Cooking with Picasso and The Brown Paper Book Club

birds of a feather flock together
Tahilla Farm

Greetings from a still chilly New Hampshire! The calendar may say Spring but I can tell you, we are a good few weeks away from basking in that glorious sunshine. Which suits me just fine as I am still deep into a few projects that I am enjoying immensely. 

The Brown Paper Book Club
A few weeks ago I wrote about a reading list which started a number of conversations about what people are reading. I have had so much fun chatting along that I decided to resurrect The Brown Paper Book Club from it's dusty hiding spot in my blog and create The Brown Paper Book Club Facebook Page, a place for kindred spirits to talk about books and anything else that moves the reading spirit. 

We recently had an enlightening discussion around small town libraries. I posted In Praise of the Small Town Library from the Literary Hub which as Kristin so kindly put it, stirred some lovely memories..

From Kristin:

As a very young girl in the 40's, we lived in a small rural community in Washington state, north of Seattle. Our library was a small, I would guess 1920's house, made into the warmest, most welcoming space. Across the street was an old fashioned pharmacy with a counter where my dad and I would get a root beer float after our Saturday visit twice each month to get books for me. I began playing the piano when I was 4 and as soon as I was reading I would get a book about every composer...the researcher part of me developed at such a young age. When I was 10 I took the Greyhound bus to Seattle, walked two blocks to the library to get my books, and then would walk the three blocks to Horlicks to meet my Grandmother for lunch. Still today I go to my library each week, request titles on-line and pick them up. Also I am part of a poetry group that rose up from a series of classes offered at the library twice a year for 6 weeks. I always get a library card when I move, even before I get a driver's license. Thanks for stirring some lovely memories. 

One library memory after another came forth in our little literary group...we discovered we all share a love for libraries and much more here

Camille Aubray

A member, Melissa, highly recommended Cooking for Picasso and once I took a look I thought it would be perfect for my next Audible book and I was right. I play it in the car, in the kitchen, in the garden, in the carriage house, in my office, in the bathroom and in bed before I go to sleep and when I wake. I have to admit it has become quite distracting only in that I can not put it down. The book has allowed me to slip into the South of France and the Côte d’Azur in 1936, dream about delicious French food, dip into the life of Pablo Picasso and with all this..solve a mystery. Life in New Hampshire has never been more intoxicating! ;)

If you are interested in joining The Brown Paper Book Club on Facebook, you can find us here. Once you are on the page, request to join and I will add you in.  If you are not on Facebook, not to worry. You can find The Brown Paper Book Club listed in a tab, under the photo at the top of the blog page. I will update it soon, stay tuned.

While we are on the subject of France....

My Stylish French Box..February 2018

My Stylish French Box...and Marie Antoinette
Ever since Sharon Santoni introduced My Stylish French Box I have been coveting one. I promised myself, that when I returned to Tahilla Farm in 2017 I would order one and I did. I wrote about it here. Lucky for me, Mr. H picked up on the "hint, hint" at the end of my post and gifted me a year  of My Stylish French Box...the best Christmas present ever! 

I can't tell you how happy I was when the postman arrived at our doorstep one snowy afternoon with my February box. Ooh la la! I love love love it all, right down to the Godet hand-crafted soap now tucked between my cashmere sweaters, the Duvelleroy fan waiting for it's visit to the summer porch, the fantastic quality of the Bachca makeup brushes, the antique spoon and fork which have become a regular feature for my morning breakfast, the hand-made tassel which hangs from my reading lamp, the Celine Chollet watercolor print and book labels tucked on my dressing table and desktop, the Charvet Editions linen pillow sitting on my travelling chaise, the delicate aroma of the Sabe Masson perfume stick and the delicious La Sablesienne gourmet biscuits that lasted a day or maybe less...they were just so good! 

If you feel like a wonderful French can enjoy here

In the spirit of sharing...

I mentioned 'The Sharing Corner' 
in an earlier post 
and and also mentioned 
that I have tendencies 
towards being a self-help junkie, 
finding inspiration wherever I can.
Imagine my delight, 
when a fellow reader, Jane, 
wrote to say, me too!!  

Jane sent me her favorites list 
and I sent her mine. 
It was fun to see a treasured favorite, 
Simple Abundance,
at the top of both our lists. 
I love when kindred spirits connect...

Jane's Reading List
Simple Abundance -Sarah Ban Breathnach 
Unstuffed - Ruth Soukup
The Slight Edge- Jeff Olson
No Excuses- Brian Tracy
The Success Principles- Jack Canfield
365 Thank Yous - John Kralik
Attitude is Everything - Keith Harrell
20,000 Days and Counting - Robert Smith

Jeanne's Reading List
Simple Abundance -Sarah Ban Breathnach 
Minding the Muse -Priscilla Long 
The Happiness Project -Gretchen Rubin 
Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert 
The Art of Possibility - Rosamund Stone Zander
The Celestine Prophecy -James Redfield 
The Novice -Thich Nhat Hanh 
Thinking for a Change -John C Maxwell  
The One Thing -Gary Keller

You can also find The Sharing Corner 
on the sidebar of my blog.

And there you have it...
a book club to ponder, 
a stylish french box to consider,
 a French mystery to solve
and enough self-help reading 
to keep you engaged and inspired 
for years to come! 

In the meantime, 
if you have a few books
 your friends would enjoy,
share the love!

There is nothing quite like
 a book or two wrapped 
in brown paper,
waiting in your postbox

My Brown Paper Book Kit

Happy Reading!

Jeanne xx

You can also write to me


  1. ... wow, a lot to digest here. Saw the fab photo of goldfinches on IG and de iced to pop in. I don’t know the last time I visited one of my favorite blogs. IG is just so fast and easy. I am definitely downloading the Picasso book, it sounds perfect. I’m about done with FB way before it’s current issues. It’s just so manulative. I’ll try to find the Brown Paper updates in your link. We do love great booktalk. I saw that Anita Shreveport died today, age 71 .. privately dealing with cancer. I have never read anything of hers, but am now. Many are heartbroken. Cheers Jeanne ... just as good as I always remember

    1. Thank you for stopping by Karen! Instagram has been a wonderful way to record life, making it easier than a blog to stay in touch. I do miss you can see from the length of this post. My goal is to post more frequently with less. If only there wasn’t so much to share! I will create a page on the blog for those who want to stay up to date with The Brown Paper Book Club. Very sad news about Anita Shreveport, I will revisit her books as well. XX

  2. Lovely idea Jeanne. I will probably join the Brown Paper Book Club on FB. I love going through your book lists and have read a few that you recommended.

    1. So glad you joined us Loree, lots of great book talk!!

  3. A TABLE IN VENCIE is a cookbook I am reading right NOW!Have made two side dishes and LOVED THEM!A YOUNG GIRL wrote this book as she is ENGLISH but they moved to VENICE when she was 6 years old from England and NEVER left!
    Her dresses are all Floral as well which I ADORE!XX

    1. Thank you Elizabeth, I will look this one up and add it to our list!!

  4. Comme c'est dommage, ce livre n'existe pas en français :(

  5. I hope it is one day published in French for you Nadezda!


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