The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1950s

Hello! Fair warning- you will not find Grease on my list of recommendations. Welcome to the 1950s! While girls and boys were sipping on shakes in the malt shop the rest of the world was fighting in the Korean War, racing to space, and whispering behind closed doors about communism and capitalism.

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’ve mentioned this before, but music from the 1940s makes me happy. Some of those same artists trickled into the 50s (Sinatra, Crosby, Martin, …) but when the mid-century rock n’ roll starts I lose interest. (Which is funny, considering my father-in-law plays bass in a nationally recognized Elvis band.)

Alright, on to the recommendations…

B O O K S

I only have one book to recommend but it’s one of my favorites.

It’s the only TJR book I’ve read: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid) is so entertaining and engrossing. It spans a few decades, but it starts in the 50s. This book has star power, small twists, romance & friendship, and lovable yet flawed characters. I really loved it.

M O V I E S

(1953) I didn’t see it until I was in my 20s, but Roman Holiday is cute and fun and it includes Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck. When Peck was hired his contract gave him solo star billing. Halfway through filming he suggested newcomer Audrey be billed equally. (That didn’t happen in the 50s in Hollywood.) I really love both of these actors and their work outside their films.

(1954) If you’re new around here you might not know that I LOVE Clue. It’s one of my all-time favorite films. It’s silly and eerie and mysterious and star-studded.

I don’t have an exact year for this film’s settings, but many of the flashbacks in Big Fish are set in the 50s. I watched this movie a long time ago, but I need a refresher. I read that it’s based on a book and that the book/the plot is based on the Odyssey and 12 Labors of Hercules.

(1959) Again, it’s been way too long since I’ve seen it, but obviously Dead Poets Society makes the list. It’s a sad movie (especially now after Williams’ passing) but the message is good.

(1959) Another film I waited until my 20s to see, Chocolat is seriously so sweet (pun intended) and beautiful. It’s about the way we have faith and lose faith in other people, though in the end there is always something to connect us- even if it’s simply a love of chocolate.

*dates indicate setting, not release

B O N U S

I’ve only watched a few episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel but I loved them! I love the constant dynamic between upper class and lower class, male and female, Jewish and not Jewish. The show is very progressive for 1958 and that’s 100% the point.

On the shelf…

Books I want to read include…

Television shows I want to watch are…

Now be sure to hope over to Alexandra’s blog and check out her 1950s recommendations, too!

The 1960s was a time of revolution and political unrest. From the rise of the Vietnam war to the death of President John F. Kennedy to the birth or hippies, the 60s were quite the time to be alive! Join us next month for our entertainment recommendations from the era!

Did you miss our previous decades-themed posts? Find them here: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1940s

Ahhh. My favorite era! I love the music and fashion of the 1940s. I know the 40s are often associated with World War II and the Holocaust- especially the first half. I tried to offer a mix but many of my suggestions circle around those themes.

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!

This is a weird one… I really like this era but my recommendations don’t reflect that, lol.

B O O K S

How do I have NO books to recommend?! I’ve read stories from this decade, but I couldn’t think of any that were recommendable. Sorry, guys. *shrug*

M O V I E S

(1940) I don’t know why, but I just love The Philadelphia Story. I think Katharine Hepburn is such a stunning, inspirational human being and I remember loving her fire when I saw this movie for the first time. I also think it’s a cute romance. Plus, Cary Grant. Me-OW.

(1941) No beating around the bush, Pearl Harbor is definitely a war movie. But it’s another one that we just really love. Plus, the musical score from this movie is incredible. I love the music.

(1943) You don’t get to be a member of our family unless you’ve seen A League of Their Own half a dozen times. My husband loooves this movie and we always watch it when it’s on. I have a HUGE crush on Geena Davis and I love the different roles and personalities from all the women in this film. If you haven’t seen it YOU SHOULD!

B O N U S

I haven’t seen many episodes, but I agree with the vast population that loves The Crown. For some reason the royal family sucks me right in. (Yes, I will be waking up at the crack of dawn for Harry & Meghan’s wedding.) I can’t wait to watch more episodes of this show!

On the Shelf…

There are so many things I want to read & see set in this era!

The Alice Network (Kate Quinn)
The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)- My aunt just recommended this one to me on Sunday!
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows)
Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein)- I’ve seen this book rated highly on reviews everywhere!
We Were the Lucky Ones (Georgia Hunter)- I’ve only heard amazing things about this book.

Foyle’s War– a British mystery television series set during WWII
Fleming– a mini series about the man behind Bond: Ian Fleming
Bomb Girls– I watched an episode or 2 and loved this. I need to finish it!
Island at War– another wartime mini-series

I know, I know. I need to get busy!

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

Throw on your poodle skirt and leather jacket, and meet us at the sock hop next month to dive headfirst into the 1950s! We’re rockin’ and rollin’ our way into the next decade and we hope you’ll join us!

Check out our recommendations from the 1910s, 20s, & 30s, too!

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.

B O O K S

(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 😉

M O V I E S

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!

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1920s

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!)

B O O K S

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.

M O V I E S

(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!

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1910s

I’m so excited to kick off this series with Alexandra! Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and I love that we’re sharing some of our top picks with you guys! Even if you’re not into h/f I’m hoping that some of our suggestions strike your fancy 😊

After you scroll through mine pop over to Alexandra’s blog and see what she recommends!

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!

Before I launch into some 1910s recommendations I wanted to share a conversation I had with K…

K: So… you’re sharing recommendations on your blog for each decade?
Me: Yeah.
K: As in… “Recommendation #1: Don’t get on the Titanic.” ?
Me: No, dear. As in book and film recommendations set in the decade.

He’s a total goof. Anyway, on to those recommendations.
Please note that the dates indicate the setting, not the publication.

B O O K S

(1900) The Magician’s Nephew [C.S. Lewis] kicks off The Chronicles of Narnia and is technically set in the 1900s. Potato Potato. (That phrase doesn’t translate well to text.) I think the Chronicles can get boring if you read them in a row without a break, but I really like this first book a lot.

(1911) While Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie) the play was written in 1904, the book wasn’t published until 1911, so it counts. I love diving into classic fantasies (Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, anything Roald Dahl). I found this book to be fun and whimsical (although it didn’t age well p.c.-wise).

(1914) Last Christmas in Paris (Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb) is written in letters and telegrams. It’s a slow historical fiction burn (with no sultry romance, lol), but it was enjoyable and quick to get through. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy war romances.

(1914) I’m 100 pages into Girl Waits with Gun (Amy Stewart) and it comes HIGHLY recommended by Jana. I will be finishing it soon because it keeps sucking me in.

(1915) Right now I’m reading Dead Wake (Erik Larson), a nonfiction microhistory on the events surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania. Sometimes nonfiction books bore me, but Larson writes the truth in a very dramatic and entertaining fashion. I love that I’m learning about sea life and the war and Europe (and how they tie together) all in one book!

M O V I E S

(1910) I doubt that I need to go into detail about the magical joy of Mary Poppins, right?

(The movies category is weak on my blog for this era. I don’t watch a ton of war movies, but obviously anything WWI would fall into this category. Do YOU have any suggestions for ME?)

B O N U S !

I’m a big ol’ fan of Downton Abbey. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (PUN INTENDED) but I think it has a great pace with plenty of ups and downs that keep you coming back for new episodes.

On the shelf…

I’ve heard great things about The Alice Network (by Kate Quinn). I bought it from Amazon months ago and I still need to read it. I know it’s set in the 40s, too, so if I read it by May & enjoy it I’ll bring it up again!

The Girls in the Picture (Melanie Benjamin) has been on my TBR shelf for a while. I actually think it’s all queued up on my Kindle. Anyone read it?

Admittedly, my post is light on recommendations for this era. (Alexandra‘s isn’t, though!)

Hopefully some of these selections appeal to your history-loving heart! In March we’ll be foxtrotting our way through the 1920s! We hope you’ll join us!!

But also… if ever transported back in time, don’t get on the Titanic.

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration

Hi ya! What a blog title, right? At the end of 2017 Alexandra from Simply Alexandra suggested we go in together on some kind of blog collaboration. I love Alexandra & her blog so I was 100% up for that. After brainstorming things we both love (which were endless, honestly), we settled on books/entertainment and 1900 eras.

the roaring blog collab

So here’s what we’re up to. On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we’re going to highlight 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 will be hosting a recap/link-up for the entire year.

Essentially Alexandra and I are flooding our blogs with recommendations 🙂

So before we kick this off, here’s a super short Q&A just to introduce (or reintroduce) Alexandra & I!

What would readers typically find on your blog?
Alexandra: As a lifestyle blogger… anything is fair game! You can expect to see a lot of goal-setting, book review, and travel related posts… as well as posts about things I’ve been up to with KC and our mischievous kittens.
Audrey: Everything. I write about books and movies, my dogs and my life (like owning a house, being married, all that riveting stuff), a few travel posts or trip recaps. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a feisty political rant.

Have you always loved history or historical fiction?
Alexandra: Oh gosh yes. Do you remember The American Girl books? Or The Royal Diaries series? I was all about those. I read every. Single. American Girl book just so I could get a Felicity doll for my 10th birthday. BEST DAY EVER! I’ve always loved historical fiction and period dramas. 🙂
Audrey: Always. I love that history is a long, true, dramatic, romantic, adventurous story. I’m with Alexandra- I had the American Girl Dolls and read the books, too. (And Felicity was my fav!!) I think that history is fascinating and foretelling. I wanted to study it in college, but I didn’t want to teach so I chose a different major.

Which era is your favorite?
Alexandra: Oh gosh, this is tough. I love so many of them for so many different reasons. I think that I have to choose the 1930’s though. I find that a lot of my favorite time periods (or stories from them!) have to do with really really hard times, and strong people who made it through them!
Audrey: I enjoy the fashion and movies and cars from the 1940s and 1950s. Some of my favorite music comes from the 40s. I likes films from the 60s, too. If I had to pick one, though, it’d be the 1940s.

Which era is your least favorite?
Alexandra: The 80’s I think. There are just not as many things I can appreciate that came out of the ‘80’s. I don’t love the music, movies, etc. (Obviously this does NOT include the people born then!)
Audrey: Honestly, I dislike how certain things define eras…I don’t like anything Gatsby or poodle skirts or Woodstock-y or neon/leggings. Do you know what I mean? But to answer the question, I dislike the 70s.

Check back on February 6th for our first round of recommendations! We’re setting our sights on the 1910s for February!