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

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A new-to-me cookbook I am thoroughly enjoying, a British series that comes highly recommended from many TSLL readers, books of all sorts – bestsellers and from bestselling authors, a new film from Katie Holmes, steep discounts on beautiful designer collections, that crossbody bag so many were trying to find from the series Murder in Provence, a British series from more than few years ago that is a true treat to savor in the evenings for a feel-good, chuckle-of-a-good-time, and still, there is much, much more.


The Librarian Spy: A Novel of World War II by Madeline Martin

Being released this coming Tuesday on the 26th, from bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London, Madeline Martin’s new plot revolves around librarian Ava at the Library of Congress and an apprentice at a printing press in France, Elaine. Ava receives “an unexpected offer from the US military [that brings] her to Lisbon with a new mission: posing as a librarian while working undercover as a spy gathering intelligence . . . Meanwhile, in occupied France, Elaine has begun an apprenticeship at a printing press run by members of the Resistance. It’s a job usually reserved for men, but in the war, those rules have been forgotten. Yet she knows that the Nazis are searching for the press and its printer in order to silence them”.

Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World’s First Modern Computer by Kathy Kleiman

I became fascinated when I happened upon Kathy Kleiman’s new book that will be released on the 26th. Readers of Hidden Figures will likely enjoy Proving Ground as well as it took Kleiman a decade to meet, research and write it which begins “after the end of World War II, [when] the race for technological supremacy sped on. Top-secret research into ballistics and computing, begun during the war to aid those on the front lines, continued across the United States as engineers and programmers rushed to complete their confidential assignments. Among them were six pioneering women, tasked with figuring out how to program the world’s first general-purpose, programmable, all-electronic computer–better known as the ENIAC— even though there were no instruction codes or programming languages in existence. While most students of computer history are aware of this innovative machine, the great contributions of the women who programmed it were never told — until now.” 

Trust: A Novel by Hernan Diaz

Receiving wide-ranging praise, Trust is set in the 1920s, yet the entire novel spans a century, telling the story of Benjamin and Helen Rask. “He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth—all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end . . . This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit.”

To Walk Alone in a Crowd: A Novel by Antonio Muñoz Molina

Newly translated into English, Antonio Molina’s novel, winner of the 2020 Medici Prize for Foreign Novel, follows the fictitious, yet inspired by people Molina knows (including himself) characters of De Quincey, Baudelaire, Poe, Joyce, Benjamin, Melville, Lorca, Whitman . . . walkers and city dwellers all, collagists and chroniclers, picking the detritus of their eras off the filthy streets and assembling it into something new, shocking, and beautiful. In To Walk Alone in the Crowd, Antonio Muñoz Molina emulates these classic inspirations, following their peregrinations and telling their stories in a book that is part memoir, part novel, part chronicle of urban wandering”.

British Finds

The Home Cookbook by Monty and Sarah Don

I briefly shared in IG Stories over the weekend, the arrival of Monty Don’s cookbook The Home Cookbook. Published in 2010, I purchased it used for $20 from World of Books. Hard to find, but if you can find a copy and at a price that fits your budget, it is a gem. I have already made their oatmeal (yum), and will be making his cheese scones this weekend. Shop on Abe’s Books, World of Books, Amazon as well is linked above.


Kingdom, series (AcornTV)

A big Thank You to TSLL reader Maggie who introduced me to Kingdom last week, as I quickly began watching this series following reading her mention of the series that stars Stephen Fry and has three seasons to enjoy. I am thoroughly loving it. Comical episode characters, fun stories and delightful regular characters from Oriole who plays Peter Kingdom’s aunt (Fry), Lyle who is Peter’s assistant law clerk and eventual junior partner at the firm, Gloria, Peter’s secretary and so many more. Enjoy the scenery along the eastern beaches of England as the series is set in Norfolk, as that alone drew me in and made me sit still and savor the story for each particular episode to come.

The series was originally released between 2007-2009 on iTV, but it continues to be worth watching. Enjoy.

The Split, drama series

More than a few TSLL readers have shared with me (and recommended) the British drama series The Split, and I look forward to sitting down and doing just that later this summer. Exploring modern marriage and the legacy of divorce as seen through the experience of the Defoes who practice family law, you will no doubt recognize Nicola Walker from Last Tango on Halifax and most likely other well-known British actors as well. It continues to receive high praise from critics and viewers alike, and currently has three seasons to enjoy. Watch on Sundance, Amazon Prime or Hulu. Have a look at the trailer for Season 1 below.


Alone Together

Directed, written and starring Katie Holmes is a film I am greatly looking forward to watching, Alone Together. Available to see in theaters beginning today and video on demand as well, inspired by the pandemic we all went through, I have a feeling there will be great conversation starters in this film. Have a look at the trailer and enjoy.

Francophile Find

The blue crossbody bag worn by Nancy Carroll in Murder in Provence!

I am incredibly grateful to a new reader of TSLL blog, Sarah, who shared this week where to find the blue leather crossbody that Nancy Carroll accessorizes with throughout the majority of the three episodes of Murder in Provence. Made and sold by a French company, Bleu-de-Chauffe, the Pastell Clutch bag is 21 cm (8.26″) long and 15cm (6″) high.

The moment I saw this clutch, I knew it would work wonderfully with my everyday wardrobe, but also for travel, but was not able to find it for the detailed post sharing now seven outfits that Carroll wore during Season 1 (I updated the post here to include a 7th outfit, as well as add an new green jumpsuit and this crossbody bag). It is simple, yet timeless; unique, yet no glaring labels; feminine, but also neutral. Interestingly enough, the bag was $250 earlier this week, and in just five days’ time has increased to $275. However, shipping is free, yep, free for international shipping. They have other colors and sizes as well.

Untitled design

My Donkey, My Lover and I

I shared earlier this year when the new French film My Donkey, My Lover and I (titled Antoinette in the Cévennes in France) was first released in France, but I want to make sure to share today that it is being released in US theaters today. Starring Laure Calamy, better well-known from Call My Agent, expect hilarity, relationship dilemmas and much confusion. Have a look at the trailer and enjoy.

The Provence, Panama hat

From trusted hat company in London (so technically, this is a British Find), I introduced Pachacuti’s Panama hat collection (many styles other than Panama hats as well) this past Wednesday in the Outfit of the Month, but wanted to make sure to note this particular hat. After all, it is summer, it is hot, and we still want to enjoy the sunshine while being protected from its rays. Available in three sizes for women (they make hats for men as well, and if you watch Gardeners’ World, you will remember that Joe Swift regularly wears a fedora, and yep, it is from Pachacuti’s).



Moda Operandi Designer Collection Sale (up to 70% off)

Similar to Net-a-Porter is Moda Operandi; however what MO does that is unique is acquire access to collections just as they are seen on the runway, so you can ensure you receive the style and design you want, reserving it before it is released. While I typically don’t purchase any of the items at full price, when they have a sale, I take note, as the savings on high quality items are quite sweet.

One of my favorite designers (I have yet to own a piece, but someday will) is Joanna Ortize and her Silk Charmeuse Midi Dress is 50% off as are many dresses (I have included more in the scroll and her Shells at Dusk printed cotton pollen midi dress (one shoulder) is also 50% off, a great price for a timeless summer dress. Or these simple, yet signature gold-plated pearl earrings that are only $72. And this gorgeous oversized stretch-Cashmere grey sweater by Khaite, someone please scoop it up – 50%, an investment yes, but gorgeous and will be with you for years, and years. Oh! And Ulla Johnson’s cotton midi dress in orange – only $176! If orange is your color, a stunning summer piece. I have shopped the entire 15 pages of sale items, and keep finding great deals – one more spotlight – check out Staud’s leather espadrille wedges – 40% off, less than $200.

Explore the two scroll of finds below the highlighted items for many of my hand-picked favorites.


OTHER: Jackets, Pants, Sweaters, Accessories, Etc.:

Sézane Paloma Basket

A wonderful market or beach basket to hold your finds and offer compartments for flowers and wine as well.


The Criterion Collection

If you love good films, have become dissatisfied with Netflix and their offerings, or just want to try something different for your movie-watching interests, be sure to check out The Criterion Collection. It is a film-streaming service to enjoy on your television offering viewers “important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements”. Watch favorite French films, documentaries, independent films and classic favorites. Their selection is updated regularly, and the October film list has just been shared. You can stream through your Amazon Prime service and likely your AppleTV service as well.

After learning about this while reading a profile piece on Isabella Rossellini in my Sunday papers this past weekend, I knew I wanted to share with you. Have a look at a trailer below that debuted when the streaming service became available in 2019.


This David Austin Albrighton rambler has begun to share its second-round of rose blooms for the summer, and it seemed to have happened in just a matter of days as just yesterday, to my recollection, not a bloom was seen. One of the daily rituals I love partaking in during summer in the garden is wandering about either in the morning or evening and seeing the changes that happen ever-so naturally, yet often it seems in a blink of an eye. Such an observance serves as a teacher to savor, but not cling; witness, but don’t ask for more as the plants are being themselves, sharing when and how they do what they individually do best so long as we have given them the proper ingredients – the right amount of sun, water, and best soil for its needs.

Such a ritual of ‘touring’ the garden is a seasonal pleasure I savor, and while some rituals and routines we are able to engage in year-round; some, such as the garden touring, are only seasonal which makes them all the more special. Hopefully you as well have a few or more than a few that you are reveling in at the moment, soaking up and letting yourself be held in the present moment when you step into them.

The past week has been wonderfully steady. The curtain rods were installed and the curtains are nearly done, hopefully all will be complete and final next week. Already, having removed the curtain shades that were in these windows, there is more light streaming through, and now with the rods placed above, more framing to draw the eye.

The upcoming weekend will find me at home preparing my North garden (which has not much going on in it at the moment, the last exterior space that now has my full attention) for a few new-to-me trees that my neighbor has given to me as she embarks on a new landscaping project. It was hard to turn down healthy, beautiful trees, and after pondering if I should say yes, and if so, where to put them for over for a week or so, I think they will be a great foundation to the idea I have in my head for what will become a Shade Garden in a few years time.

On Sunday morning, I look forward to watching the cyclists circle about the city of Paris as the Tour de France comes to a close, and then before we know it, a new and the final full week of July will be upon us. This month really has flown by.

I want to thank you for stopping by today. Until Monday, when a new episode of the podcast will be shared, bonne journée.

~This recipe, oh my – Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte, only three ingredients. Must try it soon. 🙂 [Food52]

~5 Gifts to be grateful for if you are HSP [Highly Sensitive Refuge]

~Sissinghurst Garden again became a focus point in a recent article in the WSJ, exhibiting the beauty of a single hued garden.

~Explore the best new Paris restaurants to book now [WSJ]

~Creative ideas for outdoor dining [House & Garden UK]

~The power of expressing appreciation at work [Jocelyn K. Glei]

~There is just so much about James Mackie’s 17th-century Cotswold’s cottage I love [House & Garden UK]

~This made me chuckle and then realize, huh, the writer has a point – Meryl Streep’s One Weird Trick [NYTimes]

~Take note if you’re traveling to Paris – 8 Remarkable & Unusual Outdoor Museum Cafés [Frenchly]

~British book settings you can visit [Britain magazine]

~The World’s 50 Best Restaurants were just announced, and France has a couple (no surprise there!) [Veranda]

~A video on a topic to ponder as we either travel to foreign countries this summer or dream and plan of visiting them in the future – How Language shapes the way we think.

~Explore last week’s This & That: July 15, 2022

British and French finds aplenty, summer dresses for comfort and long-lasting style, a fun new film in its third adaptation, a series from decades ago I thoroughly loved and think you will too if you love French food and a relaxing British cozy caper, more finds in Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale, a candle to bring into your home and much, much more. 

~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.

17 thoughts on “This & That: July 22, 2022

  1. I love this weeks T&T! So happy to hear you are going to watch The Split. It really is a favourite of mine. Now all 3 series have aired and I have seen them all I think I will rewatch them all ? it’s that good. The dynamics and relationship of the 3 Defoe sisters is enjoyable to watch, and oh the clothes and decor.
    Alone, Together grabbed my interest. It’s nice to see Katie Holmes making a return to film and as a writer/director too.
    Happy weekend all,

  2. I just ordered the orange UJ dress. What perfect timing to have gorgeous pure cotton for a late summer event ! Thank you as always for your fabulous recommendations!

  3. Hi Shannon,
    Enjoying another wonderful post. I’ve made the chocolate torte for years and highly recommend a raspberry sauce to go with it. You will find the recipe also in The Cake Bible.
    Have a great weekend.

  4. I’m looking up where I can watch, “Alone Together” right now. Have a great weekend Shannon!

  5. Shannon~

    The Librarian Spy sounds brilliant as does Proving Ground. I find it so fascinating to learn about the unheralded contributions women have made and admire these authors for giving them the proper credit due them. After reading Kristen Hannah’s, The Nightingale, I found myself going down a rabbit hole reading of the many, and often dangerous, contributions women made to the war effort. So much more than just planting Victory Gardens.

    Thank you for introducing The Criterion Channel. I love film noir, and see many titles of interest.

    You are beginning to sound like Monty Don with all of your various gardens. How exciting to be making new plans and spaces to enjoy.

    I will be making the Cherries Clafoutis recipe this weekend, however the chocolate torte is quite tempting.

    Looking forward to seeing the new curtains.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


    1. Michelle,

      Your comment thoroughly brightened my day. Thank you for all that you shared. Thank you for sharing the title of The Nightingale and for the reasons you expressed, I am most interested to read it. And to have any mention of my name with Monty Don for complimentary purposes is a sweet treat. What you shared made me smile. ? He is such an inspiration to me. Grateful to have found his kind, grounded and gentle as well as sage instruction in the garden.

      Wishing you a most wonderful weekend, and thank you so much for stopping by. ☺️

  6. What delights to end my week! I cannot wait to watch Kingdom and The Split, as well as Alone Together. I’m a huge Nicola Walker fan; I so admire her versatility. “Unforgotten” is a favorite at our house. And I’m always glad to watch Stephen Tompkinson, who’s not nearly as celebrated as he should be, in my book. He’s excellent in DCI Banks.I was able to snag a copy of The Home Cookbook for a reasonable price at World of Books. And finally, the Criterion Collection looks like a wonderful option to Netflix, which no longer pleases me much. Oh, for the days of the original Netflix DVDs-by-mail service! We could get *anything* then. Your roses are gorgeous; I enjoy seeing David Austin’s roses but haven’t plucked up the courage to try one of my own. Looking forward to settling in this weekend with your linked posts and articles. I always find something that resonates. Bon week-end, Shannon!

    ~ Ellen

  7. Shannon, thank you again! You are knocking these “this and thats” out of the park! I now keep a little notebook to write down what I must watch, read, cook, plant, experience, and wear! I would normally not do this, by the way. Honestly, you elevate my experience on a weekly basis.
    I purchased the green jumpsuit (steal!) and am contemplating the sublime blue purse.
    Looking forward to shows and channel recommendations as well.
    All so brilliant. Many thanks ?

    1. Thank you for stopping by Jen and so tickled you enjoyed this week’s findings! 🙂 I am happy to hear I elevate your days. That made me smile. 🙂 I have ordered my own blue crossbody bag from this company and am excited to see how I like it. Will be sure to share in a future A Cuppa Moments, likely September’s as I am not sure it will arrive by the end of July.
      I hope you had a great weekend and enjoy the new week ahead. Bonne journée!

  8. Shannon all enticing. By sheer coincidence I’ll be going to watch ‘Antoinette dans les Cevennes’ next week in the open air. Fingers crossed for fine weather. I do love an oatmeal porridge and like it flavoured with salt and topped with double cream and a sprinkling of Demerara the Scots do). In England I used to have an Aga cooker( a range cooker which was turned on continuously). It had two ovens a roasting one and a simmering one. In the winter I used to put the oatmeal with the water in the simmering oven before I retired to bed and in the morning, violà perfect oatmeal porridge.
    Proving Ground is on my to get list. Better late than never. For so long the contribution of these clever women has been hidden.
    Your David Austin.rambler looks gorgeous and what a lovely project to look forward to in your North garden.
    A garden feels more intimate with named areas. Although it’s the height of summer I also have started to plan for some re-arrangement in my potager in September.
    Visiting book settings are a great way to see how your favourite story came together. I particularly liked Broadstairs. When I read Dickens I had no idea he liked to holiday there. It’s a delightful seaside town in Kent. But my two favourites are Winnie the Pooh as I lived near Ashdown Forest where his adventures were set . To see the dancing daffodils of Worsdworth was pure joy in the Lake district. The chocolate torte sounds heavenly. I already have a chocolate dessert planned for Sunday lunch but will be trying this as I love the challenge of a few ingredients recipe. Tomorrow is the finale of the Tour. Hope you enjoy the finish. Have a great Sunday. Kameela ?xx

    1. Kameela,

      How wonderful to be able to see that film outdoors! Have a wonderful time. 🙂
      You make a great point – there is an intimacy that is created when we personalize our outdoor spaces. Beautifully described. I certainly am enjoying acknowledging what each space provides as it helps bring calm and ask us to savor what the space is trying to give us. Thank you for sharing about your visit to Dickens’ garden as well as Ashdown Forest. To be able to have such places accessible is a treat. 🙂
      I just watched the finish in Paris. Such a wonderful event. I learn something more about cycling each year and understanding how the teams work together, and as always, enjoy learning and seeing more of France and the surrounding countries. Thank you for stopping by this week Kameela and wishing you a wonderful week. 🙂

  9. I did it… I bought the Khaite sweater! ?? Now to await fall weather lol.

    Thanks for letting us know about the “Antoinette” movie’s release. I watched Delicieux a couple of weeks ago (with a dinner of French wine and cheese), and thoroughly enjoyed it! I’ve been looking forward to Antoinette since it was last mentioned in your post, and have been eagerly awaiting this news.

    Bon journee!

    1. Joy, So excited for your purchase of the sweater. It is stunning and timeless. I do hope you love it. (Thank you for sharing btw ☺️). So tickled you enjoyed Deliciéux. And I too am eager for the Antoinette film. You exuberance in your comment was a delight to read. Thank you for sharing. ?

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