The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1930s

We’re back! (And if you couldn’t find Alexandra’s 1920s post from last month you can find it here! She had a scheduling glitch.) This month we’re checking out the 1930s- not a great time for the US of A… Between the stock market crash at the end of the 20s leading to the Great Depression and the dust bowl wreaking havoc on land and crops in the west, the US was struggling. Meanwhile, across the big pond, Germany saw the growth of the Nazi party, China was traumatized by multiple floods, and Spain found itself in a civil war.

Yeah… not a great time for planet Earth.

On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we’re highlighting books & films from/about specific eras that we recommend! (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!

Despite the incredibly depressing events of the 1930s, some of my favorites stories come from this era.


(1932) A few years ago I fell in love with Amory Ames. The first book in the series, Murder at the Brightwell (Ashley Weaver), is a mix of British elite, classic mystery, and a tiny bit of romance. Since that seaside scandal, Weaver has penned three more stories with a fifth due out Sept. 4th. I love getting lost in Amory’s (and her playboy husband Milo’s) adventures.

(1933) I’d wager that 75% of us (at least) had to read To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) in high school. I did, but it’s been a while. I remember this book being the perfect marriage of childhood innocence and adult conflict. I won’t lie- I decided not to read Go Set A Watchman when it was released because of the controversy surrounding Lee’s consent. To Kill a Mockingbird is the only Scout, Jem, and Atticus I know.

(Late 1930s) I expressed interest in Agatha Christie to a classical book-loving colleague a while back and she recommended I start with And Then There Were None. It was the perfect 1930s Clue-like mystery! Christie’s writing is timeless- the language was easy to digest and the plot flowed along seamlessly. Keep in mind, the original title and titular poem that this book was based around isn’t P/C by today’s standard, but the major contention points have been altered and the story sucks you right in. I love that the story was serialized in newspaper format when it was first released.

The 1930s are a fun setting for mysteries 😉


It’s been SO LONG since I’ve seen Fried Green Tomatoes. It is one of my mom’s favorite movies and the song “Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks always reminds me of it. I need to rewatch this one soon.

(1935) Is The Green Mile a popular movie? I referenced it once to a friend and she told me she’d never seen it. It’s a sad one but it’s so good. But I hate the one part and I HATE Sam Rockwell’s character. But I love John Coffey. This film conflicts me.

(1937) I feel foolish for putting this on here, but Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? is one of my dad’s all time favorite movies. It’s so silly but it has George Clooney so…. I suffer through it when he puts it on for the millionth time.

*dates indicate setting, not release

B O N U S !

I don’t have any 1930s tv shows or musicals to recommend. Do you?

On the shelf…

In 2015 BBC released the 3 episode mini-series And Then There Were None (based on the book I just mentioned)! I definitely want to check this out- especially because the cast includes Aidan Turner and Sam Neill.

I started the movie The Sting just last night but I didn’t finish it in time for this post. I’ll have it done for our final December recap. You should watch it, too, because Paul Newman and Robert Redford are very easy on the eyes.

I was reading an article about all the period dramas on Netflix (which of course I’ll share with you) and I saw the British drama Dancing on the Edge. I think it looks interesting!

We try not to repeat our recommendations so be sure to check out Alexandra’s blog now!

Big bands and WWII await us in May when we cross into the 1940s. Possibly one of the most romantic eras, I love this decade for its big band music and sharp fashion. Plus we start to see women hold down the fort and demand some credit!

Did you miss our first two decades?
Check out my recs from the 1910s and the 1920s!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Tanya says:

    My friend, Mackenize, recommended Murder at Brightwell to me and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I need to pick up the next book. I have never read an Agatha Christie mystery, which is wrong on so many levels as a huge mystery fan and her being the grand dame of mystery writers. I’m adding Then There Were None to my TBR because I don’t know anything about it. That’s been part of the problem, I never read Murder on the Orient Express but I know the outcome so … yeah. I never read the follow-up To Kill a Mockingbird either and I’m with you – if Harper Lee wanted it published, she have done it herself. Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favorite movies and books. I saw the movie first and loved it. The book has some big(gish) differences but I still loved it. I loved the music from Brother, Where Art Thou? Huh, I never realized I was such a fan of the 1930’s!


    1. Audrey says:

      I really really enjoy murder mysteries without the heart stopping thriller aspect. I think that’s why I’m drawn to Amory and Agatha Christie. The second book in the Amory Ames series is my favorite so far. I haven’t seen or read Murder on the Orient Express, although I kind of know the ending… Oh well.
      I need to read Fried Green Tomatoes! (And watch the movie again!)


  2. I love Mockingbird. You made the right decision on Watchman.

    Fried Green Tomatoes is an awesome book and movie. Love love love it. MFD likes Brother, Where Art Thou? I love one of the songs from it – Man of Constant Sorrow I think is the title?


    1. Audrey says:

      I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not reading Watchman, plus I like the image of Atticus I have. I heard the sequel tarnishes it…
      I apparently need to read Fried Green Tomatoes. My dad bellows Man of Constant Sorrow any chance he gets, lol.


  3. I’ve been wanting to read the Amory Ames series – Not least because the covers are so cute!
    I love O Brother – So funny! Another movie I thought of is Cinderella Man. Oh, and also! Purple Rose of Cairo (early Woody Allen) is probably my favorite 1930s-era movie.


    1. Audrey says:

      The covers are so visually appealing! I love them!
      I’ve never heard of Purple Rose of Cairo but I might have to check it out! I remember liking Cinderella Man!


  4. Lauren Becker says:

    Oh, I love And Then There Were None – I really need to see that mini series! I definitely had to read To Kill a Mockingbird in school. Would Grapes of Wrath count for this period, as it’s the Dust Bowl? I think that’s the 30’s…

    And I totally googled 1930’s musicals, and Wizard of Oz is on there! I didn’t know that’s when it came out…?



    1. Audrey says:

      Yep, I think Grapes of Wrath was set in the 30s! I think the mini-series just looks so fresh and fun and interesting!
      I hate The Wizard of Oz… I know that’s terrible and I’m a weirdo and everyone loves it. But I just don’t like that musical. LOL


  5. Aw thanks for sharing my 1920’s post. LOL. I think I did it this time! hahahah The 1930s were a very rough decade for the world. I think I’m just so in love with reading stories of hard scrabble people who survive (or thrive) in such conditions! It’s so inspiring and unfathomable. I want to read And Then There Were None… and see the mini series! The Green Mile is a sob fest for me. I thought it was popular.. but maybe not that popular? I dunno! One of my dad’s favorite movies is also Oh, Brother Where Art Thou. LOL. Haven’t seen it in years, but boy oh boy did we have to listen to that soundtrack a lot. LOL. I am checking out this netflix post, now! Glad my post was correctly scheduled today.. LOL! Can’t wait for 1940’s stuff next month! XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


    1. Audrey says:

      Yep, this month you definitely got it 😀 haha!!
      I’m ob.sessed. with mysteries from this decade. No idea why. Lol.
      The Green Mile is so so so sad. Man. That film is just rough.
      I’m so excited for the 40s!!!


  6. so glad i’m catching up on your blog – i NEEDED a new audiobook and “murder at the brightwell” happened to be available! yay!

    have you read the maisie dobbs series? it’s my other fav and set throughout the 1920-40s ish!


    1. Audrey says:

      Oooh, I hope you like it!! (And I hope it’s read by a British person or a very posh American!)
      I have not read that series but it’s going on my list now!!


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