Sooo many books this week! Ten to be exact and each from a different genre of interest – food, history, Marie Kondo (is that a genre? either way, she has a new book that looks worth exploring), grammar, mystery, entertaining in style and much more. Also, if you are looking for a chic, classic velvet slipper or loafer, for men or women, I have found them. Shoes and sales, and She Said, the new film starring Carey Mulligan. Yep, and still there is more! Including a holiday find that will add a touch of jingle to your garland. 🙂
—The Cloisters: A Novel by Katy Hays
Released earlier this month and already a bestseller, Katy Hays’ debut novel The Cloisters involves “a circle of researchers who uncover a mysterious deck of tarot cards and shocking secrets in New York’s famed Met Cloisters.”
—Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life by Roxy Nafousi
With a new year just around the corner ready to provide motivation to refresh whatever you want to refresh, self-development coach Roxy Nafousi’s new book (released October 18th) Manifest breaks down the 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life – (1) Be clear in your vision; (2) Remove fear and doubt; (3) Align your behavior; (4) Overcome tests from the universe; (5) Embrace gratitude without caveats; (6) Turn envy into inspiration; (7) Trust in the universe. I have a feeling this book will end up arriving at my home soon. ☺️
Marie Kondo is back! And this time she is talking about Kurashi, the Japanese concept translated to “way of life”. Released just this past Tuesday, Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home “invites you to visualize your best life from the moment you wake up until the end of each day. By applying Marie Kondo’s time-tested query— ‘Does it spark joy?’—to your mindset and behaviors, you are invited to take an even more holistic and personal approach to curating your environment by imagining what your life could look like full of connection and free from any limitations.”
—Rebel with a Clause: Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian by Ellen Jovin
If you love the English language, so much so you pay keen attention to it whether it’s spoken or written, or perhaps you have someone on your holiday gift list who fits this definition to a “T”, Ellen Jovin’s new book Rebel with a Clause is the perfect book. A National Bestseller, “Jovin tackles what is most on people’s minds, grammatically speaking—from the Oxford comma to the places prepositions can go, the likely lifespan of whom, semicolonphobia, and more . . . Punctuated with linguistic debates from tiny towns to our largest cities, this grammar romp will delight anyone wishing to polish their prose or revel in our age-old, universal fascination with language.”
—Ted Kennedy Watson’s Guide to Stylish Entertaining by Ted Kennedy Watson
Entertaining takes place year-round, but as the winter holidays offer so many opportunities to gather and invite, I wanted to share Ted Kennedy Watson’s new book (published this summer) Guide to Stylish Entertaining as it seems a perfect time to finesse the hosting game at our homes. Discover “stylishly creative ways to set a table, provides menus and recipes, and the author even suggests music to help set the tone. You won’t want to miss the instructional videos he has created, with QR codes throughout, as well as Spotify playlists he has put together to accompany gatherings.”
—The Churchill Sisters: The Extraordinary Lives of Winston and Clementine’s Daughters by Rachel Trethewey
While released last fall, I have yet to share this title here on the blog. Drawing on previously unpublished family letters from the Churchill archives, The Churchill Sisters shares the lives of the Churchill girls – Diana, Sarah, Marigold and Mary. “While Marigold died too young to achieve her potential, the other daughters lived lives full of passion, drama and tragedy. Far from being cosseted debutantes, these women were eyewitnesses at some of the most important events in world history”, and Rachel Trethewey’s book “is an intimate saga that sheds light on the complex dynamics of family set against the backdrop of a tumultuous century.”
I did it. I finished season 5 of The Crown, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Having read quite a bit of background and biographies on each of the main players in this season, I found it to be a well-balanced, humanizing portrayal of events and people well-known to the collective public. And it will not surprise you to know season 6 cannot begin soon enough. If you haven’t already begun listening to the official podcast of the series, you can do so for each episode of this season and the past four seasons here.
—The King: The Life of Charles III by Christopher Andersen
And speaking of one of the main players in The Crown, there is a new biography just released on November 8th spotlighting Prince Charles having now become King Charles III. The first biography of what will assuredly be many, “The King examines the private life of this historically important and controversial figure, set against the grand, thousand-year sweep of the British monarchy. This richly detailed biography covers it all, from his military training to his marriage to Lady Diana, through their separation and her tragic death to his marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles.”
—The Twist of a Knife: A Novel by Anthony Horowitz
Having you been watching Magpie Murders on Masterpiece Mystery? I recently began reading the novel that inspired the television adaptation and am quite enjoying Anthony Horowitz’s writing, so when I saw he had a new mystery released just this week, I took a look, and it too offers a unique plot which includes the author (Horowitz himself) in the story. And in fact, Horowitz (the character) becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation—and only one man can prove his innocence: his newly estranged partner in solving crime, Detective Hawthorne. I am intrigued! But first I need to finish reading Magpie Murders and its sequel. ☺️
—Bliss on Toast: 75 Simple Recipes by Prue Leith
Judging amateur bakers alongside Paul Hollywood is Prue Leith, and she has a new cookbook. I will just say, I so appreciate her sense of humor and love of life, but make no mistake, she is wholly serious about a full-meal on a slice (or two) of toasted bread. “There is nothing more comforting and delicious than toast. And when you top it with a few cleverly paired ingredients, it becomes a full meal―not to mention pure bliss. In Bliss on Toast, Prue Leith toasts sourdoughs, focaccias, baguettes, flatbreads and more, then pairs them with everything from seasonal vegetables to meat and fish. The collection spans healthy, hearty, salty, and sometimes sweet.”
—On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee
While published quite a few years ago, when I saw Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking, I wanted to share because if you have a foodie or a lover of food history on your holiday gift list, this is the book for them. Unapologetically being just such a person, learning about food, its origins, cooking traditions and where it all began piques my interest immediately, and this book would be tremendous fun to read even if a kitchen isn’t at the ready to step into.
She Said is a film brought to the screen by acclaimed film-makers, producers and actors, and it is based entirely on “The New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, who together broke one of the most important stories in a generation— a story that shattered decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault in Hollywood and impelled a shift in American culture”.
Two-time Academy Award® nominee Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman, An Education) and Emmy nominee Zoe Kazan (The Plot Against America, The Big Sick) star as New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, and while most reviews are praising the film, such as the New York Times calling it ‘a quiet thriller that speaks volumes’ others, while praising the storyline, find it hard to bring a news story to screen, and this film demonstrates why. However, regardless of its ability to create a sensational visual story that first came to the nation’s attention via print and not video, it shares a culture’s powerful awakening to a truth far too long hidden and excused.
—Del Toro Men’s Velvet Slipper II (multiple colors)
—Del Toro’s Cognac Suede Women’s Loafer (more colors)
Starting today, be sure to use promo code SURPRISE20 through Sunday November 20th on all styles from SJP’s collection.
Rampling, an evergreen favorite, in two different heights
—A Christmas Story Christmas, film, HBO Max
The cult favorite Christmas movie from the early 80s, The Christmas Story has a sequel – A Christmas Story Christmas, and Ralphie has returned, this time as an adult. Airing on HBO Max, follow the now-adult Ralphie as he returns to the house on Cleveland Street to give his kids a magical Christmas like the one he had as a child, reconnecting with childhood friends, and reconciling the passing of his Old Man.
While popularized by the Royals of Britain, Fair Isle sweaters and their limited color patterns actually originated from the Fair Isle which is located north of Scotland in the Shetland archipelago, a fairly isolated place. First made in the early 19th Century for fishermen’s caps and sweaters, they are now a bit easier to find. J.Crew even has one design in cashmere, and you can save 15% off with promo code FESTIVE.
Looking to add something both traditional and a bit different to your holiday décor this year? Why not try Rowen & Wren’s Rustic Bell Garland, complete with 10 small bells to run along a stair railing or to adorn your fireplace garland.
Polished and ready for the holiday season, the copper is gleaming!
Earlier this week a long-waited-for cleaning tool arrived – EZ Brite’s Penny Brite Copper cookware cleaner – which came recommended to me from a TSLL reader (thank you!) – and oh my did it work well as you can see in the images above. It’s not that it does anything more than the other two methods I have used in the past (shown here in this video), but it worked more quickly and required less elbow grease. I had to wait over a month as they ran out of stock if this much-loved (and used) product, but it was worth the wait, and thankfully I purchased a couple of bottles. (take a tour of the kitchen and see all of the before and after pics when you become a TOP Tier Member)
Winter has arrived in Bend! Freezing fog dusted the needles of the pine trees, tops and edges of fence posts and covered the roads in crunchy white winter magic yesterday. The scene created seemed almost surreal as though a painting one might see in an Alfred Sisley piece of art (this one, La Neige à Louveciennes comes to mind). Surrounded by a winter snowscape, and having been reading Nigel Slater’s Christmas Chronicles being immersed in his adoration of the cold and crisp season that is winter, I reveled in yesterday’s weather. The pups and I went for an outdoor excursion along the river, then returned to type away in the warmth of the house. Well, I typed, they napped as the pics below will share. ☺️
The pictures here (to the right and below) capture where I continued to work in the afternoon – next to the fireplace, and Norman and Nelle snuggled into the same chair opposite mine to rest up a bit before dinner. After about 15 minutes, Nelle woke up and stepped over Norman to snuggle right in near on top of him in the small space in the corner of the chair. Norman’s eyes opened briefly when she made her repositioning move, but within a second, he was snoozing again, and she was too.
And now the weekend, and Thanksgiving just around the corner. Are you ready? Whether you (or I) am ready or not, I hope you are looking forward to the holiday season beginning, the jolly, the festivities, the food and the gathering with people you love. Below I have gathered together a few articles and recipes inspired by this coming Thursday’s food event along with even more articles and one video to enjoy.
Thank you for stopping by today, and until Monday, bonne journée.
~If you’re like me and missing the ability to step out into your garden as late fall settles into winter, this tour of a modern Arts & Crafts garden may just tide you over for a bit. The walk lined with Karl Foerster grasses is a beautiful sight inviting you to step further into the space. [House & Garden UK]
~The best ski resorts in France, 22/23 [CNTraveler]
~Thanksgiving is almost here, and this sweet potato gratin recipe with mushrooms just might make it to my menu for the feast. [Washington Post]
~Favorite read of the week, 17 ideas for snugs and reading nooks. As I am figuring out how to arrange a cozy sitting area for reading and working on my laptop in my office once the bookshelves are in place, this article gave me oodles of ideas to ponder for decorating and arranging. Each one I could easily sit and while away many hours of leisurely pleasure relaxing. 🙂
~I found myself nodding frequently to each of the seven interior designers ‘no-nos’ they all agreed on, especially getting rid of recessed lighting in the house. [House & Garden UK]
~7 Destinations in the UK where the Locals love to travel [Travel + Leisure]. I will let TSLL British readers confirm or correct this article. 😉🇬🇧❤️
~A recipe from Smitten Kitchen‘s new cookbook – Green Angel Hair with Garlic Butter.
~Do you have a coffee lover on your holiday gift list? Check out these 44 Best Coffee Gifts of 2022 from Kitchn.
~7 Must-visit UK Gardens for autumn color. [The English Garden]
~14 of the best French Christmas markets in 2022 [The Local, subscription required]
~In the new season of The Crown, Elizabeth Debicki portrays Princess Diana, and in her interview with British Vogue, the actor shares how she embodied, even through distinct physical differences, the People’s Princess.
~One more for fans of The Crown, I had no idea about Sydney Johnson and his being the valet for King Edward VIII and then Mohamed Al-Fayed. Here’s the story behind the latter’s relationship [The New York Times, free link gift]
~A timeline for the Thanksgiving cook [NYTimes, free gift link]
~A tremendous MERCI to TSLL reader and Francophile Deborah L. for introducing me to the ILoveParis YouTube Channel. Subscribe and watch multiple clips of daily life and style on the streets of Paris. Here is a look at what people are wearing recently on the Left Bank inside Ralph Lauren and outside on the boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
~Explore last week’s This & That: November 11, 2022
New cookbooks for Francophiles, Anglophiles and lovers of sourdough bread, Prince Harry announces his autobiography book’s release, a new biography by Andrew Morton about the Queen, a favorite French film from the past too good not to miss, two new films receiving high praise, sweaters for him and her, a décor sale with fantastic savings, a fun French series about a “deadly” profession, and still, much more.