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Me: Elton John Official Autobiography by Elton John

Sir Elton gives a candid, moving, and self-deprecating account of his life – from his boyhood in the London suburb of Pinner, to the dizzying heights of stardom, to the crushing weight of addiction. He writes in such a way that I felt like I was a close friend in his inner circle, his style at once familiar and engaging.

Taron Egerton, who played Elton John in the movie “Rocketman,” gives a stellar narration performance. Listening to him is like being told a story over a cup of tea, one that goes cold because you can’t stop listening even to take a sip. Some of the references are a bit self-indulgent, but would it really be an authentic Elton John autobiography without it?

Whether you’re an Elton fan or not, put this on your list. As a book I would give this 3.5 stars, but as an audiobook it rockets up to 4.5.

eAudiobook Pick by Erin

Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande

ComplicationsComplications is a fascinating if slightly unsettling exploration of the uncertainties and limitations of modern medicine. In the style of Oliver Sacks, Atul Gawande combines personal anecdotes, case studies and up-to-date research on a diverse range of medical topics.

From the fallibility of some doctors to the irresponsibility of others; from patients who can’t stop blushing to patients who can’t stop eating to patients with flesh eating bacteria; from the ethics of autopsies to the ethics of patient autonomy, this is a sometimes macabre glimpse of the messy and imprecise world of doctors.

Complications peels back the curtain to expose the highs and lows of the operating theatre – and the confronting truth that it is often little more than guesswork and luck that demarcates life from death.

April Staff Pick by Patra

A Bigger Splash DVD

bigger splashThis is a story about complicated relationships and the rock and roll lifestyle. It’s set on the beautiful Italian island of Pantelleria and the cast is fantastic. Tilda Swinton plays a David Bowie-like rock star recuperating on the island with her partner (Matthias Schoenaerts) after surgery on her vocal chords. Their tranquil holiday is crashed by her manic and charismatic previous lover played by Ralph Fiennes and his daughter (Dakota Fanning). Lots of sexual tension and psychological drama ensues.

The film is very atmospheric and sensual with lots of beautiful scenery and food (what’s not to like?) and Fiennes does a great performance of the Rolling Stones' Emotional Rescue. Very entertaining!

March Staff Pick by Janet

Precious Things by Kelly Doust

Precious thingsPrecious Things is a story about a once glittery, beaded collar (or coronet) and its journey with tales of the various owners over the decades. The once beautiful collar has been found in a bulk lot of items by auctioneer and textile expert Maggie who works in a demanding job for an auction house in London. Maggie’s character ties the story together as an interested party tries to trace back the history of the collar after seeing it on a morning TV programme. It’s an absorbing tale about very different owner of the collar and switching between countries and time periods to share more history of the collar.

It’s also about a journey about marriage, family commitments, wanting more, making choices and that the precious things that we want are what we had all along.

Kelly Doust is a Sydney based author who has combined her interest with vintage clothing and customising fashion in the intriguing novel.

January Staff Pick by Vicki