Welcome to the Sixties, friends. This is an era that gives me total anxiety. For being the birth of the whole “peace & love” movement, it’s an incredibly violent decade. War and anti-war riots, violent sexual diseases and rampant drug use, Helter Skelter, the JFK assassination, etc. That’s A LOT to take in a 10 year span. Plus the violence associated with (and mostly against) the Civil Rights Movement, second-wave feminism, and the Gay Rights Movement.
There is NO part of me that wishes I was alive and active in the 60s. Flower child, I am not.
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!
While I adamantly dislike the 60s, I admit there are some amazing books and movies set in this decade. (Check out Alexandra‘s recs, too… And wish her a happy birthday!!)
B O O K S
Lots of YA and middle school literature here. But also some of the best books ever.
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E.L. Konigsburg) was first read to me in 3rd grade and I think I’ve read it half a dozen times since then. It’s cute and it’s set in a museum and it’s the perfect introverted kid’s (adult’s?) fantasy of running away and living in a museum 🙂
One of my favorite books ever is The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster). It’s witty and adorable and chocked full of puns. I love it. It’s a good lesson about how life is only as dull as you perceive it.
I’d be remiss to go through the 60s without mentioning The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton). It blows my mind that this story was written by a 16 year old high school girl. I mean, pretty much all of US had to read it in hs, right?? So incredible. Stay gold, guys. Stay gold…
M O V I E S
One night, probably during a thunderstorm, I was laying on the couch with the dogs and happened upon The Night of the Iguana on TCM. It’s a strange, strange movie, full of vice and madness (originally a play by Tennessee Williams) but it stuck with me.
(1962) My family loves the movie Secondhand Lions. It’s a heartwarming classic and if you haven’t seen it, I URGE you to watch it. (Also, if you’re anything like me and you worry about the treatment of animals in film, here is the AH rating for the film. The lion, pig, and dogs were treat 100% humanely. Spoilers in that link, just FYI.)
(1962) I love the X-Men movie franchise and X-Men: First Class is my favorite film. It reveals a lot about some of the mutants’ pasts, it has most of my favorite characters, and it has all my favorite X-Men actors (although I wish we saw more of Jackman- there’s only a short scene).
(1964) One of K’s favorite movies EVER is That Thing You Do. Probably because the main character is a charismatic drummer and the whole thing is a little goofy. Plus it has Tom Hanks and Liv Tyler.
*dates indicate setting, not release
B O N U S
Last week Lindsay mentioned the You Must Remember When podcast on her blog. I am not a podcast listener- at all. But I got curious and tuned in to the one about Lauren Bacall. Dang. I am 100% hooked. Episodes 44-55 detail the Charles Manson insanity- which happened in the 60s. It’s nuts & perfect for history lovers. I might’ve consumed +8 hours of Manson Family-related history this past weekend…
I will definitely be mentioning this podcast in future RSFB posts, too. I listen to it on Spotify.
Back when it was on TV in 2015, I loved The Astronaut Wives’ Club (abc). The stories and acting and history drew me right in! It’s based on the true book by Lilly Koppel, which I plan to read soon!
I still can’t figure out why Pan Am was canceled… It has SO many big names and I loved the stories! Admittedly, I haven’t seen the last few episodes in the series but I plan to. This show starred Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, and Michael Mosley to name a few.
On the shelf…
I’ve tried many time to read The Help but it’s always a DNF. I haven’t given up yet, though.
When these film trailers were released I wanted to see them, but then life got busy. I’m still hoping to watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Big Eyes, and definitely Hidden Figures someday!
The mini-series called The Kennedys caught my attention when it was first released and I remember watching the first episode, but then I got distracted. I’d like to go back and watch the whole thing soon!
Alright, that’s it from me today 🙂 You’ll find more 1960s books, movies, and TV shows over in Alexandra‘s corner of the internet!!
The 1970s saw political scandal, the rise of feminism, and environmentalism and anti-war protests. It was a weird time for the United States and the world. We’ll be sharing our favorite movies, books, and television shows that encapsulate the strange and groovy 70s.