December 2023

Laura’s Picks:

An inheritance of magic by Benedict Jacka (2023) Inheritance of magic Opens in new window

Stephen Oakwood is barely getting by when he discovers his inheritance as a relation to one of the most powerful magical families in London. In a different story, this would be the end of his problems. Instead, it’s just the beginning. This is a powerful commentary on wealth and inequality set in a magical world where what you don’t know can kill you. 


The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman (2023) Benevolent Society Opens in new window

What a refreshing change to read a Regency novel from the perspective of middle-aged women. Don’t expect a frothy romance, however. This feminist adventure explores grittier issues of the day: women’s rights (or lack thereof), primitive health care—and highwaymen, of course.


John’s Picks:

Hackney Diamonds by The Rolling Stones (2023) Stones Opens in new window

The 24th British (26th American) album by the Stones and their first release since the death of longtime drummer, Charlie Watts who is posthumously featured on two tracks.  Additionally, contributions from Elton John, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, and original bassist Bill Wyman also round out the recordings.  Considered to be one the Stones’ finest albums in decades, it’s almost hard to believe that these aging rock stars can create something so youthfully fresh.

Scattershot: Life, Music, Elton, and Me by Bernie Taupin (2023) Bernie

The autobiography of Elton John’s longtime songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin.  Told both anecdotally and non-chronologically, the book explores aspects of Taupin’s life that many people might not be aware of such as his passion for horse cutting and visual arts.  Taupin also talks about his short-lived side project, Farm Dogs, a band he formed and fronted in the late nineties; proving there is much more to his life than just his affiliation with Elton John.

Moonage Daydream (2022)Moonage daydream Opens in new window

A biographical documentary about the life and career of David Bowie written and directed by Brett Morgen.  Using clips and interviews throughout the years, the film is edited together as a long form montage from Bowie’s glam rock years to his death in 2016.  In addition to Bowie’s successful music career, the documentary also depicts his foray into oil paintings as well as his personal life.  Overall, it is a very immersive film into the life of one rock music’s most innovative artists.  


Lauren’s Picks:

Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh (2023)Desperate Glory

The last vestiges of humanity cling to life on Gaea Station after the majoda destroyed Earth, killing 14 billion people. Kyr is one of the best warriors of her generation, training in preparation for a combat assignment to fight the majoda and avenge her people. Instead of combat, however, Kyr finds herself assigned to nursery to bear the next generation of soldiers, while her brother is given a task that means certain death. With nothing going according to plan, Kyr escapes the station into a universe that will challenge everything she has learned, and everything she knows about herself.