This & That: November 10, 2023
Friday November 10, 2023

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From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours, Michael Cunningham’s new novel Day takes place during 2019-2021, yep, during the pandemic, and in so doing, he follows a family, which permits him to “explore love and loss, the struggles and limitations of family life—and how we all must learn to live together and apart”.

Released on October 17th, Forever Strong came to be after Dr. Gabrielle Lyon noticed a pattern in her patients: “While her patients struggled with a wide range of conditions, they all suffered from the same core problem: they had too little muscle rather than too much fat.

“When we think about muscle, we tend to think about strength or aesthetics, but in reality, muscle accounts for so much more than that. As the body’s largest endocrine organ, muscle actually determines everything about the trajectory of health and aging. Many of the conditions Dr. Lyon’s patients were experiencing were actually symptoms of underdeveloped or unhealthy muscle.

“Now, Dr. Lyon offers an easy-to-follow food, fitness, and self-care program anchored in evidence and pioneering research that teaches you how to optimize muscle—no matter your age or health background. Discover how to overcome everything from obesity to autoimmune disorders and avoid diseases like Alzheimer’s, hypertension, and diabetes by following Dr. Lyon’s powerful new approach to becoming forever strong.”

I wanted to bring this book to you now, even though here in the states it won’t be released until early next year. However, it is available now in the UK and worth picking up (or preordering). A History of Women in 101 Objects, Annabelle Hirsch shares a neglected history. Sharing “a curated and diverse compendium of women and their things, [Hirsch] uncovers the thoughts and feelings at the heart of women’s daily lives. The result is an intimate and stirring alternative history of humans in the world. The objects date from prehistory to today and are assembled chronologically to show the evolution of how women were perceived by others, how they perceived themselves, how they fought for freedom. Some (like a sixteenth-century glass dildo) are objects of female pleasure, some (a thumbscrew) of female subjugation. These are artifacts of women celebrated by history and of women unfairly forgotten by it.”

Being released this coming Tuesday is a book about a subject that fuels my life, and likely yours as well if you have been a reader of TSLL for some time 😌. Presenting curiosity as a superpower, which sounds quite apt to me, Scott Shigeoka shares “cutting-edge research with electric, vulnerable storytelling to teach readers their signature DIVE model. With his guidance, you’ll learn more than a dozen practical strategies to: 

  • Detach — Let go of their ABCs (assumptions, biases, certainty), 
  • Intend — Prepare their mindset and setting, 
  • Value — See the dignity of every person, including themselves, 
  • Embrace — Welcome the hard times in their life”
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Just released this past Tuesday and applauded by critics and readers alike is The Sisterhood which shares the history of a group of black women who first came together on “one Sunday afternoon in February 1977, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, and several other Black women writers met at June Jordan’s Brooklyn apartment to eat gumbo, drink champagne, and talk about their work. Calling themselves “The Sisterhood,” the group―which also came to include Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, Margo Jefferson, and others―would get together once a month over the next two years, creating a vital space for Black women to discuss literature and liberation.” Discover the profound legacy of this remarkable community that transformed American writing and cultural institutions. Drawing on original interviews with Sisterhood members as well as correspondence, meeting minutes, and readings of their works, Courtney Thorsson explores the group’s everyday collaboration” that continues to influence the American culture.

Released this past Tuesday, the New York Times–bestselling, National Book Award–winning author of The Friend and What Are You Going Through, Sigrid Nunez writes The Vulnerables. “The Vulnerables offers a meditation on our contemporary era, as a solitary female narrator asks what it means to be alive at this complex moment in history and considers how our present reality affects the way a person looks back on her past.” And I cannot forget to mention the parrot. Yes, a parrot is involved. An Editor’s Pick, The Vulnerables “reveals what happens when strangers are willing to open their hearts to each other and how far even small acts of caring can go to ease another’s distress.”

I am most eager to read this book, and have it in my shopping cart now. Susan Magsamen’s Your Brain on Art “is a portal into this new understanding about how the arts and aesthetics can help us transform traditional medicine, build healthier communities, and mend an aching planet . . . Magsamen and Ross offer compelling research that shows how engaging in an art project for as little as forty-five minutes reduces the stress hormone cortisol, no matter your skill level, and just one art experience per month can extend your life by ten years. They expand our understanding of how playing music builds cognitive skills and enhances learning; the vibrations of a tuning fork create sound waves to counteract stress; virtual reality can provide cutting-edge therapeutic benefit; and interactive exhibits dissolve the boundaries between art and viewers, engaging all of our senses and strengthening memory. Doctors have even been prescribing museum visits to address loneliness, dementia, and many other physical and mental health concerns.” Yep, cannot wait to dive in. ☺️

The wait is over and next Thursday cannot come fast enough. Part One of two parts of the final season of The Crown premieres November 16th and centers around Princess Diana. There is not much else to say, except I think our patience will have been more than worth it as Elizabeth Debicki looks to have embodied the late and beloved Princess brilliantly, and while no doubt this will be a difficult segment of the storyline of the series, seeing how they approach it is something I am most curious about. Have a look at the trailer below and look for Part Two to premiere on Decemeber 14th.

Last week, Mary Berry’s new television series that pairs with her cookbook of the same name (to be released in the states in January ’24), Mary Makes It Easy, premiered on BBCTwo. Just in time for the holidays, enjoy Berry alongside her famous friends as they join her to offer culinary help (as if she needs it, but their company will be most fun to watch).

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Unforgotten, PBS Masterpiece

Yet again, another series I am late to the party about, but I finally sat down and watched the first season of Unforgotten starring Nicola Walker, who stars as Cassie and oh my. It’s a well-written show. Premiering in 2015 (the trailer for season 1 is below), there are now five seasons, and while Walker moved on after the end of season 4, she shared in this interview that her role was always meant to be finite. But as one TSLL reader shared who has watched the series entirely through, the writers did a thoughtful job of transitioning from her as the lead to Sinéad Keen even though Walker’s exit was a bit jarring (she shares in the intervew that had they known (who could have) that the pandemic was coming, they may not have made it so dramatic). I definitely have to watch the show in small doses as it can be heavy at times, but in typical Walker style, she holds your heart and attention and you just want to keep watching.

I look forward to picking up this new cookbook (and the first!) from House & Garden (UK) written by contributor and chef who worked at the River Cafe, Blanche Vaughn. A Year in the Kitchen shares 150 elegantly simple recipes from Asparagus Carbonara (Spring); Summer Greens & Soft-Cheese Pie (Summer); Pumpkin Soup with Gruyère and Sage (Autumn/Fall); and Claudia Roden’s Chicken with Sweet Wine and Grapes (Winter). And just to find further inspiration for cooking with the seasons, be sure to tour the author’s Devon country home and garden here. It is stunning.

Originally titled L’Affaire Bettencourt: Scandale chez la femme la plus riche du monde, this new docu-series premiering on Netflix tells the story of the world’s wealthiest woman and her daughter, as their relationship becomes conflicted, and a national scandal of grand proportions ensues. Who is this wealthiest woman? Liliane Bettencourt at the time of her death in 2017 was worth over €30 billion, due to holding the largest number shares in the massive cosmetics conglomerate L’Oreal. During the final ten years of her life, she became friends with photographer François-Marie Banier and ended up gifting him more than €1billion in gifts. The story of her final years becomes chaotic and even involves a former French president. Take a look at the trailer below and watch now on Netflix.

Julia, season 2, Max

Thursday next week is going to a day of a grand meal (not sure what, but it will be inspired by Julia Child!) because the second season of Julia returns. British actor Sarah Lancashire returns to star as Child, and this season the show kicks off in Provence! In fact, the first three episodes are set (and yep, they went there and filmed in France!) in France, two in Provence and one in Paris. Having read just about, if not all of the biographies, memories and other books about Julia’s life, I look forward to seeing it come to life on screen yet again. Here is the trailer, and look for new episodes each Thursday leading up to Christmas. I cannot think of a more delicious way to be entertained during the holiday season. ☺️

I have gushed and gushed about this new French film (be sure to watch November’s A Cuppa Moments where I will share much more about the film) since I first learned of it in September and then had the opportunity to watch it in October at the Bend Film Festival. I share its release today because it was released in France on November 8th, however won’t be premiering in the states until Valentine’s Day of next year. Originally titled Pot au Feu and now Le Passion de Dodin Bouffant inspired by the novel of a similar name by Marcel Rouff, published in the 1920s, The Taste of Things starring Juliette Binoche as Eugenie, the cook for the named Napoleon of Cuisine Dodin Bouffant, who is played by Benoît Magimel (the two once were in a relationship nearly 20 years ago, and this is their first film together since the relationship ended), is written and directed by Anh Hung Tran who had Binoche specifically in mind for the leading role, as well as hoped Magimel would say yes to the role of Bouffant. Thankfully he did, and the former couple’s chemistry is beautiful on screen.

This film is imagined by Anh Hung Tran who was inspired by the novel, but the novel never tells the story that is portrayed on screen, but rather the ending of the movie is where the novel begins which means there was freedom to convey this beautiful love story of two people and their shared love for food in a way that could not be contradicted by interpretations of the novel.

The Taste of Things is the Babette’s Feast of the 21st century, and now is France’s entry for the Foreign Film category in this upcoming year’s Academy Awards. I look forward to watching this film again as the videography of the cooking, kitchen, food and scenery is magnifique !

Look for this film to be a Petit Plaisir in an upcoming podcast episode bien sûr.

Released on October 17th, this is the perfect gift for the foodie and Francophile in your life, and if that is you, gift yourself this book. 🙂 “Let’s Eat Paris! is full of infographics, recipes, photographs and illustrations, biographies, anecdotes, and quirky takes on unexpected trends, present and historical, Let’s Eat Paris! is the ultimate food lover’s guide to the ultimate food lover’s city. Read a timeline of the brasserie. An ode to the frites of Paris. Profiles of iconic restaurants: Tour d’Argent, Fouquets, L’ami Louis, La Coupole, Le Procope. Behold the sacred croissant and the twelve best places to find one. The tradition of hidden private dining rooms and other love nooks. Café Flore vs. Les Deux Magots. Best imports: kebabs, burgers, pizza. Recipes for Leeks Vinaigrette, Tournedos Rossini, Boeuf Bourguignon, Jambon-Beurre (and where to find the ones worth eating).”

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I want to thank TSLL reader Liz, who just returned from a lovely visit to London and gave me a heads up on The Courtauld Shop’s holiday cards. Many well-known artists’ paintings are incorporated into holiday cards and cards in general, so be sure to take a look. This one just speaks to my love of the English countryside, and I may have to pick it up for this year’s holiday card of choice.

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A worthwhile sale is taking place at Everlane this weekend. Enjoy 30% off all sweaters, dresses and outerwear. Below I have picked out three items that caught my eye, and maybe yours as well. Shop the entire sale here.

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Moleskine Pro Planner, weekly, vertical

I was not looking to update my planner, but when I learned of Moleskine’s Pro Planner that offers ample room for goal setting each week as well as month, along with oodles of space for lists for each week which I need, I wanted to give it a try. Well, it arrived last week, and I am smitten. Why? Well, I share below in the second pic that it is the two pages following the weekly layout (seen just below) that sold me. I need quite a bit of space for my weekly lists (one reason being for the curation of the weekly This & That finds), and this planner has just that. It also has as the vertical weekly timeline which is perfect for planning my day each day with great detail.

Learn more about the Pro planning series on Moleskine’s website, although this planner is out of stock there and must be purchased via Amazon which I have linked above.

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Why I have switched to this planner is this page here that accompanies each week. I have an entire page (left) that is blank for any notes I need to take or keep, and then on the right side I have two lists for Tasks, and above that a list for project tasks to keep me focused on priorities of time, money and focus. A page like this enables me to use one planner and fewer separate lists. I cannot wait to begin using it come January.

Soeur Wilhelm Pullover sweater

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Well, if this pic of Norman doesn’t sum up a couple of details of this past week, I don’t know what does.

First of all, books. I have been devouring books at the moment, and as per usual, the biographies and memoirs from well-known names make their way to bookshelves each fall, and this year is no exception. Already fully engrossed in Claude Monet’s biography, once I finish that (which I don’t want to do because it is oh so good), I will be diving into Barbra Streisand’s new memoir and cannot wait to do so.

Aside from reading, the week has been full, partly full because of an oops on my part as I had to re-film nearly all of tomorrow’s cooking episode because I errantly binned it this summer thinking I had placed it in the proper folder. I didn’t, and so I was in the kitchen again this week making more croissants. Needless to say, I am well stocked for this winter! With that said, it is a fun episode, and I sincerely know you can make your own delicious croissants and will show you how to do just that in tomorrow’s episode – more simple than ever before. Be sure to stop by (click here!) and escape to France with me. ☺️🇫🇷❤️🥐

However, before the week began, all was calm and quite wonderful as Norman, Nelle and I went for a walk amongst the Western Larches and I was beyond entranced by their beauty (I will share videos in December’s A Cuppa Moments).


If you haven’t already checked out TSLL’s Annual Holiday Gift Guide for Francophiles & Anglophiles be sure to do so, as it was a favorite post of readers this past Saturday. And Wednesday’s Outfits of the Month is full of ensembles showcasing the power of basics when it comes to our wardrobes as we prepare for the upcoming Black Friday sales. Also, if you are looking for inspiration and reassurance as you take a brave new step in your life journey, be sure to read this Monday’s Motivational post – Choose to Let Yourself Soar. And now to the weekend!

Thank you so much for stopping by today and below are a handful of articles and one video I think you might enjoy. Until tomorrow, bonne journée.

~Many wonderful ideas for cozying-in as we step into winter: Interior designers share advice on getting your home ready for winter [House & Garden UK]

~I am looking forward to watching What Happens Later hopefully next week, directed and starring Meg Ryan, and in this profile piece she talks about why she dedicated the film to Nora Ephron, and in this piece, why she doesn’t describe this film as a Rom-Com. [NYTimes, NPR]

~Many wonderful articles and interviews about and with Barbra Streisand as her memoir was launched earlier this week. This one shares how She wasn’t born a Leading Lady, She made herself one [NPR]

~Jo Rodgers’ guide to buying gifts for people who don’t do ‘stuff’ [House & Garden UK]

~Why introverts need regular Me time. [Introvert, Dear]

~I absolutely loved season 2 of Annika (finished it via PBS’ Compass app that has all episodes available once the season begins), and in speaking with the star, Nicola Walker shares the book she’d save from a burning home. [NYTimes, gift link]

~What to plant and do in the garden in November [H & G UK]

~For TSLL’s gentleman readers! Tod’s Michele Lupi talks taste, with regards to style, food and more. [Financial Times]

~I would definitely add the aforementioned film The Taste of Things to this list – 13 of the best movie set kitchens [Food52]

~Take this tour: Slip away to London to a welcoming Regency house in Marylebone [H & G UK]


~Well, this just looks like bundles of fun. I will be sure to include it in the upcoming This & That when it premieres on November 22nd, but until then watch the trailer for Hannah Waddingham’s Home for Christmas special on Apple TV+.

~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.

14 thoughts on “This & That: November 10, 2023

  1. Dear Shannon, This&That has become my unmissable weekly date with elegance, curiosity, taste, new ideas and fun!!! Thank you for creating such an uplifting and enriching post 🙂

    1. Laura! You lovely words of description are so very kind and brought a smile upon taxing them. Thank you so very much for sharing and for choosing to make a weekly date with TSLL! Have a most wonderful weekend. ☺️💛💛💛

  2. Oh, thank you for letting us know about Hannah Waddington’s holiday special. Looks like just the thing to kick off the season…
    Warm greetings, Alexandra

    1. Alexandra,

      Doesn’t it look like wonderful fun!! Hannah Waddington is inspiring in so many ways and she seems to truly enjoy herself on stage. And her voice! Wowza! Thank you so much for stopping by. 😌💛

  3. I also love the moleskin planners….the week on one side and the blank page on the right! I haven’t yet switched to the smart calendar (too expensive!) but it’s a great idea for those of us who love paper calendars but also need it on our phones when on the go. I choose to customize my calendars with my initials and the year. Actually ends up to be a sort of journal of my accomplishments.
    Thank you Shannon!! Your This and That on Fridays is a great opening to weekend curiosities and possibilities!!

    1. Sharri,

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your approach to planning. I too find each year’s planner is a wonderful record of one’s life journey. Thank you for that reminder 😌 And for your words about at& T! Have a most fantastic weekend!

  4. Hi Shannon-
    Forever Strong is ordered and on my Kindle!
    I love the expression “curiosity is a superpower” and I couldn’t agree more! I truly believe curiosity about people who are different from us could go a long way to solving some of our nation’s divisions.
    Annika and Unforgotten are both terrific – I adore Nicola Walker.
    Thank you as always for “This & That”; it’s always a delight!

    1. Thank you Deborah for stopping by. 😌 I always enjoy hearing what readers interested in and explored further. 😌 I look forward to reading Forever Strong as well. Wishing you and the pups (the sweet ladies) a wonderful weekend. 🐾❤️🐾❤️

  5. What a delightful list of articles you’ve included this week! I went down a rabbit hole beginning with the piece filled with interior designer’s ideas for cozying in this winter, following link after link from within the article. The ideas for people on your gift list that don’t do stuff is a great resource and the interview with Nicola Walker made me adore her even more. Shannon, thank you for finding and sharing all these interesting gems.

  6. Norman and Barbra what a lovely picture, Shannon thanks for sharing. Lots of great info in this T&T. I am looking forward to the next season of The Crown. Definitely will be checking out The Vunerables. Lots of great shopping ideas and the cards from Fredrick James Porter look lovely. Thanks as always Shannon. Have a great weekend everyone

  7. Shannon, thank you for such a full This & That this week.
    Your Brain on Art really appeals to me, in recent years my husband and I have found a real enjoyment in going to art galleries and exhibits and have tried to include more art into our home to enjoy. So I will be interested in discovering how the arts impact our brain development.
    I too still have not seen the Unforgotten series despite it getting rave reviews here in the UK. Perhaps I’ll give it a watch as I do love Nicola Walker, speaking of which thank you for the gifted NYT link to her interview which I enjoyed reading.
    As for the Barbra Streisand autobiography I cannot wait to read this. One of my favourite films is The Way We Were, a great Sunday afternoon film.
    I read and enjoyed Jo Rodger’s Christmas gift guide when she shared a link to it on her Instagram and I almost sent it to you as I know you enjoy her posts too. Her Instagram is one of my favourites, life just seems so cosy in her world!
    Thank you 🙂 and hugs to the pups

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