This & That: June 11, 2021

Jun 11, 2021

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Wonderful premieres for films and television series, books to take you to Italy (two!), London and France. A vintage decor find for the tea lover, let the travel bug loose with a new Rick Steves’ video, timeless, chic clothes for summer and much, more more.


The Bookseller of Florence: The Story of the Manuscripts That Illuminated The Renaissance by Ross King

Released this past April, if you enjoy deepening your understanding of particular periods of history, and if the Renaissance is one of those periods, this is the book for you. More specifically, readers will learn about “Florence’s manuscript hunters, scribes, scholars, and booksellers, who blew the dust off a thousand years of history and, through the discovery and diffusion of ancient knowledge, imagined a new and enlightened world . . .

. . . bestselling author Ross King relates in his exhilarating new book, was a remarkable man: Vespasiano da Bisticci. Born in 1422, he became what a friend called “the king of the world’s booksellers.” At a time when all books were made by hand, over four decades Vespasiano produced and sold many hundreds of volumes from his bookshop, which also became a gathering spot for debate and discussion. Besides repositories of ancient wisdom by the likes of Plato, Aristotle, and Quintilian, his books were works of art in their own right, copied by talented scribes and illuminated by the finest miniaturists. His clients included a roll-call of popes, kings, and princes across Europe who wished to burnish their reputations by founding magnificent libraries.” Slip back in time to Italy in The Bookseller of Florence.

Palace of the Drowned: A Novel by Christine Mangan

From the best selling author of Tangerine, Christine Mangan’s new novel, released on June 1st, is set in 1966 Venice. “Frankie Croy retreats to her friend’s vacant palazzo. Years have passed since the initial success of Frankie’s debut novel and she has spent her career trying to live up to the expectations . . . A precocious young admirer eager to make friends, Gilly seems determined to insinuate herself into Frankie’s solitary life. But there’s something about the young woman that gives Frankie pause” . . . and then of course the catastrophic floods occur. Intrigue, mystery, a plot full of curious twists and turns.

British Find

Agatha and the Truth About Murder, PBS + 2 more Agatha Christie films

For three evenings in a row this June, Agatha Christie films are available on PBS. This past Sunday – Agatha and the Midnight Murders, just yesterday, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar and Sunday 13th, Agatha and the Truth of Murder. All of these film are available on demand through PBS Masterpiece app if you don’t or didn’t (as is my case) catch them on their scheduled day and time.

The Secret Life of the Savoy: Glamour and Intrigue at the World’s Most Famous Hotel by Olivia Williams

Released June 1st, The Secret Life of the Savoy, the famous hotel located in London is at the center of a new book. “The D’Oyly Carte family and London’s Savoy Hotel pioneered the idea of the luxury hotel and the modern theater, propelled Gilbert and Sullivan to lasting stardom, made Oscar Wilde a transatlantic celebrity, inspired a P. G. Wodehouse series, and popularized early jazz, electric lights, and Art Deco . . . Following the history of the iconic Savoy Hotel through three generations of the D’Oyly Carte family, The Secret Life of the Savoy brings to life the extraordinary cultural legacy of the most famous hotel in the world.”


In The Heights

Premiering yesterday on HBO Max to viewers who have long waited for it to debut (it had been schedule to be released earlier, but Covid occurred), Lin Manuel Miranda’s hit broadway play In The Heights is now a film the reviewers are loving. Read and listen to NPR’s review here and check out the trailer below.

The Lost Leonardo

As a part of the Tribeca Film Festival currently taking place, The Lost Leonardo is making its world premiere this Sunday in the theater (it is sold out, to be expected), but you can enjoy it on June 14th in your very own living room for $15. Described as a “real-life art thriller, The Lost Leonardo pulls back the curtain to uncover the stranger than fiction story behind how a Salvator Mundi painting went from bargain-basement replication to setting the world record as the most expensive painting ever sold at auction, weighing in at an astonishing $450 million.” Learn more about the documentary film here. I could not find a trailer, but for $15, if you enjoy art documentaries, I am fairly confident you will enjoy this one.

Queen Bees

Released today in both theaters and to stream, Queen Bees looks like quite a bit of fun, and its cast is quite stellar. Ellen Burstyn, Ann-Margret, James Caan, Jane Curtin, Loretta Devine, French Stuart, Christopher Lloyd and still more you will likely recognize, have a look at the trailer below and enjoy a feel-good movie to make you laugh and savor all stages of life.

Francophile Finds

French Pastry Made Simple: Foolproof Recipes for Éclairs, Tarts, Macrons and More by Molly Wilkinson

American baker, now living in Versailles, Molly Wilkinson has her first cookbook out this week – French Pastry Made Simple. Molly has worked for some time with Sharon Santoni, and now is on her own. Having taught and still teaching baking classes (learn more about them here), her book is your taste of France if you have been aching to return to taste the delicious sweets of the Gallic land you love.

Lupin, Part Two

Already shared in detail here on the blog as the Petit Plaisir of episode #307 of the podcast, check out this post to discover what Lupin, and Part Two especially, is all about. Available now on Netflix.

Provence Style: Decorating with French Country Flair by Shauna Varvel

Perhaps you’ve seen Shauna Varvel’s quintessential 18th-century Rhône valley farmhouse— on IG or on Jamie Beck’s IG feed. Well, on Tuesday, June 15th, Provence Style, written by Varvel will be released showcasing the best of the region, with Le Mas des Poiriers—as its centerpiece. “Named for the working pear orchard on the grounds, the property was reimagined by noted local architect Alexandre Lafourcade, who transformed a rough structure into a luxurious expression of the Provençal aesthetic, referencing historical influences, rural traditions, and Parisian taste.”

I will be sharing a detailed post about the book later this month as Provence decor aesthetics have inspired many of the ideas I am drawn to for my own home, but in the meantime, give yourself a gift for the summer if you won’t be able to fly to France (neither will I) and escape to Provence with this book.


Brunello Cucinelli neutral belted bead-embellished cotton cardigan

Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli is a label I look forward to welcoming into my closet some day, even just one item, as each piece is timeless, neutral and luxurious. The Outnet’s prices make their items a bit more within reach, so I couldn’t help but share one of the many items that caught my eye.

Hathaway French Country Tea Table

As shared in last month’s British Week, tea tables are a detail worth exploring to add a touch of history as well as functional beautifully for your favorite daily ritual of tea. I use mine as side tables in my reading nook, and recently just found two smaller ones for my office as I wanted a tea table for my daily teapot full of tea as I go about my work day at home.

This find was one I stumbled across, and while an investment, is a quality piece with the classic pie crust edge and sturdy, yet detailed legs. Find it on Etsy.

Max Mara light blue Felicia cotton-blend sweater

Wonderful for summer evenings or early mornings before the sun rises, this cotton-blend sweater layered over a strapless dress or camisole is a classic to be a staple in your capsule wardrobe closet.

Reformation Fauna Dress (more prints)

Reformation always offers incredibly feminine dresses with a touch of modernity. The Fauna dress caught my eye with its capped sleeves and button-up neck, but there are many other styles worth checking out as you build your summer wardrobe.


Europe Awaits! with Rick Steves on PBS

Rick Steves shares how we can be better tourists in Europe when the opportunity to return arrives, and if you are like me, you cannot wait for said opportunity to arise. His latest special on PBS is airing now. Check your local PBS listings to see times and dates.

The Kominsky Method, Season 3

The third and final season of Michael Douglas’ Emmy award winning comedy on Netflix is now available, and while it began a little rustily for me in the first episode, as the season unfolds, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Sarah Baker returns as Sandy Kominsky’s (Douglas) daughter Mindy, and this season Kathleen Turner joins the cast, playing Kominsky’s ex-wife and Mindy’s (Baker) mother. Have a look at the trailer below.

Today is Friday. I know I am not sharing anything you don’t know, but today is a Friday when many good things are happening. Nothing that would be noticeably ‘wow’ to anyone else, but when so many good, everyday things occur, a happy dance must be done. 🙂 From a potential rainstorm to come this afternoon, the French Open finals, Lupin‘s premiere of Part Two, and the final Friday of school before summer officially arrives, let the happy dance commence!

Yesterday, my weekly yoga class was enjoyed outdoors in the park, and I came across these beautiful day lillies (above). Planted in mass, two long rows of deep yellow flowers lined the path, and after class concluded, I stopped, gazed, snapped a few pics and gawked. They were magnificent.

I hope you found moments in your everyday this week to stop, gaze, gawk and be delighted with the simple details surrounding you. I am confident they are there, and when you see them, the quality of your days will elevate even more.

As the weekend arrives, I look forward to mowing my small lawn – the perfect size in my book, beginning my Saturday by savoring the latest episode of Gardeners’ World, welcoming family into my home and sprucing up the house a bit (by that I mean simply cleaning which it needs immensely :)). Below are a few links I gathered together, and until Monday, wishing you a lovely weekend. Bonne journée.

~The French used their time well during lockdown – discover the two New French Cheeses created during the past year [Food & Wine]

~Take a home tour in this fisherman’s cottage in Cornwall full of sophisticated comfort to fit its setting [House & Garden UK]

~The budget-friendly millenial creations for sharing are changing (i.e. Uber, Airbnb, etc.) [The New York Times]

~The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a little girl, and her name is Lilibet Diana [The New York Times]

~French beauty products worth checking out [Vogue]

~Discover the new museums and reopenings in Paris [HipParis]

~Americans can now travel to France as of June 9th with proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test. Classified in the Orange portion of France’s new color-coded entry tier system for allowing entry in the country – Green, Yellow, Orange.

~Mental health days, the power of taking them seriously [Introvert, Dear]

~This video – the multiple faces of Lupin. I especially enjoyed hearing from the writer/creators about how they approached subtly bringing attention to our/society’s unconscious biases with the different faces of the character. Have a look and enjoy the premiere of Part Two now.

View last Friday’s This & That here.

Two cookbooks – one to inspire your next must-needed dinner party with friends, the other perfect for seeking inspiration from the garden for food and drinks. A new film critics are raving about, that perfect summer straw hat and linen shirt, the return of a favorite French series, figure out exactly what makes up Perfect English Decor, more books, more décor organizational items and yep, still more.

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

10 thoughts on “This & That: June 11, 2021

  1. Thank you for another inspiring This and That! Two new books added to my to-read list, but they are about favourite topics – books and hotels!
    Have a lovely weekend,

  2. Ah, Friday. I so look forward to your post on Fridays. Your book reccomendations always intrigue me, thus the stack of 50 in my Kindle! A am very selective these days about hard cover books because I have so many, I know I should edit but I have attachments. Cotton sweaters of all sorts are my go-to since I am allergic to most wool and a must have in commercial air conditioning. On that note, have a wonderful weekend, enjoy the boys and your garden, it has been a stressful year and you have new mountains to climb!

  3. Another delightful “This and that Shannon. Had the opportunity to go to the Savoy theatre numerous times over the years .Staying there was indeed a lovely experience with stunning views looking out to the Thames . The tea dance was something from era. Have not visited since it has been refurbished by a wealthy Arab. Can’t wait to see Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner reunite and I hope I can access “Queen Bees” as Ellen Burstyn is a favourite of mine. The lilies look wonderful and what a joy it is to be doing outdoor yoga. I am doing mine outdoors too overlooking my orchard. Now that graduation is finished I imagine that you are buzzing with ideas for the blog. Make the most of the beautiful weather with the boys gardening and whatever else you have planned xx

  4. I’ve long loved Shauna Varvell’s house in France (and her fashion style) and can’t wait for her book. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    1. Carolyn, Thank you for stopping by. I cannot wait to pour through her book. As soon as my copy arrives, look fir a detailed post on what popped out to me and what think TSLL readers will most enjoy. Have a wonderful weekend. 😌

  5. Also – I had the opportunity to meet Valerie Rice, author of Lush Life, yesterday at her book signing and she was lovely. The book is beautiful and inspirational. Can’t wait to entertain again!!

  6. Just caught up. Really enjoyed the Lupin video, he looks a compelling character and now I’m more interested to watch!
    Have you seen that series 2 of The Morning Show has been announced for September? I can’t wait!

    1. Sarah, I think you will appreciate this series. And yes, I just learned of the date for season 2 and will be sharing soon on the blog. 🙂 I cannot wait for September 17th!

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