The Roaring Swing Groovy Fabulous Blog Collaboration | The Recap

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!

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!

Books
(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.

Television
(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

Books
(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.

Movies
(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.

Television
(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: 19101920193019401950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000

Check out Alexandra’s wrap up! Don’t forget to link up below!

 CLICK HERE to join in the fun & visit other blogs!

RSFG Reminder

Coming in hot on a Monday. I know this is off schedule for me, but I wanted to remind you about our LINK-UP tomorrow for the Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration!

Come link-up with us tomorrow and share your favorite historical/fiction books or movies or tv shows. Or review some that you hate. Or share a gift guide for the history lover in your family. The options are endless- just tie it back to history 🙂

See you tomorrow for the link-up, friends!!

Christmas Movies to Stream

I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving. No denying it now- we’re officially officially into the Christmas season 🎄

Last year I put together a list of classic Christmas movies and I did my best to watch as many as I could. I’m married to someone with a heart slightly larger than the Grinch (pre-Cindy Lou Who), so we don’t binge holiday films every single night. (You can bet your ass I still play holiday music all the time, though.) We almost always watch The Polar Express and The Santa Clause, though. And I like to watch Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas and all the 1970s stop motion films.

Anyway, this year I’m talking over the apps and watching some cheesy Netflix (& Hulu & Amazon Prime) Christmas movies. I kind of feel like those platforms are giving Hallmark a run for its money! Here are the movies I want to see:

The Royal Ones
A Christmas Prince
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
The Princess Switch

The Convenient Love Ones
Holiday Engagement
Christmas With A View
A Christmas in NY (hulu)

The Small Town Feels Ones
Christmas Inheritance
Coffee Shop
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (Amazon Prime)

The Magical Ones
The Holiday Calendar
The Christmas Chronicles
How Sarah Got Her Wings

The Classics
The Grinch
White Christmas
Love Actually
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
Miracle on 34th Street (hulu)
It’s a Wonderful Life (Amazon Prime)

I should note that I’ve already watched A Christmas Prince and The Princess Switch. (Yay, sick days.) Both were cheesy but cute. Which is the norm, I think. Lol. All of these are Netflix films unless otherwise noted.

What holiday movies are you streaming this year?

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 2000s

Ok. How the heck are we at “2000s”? I swear we just kicked this thing off with 1900s/1910s. So crazy how fast this year went in Blogland. Don’t forget– next month we’re hosting a LINK-UP for any and all period dramas, historical/fiction books, and historical movies that you want to review or share!! That will be Tuesday, December 4th!

(Check out Alexandra’s post today, too!)

And now on to the sweet 2000s.

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!

I thought it was hard to find books set in the 2000s.

B O O K S

One of my all time favorite books is The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein). The reader is introduced to Enzo and his family- and Enzo is a dog. It is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, real books I’ve ever read. And of course I loved it because Enzo is named after the same person/car that my Enzo is named after 🙂

I have no idea why, but The Royal We (Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan) is one of those stories that has stuck with me. I already loved the royals (whom this book is not-so-loosely based on), but something about the personalities and hardships of each character in this book really stuck with me. It’s kind of long, but I enjoyed all the drama and romance and parallels.

M O V I E S

(2001) It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Save the Last Dance but I loved this movie when I was a teenager. Julia Stiles is such an underrated actress and the whole love story between her and Sean Patrick Thomas’ character is beautiful.

(2001) Does anyone NOT love The Princess Diaries (and also, has anyone not seen The Princess Diaries?!)? I love this adorable movie and the star power this one packs is insane. Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Heather Matarazzo, Mandy Moore, Sandra Oh… And Brink.

(2001, 2004, 2007) My love for the Ocean’s movies knows no bounds (including Ocean’s 8!!). I’ll admit that, as far as the male cast movies go, 11 is my favorite with 13 being a close second. I’m crossing my fingers that we get a 9 and 10 (with the ladies!) because this franchise is the best.

(2004) My favorite Pixar movie is The Incredibles. I love the story and the musical score and each character. Violet and Dash’s relationship is my favorite. I haven’t seen The Incredibles 2 yet but I need to!

(2006) It’s no surprise that Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby shows up on my list. We probably watch it every time it’s on TV and we definitely quote it daily. Damn- it’s just so funny and good and quotable. Especially for a NASCAR lover.

*dates indicate both when the movie was released AND when I think it was set

B O N U S

I mentioned The West Wing in our 90s post but most of it takes place in the 2000s. Seriously guys, if you haven’t watch it yet, DO IT.

Has everyone already seen The Office? It’s hysterical and awkward (and mildly not PC). Easy to binge, easy to follow, good mindless television.

On Deck…

Middle school/high school (without Hulu or Netflix) made me miss a lot of good shows. I’d love to watch:

  • Veronica Mars
  • Friday Night Lights
  • 30 Rock

Be sure to hope over to Alexandra’s blog and check out her recommendations!

Next month we are linking up & we want you to join us!

Did you watch or read any of our suggestions from year? Maybe you thought of your own recommendations and you’ve been waiting for the right time to share them! Perhaps you just *happened* to read a book from the 1950s and you want to review it!

There’s no right or wrong way to link-up with us! Just do it! We will see you December 4th for our final Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration post!! Join us, won’t you?

Check out our past posts from this series: 19101920193019401950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1990s

Hello & welcome to the decade of my birth. I know I’m bias, but I sure do love the 90s. From magazine ads and photos clipped and tacked on my wall to my Walkman skipping on the bus ride home to my Lisa Frank notebook filled with cursive and multiplication problems. So hella cool.

Also, while we don’t usually hit on music, two of my all time favorite bands originated in the 1990s. Dave Matthews Band started in 1991 and the Foo Fighters formed in 1994. If you don’t listen to them, you should 😉

Alright, let’s get back on track…

B O O K S

The Harry Potter series is set in the 90s. Maybe that’s why it’s so amazing and wildly successful 😉 Just kidding. Kind of. But obviously this series ends up on my recommendation list. The Battle of Hogwarts was in May 1998 so the six books preceding Deathly Hallows all occur in the six years prior.

M O V I E S

Once again, Harry Potter is at the top of my list.
(1991-1998) I am very passionate about the book > movie debate. And I don’t think that HP is an exception necessarily, but I will say that the movies possess a magic all their own, and the music and acting that accompany them are beautiful and amazing. So if you’re a staunch HP book lover and adamantly against the movies, give them a shot.

(1991) If you’ve ever questioned my love for Robin William’s acting then question it no more. Hook is one of two RW films on my list 🙂 If you didn’t just holler “RUUUUFIIIIOOOOO” in your head then you need to watch it again. I love how the old story of Peter Pan is brought to life.

(1995) I have one R movie on my list… I haven’t seen it in a long time and I probably won’t ever watch it start to finish again, but the movie Se7en is a series mind-twist. It’s violent and vulgar and 100% not my kind of thing, but I remember loving the story line when I first saw it. If crimes films (and 1990s Brad Pitt 😍) ARE your thing, you should watch this.

(1995) Has everyone seen the original Jumanji movie? Not the one with Kevin Hart and The Rock. I’m talking about the classic with Robert Williams and Bonnie Hunt and Kirsten Dunst. SO GOOD. I could do without the spider and mosquito scenes, but I just cover my eyes 🙂 For being a fun kids movie it makes me whole body shake with anxiety every time they roll the dice.

(1999) Soon after we first started dating my husband (boyfriend at the time, obviously) asked if I wanted to watch Notting Hill. I’d never seen it but shrugged and said sure. It’s such a cute movie and it’s super cute when your teenage boyfriend suggests it. I think he’s just always had a crush on Julia Roberts. Lol

(1999) I absolutely love the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. I think Julia Stiles is amazing and obviously Heath Ledger is crazy adorable. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is cute, too! It’s a loose retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew & the late 90s fashion is on point.

*dates indicate setting, not release

B O N U S

The West Wing kicked off in 1999. Honestly, I think everyone should watch this series. Besides the actors being incredible, the stories are so humbling and intriguing and timely.

On Deck…

  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Joy (film)
  • The First Wives Club (film)
  • The To Do List (film)
  • Empire Records (film)

Go check out what Alexandra recommended from the 1990s!

Next month is our last month of recommendations! (HOW are we at the end already?!) We are diving head first into the first decade of the 2000s. The threat of global warming loomed larger, the War on Terror was born, and the world became obsessed with superhero films. Join us for a blast from the most recent decade.

Check out our past posts from this series: 19101920193019401950, 1960, 1970, 1980

Unconventional Halloween Movies

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of horror or violent films. I don’t mind creepy or sinister, but seeing people mutilate and harm other people isn’t my cup of tea. But I freakin’ LOVE Halloween. I love fake blood on the bathroom mirror, skulls on the mantel, bottles of ogre teeth and witches brew on the bar cart. LOVE. IT.

And I love watching films that put me in that spooky mood, even if they’re not traditionally Halloween movies. (Some of these are, though. I’ve written about my favorite Halloween movie before here.) This is the unconventional list that I’m planning to tackle this year!

Beetlejuice is one of my favorite films of all time. I’ll watch it all year long. | Every year around my birthday I watch the film Clue. I don’t know why I started this little tradition, but I did and I love doing it 🙂 | I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Rocky Horror Picture Show all the way through but it’s one of my mom’s favorite films. This year I plan to watch the whole thing. | I watched The Haunted Mansion a looong time ago- probably when it first came out. I love that it reminds me of the ride at Disney World! | Sleepy Hollow is such a strange film. It’s definitely not my favorite on the list but it’s spooky without being too gory. | Admittedly, Hocus Pocus isn’t my favorite Halloween movie (gasp), but I know it’s a classic and I still watch it almost every year. | I know Coraline is a kids movie but it freaks. me. out. Perfect for Halloween time. | I’ve never seen The Monster Squad but it looked cheesy and classic so I added it to the list.

I added some not-so-spooky but still fall-flavored films, too. Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my all time favorite films ever in the history of me. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. It has nothing to do with Halloween and it’s the most adorable, quirky, witty movie ever. | The Blind Side is one of those movies that sucks me in every. single. time. I always laugh and cry and worry like I’m watching it for the first time. | Last but certainly not least, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a classic and deserves to be watched every single year 🙂

**You can find The Monster Squad on Hulu & Coraline on Netflix. There are also a bunch of cute monster/Halloween kids movies on Netflix, too.

What movies are you planning to watch this fall?

RBG

On Monday night I watched the CNN airing of RBG. And since then, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it or her. Without knowing much about her, I already had massive respect for Justice Ginsburg. Now, having a little background on her life, I’m just blown away by the determination, strength, convictions, and steady persistence of one petite, intelligent, and shy woman. Simply blown away.

I want to note that I have plenty to learn on the matter. There are books about RBG that I’d like to read, information and dissents from cases that she’s argued and presided over, backgrounds on the men and woman that she’s served along side with on the highest court in the land… but for right now, I have immediate takeaways from the film.

I urge you to watch it, even if you disagree with Ruth’s political position.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I come from an environment that does not share some (most) of my beliefs. I rarely engage in political conversation anymore because I’m always outnumbered. We don’t vote for the same people and we don’t see social, economical, or judicial issues in the same light.  I have learned to just walk away, though I’m still often outraged and upset. (K and I see eye to eye on 80% of things; I’m not talking about him.)

“You can disagree without being disagreeable.” -RBG

I have been explosive on issues that I’m especially passionate about. My natural response and tone is snarky. Snark doesn’t make you any friends, nor does it break down walls, catch flies, or welcome people to your table.

While there IS a time and place to be disagreeable (like when staring down the KKK or Neo-nazis or separating infants from their parents), it’s not at the dinner table surrounding by people who love you. So I’m trying to adjust my ways of arguing.

“Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.” -RBG

Additionally, I am quick to write others off when they seem totally against my views. Granted, I can’t control others or how they speak to me and argue their point. That’s a variable that will play a role in how I react- but that variable isn’t on me and isn’t a reflection of me.

“Fight for things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” -RBG

(I’ve found that I benefit greatly from Justice Ginsburg’s advice.)

It takes time to unravel the biases we’ve developed. While I know some people really do have hate in their hearts, I know most people do not. The idea of privilege or inequality or discrimination in any sense of the words seem preposterous to some people- and it takes a minute to convince them to remove those rose colored glasses. We have to trade in our pride for compassion.

“I think daughters can change the perception of their fathers.” -RBG

I do, too.

*I hadn’t planned to rant at the end, but I read some opinion pieces about this film/RBG, written by right-leaning journalists. Some attacked her physical appearance. Some go after her for her quiet nature. I even saw some that criticize her for her “traditional” decisions of marrying a man, following him for his job at one point, and raising children- not much of a progressive with those kinds of behaviors, they said. (They fail to mention that she raised those kids, took care of her sick husband, AND attended law school surrounded by men and sexist professors.) Under the articles were the same type of people commenting & bitching about women being justices in the first place- our gender not being suited for such professions. Having been reminded that these backward, outdated, unintelligent opinions exist in 2018, I’m even more astonished by RBG’s drive and perseverance and success. If you don’t believe that men and women are equal then it’s time to stop reading this blog.

I turned off comments because I’d rather you spend that time watching the movie 🙂