Lina Rather – Sisters of the Vast Black – Very good novella of nuns in space in a sentient organic spaceship. This does not do it any justice. Definitely for fans of Becky Chambers, MR Kowal and the like. Looking forward to sequel Sisters of the Forsaken Stars.

Gertrude Bell – The Desert and the Sown – Gracious, but this took me ages to finish. I’m pretty sure I started reading it about eight months ago. Bell’s travels in 1903 Palestine and Syria are fascinating. She tells of her meetings with the members of various tribes with the eyes and ears of an archeologist, linguist and historian. (Bell is namechecked in a book I read last year by Vita Sackville-West and I had to find out who she was. Often referred to as the female Lawrence of Arabia, she led a fascinating life. And was recently portrayed by Nicole Kidman (Queen of the Desert which is on my to-see list).

John Doe, et al – Under the Big Black Sun (audio) – Gorgeous evocations of the late 70s Los Angeles punk scene as told by members of the various acts who made it happen including (but not limited to) Doe, Henry Rollins, Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey, and the man who later became El Vez. I was just a little too young at the time, I remember the acts and the times with greatly renewed fondness.

Joshua Winning – The Shadow Glass – Written for all the fans of gorgeous 80s fantasy movies. A beautiful homage to the ones who’ve kept the fandom going. Follows the estranged son of the recently deceased creator of a perfect movie that stands alongside Labyrinth and The Neverending Story who doesn’t quite know what to do when his father’s creations come to life. The fandom come to his aid.

Jessica Khoury – The Mystwick School of Musicraft (audio)
Jessica Khoury – The Midnight Orchestra (audio) – These two middle-grade (9-12 year old target audience) stories are absolutely charming and I recommend them highly. Khoury was interviewed on the Exolore podcast about cartography and mentioned these books in closing. The narrator earns a spot in the the titular Mystwick school and adventures ensue with new friends and new adversaries. Extra shout-outs for inclusivity and fantastic sound design. (These are also free if you have an Audible subscription.)