yet again, we’re talking about it and if we’re talking about it, Gerwig’s intentions are more successful than not as to why she wanted the film to be presented as it is. (reviews can be viewed here, here and here)

Across the board what critics can agree on is the cast. Being praised for their performances beginning with Barbie herself, Margot Robbie as well as the dead-pan of Ryan Gosling starring as Ken who upon stepping out of Barbie’s world finds he likes the real world quite a bit more, followed by Issa Rae, Will Ferrell, Emma MacKay (Eiffel, Emily, Death on the Nile), Kate McKinnon (SNL), America Ferrera and more.

In case you didn’t know Barbie was hitting theaters today 😉 (their marketing campaign has set new precedents for spreading the word – just check out Google search when you type in Barbie for an example of this), now you know, and you can see it beginning today. Check out the trailer below.

Happiness for Beginners

A delightful comedy to watch starting on July 27th (next Thursday), starring Ellie Kemper and Luke Grimes, Happiness for Beginners. Based on the bestselling book by Katherine Center of the same name Happiness for Beginners follows Helen (Kemper) who “signs up for a wilderness survival course, a year after getting divorced. She discovers through this experience that sometimes, you have to get really lost in order to find yourself.” Check out the trailer below.


Oscar chatter galore is abuzz with the new film, Oppenheimer, being released today. Inspired by the Pulitzer Prize winning book (2005) American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, Cillian Murphy stars as J. Oppenheimer, alongside Emily Blunt, and Robert Downey Jr. Critics are praising both the performances and the plot’s delivery that tells “the story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.” Have a look at the trailer below.

Francophile Find

Le Tour de France Femmes

The well-known men’s Le Tour de France may be wrapping up their three week race this Sunday in Paris, but that just means that Les Femmes are beginning their Tour de France. Running from July 23 through July 30th, watch as the women travel over the same routes in the southwest part of France that the first week of the men’s tour traveled.

Yves Delorme, Les Soldes Sale

A French bedding company known for their luxurious linens, Yves Delorme is having their summer Les Soldes (sale) and that means everything, yep, everything is 25% off. If you are on the hunt for quality bed linens, shop here first.

Luxury 300 thread count coverlet, many color options

The Plant Soirée: Plant-based French-inspired Recipes for Entertaining (Vegan French Cooking) by Sarala Terpstra 

Released this past December, a book that missed my list for no other reason than I didn’t know about it (a hardback copy is hard to find at the moment, but it is available in Kindle form), is Sarala Terpstra’s The Plant Soirée. Discover “20 carefully curated recipes that will wow your guests at your next dinner party and help you host a beautiful gathering, the French way!

“All recipes are French or French-inspired, entirely plant based and mostly gluten free to accommodate various diets, can be made ahead of time in an hour or less, include measurements in both cups and grams or milliliter, and include tips on how to make things faster and easier.”

Get to know the author and cook here.


Equipment Alejandra midi silk raspberry sorbet summer silk dress, 50% off

If you are looking for a pop of color, this halter silk dress in an inviting pink sorbet shade is one to explore. With a comfortable midi-length and a statement in the back (take a peek), show off your summer tan and turn heads.

La Ligna Marina Sweater Stripe, cotton (many combinations of colors)

Strolls on the beach in the early mornings here in Oregon typically call for a light jacket, or! A cotton sweater, just like this one, and as it is available in oodles of stripe combinations and colors, find the one that suits your style and preference and have a staple for years to come that provides comfort and style.

Pamela Munson’s Avis Tote

A quality summer tote, one you can choose to take you from day to a nice evening out. Pamela Munson’s online store is where to shop. She has many different signature summer totes, handbags and clutches and this one immediately caught my eye.

Pamela Munson’s Beach Basket, dark wood (three options)

One more and this one is a bit more affordable, but still ideal for summer strolling, shopping and staying in style.

Serena & Lily’s linen Positano pajamas (my favorite!), on sale

A big thank you to Michelle for asking about the linen pajamas I recommend because upon looking them up to share the link, I discovered they are on sale! AND all sizes (as of the time of this posting) are available. Wahoo!

I genuinely love these pajamas as wear them year round. Not necessarily to bed in the summer months, but I do wear them in the summer when I sit on my garden porch to enjoy my croissant breakfast each Sunday after returning from our morning walk. Linen is cool to wear, comfortable against the skin and lasts a long time (just remember to never dry it in the machine – always air dry). As someone who is 5’11”, often pjs legs are too short, but the Positano collection is unisex and thus the medium fits my inseam perfectly. I have worn three different colors/prints below over the past eight years and all are well-made. Highly recommend.

~Note, all solids pjs are on sale. Unfortunately not the stripe style, but I can reassure, they are all the same in quality. The stripes just must be a popular choice.


FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia & New Zealand

The matches have already begun and with an upset with New Zealand winning! Which only makes sense as they are one of the two hosts of the global event. 🙂 Beginning on July 20th and running through until August 20th cheer on your country and learn about five storylines to watch as the World Cup kicks off [NPR]. | The Simply Luxurious Life

With my two cherry trees dripping with ripe red gems, my weekend plans are set. And oh my goodness do I have oodles! With warmer temperatures expected this weekend, I will be sure to be out early in the morning, before stepping back inside where I look forward to recording one (maybe two) new cooking show episodes for the upcoming season. Otherwise, the weekend will be low-key. Oh, and Monty returns to Gardeners’ World for a new episode; I will definitely be looking forward to watching. 🙂

How has your week been? I do hope it has gone well, and whether you are enjoying a more leisurely schedule, or traveling and enjoying a completely ‘no-schedule’ routine at the moment, wishing for you much to savor and revel in.

This week I finalized the schedule of posts and giveaways for TSLL’s upcoming 8th Annual French Week and each year when I do this, I immediately become even more excited for the week to begin come August (always the second full week).

Norman and Nelle went for a dip in the river yesterday morning while we took our morning walk, and then came home and had to take a bath as they brought home a sampling of the wilderness floor, but in both instances, I think they enjoyed it more than they are telling me as it was a hot day yesterday and it cooled them down for the remainder of the day at home. 😌🐾❤️

A full week on the blog this week, with a new podcast episode (90 minutes and 33 Lessons and Tips!), July’s Ponderings . . . post for TOP Tier Members – a more intimate This & That post, two Petit Plaisirs and Monday’s Motivational post. And remember to explore my 50+ picks for Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale that is now open to everyone whether you have a card with Nordstrom’s or not.

Thank you for stopping by today and may you stay cool and have a wonderful weekend. Below I have gathered up a few posts and articles you might enjoy as well as a fun music video that I have a feeling will leave you smiling as you step into the weekend. Until Monday, bonne journée!

~MFCH’s 10 Secret gardens in Paris [My French Country Home]

~5 Things to do in Deauville [The Earful Tower]

~The death of Jane Birkin saddened many this past Sunday. Learn more about her and her life and why she was and will forever be remembered as a French icon. (in French and in English) [Le Parisien]

~An article on Americans and our summer travel plans abroad this summer and what it says about the economy. [NYTimes]

~Another article in The Financial Times about the return of the tourists to Europe. “Is it time to tell them to stay away?”

~What to pack for your Provençal road trip [The Financial Times]

~What do you use (or do you use) to read your favorite books? WSJ had a fun section this past weekend on all sorts of topics about all of the current generations (How they shape our style, vacations and why we’re us) and this article drills down on Why Baby Boomers Love the Amazon Kindle—and Millennials Don’t.

~As a fellow Gen-Xer, I had to share this article and thoroughly enjoyed it. Brought back memories and prompted oodles of smiles and fond remembrances. Does Gen X Have No Style? [WSJ]

~If you are going to be in London this summer through September, you can tour the Coronation outfits of King Charles and Queen Camilla at Buckingham Palace. [Britain magazine]

~LOVE this Cornish home decorated and designed by interior designer Robert Carslaw (and it’s for sale! ;)) [House & Garden UK]

~8 Places in France you should visit in 2023 [Afar]

~A Walk in Paris: Gardens, Greenery and Flower Shops [NYTimes]

~15 delicious (and classic) French appetizers [Saveur]

~A history of Le Tour de France and the final day of the tour in Paris, (in French) [Paris]

~A wonderful new video from artist Claud, “A Good Thing”. I have a feeling it will make you smile. Learn more about Claud and their second album where this song is found here.

~Explore last week’s This & That: July 14, 2023

With festivities for Le Quatorze Juillet taking place today, I have found a fun new French film (that comes highly reviewed) along with a handful of other Francophile finds from clothing to cooking and even a British film that takes us to France as well. Also, whether you are a Francophile or not, some wonderful books ranging in topics from fiction with a talented pianist on a personal journey as the protagonist, recipes for afternoon tea at home, mastering your mind, deepening your mindfulness practice and Jackie O. Two fun films being released today in the states I think you will enjoy, clothing finds including sales to scoop up classic timeless pieces at great prices and the new carry-on luggage I am loving and recommending highly after having used it this past weekend for my getaway to Eugene. Still, there is more! Happy Bastille Day/Fête Nationale!

~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.

20 thoughts on “This & That: July 21, 2023

  1. Your suggestions are so much fun to explore! Even if I’m not in the market for the item, I check it out, because it’s like shopping with a very chic girlfriend. I will definitely be checking out the Barbie movie after watching the trailer, as well as Happiness for Beginners. Also have the book about getting good rest in my Amazon cart. Love your suggestions! Enjoy cherry picking ( I just harvested three whole strawberries from my first strawberry plant!)

    1. Victoria,

      Congratulations on your strawberry plant and its berries! Isn’t that exciting to see fruit on a plant you have planted and welcomed into your garden! 🙂 The fruit just seems to taste more delicious. 🙂
      Grateful for your kind words and tickled you enjoy the finds in this week’s post. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

    2. I agree with you, Victoria. Shopping with Shannon IS like being with a chic girlfriend, and I have purchased many of her suggestions.
      Unfortunately, birds ate all my strawberries. I thought, would I rather have birdsong…or fresh strawberries…and the birdsong won. I do have my eye on a stylish cloche that I will get for next season.


  2. Shannon,
    I love reading the Friday This and That but I’ve noticed many of the links lately require a subscription to read the article. Maybe there is away to indicate that so we don’t click on the article only to be denied reading it. Just a suggestion. ( a lot of them look really interesting too : )
    I love the book and movie suggestions, btw. I always read your recommendations on those. Thanks and have a good weekend.

    1. Jamie,

      Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for the suggestion. I try to give gift links when I can (I tend to use my allotment up too quickly it seems! 🙃). I know some people have subscriptions to different publications, which is why I leave the name of the publication to alert you so you will know. I had hoped that would help. I appreciate the feedback and also am tickled to hear many of the articles caught your interest. 🙂 Thank you very much for stopping by.

    2. Dear Jamie,
      Prompted by a burning curiosity about the full articles in some of Shannon’s amazing suggestions, I started going through my library’s periodical links, and I’ve been pretty lucky finding full texts this way! This is just one idea if you have a few minutes. Depending on the publication, there is one more way that I have sometimes gotten to work easily, and that is to type the article and periodical name straight into the URL as a search (I find this many times more fruitful than going through google itself). Here’s to enjoyment in all our curiosities…! -Liz

  3. There was a cherry tree at my childhood home in the Midwest. The cherries were delicious … if you could get one. The neighborhood birds loved them and usually took a nip out of most of them. Do you have local birds competing for your cherry crop?

    1. Jasmina,

      What a lovely memory. 😌 You know, regarding birds, I have a bird feeder hanging in my cherry trees so they tend to choose the feed over the cherries, but maybe I should let them take to the cherries because I have so many and would be happy to share with them. They bring me so much delight. ☺️💛

  4. The cherries this year are fantastic! I baked a cheesecake and made a delicious cherry topping and an upside down cherry cake as well. I’m so excited about the new Barbie movie. It’s so funny because I wasn’t into Barbies or dolls for that matter as a child, but for some reason I’m drawn to watch this movie. We are taking my nieces later this month since the movie sold out this weekend:) Thank you for your fabulous posts. I’m so enjoying the M.L. Longworth series you recommended. Totally in love with Antoine and Marine.

    1. Janet,

      Thank you for sharing all that you have. ☺️ Delighted to hear you are enjoying ML’s work. She is a wonderful writer and person! ☺️ Have fun at the film. I think it is going to be quite awesome. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and your recipes with cherries sound delicious! Thank you for the inspiration! 🍒🍒

  5. Shannon~

    The PJs are ordered and I am so tickled! My Finnish pen pal wrote about how she had splurged and purchased silk pajamas which reminded me how much I was wanting the linen set that you had suggested a while back. I can’t wait to enjoy them.

    The death of Jane Birkin prompted me to watch Evil Under The Sun. Another Christie classic. The story of the Birkin bags is brilliant. Can you imagine becoming a legend because you spilled all the contents out of your bag 🙂 ?

    I read the article on books vs Kindles the other day and I prefer both, depending on what I am reading/doing. If it is a book that I might want to note various thoughts, such as Choosing a Luxurious Life, I will use the Kindle for highlighting. For a good fictional book that I am reading for entertainment, I love holding the book in my hands and turning the pages slowly during an exciting part. The best of both worlds!

    Enjoy your weekend at Le Pappilon.

    ~Michelle xx

  6. I am so in love with the Avis Tote. You always have such wonderful suggestions.
    As far as books vs Kindles I am totally old school, holding a book and turning the pages makes my soul smile.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Marsha,

      Thank you for stopping by today! I am with you on holding a good ole book in my hands. I love it. And while I have considered welcoming a Kindle Scribe into my life because the only way I read a book is if I can write in the margins, I still love going to a bookshelf and pulling off a book to read. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing the Avis Tote caught your eye! Isn’t it lovely? I agree. I always enjoy sharing what I discover with readers and am tickled you find the finds a delight. Have a lovely weekend!

  7. Hi Shannon, I look forward to This and That every week and it never disappoints! You always curate such a wonderful list of things to read, to shop for and movies and programs to watch. I just finished listening to this weeks podcast and it was fantastic. Thank you for sharing your journey of renovating your lovely home. I also really enjoyed listening to you on the decorating tips podcast on which you were a guest. I’m definitely order the PJs. I love linen and have you to thank for inspired me to get linen sheets and duvet covers for our home. We’ve been enjoying them now for a couple of years and we will never go back to any other type of sheets. They are definitely the most comfortable.

    Looking forward to French week. Have a great weekend Shannon and enjoy those cherries!

    1. Nanci,

      Thank you so much for your comment! And so tickled to hear you enjoyed both podcast episodes. 🙂 I think you will like the pjs. As I mentioned, the length is long enough for me which delighted me to no end and kept me returning. Classic cut and the linen is so refreshing to wear (even in summer!) as in the warmer months I wear them around in the morning to enjoy breakfast. And thank you for sharing that you are enjoying and now prefer linen sheets. They are the best (which is why they often cost a bit more), but they last forever if taken care of properly and keep us cool in the summer (as you no doubt know) and warm in the winter, which sounds impossible, but its true! So happy you are enjoying them and thank you for sharing. 🙂

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend as well and thank you for stopping by!

  8. What a lovely this and that! At the moment, I’m sitting in the dining room of our Cotswolds cottage (at least it’s ours for a few days!) in Stow-on-the-Wold with a cup of tea. It’s POURING outside, so we’ve decided to stay in. We’d planned to explore the village, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m drawn to the Yorkshire mystery you highlighted; we were in York two weeks ago and the weather was perfect! Also, are you familiar with Persephone Books in Bath? If not, I think you’d be intrigued. They reprint “neglected fiction and non-fiction, mostly by women writers and mostly mid-twentieth century.” Anyway, I’m catching up on posts I’ve missed lately and thought I’d say hi. 🙂

    1. Ellen, I second your recommendation for Persephone books. They are an excellent publisher. I have a few that I have collected. Bath is also a great place to visit.

  9. Shannon, with your cherry glut could you make some curd or jam? I love cherries but can only eat them cooked as they make my mouth itchy.
    I’m a kindle girl and it’s always in my bag when out and about. This was mainly driven by our bulging bookshelves as my husband collects first signed editions of his favourite books. Have a great week. X

    1. Nicola,

      Jam or curd is a great idea! Thank you for the suggestion and sharing what mode of book style you use. Always having a book in tow is a habit of mine as well. 😌 Books are always great company, no matter what form. Thank you for stopping by and wishing you a wonderful week. 💛

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