Truce~ In Which 2020 Happened, And I Regale You With Praises For My Newfound Favorite Stories

Greetings, my dear bloggerly chums!

Well. What a year it has been. Good grief.

I know it’s been rough, but stories still exist. And they are beautiful. I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in that.

As is my custom, this post is going to be about all the books, movies/TV shows and musicals that I have discovered this year.

Movies

TV Shows

Look at me, putting TV shows as a separate category.

Well, obviously this happened:

Avatar: The Last Airbender

THESE CHARACTERS. I’m still not over it.

I’ve talked about how wonderful this show is in this post, which you should all read obviously, and then you should go watch the show because trust me it’s great.

And then…this happened:

The Promised Neverland

So… the only anime thing I had seen before this was Howl’s Moving Castle (does that count as anime? I’m not exactly knowledgeable about these things) and I never would have watched this if a trusted friend had not recommend it to me. But she did, and I did, and now…I’m slightly obsessed.

It’s definitely a style that takes some getting used to, the dialogue is often stilted/cringe-worthy, and it’s a bit scary at parts, but I absolutely love the characters and the plot and I mean somehow you learn to overlook the flaws because it’s SO GOOD.

I mean, PHIL though. You are required to love Phil.

I’m adopting all these kids. Try and stop me.

Books

Broadway

Obviously I didn’t go to Broadway this year because it’s closed (also I have no money and I wouldn’t have gone anyway), but fear not because sometimes Broadway can be brought to you.

The following is a list of shows I got to see live recordings of via Playbill, Youtube, and Disney+.

Bandstand

THIS SHOW. It is criminally underrated. Set just after World War II, it deals with the heatrbreaking traumas of war while also managing to be super fun and humorous and it’s great. Spectacular acting, music, dancing, etc.

By Jeeves

I had no idea this existed and it’s not like it’s the most amazing show ever, but it was surprisingly funny.

Hamilton

Overrated? Perhaps. But still a really solid and powerful show. George Washington and Eliza Hamilton are my heroes. (Up there with Dobbin and Phil.) Everyone else is a total mess.

Epilogue

Okay, guys. There you have it. Good stories restore my faith in humanity, even at a time when humanity isn’t at its finest. We make mistakes. Sometimes colossal ones. We disagree about things. Sometimes violently. But in the end, we are more alike than we think, and the stories bring us together.

2020 is almost over, which I cannot deny is a relief, but… we will carry our problems with us into 2021. I think we can beat them though. For now, please listen to this beautiful song and know that you are not alone in this crazy world:

I wish you all the very best until we meet again in the coming year!

What are some of your favorite story discoveries from 2020?

33 thoughts on “Truce~ In Which 2020 Happened, And I Regale You With Praises For My Newfound Favorite Stories

  1. I loved Isle of the Dogs. Did you watch Fantastic Mr. Fox? (I’m assuming you’ve heard of it since it’s that director’s more well known movie…but just in case you haven’t. Definitely a good one).

    My favorite find this year was Dorothy Sayer’s british mystery novels and Connie Willis’s book “To Say Nothing of the Dog.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed! I love Fantastic Mr. Fox. πŸ™‚ My sisters and I quote it to each other ALL THE TIME. It’s so hilarious and quotable. We don’t have as many of the Isle of Dogs lines memorized as of yet, but we keep just randomly going up to each other and saying “Frost on windowpane.” It cracks us up for some reason.
      Ooh, I JUST finished reading To Say Nothing of the Dog at your recommendation and I really enjoyed it! (I emphasize the “just” because otherwise it would have made it into this blog post, but alas.) Thanks for reviewing it and bringing it to my attention. Have you ever read The Sherwood Ring? The style and humor of To Say Nothing of the Dog reminded me a bit of that one.

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      1. Haha nice! I thought you probably had since Fantastic Fox is more well known. For Isle of the Dogs I love how he’s always handing out dog biscuits “Biscuito. Biscuito. Biscuito.” (not sure how you actually spell that but hey).

        You did! Nice! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. That author has some other good books as well. I’ve heard “Bellwether” is one of her better ones, so I’m going to try that next.

        YES! I have read Sherwood Ring and it’s one of my favorites! It definitely is similar! And the characters have some similarities as well. It broke my heart that author only wrote two books 😦 Do you have any other book recommendations that are similar to either of those?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I will definitely be trying out some more Connie Willis books!
        Huzzah, someone else who knows and loves Elizabeth Marie Pope! I feel like not many people have read The Sherwood Ring or The Perilous Gard- though I have discovered more fans since I started blogging. It is quite tragic that she only wrote two books. I love them both so much and I wish she had given me more to enjoy. But alas.
        Hm, nothing super similar to either is coming to mind…which is a crime since there should be way more books like these. Well, The Gammage Cup and The Princess Bride both have vague similarities…basically they’re funny, charming, and include romance. If I think of something more similar I will let you know.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know! I wonder if she wrote anything else and it just didn’t get published or if that was it?

        Oh the Gammage Cup was a fun unique story, I think there’s a sequel of that too isn’t there?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, I have wondered that too! I wonder that with a lot of authors.
        You’ve read The Gammage Cup too? Yes, there is a sequel- The Whisper of Glocken. It was charming, but not as good as The Gammage Cup, partly because I missed the original characters since they were barely in it.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes! I think I found it because I was trying to read all the Newberry Honor/Medal books (haven’t finished that goal yet!). Okay that is good to know, I think I’ll probably pass on the sequel in that case. I don’t like it when they have sequels about completely new characters.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ooh, that’s a good goal. I want to do that at some point too, but I haven’t seriously committed to doing it.
        I know! I don’t really like that either. If I read a sequel, it’s because I want to know what happened next with the characters that I already know and love. Starting with new characters kind of feels like a betrayal.

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  2. The only story (of this list) that I’ve experienced is Rear Window. Although I did, in a way, see Hamilton when some theater kids played out the story for me.
    There’s a Jeeves and Wooster play? Sounds fun!
    The Promised Land graphic novels look interesting. My library has them, so it looks as if I have something to add to my 2021 TBR.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, it would be humorous to watch theatre kids reenact Hamilton…my siblings and I reenact random snippets (being theatre kids ourselves) but to do try to do the whole story would be something!
      Yeah, it was fun!
      Always glad to contribute to people’s TBRs. πŸ™‚

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  3. This year I also discovered This Beautiful Fantastic (!! ahh I love it so much!!) and the video version of Hamilton (which, to be fair, everyone discovered this year, except people who watched bootlegs xP) (also, I really like it too). I really do want to see A Quiet Place! I love your description of it: “A wholesome movie about family.” Oh yes, that’s exactly what it’s been advertised as, right? Haha, I love that it has a family in it and I can’t wait to see it.

    I discovered a TON of other stories this year but I don’t want to write a super huge comment at the moment… one of my favorites is the Tales of Goldstone Wood. Also Brandon Sanderson. And The Queen’s Thief. I *think* those are my favorites. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YAY. I am glad you discovered This Beautiful Fantastic as well. I had never heard of it before but it’s so good!
      Hehe, true. πŸ˜‰
      A Quiet Place is wonderful! Thanks, my description is 100% accurate, no matter what others say. πŸ˜‰ I am NOT a horror movie person, but the horror didn’t seem like the main point, and the family was so beautiful. I love them. I hope you like it!
      I’m glad to hear that! Finding good stories is always so satisfying.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Broadway- I usually don’t go to see shows there. Live too far away

    Luckily, I have Blumenthal Performing Arts- so Broadway Musicals tour here. I did get to see Come From Away. In addition saw Opera Carolina’s production of La BohΓ¨me. Then, no more musicals this year- pandemic got into the way.

    I discovered a lot of incredible books this year

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Broadway tours can be really awesome! I’ve seen several shows that way that I wouldn’t have gotten to see otherwise, living rather far from Broadway myself. Pandemics getting in the way is not fortunate though. I’m glad you got to see a couple!
      Yay, discovering incredible books is so wonderful!

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      1. Blumenthal Performing Arts supports a lot of arts.

        Come From Away was a Broadway Tour. While La Bohème is an Opera Carolina production. Various types of performing arts are used at the Blumenthal theaters.

        The big things- like symphonies, ballets, opera, and the Broadway Tours usually are at either Belk or Ovens, the two biggest Blumenthal theaters

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  5. As a huge Hamilton fan, I was a little bit offended when you said that all the characters except Washington and Eliza are a mess, until I remembered that that was true, and literally no one has their priorities straight. *facepalm* Anyways, great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I ALSO DISCOVERED THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC THIS YEAR
    I kind of low key a d o r e d it and my whole family was like
    “that’s you.”
    XD

    Anyways this post was a lot of fun to write. I think I’ve added five books to my tbr haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahh, I love the format you did for the movies and books!
    When I watched Shawshank Redemption, I was actually surprised when it ended with a good ending. I really did think it was going to end tragically, even with the title.
    AH, The Farewell! I watched it with my parents this summer. There’s this tiny part at the end when Awkwafina’s doing the morning exercises with her grandmother, and they punch the air and go HA! HA!, and I still do that with my mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      Yeah, I was really glad that it ended well! I find that I can handle really dark stuff in a story if it ends well- not so much if it ends up being totally depressing. I really think it’s powerful when a story can go to such a dark place and still come to the light at the end.
      Oh, I really liked that part of The Farewell!

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  8. I watched Forest Gump for the first time a few months ago. It surprised me with how well done it was, except for a few awkward scenes. Ahhh 1917!! It has become one of my favorite movies! Love the characters so much! Holes is also an interesting movie! The whole connection to the wild west was really cool! I am slowly making my way through Gary Schmit’s books. The First Boy will probably be my next one of his. Does it focus on a classic? It seems like every book has a classic that he weaves throughout. I listened to the Night Gardener, kinda creepy and odd, but has a good moral to it. His Peter Nimble book was better in my opinion. Did you see that they are making a Mysterious Benedict Society Tv series on Disney?
    Oh, Bandstand is such a underrated musical! So neat that he assembled a group of veterans to play in his band.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, Forest Gump was really well done! It kind of surprised me too, though I kept hearing how good it was.
      YES. 1917 was so good.
      Hm, I don’t think First Boy focused on a classic? I might just not be remembering, but I don’t think so.
      I haven’t read Peter Nimble, but I might have to check it out. The Night Gardener is the only book by Jonathan Auxier that I’ve read.
      Oh, I did see that they are making a Mysterious Benedict Society show. I am a bit apprehensive about it, but I hope it’s good.
      Bandstand! I am glad you appreciate it too. πŸ™‚

      Like

      1. Yes, lots of people had told me how good the movie was.
        I loved the how 1917 portrayed the journey of the two men and everything they endured!
        Maybe Smicht just did used a classic for the 3 books related to Wednesday Wars.
        Peter Nimble has a nice dose of whimsy and fantasy.

        Yeah, I saw the trailer and was disappointed that Mr. Benedict looked so young, but I am hoping they do a good job and stick to the story.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Okay, you just listed some of my favorite things right there, xDDD. Song of the Sea is gorgeous and all the other films created by the same studio are *so* good. And ahhh ATLA is legit one of the best TV shows. *inwardly fangirls*

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you, I now have a burning desire to watch Shawshank Redemption.
    Also, I watched This Beautiful Fantastic this year too! And it’s so lovely! because gardening, and cranky old men, and shy compulsively tidy authors, and Moriarty being not Moriarty but still amazing. (the part where they quiz the one guy who broke his leg for all the world like her overprotective male relatives? lovely.)

    “He’s like all the parts of yourself that you wish didn’t exist multiplied by 9” that made me laugh so much. Also, yes, don’t hold grudges. For heaven’s sake.
    Also, I READ SOME GARY SCHMIDT. I read Okay for Now first (oops) and then Wednesday Wars and DOUG MY SWEET CHILD. And also Holling. I’m simultaneously like “stand UP for yourself, kid” but also love him so much. but especially i love DOUG and it’s so heartbreaking and CHRISTOPHER and that’s kind of even more heartbreaking. And I found out that our neighbor likes Gary Schmidt and she was telling me about Orbiting Jupiter (which I think you’ve mentioned…?) and she’s an elementary school teacher and she’s like “I would never tell my students to read this but YOU should read it, it’s SO SAD” and yes. I plan to read it. and thank you so much for introducing me to Gary Schmidt and DOUG MY SON. I hope you have an amazing year. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, WATCH IT. But only when you’re prepared for a lot of brutality and pain. It’s so good though,
      Aw, yes, This Beautiful Fantastic is so sweet and the scene when they’re interrogating Billy is one of my favorite parts. πŸ™‚
      HUZZAH, I AM SO PLEASED THAT YOU HAVE ALSO ADOPTED DOUG. The Wednesday Wars, Okay for Now and Orbiting Jupiter are my top three Gary Schmidt books. I ADORE them. You are so welcome- I am always trying to introduce people to Doug and Holling and my kids from Orbiting Jupiter, and I am thrilled when people appreciate them as much as I do. πŸ™‚ I hope that you have an amazing year as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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