Summer no longer means reruns or second-class programs and films. No, no, no, no. Two positively reviewed films are released today with crème de la créme actors at the helms, worthwhile summer sales not to miss for clothing and home décor, one new series debuting on PBS to take you to Italy, the return of a favorite PBS Masterpiece series, two new series drawing much attention for good reason and critically praised new released books for an array of summer interests. And still! There is more.
—Last Call at the Nightingale: A Mystery by Katharine Schellman
Positively reviewed in this past weekend’s New York Times Book Review, the first book in a forthcoming mystery series from Katharine Schellman is set in New York in 1924. The Nightingale is a speakeasy and the main character, Vivian Kelly begrudgingly makes it through her workday so she can return each night to dance away any blues she may have. But then, a murder occurs at her beloved Nightingale, and the story begins . . .
—Love Marriage: A novel by Monica Ali
Released in May and an Editor’s Pick on Amazon as well as a Group Text Selection by The New York Times Book Review and raved about by Oprah Daily, Love Marriage’s main plot is set in modern-day London and revolves around Yasmin Ghorami, a twenty-six-year old, “in training to be a doctor (like her Indian-born father), and engaged to the charismatic, upper-class Joe Sangster, whose formidable mother, Harriet, is a famous feminist. The gulf between families is vast. So, too, is the gulf in sexual experience between Yasmin and Joe. As the wedding day draws near, misunderstandings, infidelities, and long-held secrets upend both Yasmin’s relationship and that of her parents, a ‘love marriage,’ according to the family lore that Yasmin has believed all her life.”
Last September, The Confidence Project founder and author Tracy Hooper joined me on the podcast (episode #312) to talk about her new book The New Hello. Now revised and updated for the work world we now find ourselves, The Now Hello shares the answer to the big question, how do you carry yourself with confidence NOW in the workplace with all of the changes, adaptations and new approaches to business and communication?
While Season 8 of Endeavour has already aired in Britain, it is now finally coming to the states on PBS Masterpiece this Sunday. Look for three new episodes airing each subsequent Sunday moving forward.
—Ipcress File, tv series, Sundance (iTV originally)
Based on the book by Len Deighton of the same name (originally published in 1963) Ipcress File became a bestseller and changed the game for spy thrillers (once made into a film that won applause for Michael Cain, but underwhelmed critics otherwise). Now turned into a series that is winning praise. Originally released in the UK on iTV, it is now available in the states on Sundance with a new episode released every Thursday. Five are available currently. The setting is “1962. At the height of the Cold War, ex-soldier and thief Harry Palmer (Joe Cole) is recruited to a British spy unit and sent by his boss (Tom Hollander) to retrieve a missing scientist. Aided by ambitious agent Jean (Lucy Boynton), Harry takes on a globetrotting mission to foil a political conspiracy.” Take a look at the trailer below.
—Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II by Robert Hardman
A bestseller in the UK when it was released in March, Robert Hardman’s biography of Queen Elizabeth II shares “original insights from those who know her best, new interviews with world leaders and access to unseen papers”. This one is on my To-Be-Read list and I am immensely curious to begin reading it, especially with the new season of The Crown set to be released this fall.
Emma Thompson stars in a film many have highly anticipated for her courage and vulnerability. Starring as Nancy Stokes, a 55-year-old widow, “Stokes yearns for some adventure, human connection, and some sex–some good sex.” Enter Daryl McCormack, aka Leo Grande, and well, this lovely story of tenderness, exploration, and so much more looks to be a wonderful film to watch. Available only on Hulu beginning today, check out the trailer below.
A Spanish film with a fantastic cast, prepare yourself to laugh hysterically. Rotten Tomatoes have given the film a 92% rating so far, and while lesser known about in America, I look forward to finding and watching Official Competition. Check out the trailer below.
—Dinner for One: How Cooking in Paris Saved Me by Sutanya Dacres
You may already know about podcaster Sutanya Dacres’ new book if you tune in to her much-enjoyed and highly popular show – Dinner for One, but if not, you will want to pick it up. Being released on June 21st, Sutanya Dacres has been living in Paris since arriving there in her mid-twenties, meeting her future husband who was French, “but when her marriage abruptly ended, the fairy tale came crashing down around her”, and well, the rest you can learn about in her new memoir as well when you tune into her podcast Dinner for One and on her IG feed,
One of the handful of French candle companies I regularly source my candles from is Kerzon, and from time to time Nordstrom stocks their scents for the home. My favorite is the one you see just to the right, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, as it has a lovely sandalwood scent reminding me of the ocean, but there are many more. Only a handful are available at Nordstrom (see the scroll below), but you can shop all of their products on Kerzon’s home website here (they ship internationally).
Recently introduced to Pamela Munson’s creations, this market tote reminds me of one I have and love, and wanted to share. The flat bottom and wide open oval top makes it easier to place many items inside without them squishing each other.
The pre-fall collections are beginning to be revealed, and Sarah Jessica Parker just released her new shoe collection. The slouch suede boot is a favorite, and while bright, indeed, indeed, if you know your style, this is a statement maker and gorgeous to-boot!
Currently, shoppers can enjoy up to 50% off site-wide, and it was this Chevron Navy-Stripe Dress that caught my eye last week, and now with it on sale, it will be hard to say no. I have shopped a few more clothing items as well as home décor items, and one that I think TSLL readers might want to check out is the oak bookstand – perfect for in the kitchen. Happy shopping!
—Oak Bookrest (for cookbooks!)
I am so grateful to TSLL reader Chris for bringing this new series, Hotel Portofino on PBS to my attention. Originally available on BritBox, but now on PBS, look for the first episode to premiere this Sunday. Set in the Italian Riviera in the 1920s with WWI in the recent rearview mirror, drama and mystery ensues. I am very much looking forward to watching. Check out the trailer below.
While also a retrospective series, Minx is a wee bit different, dare I say than Hotel Portofino shared above. 🙂 Set in 1970s Los Angeles and centering around Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond), Joyce is an earnest young feminist who joins forces with a low-rent publisher (Jake Johnson) to create the first erotic magazine for women. Have a look at the trailer below. I think this one will be a wonderful series for conversation on many levels – gender roles, cultural double-standards, and much, much more.
School is out for the summer here in Bend, and what a year it has been for teachers, students and families. My hat goes off to all of the teaching and school and nursing staffs who weathered what can only be described as the year that was more than a year it seemed (as described by some of my fellow colleagues). But the good news is, summer officially arrives on Tuesday, the summer solstice, and basking in the longest day of the year is always a treat and quite special. I have been enjoying being woken by the sun streaming through my bedroom window at 5:30 or so, as I know this only happens for a few days each year.
My sidekick Mr. Norman has been a hoot this week, as he is every week I will admit, and this picture above just takes the cake. I was capturing some images for July’s A Cuppa Moments, and we had just returned from a late morning walk, and well, he was tuckered and looking for a cool spot, but didn’t want to lose sight of me. Voila! He found the perfect spot. 🙂 It almost appears as though Norman is wearing quite a grand (and heavy) hat without a bit of difficulty. 🙂
The week has been cool, yet sunny here in Bend after a lovely wet weekend which found me cleaning out my garage. A visit to the farmers’ market was a treat mid-week followed by a stroll with Norman through the adjacent historical neighborhood. Below is one of the many houses we found in this part of town. I also popped into Studio Vero to check on my curtains for the living and dining room and received good news: The fabric is in (and I was able to take a peek:)), and the rods are en route! Hopefully by Bastille Day all will be up, but for sure, no later than the end of July. I will share the progress on forthcoming A Cuppa Moments video chats (likely August’s).
A few tech headaches occurred this week, but thankfully with the help of my web tech expert, all is now resolved. Most importantly, to the handful of readers who I was in contact with, thank you very much for your understanding and patience. I do apologize for this hiccup. Without question, the week had much more to cheer about, and for that I am grateful.
Thank you for stopping by this week, and look for a new Saturday Ponderings . . . post to be shared tomorrow for TOP Tier Members. If you are a father or will be celebrating your father this weekend, I hope you have a wonderful time this Sunday here in the states. As well, Juneteenth falls on the same day this year, so there is much to celebrate. I want to send out a special happy birthday to my dear friend Veronique whose birthday falls this weekend as well. May it be delicious and restorative, exactly as you have hoped. Until tomorrow everyone, bonnée journee!
~One of my all-time favorite home tours shared on House & Garden UK. Slip away to Cornwall and explore this light-filled space nestled out in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
~However, if you are looking for more color, but still the cozy English countryside aesthetic, take this home tour of an 18th century farmhouse entirely remodeled [House & Garden UK]
~7 Ways to maximize your energy as an introvert [Introvert, Dear]
~For more love in your relationship, love yourself more [Tiny Buddha]
~8 Things to remember when you don’t know what to do with your life [Pick the Brain]
~In Paris, new restaurants and exhibits to explore! [New York Times]
~It’s now official, upon returning to the states if you are traveling, you no longer have to show proof of a negative Covid test (as of June 12th). [CDC]
~Traveling to Britain and want to explore the many gardens in the countryside? Save this article – Lesser-known country gardens to visit all-year [House & Garden UK]
~This podcast episode of the Hidden Brain provided much inspiration for Monday’s Motivational post shared earlier this week focused on the benefits of subtraction.
~My favorite article of this past week to read – Singleness is not a Stigma, its focus is not what you might suspect. Beautifully written. [NYTimes]
~And because summer begins next week, and that means the next season of the Great British Bake-Off is currently being taped in England, and well, I look forward to watching it and it cannot arrive soon enough. Here is Tan France in his attempt to find success in the tent.
~Explore last week’s This & That: June 10, 2022
Oodles of clothing and décor sales to explore, top books in various genres recently released, a new book about The Queen’s style over the past seven decades, a new series on the first Queen Elizabeth, a must-watch French film that won the Oscar equivalent of Best Picture in 2022, a new British film based on a true story, and much, much more.