This & That: May 19, 2023
Friday May 19, 2023

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Both fiction and nonfiction books this week ranging from topics about living an enriching life, living a life sans children and the true history of this choice, beautiful artistry capturing creatives’ homes, philosophy from those expert in the subject but often less mentioned due to their gender but each worth knowing and exploring, a new film that takes us to Versailles and that had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, summer clothing from dresses, to beach cover-ups, linen blazers and layering tees, as well as a new series on television with a rock-star cast. Still there is more!


—Exhibition: Van Gogh in Auvers, Van Gogh Museum

Now through September 23rd of this year, tour the exhibit in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum displaying the final works of art by the artist. In a collaboration with the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, discover the brief yet crucial final phase in Vincent van Gogh’s artistic development.


The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable Life by David Von Drehle

As a veteran journalist who moved from Washington to Kansas, it was author David Von Drehle’s friendship that he struck up with centenarian Charlie White that would become inspiration for his new book, The Book of Charlie being released next Tuesday – the 23rd. Through their many conversations “David Von Drehle came to understand that Charlie’s resilience and willingness to grow made this remarkable neighbor a master in the art of thriving through times of dramatic change. As a gift to his children, he set out to tell Charlie’s secrets. The Book of Charlie is an inspiring story of one man’s journey through a century of upheaval. The history that unfolds through Charlie’s story reminds you that the United States has always been a divided nation, a questing nation, an inventive nation—a nation of Charlies in the rollercoaster pursuit of a good and meaningful life.”

How to Think Like A Woman: Four Women Philosphers Who Taught Me How to Love the Life of the Mind by Regan Penaluna

Frustrated by the traditional canon of philosophers presented in American universities and their lack of inclusion of women, author Regan Penaluna’s new book How to Think Like a Woman tells both the author’s story about what brought her to discovering the many women philosophers such as Mary Astell, who moved to London at age twenty-one and made a living writing philosophy; Catharine Cockburn, a philosopher, novelist, and playwright; and the better-known Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote extensively in defense of women’s minds. Together, these women rekindled Penaluna’s love of philosophy and awakened her feminist consciousness” as well as sharing the wisdom of these philosophers.

The Late Americans: A Novel by Brandon Taylor

Being released on Tuesday, Booker Prize finalist Brandon Taylor’s new novel The Late Americans tells the story of four young men and women, each at a crossroads who “are buffeted by a cast of artists, landlords, meatpacking workers, and mathematicians who populate the cafes, classrooms, and food-service kitchens of [Iowa City], sometimes to violent and electrifying consequence. Finally, as each prepares for an uncertain future, the group heads to a cabin to bid goodbye to their former lives—a moment of reckoning that leaves each of them irrevocably altered.”

SJ Axelby’s Interior Portraits: Homes of Leading Creatives Explored through Gorgeous Watercolour Painting by SJ Axelby

If you love to peer into the homes of creative individuals and see how they decorate, situate and cozy themselves in, then you will want to explore artist SJ Axelby’s new book. “Capturing in paint the favourite rooms of 89 leading creatives from interior designers to ceramicists and antiques dealers (and florists and chefs), the interior portraits created with watercolours by SJ Axelby illustrate the record of a home or special project, each interior portrait is accompanied by a charming and quirky interview with the owner, in which we discover invaluable nuggets of design advice, cocktail choice, life hacks and so much more”.

Without Children: The Long History of Not Being A Mother by Peggy O’Donnell Heffington

I recently began reading the book The Well-Lived Life by Dr. Gladys McGarey, a revered doctor in holistic medicine who is 102 years of age and the mother to six children. As she shares in her book, she choose to have children and loved being a mother, as it was one of her callings, the other being holistic medicine. It fueled her, rather than drained her. Her motherhood balanced well with her love of practicing medicine, but she also stresses that “when we try to follow everyone else, do what we think we ‘should’, or create an identity for ourselves that doesn’t work, we suffer,” and she states that when something is your purpose, it will fuel you, not drain you. This includes parenthood. I share her wisdom because for too long a false narrative has been purported as true especially to women, but to all people as they are growing up and making choices that will affect the rest of their lives when it comes to having or not having children.

Historian of gender Peggy O’Donnell Heffington has written Without Children to bring the truth, to tell history as it actually happened, not how we or a powerful portion of society or cultures want it to be told, to readers who want the truth so that we all can each find more individual peace and contentment that collectively elevates us together as a community throughout the world. “Drawing on deep research and her own experience as a woman without children, historian O’Donnell Heffington shows that many of the reasons women are not having children today are ones they share with women in the past: a lack of support, their jobs or finances, environmental concerns, infertility, and the desire to live different kinds of lives. Understanding this history—how normal it has always been to not have children, and how hard society has worked to make it seem abnormal—is key, she writes, to rebuilding kinship between mothers and non-mothers, and to building a better world for us all.”

One of the author’s primary objectives is to inform us so that whatever we choose to do – have children, live childfree – we can be supportive of all and each choice made instead of creating tribes or hierarchies that only serve to divide us even more.

Francophile Find

Jeanne du Barry

The Cannes Film Festival kicked off this week, and the opening film was Jeanne du Barry, starring Johnny Depp as King Louis XV and Maïwenn as the young seamstress who becomes his mistress, Jeanne du Barry. Filmed at Versailles, the settings look spectacular, and the storyline fascinating. While the film won’t be released today to the larger public (just Cannes at the moment), we now know that it is coming. And while reviews are mixed, and some influenced partially because of the lead actor casted in the film (this is Depp’s first film since the courtroom drama last year), it also looks to be quite a confection-filled treat of the details one might expect when transported back to the mid 1700s. Have a look at the trailer blow.


VegTrug Greenhouse Nursery & PE Cover, Rejuvenation

Okay, gardeners, if you are looking for a sturdy greenhouse and dependable cover for your mini-nursery, the VegTrug PE Cover & greenhouse is worth checking out. “Acompact greenhouse comes complete with a removable polyethylene cover to protect your plants and seedlings during cold weather and is crafted with 100% FSC®-certified natural cedar.”

I will be sharing more finds on Monday in May’s monthly gardening post along with the regular sharing of Tasks, Contemplations and Simple Joys from my own garden. Explore past Garden posts here in TSLL’s archives.


Large Maidstone Ivory Pitcher, Cassandra’s Kitchen

A multi-purpose item for your kitchen and home – a container of liquids to pour or a vase for a bouquet of flowers. And you can save 10% with TSLL’s exclusive promo code – SLL10.


Arket Cotton Voile Sarong & Beach Cover-Up

Getting ready for summer, and having a stylish cover-up, whether a sarong or a dress, is a great item to have easily accessible. This print, while statement making, is also subtle and timeless.

Everlane Oversized Linen Blazer (four colors)

Here I go with the linen again, but it is such a great fabric to wear in warmer weather, especially if you need a layer to navigate the chilly mornings or an air-conditioned office.

James Perse Sheer Slub Casual V-neck (many colors)

Speaking of layering, slub tees are always a great idea to have on hand, and James Perse has oodles of colors to choose from in a classic v-neck style.

Me + Em Cotton Devore belted Swing Dress, soft white

This dress looks chic, yet super comfortable, epitomizes summer and vacation life, and couldn’t be simpler to style. Throw a tote over your shoulder, sunnies to protect your eyes and sandals to enable you to mosey about aimlessly. Ideal.

Veronica Beard Komi Linen Pant, (2 colors)

These linen pants are for you long-legged lovelies out there. With an inseam of 35″ – you read that right! – high-waisted, but not too high and slim with a touch of flare at the bottom, wear them with heeled sandals and remain cool as well as you go to work in the summer heat.


High Desert, AppleTV+

Patricia Arquette stars in High Desert, a new series on AppleTV+ and it looks like it might be quite a riot of a show to watch. Have a look at the trailer below and steam the four episodes available now.

The weather in Bend has been spoiling us with beautiful sunshine days, brilliant mornings and dazzling evenings. The garden is really coming to life and the active summer energy from tourists arriving and locals stepping fully into enjoying our first real summer since the pandemic began is felt.

Earlier this week, I popped down to the farmers’ market as I shared in this IG post, and then enjoyed a quick lunch al fresco at a nearby restaurant. It was a nice break, and then I was soon home and back at work as preparation for next week’s Annual British Week have had my attention and main focus. If I haven’t responded as swiftly or yet to your comments or emails, please pardon my delay. Rest assured, I see it, I read it and if you have a question or are waiting for my response, I will be tending to it next week once the festivities get underway.

Speaking of British Week, we are two days away! Yep, this Sunday, bright and early, May 21st, TSLL’s 5th Annual British Week begins, and as always, it begins with a Giveaway. I will be sharing all about what to expect in the coming week on the Welcome post that will be shared on Sunday, so be sure to check that out as well. And if you have ever considered becoming a TOP Tier Member and are an Anglophile, this is a great week to join TSLL International Community. And for the first time for British Week, we have a Guest Pass available for Members who don’t want to commit to automatic payment membership, but do want all of the benefits in order to enjoy British Week (read all/unlimited posts, enjoy ad-free AND be able to enter all of the Giveaways). You just sign up for one month (select the Guest Pass for $10 on this page), and you will not have to worry about reoccurring payments. If you like what you discover during your one month visit, be sure to then sign up for the regular Membership as you will save money.

Get your Cuppa ready!

Speaking of first-time offerings for British Week, there are a few more, and one includes a guest who is joining me on the podcast from London, the Fashion Director of The Times London, Anna Murphy, who has a new book about living well with each passing year and decade, and how it really does get better, not the opposite which society tends to want us to believe, especially women. We had a wonderful conversation this past week when she joined me to record the episode, and I am excited to share it with you on Wednesday May 24th (episode #358). (here is a link to her book, – Destination Fabulous: Finding your way to your best you yet which will be released on May 30th in the states, and is already available in the UK). And as for the other first-time surprises, I am going to keep them a surprise until they are revealed next week. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by today and wishing you a wonderful weekend. Until Sunday, bonne journée!

~The 10 Best Baguettes in Paris [HiP Paris]

~Gardeners! Yep, gardening is good for our health to potter about in the dirt, but I have a feeling you already knew this ☺️. I listened to this episode of Gardening with the RHS this past weekend, Digging for Dopamine and quite enjoyed it.

~Explore these three day trips from Paris to eat across the French countryside [Eater]

~I quite enjoyed this article written by Prince Harry’s ghost writer and how he got into this genre of writing as well as his experience working with Harry (be sure to read the full article as the hook is just a taste of what the ghost writer learns from Harry and his life journey). [The New Yorker]

~3 French parenting rules American would never go for (but maybe should) [PureWow]

~Dining at Charles De Gaulle Airport while you wait for your flight home? Here is a list of where to eat in Terminals 1, 2 and 3 [Frenchly]

~Having watched Bridgerton‘s third season: Queen Charlotte, with each episode I enjoyed it more and more. Appreciated the subject matter more and more, and with two actors playing the same role throughout as the series covers two time periods, the synchronicity is quite striking with each pair. Here is a video series with each of those pairs. [Shondaland]

~Five things you need in your capsule wardrobe for spring according to goop.

~Theatre-buffs, I have a feeling you will enjoy this opening number at London’s recent theatre award’s show – the Olivier Awards. Here is Ted Lasso and Tom Jones’ Hannah Waddingham, someone who is actually more known for her theatre and singing prowess (she is a classically trained opera singer) than television acting (but isn’t she doing an awesome job in the latter as well! Love her character Rebecca.) Here she is a month ago. Enjoy.

~Explore last week’s This & That: May 12, 2023

From art, to oodles of critically praised new cookbooks (especially if you love a good cake), books on history, women artists reclaiming their lives, and how to think like a philosopher. Also, a movie to take you on a fun and laugh-out-loud getaway to Italy, a satirically favorite series returns and a new series about a sport’s star that has been in the news over the past couple of years for undesired reasons yet has a fascinating story to tell. Also, summer is just around the corner and linen-blend clothing finds are wonderful layers to have on hand and I have shopped a few for you! Still, there is 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.

From TSLL Archives
Updated British Week 1.jpg
Updated French Week 2.jpg