Real Posh Society Presents: Our Favorite Books, Series & Movies

Coffee-BooksThe winter weather gives you the perfect opportunity to finally take some well-deserved you-time. Grab a blanket, a hot cup of coffee and discover these books, series and movies, handpicked by the REAL POSH SOCIETY. You’ll have a fabulous time inside while weather outside is less delightful. 😉

Books tip
A dazzling, heartbreaking novel is what Anthony Doerr does best. All The Light We Cannot See is one that will be hard to put down! The Boston Girl is about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century. If you’re not into the tearjerkers and would rather keep your reading lighthearted, I’d highly recommend Bossypants by Tina Fey.
Get All the Light We Cannot See, The Boston Girl and Bossypants.

Movie and series
I’m currently wrapped in are the final season of Psych and afterwards will start with Royal Pains. Yes, I know, they both come from the same network, but characters are always wanted, right?! 😉 The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel and Bret Witter, tells the story of a group of museum directors, art curators and art historians who risked their lives during World War II to save pieces of art that Hitler planned to destroy. As an art lover and history buff, this movie did not disappoint. I’d highly recommend watching it and then reading the book for more details.
Watch Psych and Royal Pains on Netflix.

Books tip

Depending on my mood, I am rotating between Life in Motion by Misty Copeland, a biography about the only African American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Next, Civilization by Niall Ferguson takes you on your own extraordinary journey around the world. Lastly, NW is Zadie Smith’s masterful novel about London life. I may not be able to travel the world as much this year, but I can escape into books in my home state of California. 🙂
Get Life in Motion, Civilization and NW.

Movies and Series tip
My favorite can’t-miss shows are Elementary and The Americans. I’m desperate for the return of MadMen and Homeland, and I can watch hours of Chopped on Food Network. Into the Woods is a favorite musical of mine since childhood, and Disney did a great job, with a good deal of the music and humor intact. The cast of the film, led by Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and James Corden are uniformly excellent.
Watch The Americans and Madmen on Netflix.

Book tip
The Language of Flowers is written beautifully by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, mistrust and solitude. If you like character studies, this is your next great read. You will love learning the meaning of communication through this life story of flowers.
Get the book here.

Movie and Series tip
I am totally hooked on Downton Abbey and look forward to watching every episode. With great acting, great character development, great story, beautiful scenery and the costumes, all of it is so well done…love, love, love! House of Cards proves just as bingeworthy as Downton Abbey, with more of the strong performances and writing. Because once you start, you won’t stop! Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Boyhood is an amazing storytelling project, where you connect to the characters in a whole new way.
Watch Downton Abbey and House of Cards on Netflix.

What is the best book you’ve read lately, and the most inspiring movie you have seen? Tell us!

How to Train Your Dragon 2 Grows Up

HowToTrainYourDragon2The thrilling second chapter of the epic How to Train Your Dragon trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace – and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago.

Hiccup has grown up from a boy to a young man. As much as he has grown up, so has the content of How to Train Your Dragon series. Compared to the whimsical, childlike wonder from the first movie, the sequel has an examination of the clash between good and evil. I would recommend this movie for kids 7 years and older, as the younger kids may not understand all that is happening and also might be scared by some of the battle scenes.

How to Train Your Dragon 2‘s poignant focus on the power of family’s influence is deeply compelling. I don’t want to go into too much explanation of this, as it would definitely be a spoiler. It’s the kind of pro-family storytelling that inspires you to want to be a better, more helpful, more loving member of your own family. Hiccup isn’t left to just follow his dreams, rather he learns about responsibility and leadership, as well as the work required to see things through.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is every bit as entertaining and engaging as its predecessor. This summer, let your family take flight in the theater with How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Run Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Content Warning: Rated PG

The Fault in Our Stars #TFIOS

the-fault-in-our-stars Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional and a love that sweeps them — and us – on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. The Fault in Our Stars, based upon the #1 bestselling novel by John Green, explores the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.
#TFIOS It’s a truth we all know. We want our happily ever after endings. But we know that happiness on earth is fickle and fleeting.

In The Fault in Our Starswe find that the stars haven’t been especially kind to these two lovers. They don’t have the time we’d wish for them—time to get jobs and have kids, to grow up and grow old. They’ve been given a finite number of days together—and even those days are filled with the looming problems and anxiety that cancer inevitably brings. And whenever it seems like something wonderful might finally happen, it goes awry. Each star they cling to, including each other, has a fault inside—a scratch, a split.

But even given such faulty stars, the two find joy and fulfillment. They have each other. They’re loved. They live. Yes, maybe their days are built on borrowed time, but it’s better than no time, and Hazel confesses that she’s “grateful for our little infinity.”#TFIOSReview Sadly, one fault Hazel and Gus share is that they don’t always make the wisest of choices. But here’s the thing: Because it is quite good—a persuasive, emotional story with strong, positive messages about sacrifice, hard truths and true love. I recommend this movie for teens ages 15 and older, and if you are a parent, be prepared to have a talk about this movie. They will probably have questions or at least have some thoughts about this movie as well.

The Fault in Our Stars is a little like its title. For all its sparkly power, it has scratches and splits. Bu then again, it’s hard to see a film with crystal-clear eyes when you’re always dabbing them with a Kleenex.

Run Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Content Warning: Rated PG-13

X-Men: Days of the Future Past

image003 (1)The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, “X-Men: First Class,” in order to change a major historical event and fight in an epic battle that could save our future.

Believe it or not, with this latest entry in the franchise we have 14 years of X-Men pics tucked under our cinematic belts. X-Men: Days of Future Past reunites director Bryan Singer, much of the original cast and newer characters—from earlier sequels and prequels—for one big hard-driving action flick.

This film has the same well-crafted flow of most of its predecessors, the same noble superhero exploits and electrifying spectacle. It has a recognizable struggle between Professor X and his longtime friend/nemesis Magneto. As their younger selves, the two metaphorically arm wrestle once again over the good and evil in the hearts of men.

This X-Men incarnation, however, also boasts the elusive and curious element of time travel. With ticking-clock urgency, we jump back and forth between the past and the future to see how each alternate world’s events unfold and how actions will impact the present. The right choice made long ago, after all, might just erase evil decisions, give the dead new life and change a universe for the better. It’s the sort of stuff that gives us something to chew on in relation to our real-world day-to-day. The film’s time travel adjustments illustrate how choosing well today can have a rippling positive impact for years to come.

X-Men: Days of the Future Past makes for an action-packed movie experience. But those time travel leaps come packed with problems, too. Certain short-term jumps, for instance, result in characters dying in a variety of ways. Impalements, decapitations and explosions take certain lives over and over before we reach a more satisfying conclusion. It’s all seen in a relatively bloodless superhero style. For this reason, I would recommend this movie for kids 13 years and older. Add in full rear male nudity and some profanity, let’s just say the kids and adults, can get an eye and earful of all sorts of things.

Run Time: 2 hours 14 minutes
Content Warning: Rated PG-13

Fed Up Address US Food Addiction

Fed Up MovieFed Up is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see because more of us get sick from what we eat than anyone ever realized. Produced by Katie Couric and Laurie David (An Inconvenient Truth), Fed Up blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss revealing a 30 year campaign by the food industry, subsidized by the US government, to mislead and confuse the American public.FEDUP_2There’s not a lot new in Fed Up, a documentary about the nation’s obesity epidemic. But it’s a decent summary of the issue, taking square aim at corporations and politicians. Fed Up personalizes the problem by introducing us to individuals, many of them are kids, who are struggling with their weight, and it looks at the sense of frustration and failure that many of them have.

One of the movie’s most helpful segments criticizes the notion that burning calories through exercise can undo poor eating habits. Many people seriously underestimate the amount of exercise they need to compensate for a candy bar or bottle of soda and feel crushed when they don’t lose weight.

It’s hard to argue with the Fed Up‘s basic point, “Sugar is poison.”

Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Content Warning: Rated PG