Alexandra and I are back to bring you some roaring 20s recommendations! The United States was between wars but there were battles raging behind speakeasy doors, on the streets of New York, and at the hemline of ladies’ dresses!

Also, when and why did we stop using the term “zozzled” (drunk)? I vote to bring it back.

On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we’re highlighting books & films that we recommend from/about specific eras! (Television shows, too, sometimes!) There’s no commitment or link-up during those months on your end, but in December we’ll host a recap/link-up for the entire year!

I know lots of people love the 1920s, mostly because of Fitzgerald & DiCaprio. I am not one of those people. The Great Gatsby doesn’t show up on my list 😉 (But maybe it does on Alexandra’s… check it out!)


If you check it out on GoodReads you’ll find that Circling the Sun [Paula McLain] has mixed reviews. I enjoyed it well enough, though. Like many works of historical fic, it’s slow moving. You can’t rush a person’s life and sometimes there are sluggish moments. Also, Beryl Markham was a flawed woman and it shows in this story- but she was also a badass. The descriptions of Kenya and unpredictability of the country are rich in this story of societal survival.

(1929) The movie was a TOTAL flop, but the book Serena [Ron Rash] is one of my favorites. Damn… I both admired Serena and hated her. She was vile- but also so powerful and strong and manipulative. A woman living in a man’s world, surrounded by vast wilderness. This book has romance, but it’s not a romantic story. It was a story about survival and greed and destruction. Honestly, it is just a really good, slow burning wilderness tale. (Some reviewers on GR noted that there’s animal abuse. Technically it’s people living in the wild in 1929… so yes, there’s hunting and trapping etc.)

I’ve saved the best book for last… Orphan Train [Christina Baker Kline] is hands-down one of my favorite books. This book sucked me in, shattered my heart, pieced it back together, broke it a few more times, then warmed it up and sent it off with a kiss. As the title suggests, this is a story about orphans- specifically Vivian and Molly- and their journeys, struggles, and triumphs. I love this book.


(1924) I’m not really a musical-loving gal but Chicago is one of my favorites. Zeta-Jones, Zellweger, & Gere play their parts perfectly. Annnd now I have “Cell Block Tango” stuck in my head.

(1925) Typically I avoid animal movies but Balto was one of my favorites growing up. Of course the cartoon is merely that. A dog named Togo actually led most of the journey and after the serum was delivered the dogs weren’t treated well at all 😠 But this movie is a sweet one.

(1925) In high school I used to peruse Hollywood Video for movies to watch and that’s how I found The Painted Veil. It’s a sad but beautiful love story, set during the cholera epidemic in China.

(1926) I don’t know why, but The Mummy is one of my all-time favorite movies. I love Evie and her sass, I love the Egyptian theme, and I love quoting this film all. the. time.

(1926) Could I claim to be a true PotterHead if I didn’t include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

*dates indicate setting, not release

B O N U S !

I owe my love of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries to Kristen. And when you get hooked on this three-season-series you can thank me 😉 I love that Alexandra loves the clever and gorgeous Phryne Fisher, too! All three seasons are on Netflix.

Obviously Downton Abbey, too! So good it transcends a single decade 😉

On the shelf…

When it was release The Artist was nominated and won a whole bunch of awards. I’d like to see it!

I recently saw Radio Girls [Sarah-Jane Stratford] pop up in a few blog posts. I think it sounds right up my alley!

Don’t forget to go check out Alexandra’s recommendations, too!! And if you missed out 1910s post you can find it HERE!

Next month we’re checking out Alexandra’s favorite era- the 1930s! It was a tough decade for our country but from devastation and depression is born hope and stories of courage and resilience! We’ll share some of our favorites in April!

20 thoughts on “The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1920s

  1. Ok, I am SO ON BOARD with this! This round up is awesome. I read all of Serena and I liked/hated it since it was so slow, but the story was intense for sure! I need to add The Orphan Train to my list and also Miss Fishers to my binge watching list!


    1. It’s been fun to categorize my favorite books and movies (and tv shows) into different decades 🙂 Serena was definitely slow… which I don’t mind in historical fiction. But I 100% agree with you.
      You neeeeeed to watch Miss Fisher’s!! It’s the best!


  2. I just found The Orphan Train on my kindle – dont even remember buying it.
    & can you believe I’ve never seen Fantastic Beasts… I bought it – just never watched it yet. Maybe I just made my weekend plans.


    1. I think there are several Orphan Train related stories. I know there’s at least an “Orphan Train” and a “The Orphan Train.” I’ve read the former, but I’ve heard great things about both of them!!
      Have you seen the trailer for the new Fantastic Beasts?? You have until Nov. 16th to get that first one watched 😉


  3. i just caught an episode of miss fisher’s on pbs randomly, and it looked right up my alley! i didn’t know it was on netflix, thank you! i’ve found my next “binge while my husband is traveling” show.


    1. It is SO good. She’s sassy and strong and brave and super feminine. She’s the best 🙂
      I hope you’re having SO MUCH FUN in Hawaii right now!!


  4. MISS FISHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Haha. love love love it.
    i freaking LOVE the mummy too. legit bought it on bluray over the thanksgiving sales and have watched it like 75 times. because it isn’t on netflix! i also love george of the jungle. i just love that era of brendan fraser lol


    1. I’m so glad you introduced me to the Miss Fisher’s fan club!! Hahaha! I looove it!
      I agree- Brendan Fraser was gold in the last 90s. I can quote the entire Mummy movie 🙂 The second one, too. Haha!


    1. DANG IT. I just reread your comment and got the tango in my head again. Hahahaha!
      I looooove Evie. I’d name a kid Evie if K would let me. (I’ve asked, he’s not on board…)
      I dislike the book, too, but maybe it’d be less tainted if you avoided the movie. I just hate the…. attitudes of everyone. Lol. I think that’s the point, though. I had to read it FOUR times between high school and college so I’m just over it. Ha.


  5. I’m borrowing Orphan Train from a friend but I still haven’t read it. I need to read it and give it back to her, especially because I’ve heard how good of a book it is. And I love Chicago! It’s just such a fun movie for being about something so dark!


    1. I love how dark Chicago really is. Lol. It’s just so entertaining!
      Orphan Train was one of those books I kept thinking about looong after I finished it!


  6. I love the 20’s! When I was in high school I was super obsessed with Paris in the 20’s, specifically Hemingway and Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald. I’ve been meaning to watch the Amazon Prime show about Zelda. I think Midnight in Paris is a fun movie because it goes back to that time. Oh – Another fun book is Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella! Fantastic Beasts is fantastic too – Obviously. 🙂


    1. I’ll have to look into Twenties Girl! Thanks!
      My sister-in-law loves the Gatsby era and the Fitzgeralds. I don’t know why that era doesn’t appeal to me, but it definitely doesn’t. Lol. When we get into the ’40s and ’60s I’ll be much more enthusiastic! Ha!


  7. Oh, the 1920’s is a fascinating era! I love that you included Fantastic Beasts, and Chicago too!! I always forget when that takes place. hah It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the movie – I need to remedy that. Thanks for all these fun recommendations. I’ve never read The Great Gatsby and I thought the latest movie was just okay, so I wouldn’t have that on my list either.



    1. I had WAY too many teachers assign me “The Great Gatsby” in high school and college. They burned me out on it and made me hate the damn green light. Lol. So much color analysis in English class. Hahahaha. I just think the people are really shitty and shitty to each other, but that’s what makes the story I guess. *shrug*


  8. Um, 1 MILLION apologies. I went off the radar for my babysitting staycation. It was kind of a “survival mode” week. I LOVE YOUR POST! I AM SORRY I AM SO LATE IN READING IT! 😦 I am SO glad to hear your thoughts on Serena, because I have the book and was really unsure about it! Now I want to read it for sure! I got orphan train for Christmas and now I am super jazzed about reading it too! The Chaperone had a bit of orphan train history in it and I had NO IDEA. Ugh my historical knowledge is SO spotty! Fantastic Beasts & Miss Fisher foreverrr!! I wanted to see The Painted Veil! Good to know! 🙂 Must look into Radio Girls… and get a jump on the 1930’s. Holy Cow! XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


    1. No worries!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Blogging should definitely get thrown to the bottom of the list when in survival mode! I hope you really love Serena and Orphan Train. Two totally different books but they are seriously two of the best from that era that I've ever read! I added The Chaperone to my list because it sounded like something I'd love! Hope things are a little slower for you in the coming weeks! And hopefully you can squeeze in a relaxing trip soon!!


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