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Billy Idol

Jan. 24 at the Tower Theater

Recommended by Hobart Rowland

Who says January is a bleak month for live music? Snarl intact, this British bad-boy rocker and MTV innovator will be melting middle-age hearts in Upper Darby like it was 1983. With his recent tell-all autobiography generating some buzz, the former William Michael Albert Broad has returned to the concert circuit to, no doubt, boost sales of the book and his so-so new album, Kings & Queens of the Underground. At 59, a few wrinkles are a given. But Idol looks fit, and hits like “White Wedding,” “Rebel Yell” and “Cradle of Love” hold up surprisingly well. 

The Brandywine: An Intimate Portrait 

By W. Barksdale Maynard, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 250 pages)

Recommended by Melissa Jacobs

No one has to tell us how fascinating the Brandywine Valley is—but people do anyway, and often. That’s because the region overflows with the sort ofnatural beauty and American history that has inspired artists, industrialists and environmentalists alike. In tracing the history of the first Dutch settlers, the du Ponts, the Wyeths and others, this local resident and Princeton University lecturer fashions a colorful and unique narrative that functions wonderfully as a Brandywine biography.


By Jim Breslin, (Oermead Press, 306 pages)  

 Recommended by Tara Behan

After 17 years as a producer at QVC, Jim Breslin amassed quite the cache of behind-the-scenes insights into the mighty home-shopping network. Now enjoying a second career in the literary world, the West Chester-based author is a natural storyteller. He turns to his former career for inspiration in his latest novel, which, among other things, proves there’s  dysfunction at every job. 

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