This & That: October 20, 2023
Friday October 20, 2023

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Unique and highly praised new films, books for all sorts of interests – cooking, having it all, mystery and more, as well as sought-after tableware finds from trusted designers in their field, fall and winter style finds that will be with you for years to come and still much, much more.


Everything is Not Enough: A Novel by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom 

Being released this coming Tuesday, the highly anticipated second novel from bestselling international author of In Every Mirror She’s Black. Author Lola Akinmade Akerstrom seeks to answer the question, Can a career woman truly have it all? “In Everything is Not Enough, follow the lives of three black women as they fight their own personal struggles in one of the most egalitarian societies, Sweden”.

How to Know a Person: The art of seeing others deeply and being deeply seen by David Brooks

Also being released on Tuesday of next week, bestselling author David Brooks “draws from the fields of psychology and neuroscience and from the worlds of theater, philosophy, history, and education to present a welcoming, hopeful, integrated approach to human connection. How to Know a Person helps readers become more understanding and considerate toward others, and to find the joy that comes from being seen. Along the way it offers a possible remedy for a society that is riven by fragmentation, hostility, and misperception.”

The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, A Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity by Nicholas Day

If you enjoy history, and a Mona Lisa caper set in Paris at that, this book, goes back to the event that had everyone guessing, the incident when Mona Lisa vanished. “Travel back to an extraordinary period of revolutionary change: turn-of-the-century Paris. Walk its backstreets. Meet the infamous thieves—and detectives—of the era. And then slip back further in time and follow Leonardo da Vinci, painter of the Mona Lisa, through his dazzling, wondrously weird life. Discover the secret at the heart of the Mona Lisa—the most famous painting in the world should never have existed at all.” Released in September, it is receiving high praise from critics and readers alike.

The Upstairs Delicatessen: On Eating, Reading, Reading About Eating, and Eating While Reading by Dwight Garner

If you love books, and if you’re reading this section of the post, I have a feeling you do!, and if you love food, I have a book for you. “Dwight Garner, the beloved New York Times critic and the author of Garner’s Quotations, serves up the intertwined pleasures of books and food. The product of a lifetime of obsessively reading, eating, and every combination therein, The Upstairs Delicatessen: On Eating, Reading, Reading About Eating, and Eating While Reading is a charming, emotional memoir, one that only Garner could write. In it, he records the voices of great writers and the stories from his life that fill his mind as he moves through the sections of the day and of this book: breakfast, lunch, shopping, the occasional nap, drinking, and dinner.”

British Finds

Delia’s How to Cheat at Cooking

The sharing of books discovered while staying at Rita Konig’s North Farm in England continues with a cookbook I spied on her shelves and wanted to share. Released back in 2008, Delia Smith “has sourced a range of pre-prepared foods (from tins, chill cabinets, freezers and store cupboards) to help you short circuit cooking times and techniques. Readily available from supermarkets, delis, online food shops and farmers markets and of the very best quality these recipes using instant time savers will allow you to create fabulous food without the faff. How to Cheat is for people who don’t want to cook, who think they can’t cook, or simply don’t have the time to cook. As Delia herself says, ‘Cheating’s come on a lot and there’s much more available. The way it’s going I can’t think of anybody who wouldn’t want it.'”


Navy Grey’s Navy & Espresso oversized sweater (more colors)

Upon reading a recent article in The Financial Times written by the style editor, I learned about a British brand I will be keeping my eye on moving forward as I loved what I discovered – Navy Grey. And today I’d like to share with you their oversized sweater made of 100% Scottish lamb’s wool. With many different colors, stripes and solids, available, this sweater will be a timeless piece to keep you warm and stylish each fall and winter.

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Nyad, Netflix

This. This film. This is a film to watch. Opening in select theaters beginning today, watch it on Netflix beginning on November 3rd. I can remember the day, listening to the news, and hearing that sixty-four-year-old marathon swimmer Diana Nyad had successfully made the swim from Cuba to Florida after several failed efforts, and to see it put to film with two talented actors I greatly admire, I cannot wait to watch this film Nyad. Full of inspiration and a reminder to honor what speaks to us, have a look at the trailer below.

The Persian Version

Being released today in theaters is a film to make you laugh, as well as lift you up. Winning both the Audience Award and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, writer-director-producer “Maryam Keshavarz delivers a universal and timely story of the Iranian and the Iranian-American experience with The Persian Version”. Have a look at the trailer below and enjoy.

The Pigeon Tunnel

If you have read one, some or all of John Le Carre’s spy thrilling novels, some of which were turned into films, you will want to watch this new documentary of the author. Being released today on AppleTV+, the British author and former spy talks about his life, what is actually true and much more in The Pigeon Tunnel. I think I will be sitting down and taking in this one with a curious eye. Have a look at the trailer below presented by Academy Award® winner of documentary film making Errol Morris.

Francophile Finds

The Complete Book of French Cooking by Vincent Boué and Hubert Delorme

How did I miss this book when it was released in September?! No matter, I know about it now, and I am excited to share it with you today. Consisting of more than 525 pages, The Complete Book of French Cooking includes “one hundred sixty-five classic recipes—onion soup, quiche Lorraine, boeuf bourguignon, tarte Tatin—are graded with a three-star rating so the home chef can gauge the complexity and gradually expand their cooking ability. Nine recipes from Michelin three-star chefs and culinary artisans offer the ultimate challenge. Cross-references to techniques, culinary terms, and complementary recipes facilitate navigation, and the volume is completed with practical resources: visual dictionaries of basic kitchen equipment; cuts of meat; types of herbs, grains, spices, pasta, and dried beans; a glossary; conversion tables; and an index of recipes, main ingredients, and techniques.”

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The Flowers of Provence by Jamie Beck

Her second book, following up her bestselling success of An American in Provence is photographer Jamie Beck’s The Flowers of Provence being released on October 24th. “The Flowers of Provence immerses readers in lush photography of her most beloved subjects. In addition to must-see stunning photography, 90% of which has never been published in a book before, Beck includes thoughts about what inspires her to create such incredible works of art and tips for cutting and preserving flowers. The Flowers of Provence is sure to delight long-time fans, armchair travelers, photography connoisseurs, and of course, anyone who appreciates the natural beauty of flowers.”

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John Derian for Target, Thanksgiving collection

Many of you know that John Derian has partner from time to time with Astier de Villatte (I love their candles!), which was established in Paris in 1996, and so whenever I think of Derian, my mind goes to that brand and the unique items he has created for them. This season John Derian has designed an exclusive collection for Target just in time for Thanksgiving entertaining. I have shopped a few of the items that caught my eye below, but be sure to explore all of them now as many items are selling out quickly.


A Year in the French Style: Interiors and Entertaining by Antoinette Poisson

Being released on October 24th, the founders of Antoinette Poisson in their new book take readers inside their historic townhouse on the Atlantic coast to discover a style and art of entertaining rooted in French tradition and elegance.

“Maison Lescop—the historic residence of an eighteenth-century French importer for the Indian trading company in Port-Louis, Brittany—seemed predestined to become the new home and restoration project for the creative duo behind Antoinette Poisson, a Parisian design team dedicated to reviving the savoir faire of domino paper for home decoration and furnishings. The art historians became enchanted by the poetic beauty of this artisanal craft—derived from an Indian block print technique—when they uncovered original hand-painted eighteenth-century domino wallpaper while restoring a mansion in central France.”


The Garden Book by Monty Don

Being released next week, the beloved host of Gardeners’ World, Monty Don has a new book for gardeners and it looks to be a wonderful resource whether you are just getting started gardening or are looking to fine-tune your know-how.

“Whether you want to grow your own vegetables, create a child-friendly garden, connect with nature, or make the most of houseplants, Monty will help you unlock your space’s potential, showing you what, where and when to plant. The Gardening Book gives you the basics to grow over 100 popular flowers, foods, shrubs, houseplants and more—each one has a clear, concise, format: what you need, timing, method, and step-by-step photos, all on one spread. It’s a refreshingly accessible approach that will help you build a garden which best serves your needs and enhances your lifestyle.”

What Makes a Garden: A considered approach to garden design by Jinny Blom

Another gardening book to take note of being released next week is What Makes a Garden. “This book looks at how a garden should please all five senses; how it is an alchemical mix of the inanimate and the living; and also how it has to accommodate both the effects of time and the influences of culture.

“This is not intended as a book of rules but rather a way of thinking about garden design and making sure it responds to the particularities of place, the culture and the demands of the client. Drawing on her work and experience over the last 20 years or so, the book gets to the heart of what people want and need from a garden and what makes it different from a natural landscape.

“Reflecting Jinny‘s highly individual approach to garden design, the book is filled with warmth and character alongside her expert knowledge.” Take a look at the table of contents below to discover what you will learn.

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Hackney Diamonds, The Rolling Stones

All right music fans of classic rock, this is the album many people never thought would be. Their first album of entirely new music in 18 years, Hackney Diamonds by The Rolling Stones is receiving quite a bit of applause by critics and it is released today.

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Watch the first track released from the album in their video here, Angry.


Bordallo Pinheiro, Cabbage plates

Above you may have noticed the cabbage plates created for John Derian’s Target collection. Well, one of the original places to purchase these cabbage plates is from the Portugal brand Bordallo Pinheiro. And having had the opportunity to enjoy using them in Rita Konig’s home kitchen in the English farm house, I can say with confidence, these are lovely and well-made plates, bowls and tableware. Shop these styles and more below.


Cabbage cup and saucer (large and small sizes, small, left and large, right, seen below)

Joseph Ribbed Cotton, wool and cashmere blend coat (three colors)

Winter and cozy, these sweater coats just look a treat don’t they? And if your size is still available, you will no doubt have them in your wardrobe for years to come. Did I mention, these are on sale!

Rouje slim close-fitting turtleneck

There was a recent article profiling the founder of French clothing brand Rouje, Jeanne Dames, speaking to her influence on the style that seems to epitomize French-girl style. So I took a look at the site this fall, some place I do visit from time to time, and found this lovely turtleneck in complementary hue for both cool and warm undertones.

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Stand Studio Anissa oversized quilted shell down coat, 50% off (black also available)

Winter is coming and if you have always wanted a warm, long quilted coat, this one is available at a very nicely reduced price.


Well, if this doesn’t capture autumn’s natural beauty, I don’t know what does.

Earlier this week, Norman and Nelle enjoyed an excursion to Drake Park where we found it full of fall color both on the ground but so much still adorning the trees. I was gawking so much I nearly tripped over the pups at one point. 

Returning home and settling back in this week has been something I am savoring, and while I have detailed how the trip came to a conclusion in the third Travel Diary post, I must say again something I shared, there is something oh so priceless and hard to describe about the handful of days and the feeling we hold and experience following returning to our everyday routine after a beloved trip abroad. If I could bottle it, I would, but since I cannot, I savor it all the more. It still lingers today, but is ebbing and that is okay because it means the jetlag is ebbing as well, and now I must put to concrete the ideas that have been awoken, stirred and introduced to me that I am most fortunate to have found. 

This weekend, I will be in French class, having signed up for a bootcamp on future tenses and then settling back into a leisurely couple of days of reading, but not before sharing this month’s Ponderings . . . post on Saturday with TOP Tier Members, so be sure to stop by as I have much to ponder inspired by my trip. 😊

If you haven’t already listened to the new podcast episode shared this week (thank you for your patience as for some reason it took an extra day to load on to Apple Podcasts, but all is available now), be sure to listen as well as read the Show Notes as I go into much more detail in the audio version than you will read, but also include many photos from my trip that are available to all readers to check out to give you a taste of the décor inspiration I discovered while traveling as the episode focuses on the ethos of Slow Decorating, or as I would describe it, Mindfully Decorating (episode #367). Oh! And the Petit Plaisir! I would have included it in today’s This & That, but it deserved its own spotlight post. A wonderful British comedy series I do hope comes to the states soon. I absolutely adored it. Check it out here. 

~Explore becoming a TOP Tier Member so you can enjoy reading all blog posts ad-free, plus read all of the exclusive content as well as many more benefits. Learn more here.

I do hope your week went well and want to wish you a wonderful weekend. Thank you for stopping by today and until tomorrow, bonne journée. 

~4 Steps to success with spring bulbs [Gardeners’ World]

~Do you find this to be true for you when you visit Europe? Americans lose weight on indulgent European Vacations [WSJ]

~Speaking of eating and in France in particular, Why Bouillabaisse is the ultimate dinner party dish [WSJ]

~The cathartic pleasure of rearranging objects [House & Garden UK]

~Are you too a fan of Heidi Cailler’s interior design style? Here is a recent article where she shares her Chic Sense of Style, and if you are a TOP Tier Member, be sure to watch November’s A Cuppa Moments in a couple of weeks as I have a giveaway you won’t want to miss out on! [Chairish]

~Perhaps you, like me, have always been curious: What is it really like to live in a thatched cottage [House & Garden UK]


~Each time I visit London, I always pop into Hatchards on Piccadilly, which is conveniently located next door to Fortnum & Mason. Enjoy this video of actor Rosamund Pike visiting the shop for the Dior Book Tote Club. I love what Pike says about curiosity. Have a look, listen and enjoy the tour of the shop. It is a lovely place to get lost in the company of books.

~Explore last week’s This & That: October 13, 2023

Many premieres of returning favorite drama series and a new limited series that has been all the buzz for quite some time. Books and cookbooks, and British finds abound as I am sharing some of the treasures I discovered while traveling to England recently. And there is still 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.

6 thoughts on “This & That: October 20, 2023

  1. Can you believe Mick Jagger is 80??? And that The Stones are still going strong, still rocking, still performing after sixty years. Sixty years!! That’s 20 years longer than you’ve even been alive, isn’t it, Shannon? LOL! I have every album these guys ever made (26? 27?) & have rocked to them my entire life. Sir Mick turned 80 this past summer. “Keef” Richards is 78, Ronnie’s the baby at a youthful 76 & Charlie would be 83 if he were still alive (two of the tracks on “Hackney Diamonds” were made before he passed away in 2021). And they’re still out there on stage playing like 20 year olds. (So much for sex & drugs & rock & roll going to be the death of us all!). They’ve defined music for 6 decades & for me they’re now defining aging: do what you love, do it with passion, ignore anyone telling you to “act your age” & you just might live forever 🙂

    1. Susanne,

      Thank you for this wonderful retrospective!! Yes, it is something definitely to celebrate and after listening to an interview them, I know that Charlie’s passing provided much inspiration and motivation to do this album, do what they love and can continue to do so well. When Jagger was asked why he hasn’t written a memoir, he said I don’t want to spend two years of my life looking back when I want to be living in the now. I had to appreciate his awards. 😌Thank you very much for your comment. And wishing you a music-filled weekend!

  2. Good Afternoon, Shannon~

    I realized yesterday that I might be enjoying TSLL a little too much when I was writing “simple syrup” and wrote “simple sophisticate” instead 🙂 .
    I have been in awe of the photo above taken of the leaves during your ramble with the pups. The vivid colors almost look as though they were painted.
    I am most intrigued by The Pigeon Tunnel. I read an article written by a former SAS officer who said one has to be a psychopath to be a good spy. Judging by Le Carre’s words in the trailer, he may have been right.
    I find myself happily alone this weekend, and I am excitedly planning a few treats. This has led me to rewatch a few episodes of TSL Kitchen as I will be trying my hand at truffles and a soufflé for the first time. I will also be cooking the white fish with carrot puree recipe that you shared from your visit to Café Lignac. Still, I think I am most excited about my own ramble with Abigail along the trails as hopefully, the snakes have made their exit due to the cooler temperatures.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    1. Michelle,

      You made me smile. 🙂 And wishing you a wonderful ramble with Abigail this weekend, or many! Your weekend plans sound delicious, both literally and figuratively and I do hope you enjoy the recipes. Great point you shared about Pigeon Tunnel, and you are right, the trailer lends this truth about a good spy to likely be somewhat true indeed!

      Thank you so much for stopping by. xo

  3. Thank you, Shannon, it is so nice to have a T & T on the weekend! 🙂

    Top favourite, of course, is the gorgeous autumn photo with Nelle and Norman! Fantastic colours!

    And I have to mention the Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage tableware. They are a classic in Portuguese households. My grand-mother had cabbage tableware, my mother ditto, and I ditto ditto. I use them mostly as serving plates and my favourite of the line is the salad bowl. I can vouche for the quality of the ceramic and the glaze. It lasts a life time (I still have the soup terrine from my grand-mother’s set).

    Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

  4. Dear Shannon, Thank you for capturing and sharing with us the magnificent scene of Nelle and Norman amidst the autumnal wonderland of colorful leaves! It is truly the season of senses.
    I adore your earnest wording of the feelings experienced after returning home from a rich, travel adventure. It is the mixture of memories and experiences meshing into the familiar as we have arrived home a little bit different, grown a little bit more. It is a jubilant feeling, raising our quality of life and adding new found knowledge and wisdom to our daily round and surroundings. Priceless.

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