8 Movies If You Love a Good Cry

Truth… I love crying even if though when my husband (he never cries) turns to me while I’m tearing up it’s embarrassing.

Another truth… I sometimes watch movies on purpose to get a good cry.

There’s something great about the release of tears. For me, it doesn’t even have to be sad. My best cries are during big moments, not heartbreaking ones. When actors can show a surge of emotion while remaining under control, I blubber for them. The moment calls for it.

Books are doing it more and more to me, but I’m visual enough that a movie works best.

Because I’m firmly against spoilers, no matter how old a film, I can’t tell you anything about what makes me cry in these, so if we talk in person and you’ve seen it and you’re curious, find me and ask. If you’ve not seen it, watch it and let me know if you’re moved like I am by the beauty and big moments and sometimes sadness in any of these…



Finding Neverland

The Fault in Our Stars

Big Hero 6

Begin Again

PS I Love You


There are more, but these come to mind more than any others.

What films make your “When I need a good cry, I watch…” list?


Recommended Reading

On my list of possible blog posts ideas (no one is surprised I have a list) books I would like to recommend is often on it. Many posts… most posts stream from conversations I’m having with friends. Fellow readers usually ask each other for great reads, and these are my all time favorite ones to share with others.

Let me list these in age appropriate order. I have Children’s Literature on here too. P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins, kinda hated the term “Children’s Literature” when it came to her own writing. Mostly because she believed in the power of story for all ages. Some of these first books, published for a young audience, have had the deepest and purest impact on me.

Edward Tulane is a beautiful story of a stuffed animal. It may remind you of The Velveteen Rabbit, but it’s more storied.

Multi-generational. Nothing like a girl befriending a woman with great travel stories. It will make you want your passport updated.

Hang on as you read this. I can’t say anything else.

This is art in words. The Little Prince must be read and reread and studied and treasured.

No one writes for kids like Stuart Gibbs. One of my favorite things… his preteen characters almost always have great relationships with their parents. In this one the main character actually informs his parents as trouble arises and they back him up like normal parents would and it does not diminish the story. I love that as I read this to my kids I won’t have to put it down and give a, “if you find yourself in this situation, don’t be like..”

A beautiful story with shout outs to short fiction weaves through it. I love books that introduce me to other reading.

Bob Goff is so great.

His wife, Sweet Maria, is too.

And Bob Goff has just written another one.

This is short and beautiful. I listened to this read by the author and I would really recommend listening to it.

“Good for her, not for me.” Amy kinda writes the world’s greatest solution for women bashing women ever.

I got a lot out of this book. His recommendations for fixing injustice in the court system at the end is simple and has been in my head ever since.

No one writes curmudgeons like Fredrik Backman. His characters are varied and intricate but his stories move in a way that you are NEVER bored.

Lots of language. That’s your warning. But both of these are so funny you can’t help but laugh out loud.

Loved the book. I don’t care for the movie.


I am not a book reviewer. I’m a reader. I can only point you to my favorites but I can’t tell you much because I despise spoilers of any kind. (I don’t read the back covers because of this. I know. That’s extreme.). Let me know if you love these… or let me know if you’ve got some you want to send my way!

Tanya’s Reading List

This is my friend Tanya.

We attend church together but I rarely see her there. Once a month I see her at book club, but lately I run in to her at Fresh Thyme on Double-Ad Wednesdays. So this picture captures her in her “natural habitat.”

In book club the host chooses the book, and I’ve always loved Tanya’s choices. She put together a list to read this year to diversify your reading.

Just 10 books. I ended up finishing my list last month mostly listening to audiobooks on my phone while cooking, doing chores and waiting in pick up line.

Same name as the author or character – Where’d you go Bernadette by Maria Semple

Written by a person of color – What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

A Classic – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Male Author – Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Historical Fiction – Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriani Trigiani

Non Fiction – Going Solo by Ronald Dahl

Takes place in an alternate universe – Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Asian location – I am Malala (takes place in Pakistan) by Malala Yousafzi

Made into a movie or tv series – Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Liz Curtis Higgs – Bookends

One of my favorite was reading a book you share your name with the author or main character. I discovered Maria Semple for myself. The other was reading something by a person of color. From listening to Levar Burton, I first heard of Lesley Nneka Arimah. Her debut collection of short stories is crazy good. I loved Tanya’s list so much I think I’ll repeat it. I wanted to put it out here for any other friends. Most men read books authored by men and women read women. Being intentional to mix up who and what you read is so good to broaden your personal experience.

How about you? What’s your best off your stride reading you’ve done this year?

Reading Rainbow Redux

Levar Burton has a podcast!?! His podcast is just him reading short fiction?! He’s been doing it for a while so there’s 20 episodes I get to catch up on!?! Best news.

In his first episode he explains how he thinks Millennials have a wish that he would come and read them a bedtime story. I kinda hate that I’m a Millennial mostly because of the reputation that is associated with some younger ones from my generation. I always want to yell, “I first learned how to “cold boot” a computer and “floppy disks” were larger and actually floppy, I remember the first time I used the Internet (dial up), and my first email account was Juno!”

But, if being a Millennial means I can get a little credit for motivating Levar Burton to read to me on a podcast, then can I just say, “Yes, I’m a proud Millennial.”

He even leads us listeners to take a deep breath and get ready for the story, and I smile like a total goof.

Another bonus, the short fiction he’s reading can often be found on Goodreads if you need to give your annual ” Reading Challenge” a boost.

These stories are selected with adult listeners in mind, so please, listen to it yourself before you say, “Let’s have family story time.”


10 Great Movies if You Loved The Post

A few days ago we went to see The Post, the new Spielberg movie with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.  It’s fantastic.  It got my wheels turning to try to define and highlight other movies of this caliber.

Here’s my poor attempt of explaining why these make my list: these movies are 1) great stories 2) beautifully set–many are period pieces and have worked crazy hard at capturing the dress, music, and cadence of speech of their time 3) well written 4) edited to perfection, in my humble opinion, and 5) full of endearing/memorable characters.

I’ll list these by their release year, they’re not in order of my favorites, that’s too hard for me.

  1. Calendar Girls (2003)MV5BMjE3NzcxMDU2MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTgyNTc2._V1_

This is based on a true story of a women’s club in England raising funds by creating a topless calendar.  It’s not dirty, its really sweet and moving and hilarious.  I love Helen Mirren.  Also stars Julie Walters, Ciarán Hinds, and Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley from Downton)

2. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)MV5BMTY0NzQ2NDg2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMzcwOTY2._V1_ (1)

Filmed entirely in black and white, this George Clooney directed movie tells the story of Edward R. Murrow challenging Senator Joseph McCarthy during The Red Scare, continuing to broadcast on TV while being threatened and accused himself of being communist.  Stars: David StrathairnGeorge ClooneyPatricia Clarkson, Robert Downey Jr., and Jeff Daniels.  Crazy good team of actors.

3. The Queen (2006)MV5BMTQ3NTMxODg1Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjEyMjczMQ@@._V1_

Another Helen Mirren, she’s fabulous.  This movie follows the turmoil in England around the death of Princess Diana.  Michael Sheen plays Prime Minister Tony Blair.  I own this one.  It’s tense and beautiful.


4. Leatherheads (2008)

This is another George Clooney movie.  It tells the story of the beginning of professional football.  It is perfectly cast, includes vintage looking photography throughout, and the music, uh.  I can’t handle how good this movie is.  Stars: George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski, and my personal favorite Stephen Root (Jimmy James from News Radio).

5. Frost/Nixon (2008)


David Frost, famous British TV host, interviews President Nixon after Watergate and his resignation.  This is history I did not live through and so I was educated while watching.  Man, a lot happened during Nixon’s presidency.  I should read a book, I know, but these movies make it so accessible.  Michael Sheen is in this too, he’s up there with Helen Mirren when it comes to ability.

6. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)


This movie is set in London right before the beginning of WWII.  It’s a great romantic story based on a book by Winifred Watson.  The music in this movie is jazzy and the pace and cadence of the dialogue is dizzying.  It’s my favorite Amy Adams movie.  I own this one too.  Also stars: Frances McDormand, Cirian Hinds, Mark Strong, and Lee Pace.

7. Argo (2012)MV5BZWUyYzg3NGQtNzkxYi00ZjVlLTkzZDMtM2VhYmEyNzUxYWU3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc3MjUzNTI@._V1_

Okay, this you’ve heard of, and probably seen, but it’s history retold in a great way.  Yes, it is fictionalized (there were two CIA agents, not one) but it’s pretty close.  The intensity of this movie is almost overwhelming.


8. Philomena (2013)

This movie is painful, but full of grace.  It’s a true story that will mark you.  It won all sorts of film makers awards, but so few people I know have seen it.  Stars: Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

9. Chef (2014)


We rewatched this movie two days ago.  We really need to own it.  Jon Favreau wrote, directed, and stars in this, and he invited his friends too: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansen, Sophia Vegera, Oliver Platt.  Seriously!  It’s not a period piece or anything.  It’s the story of a restaurant chef losing his job and starting over.  It’s really a family movie (meaning it’s about family, not meaning you should watch it with your kids.)  It has a lot of language, so if you don’t care for that then this is not the movie for you.


10. Trumbo (2015)

I knew nothing about this movie.  I found it at the library and it had Helen Mirren in it, done and done.  This is another history movie, but it’s all about Hollywood.  It tells the story of screen writers who were blacklisted because of their political leanings.  One of my favorite movies of all time is written by Dalton Trumbo, and I didn’t know until watching this.  It stars Bryan CranstonDiane LaneHelen Mirren, and Louis C.K..  


There are a lot of repeats in the stars of these ten movies.  If I were producing a movie I’d want George Clooney, Jon Favreau, and Ben Affleck directing and it would star Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, Bryan Cranston, Cirian Hinds, and Robert Downey Jr.  Could you imagine!?!?

How about you?  What would be in your list?