Discover French finds from books to cookbooks to season premieres of shows, as well as summer clothing finds for both men and women to keep you stylish, timeless and comfortable. Three novels and a non-fiction book to shape up our eating to improve our mental health from an author whose previous book inspired a favorite podcast episode that aired last summer on The Simple Sophisticate. Unique décor finds for the home and garden and a British series arrives on PBS Masterpiece starring a favorite actor (from Annika). As well, there is still more!
—Hedge: A Novel by Jane Delury
Being released on June 6th and included in Oprah’s Review of Spring Books to Read, Hedge tells the story of Maud who is a talented garden historian and devoted mom to daughters Ella and Louise. Motivated to reignite her career and escape her troubled marriage, she accepts a summer job restoring the garden of a lush, 19th century estate in the Hudson Valley and then the story begins to unfolds as she experiences temporary independence that eventually creates a seismic shock to her life and those around her.
—A Quitter’s Paradise: A Novel by Elysha Chang
There has been much talk about A Quitter’s Paradise as of late, and its release on June 6th is NPR’s Critic’s Pick for the Summer. The novel revolves around Eleanor who appears to be is doing just fine. However, she’s keeping secrets from her husband, has quit her PhD program and is now conducting unauthorized research on illegitimately procured mice. And, true, her mother is dead, and Eleanor has yet to go through her things. “Resisting at every turn, Eleanor tumbles blindly down a path toward confronting her present. As Eleanor’s avoidance of her feelings results in a series of outrageous—often hilarious—choices, her actions begin to threaten all she holds most dear. Meanwhile, glimpses of Eleanor’s childhood and family history in Taiwan unfurl, revealing long-held secrets, and Eleanor starts to realize that she will never be able to escape her grief, or her family, despite her wildest attempts. But will she be brave enough to withstand the reckoning she’s hurtling toward?”
—Starring Adele Astaire: A Novel by Eliza Knight
Another book being released on June 6th and included on many summer reading lists is a historical novel inspired by Fred Astaire’s sister Adele. Set in the Roaring 20s, “Adele Astaire was a glittering, glamorous star, dancing with her brother, Fred, endearing herself to audiences from New York to London. But although she is toasted by royalty and beloved by countless fans, Adele Astaire has dreams of a loving husband and a houseful of children. And when she meets Lord Charles Cavendish, her wishes may just come true—but at what cost?”
—Unprocessed: How the Food We Eat is Fueling Our Mental Health Crisis by Kimberley Wilson
In August this past summer, Kimberley Wilson’s book How to Build a Healthy Brain inspired episode #336 of The Simple Sophisticate podcast, one of the most listened to episodes of the year. Wilson’s second book dives deeper and more specifically into the food we eat and how it affects or harms our mental health. Unprocessed, released in the states on June 1st shares the science of how “nutrition has more influence on what we feel, who we become and how we behave than we could ever have imagined . . . psychologist Kimberley Wilson draws on startling new research – as well as her own work in prisons, schools and hospitals around the country – to reveal the role of food and nutrients in brain development and mental health: from how the food a woman eats during pregnancy influences the size of her baby’s brain, and hunger makes you mean; to how nutrient deficiencies change your personality. We must also recognise poor nutrition as a social injustice, with the poorest and most vulnerable being systematically ignored.”
—Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Queen of Mystery (UK only or BBC Two)
A series I cannot wait to arrive and be available in the states is one that I know some of TSLL’s UK readers have already seen, but I wanted to share with you today just in case you haven’t watched it and might want to. A three-part series, pairing with Worsley’s bestselling biography Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman (a wonderful read if you are curious about the author), discover details never before known as Lucy Worsley does what she does best, engages the audiences and walks us through the lives her subjects lived. Have a look at the trailer below and stream it in the UK now.
—Death Comes to Marlow by Robert Thorogood, book 2 in the series
The creator of the favorite tv series on BritBox Death in Paradise, Robert Thorogood began writing a mystery series set in modern day England, specifically Marlow, and the second book came out in January. Now it is available in paperback and for the first time either version is finally available in the states. My copy just arrived yesterday and it is the cozy mystery I always like to have on hand when I want something fun, light and engaging. The second book in the series is described as “giving the Christie-mystery a busy-body twist. Judith (our favorite skinny-dipping, whiskey-sipping, crossword puzzle author), along with Becks the vicar’s wife, and Susie the dogwalker find themselves in a head-scratching, utterly clever country house, locked-room murder mystery.” Like I said, sounds like fun, non? 😉
Harvesting in the garden our rhubarb, strawberries and many other late spring veg is beginning to happen, and having either a classic trug or perhaps this wire basket is a must-have. Sold in the UK, but delivering internationally, Sophie Conrad’s shop is one I have shopped before and highly recommend.
—Zara St. Lazare Metal Clip-On Lamp (four colors)
If you have a spot in your home where you like to read or would like a little bit more light, but nothing harsh, this clip-on lamp may be just the solution from Zara.
—Enchanting Paris: The Hedonist’s Guide by Hélène Rocco
I just received my review copy of Hélène Rocco’s new book Enchanting Paris and with it being released on June 6th it is up-to-date with must-see places in each arrondissement to suit your pleasure-seeking temperament on your next trip to the City of Light. With beautiful photography readers will discover “essential insider details, cultural information, must-see attractions, and detailed maps with glorious custom photography—including 350 full-color images”. Described as “the ultimate handbook for modern nomads, including both savvy travelers and novice tourists, the twenty-first-century globetrotters will appreciate the many treasures this book has to share, even if you have visited the city many times before.
Currently reading and recommending (one of the many books shared in June’s A Cuppa Moments w/Shannon video chat), Cathy Yandell is an expat living and working, specifically teaching in France. Yandell is a professor at Carleton College, teaching courses in French and Francophone literature and culture, contemporary cultural and political issues in France, and the French language. And her new book is full of “those ineffable qualities that make up the joy of living, taking readers on a voyage to France through forays into literature, history, and culture. How does art contribute to daily life? Why is cuisine such a central part of French existence? Why are the French more physical than many other cultures? How do French attitudes toward time speak volumes about their sense of pleasure and celebration? And finally, to what extent is this zest for life exportable? These and other questions give way to a dynamic sketch of French life today.” I think you will very much enjoy this personal, yet insightful book.
The third season is back and it is expanding beyond Paris this go-round. While I have to admit, I wish the producers would tone down (or turn off) the background music when the leads are talking, this is a fun series that brings viewers on a vicarious excursion to Paris and the real estate market, but also, now, the luxury markets in other fabulous international locations.
—Banana Republic Cypress Cashmere Hoodie (seven colors)
I haven’t forgot the men of TSLL! I saw this new cashmere hoodie and thought, yes! What a wonderful layering piece for the mornings or evenings during the summer months.
—Banana Republic Pauline Linen Midi Dress (two colors)
This dress. So simple, and can absolutely be worn just as it is, but you can also wrap it with a belt (and I have shopped one for you below!).
One more from BR, this stylish linen-blend shirt with a touch of detailing for the men. A capsule wardrobe must for the summer as it pairs well with just about everything and will keep you cool and looking en vogue year after year.
Last week a reader on IG shared a picture of a tea cosy that immediately caught my eye. Handmade by PawPaintsUS, these fun anglophile staples for enjoying a hot pot of tea may just be right up your alley. I have shopped a few of the fabric options, but be sure to peruse the entire page as there are more.
—Shirtini Khaki Slim Belt
This belt from Obi, available at Shirtini is narrow, yet statement making, neutral so it will go with many outfits and timeless so it can be used year after year.
Released last year in the UK and mentioned here on a past This & That, US viewers can now watch this praised series starring Split and Annika star Nicola Walker and Sean Bean who stars as her husband. Have a look at the trailer and watch all episodes on your PBS Passport app or watch a new episode each Sunday on PBS Masterpiece.
Slipping away to the farmers’ market in the middle of the day and week is a treat I have been relishing most Wednesday’s this May, and one of my first stops is always at the local flower stand to see what free seasonal blooms are available. This week some sweetpeas were available, and their scent was scrumptious, so they, along with some fruit and veg, came home with me.
Having fun in the garden this past week, and no doubt inspired by both the gorgeous weather and watching oodles of coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show last week, I tended to a small project adding walkables and moving some pavers to create a more cottage”y” feel back on the west side of my house that enters into my potting area (check out my garden IG account @lepapillongarden and tap on the Highlights for Garden ’23 to see what I was up to), as well, I ate the first strawberry from my garden – wahoo! nd sat on the front porch often this week to soak up the sun whilst writing a post or beginning or ending the day to relax.
Found on the front porch stoop is this pot filled with annuals that is happily growing quite well. The bacopa with its violet blooms and the varying textures were something that with each day of maturity becomes even more lovely (sweet potato vines and white licorice are also potted).
French class continues to humble me, and I will be working on dialogue about the weather this weekend now that I have a full vocabulary to share le prévision (forecast) as well as le météo actuelle (current weather). As I type, il fais beau et il y a soleil (it is nice and there is sun). And while il pourrait y avoir un orage cet aprés midi (there might be a thunderstorm this afternoon), if there is, I look forward to savoring it with a cuppa and perhaps sitting on the porch swing to watch the show.
I hope your short work week went well, and the first weekend in June arrives with you ready to savor it whatever plans you may be looking forward to partaking in. Below I have gathered up a few posts and a couple of videos (one linked, one shared) that you might enjoy, and if you haven’t already read this Monday’s Motivational post, many readers shared some wonderful thoughts and discoveries regarding their own life journey on the topic – Discover a Way of Life That Harmonizes with Your True Self – and be sure to watch this month’s A Cuppa Moments w/Shannon that was posted yesterday for TOP Tier Members, as well as the monthly Smile post – 17 Things That Made Me Smile This Month. Until Monday, bonne journée.
~Enjoyed listening to this podcast episode of Gardeners’ World where Head Gardener Tom Brown shares ideas for making your garden beautiful this summer.
~If you will be in Paris this June, here is a lovely long list of things to do in the city [HiP Paris]
~And if you will be in Paris and prefer Gluten-Free, here is a guide book for you from The Real Emily in Paris.
~And for those who love a good proper scone but prefer GF, Amazing Gluten-Free Scone recipe from A Garden for the House.
~Looking for the best baguette in Paris in each arrondissement? Look no further! A map from Ville de Paris.
~How to have an introvert-friendly summer [Introvert, Dear]
~The Cannes Film Festival wrapped up in May and here are the best red carpet looks. [The New York Times, gift link]
~The finał episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel aired last Friday and oh, was it a jam-packed episode. I thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciated how everything wrapped up. Here are thoughts from the cast on filming the final scenes. [TV Insider]
~A new month and a new Tips & Advice post from Monty Don for gardeners.
~Spring is still upon us, and that means it is asparagus season! Here are some recipes to explore from House & Garden UK.
~Short, but helpful, food for thought from Seth Godin on what memetic desire is and how to best use it in our daily lives.
~I do appreciate British interior designer Nina Campbell’s words of wisdom when it comes to dos & don’ts of decorating [House & Garden UK] Tour Nina’s home in London here.
~Guess what and yes, it is true! Kim Cattrall will be appearing in the new season of And Just Like That! Learn more about how it was kept quiet even from the crew until moments before filming began. Look for the solo scene to appear in August of the series.[Variety]
~And, speaking of And Just Like That, the second trailer of season 2 was just released and even more is shared . . .
~Explore last week’s This & That: May 26, 2023
As it is TSLL’s Annual British Week after all, so you will find nearly every (but not all) finds being British-inspired. From cookbooks to cooking classes, tours of King Charles III’s official residence in London, acclaimed series, a new mystery film inspired by Agatha Christie’s writings, just released garden books for gardeners and of course, the most famous event for gardeners in the UK, plus British brand clothing finds from scarves, suits, dresses and trenches and sales on a trusted makeup company I use regularly, a sale for lovers of the beach-side décor aesthetic and a new film starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus that looks to be worth watching. And yep, still there is more!