HOW ARE WE HERE?
Welcome to the final installment of the #RSFGBlogCollab for 2018! We went back and forth on how to set this post up. We settled on a “Best of the Best”category, a “Through the Ages” category, and a recap of “On Deck” recommendations from the year that I did end up getting to!
Be sure to link-up with Alexandra and I to share the period books and movies and tv shows that you’ve read and watched!
Best of the Best
If I could sum up all my recommendations and give you a TL;DR of the very best…
You need to read Serena by Ron Rash and Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (1920s) and Ashley Weaver’s Amory Ames series. Also, dip your toes in the Agatha Christie pool with And Then There Were None (1930s). Obviously read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (1950s) and alllll the Harry Potter books (1990s). Both of my 2000s books are must-reads: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan.
You need to watch The Mummy (1920s), A League of Their Own (1940s), Roman Holiday, & Clue (1950s). In our family, Secondhand Lions and That Thing You Do are considered classics (1960s). If you haven’t seen the Harry Potter films (1990s), what are you waiting for?! Also, Talladega Nights (2000s) forever and ever.
You need to binge Downton Abbey (1910s/1920s), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (1920s), The Astronaut Wives’ Club (1960s), The West Wing (1990s/2000s), & The Newsroom (2000s).
*the Miss Fisher’s series is currently making a movie !! And a new series !!
If you are a history lover, you should check out the following podcasts, too!
- You Must Remember This (for the old hollywood obsessed)
- American History Tellers (for those who want to live it)
- Stuff You Missed in History Class (for those who love museums and school)
- Lore (for those who like the strange and creepy and sometimes grotesque)
Through the Ages
I read a lot of historical fiction (and some nonfiction). Here are some of my favorite books, movies, and television shows that pre-date the 1900-2000 we covered this year!
(1521) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book, but when I was in HS it was one of my favorites. It was my (fictional) introduction to the Tudor family and it’s where I fell in love with them. I HATED the film they made from this book, but I actually like the movie version of (book) cover art. I love the green in Natalie Portman’s dress. The movie suuuuuuucked, though.
(1609) The Gentleman’s Poet by Kathryn Johnson
Again, I read this book quite a few years ago, but I loved it. I was in colonial Jamestown over Thanksgiving and they mention this wreck in several stories/museums. I loved that I had a little backstory from having read this- even if a large chuck was dramatized fiction. This is a sweet little love story filled with adventure, survival, and Shakespeare.
(1850s) The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
One of my all time favorite books ever. (Thanks, Jana!) It’s much darker than I typically read and there isn’t a sparkly happy ending, but DAMN this book is good. The characters are likable and hateable. The story is violent and touching. The setting is awesome. It’s a western, but almost like a Quentin Tarantino western. It’s also a movie now, too. (I won’t be seeing it because I can read violence- I can’t watch it.)
*It’s funny and amazing to think that people were living like the characters in The Sisters Brothers at the EXACT same time as those in my next book, Gaslight. I feel like historical fiction opens your eyes to the unique paradox of our history. Yes, it’s fiction, but these setting happened.
(1861) A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews
I’d be shocked if this wasn’t on Alexandra’s list– she recommended the book on her blog. This is a cute, festive, romantic novella. It’s perfect for a) Christmastime and b) historical fiction lovers. Nothing too steamy in this short romance- just playful banter and gorgeous holiday scenes and the potential for a happily ever after.
(1949-1970s) 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
This book technically fell into our collaboration timeline, but I didn’t read it until the decade had passed. (Thanks for the rec, Michelle!) As I’ve recently mentioned, this true collection of letters is a sweet and short picture of Miss Hanff’s interactions with an English bookstore staff. It’s lovely and heartwarming.
(16th century England) The Tudors
This is probably my favorite tv series. The costumes and the stories and the history… plus it’s not too violent as far as Showtime period dramas go. Let’s be real… the women shouldn’t be quite so exposed and Henry VIII should be WAY fatter- especially by the end, but I’m good with it. Also, Natalie Dormer and Henry Cavill are in this series and they are HOT.
“On Deck” Reviews
(1940s) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
So good. I’m so glad I read it. It was sadly sweet & hopeful. A good WWII novel without too much death and despair.
(1940s) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
A little different from the novel, but equally sweet and charming. I recommended this movie to my grandparents (they loved Downton Abbey) and they LOVED it (without having read the book)!
(1990s) Empire Records
Lots of bloggers rave about this film. (Stephanie’s blog is named after a line from it.) I’d been meaning to watch it but this collaboration finally pushed me to do it. Plus, I found it on Netflix. It was very teen-movie-nineties and I loved it. I loved the relationships and quirkiness of all the characters. It was kind of silly but I really like the take away.
(1930s) And Then There Were None
I ended up finding this 3-episode mini series on hoopla. Holy sh*t, I loved it. It was a perfect dark British mystery. And while Philip Lombard (Aidan Turner) was a very, very terrible man, he was freaking smokin’. Hot damn.
Thank you SO much for going on this historical ride with us!! If you want to relive any of the past decades you can check them out here: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000
Check out Alexandra’s wrap up! Don’t forget to link up below!
12 Comments Add yours
This has been such a fun series. Every era is so unique, isn’t it?
So is the book The Other Boleyn Sister like the movie??? I LOVED the movie!!!
Each era is definitely super unique. I love that, too!
I hated the movie for The Other Boleyn Girl. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen or read either, though. Maybe I’d like the movie now! I liked the book much much much better, though.
YAY! I’m SO glad that you read and watched Guernsey and enjoyed them!! Also a Holiday by Gaslight. Too stinking cute. 🙂 I am totally bumping Orphan Train, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and Astronaut Wives Club (series) up my list. I am thinking I’ll abandon the Astronaut book. The writing is kinda really bad. x_x. I am VERY intrigued by these podcasts, but don’t usually have time to listen to podcasts. I’m going to save them anyhow! 🙂 XO – Alexandra
Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things
Ugh- all forms of Guernsey were just THE best!
Holiday by Gaslight was the cutest. I want a short little festive novella for every week of December!
I fully endorse Orphan Train & Evelyn. SO GOOD.
I don’t listen to podcast because I don’t have time to do it. (No commute, I have to be engaged at work.) I also don’t retain well by listening. But I make exceptions for these. They are awesome and I put them on even if I’m in the car for 10 or 15 minutes!
I really enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl too. I preferred the book, of course. But I also read the book first and it was such a big book that it would be hard for a 2 hour movie to do it justice. Of course, I’m onboard with the HP love and Evelyn Hugo love. I need to read an Agatha Christie. It’s weird that I haven’t, given my love of mystery and she is the grand dame of mystery writers.
I need to reread and rewatch TOBG. I hated the movie but it’s probably been 10 years at least since I saw it. I should give it another go. Definitely check out that Christie book!! And watch the mini series, too!
This was such a fun series. You can’t go wrong with Harry Potter – the books or the movies. And I totally agree with Agatha Christie, though my favorite (so far) by her is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
I will have to check that one out!! Thanks!
I read the Other Boleyn girl yearrrrs ago (thanks to this post I just marked it as read on goodreads). What a great book! Fun series!!
I need to reread it, too! I’ve always loved Philippa Gregory’s books!
Weren’t both versions of Guernsey just so sad & wonderful!
I loved them. So sweet and sad and hopeful in their own ways!