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December 08, 2023 Modern Law Library

Our favorite pop culture picks in 2023

By Lee Rawles

It's the time of year when The Modern Law Library hosts like to look back on the media that we've enjoyed: our annual pop culture picks episode. This year, host Lee Rawles is joined by three ABA Journal reporters: Julianne Hill, Amanda Robert and the Journal's newest employee, Anna Stolley Persky.

Naturally, the four discuss their favorite books, but they also have movies, TV shows, podcasts and even a play to recommend. From documentaries to audiobooks, listeners will find ways to occupy the holiday season and the new year.


Weyward by Emilia Hart
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman
Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
The Maid and The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose
The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub


Exposed—The Ghost Train Fire, streaming on Netflix
Fire of Love, streaming on Disney+
Still—A Michael J. Fox Movie, streaming on Apple TV+
Back to the Future (1985), to be played by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra


The Bear
The Buccaneers
The Gilded Age
Only Murders in the Building
Reservation Dogs
Ted Lasso


The Kids of Rutherford County by ProPublica and Serial Productions
Mistletoe Murders by Audible
This Land by Crooked Media
Smartless by Test Pattern Media Productions


POTUS at the Steppenwolf Theatre

Do you have favorites or suggestions for what The Modern Law Library should be reading in 2024? Email them to us at [email protected], and you may hear them featured in a future episode.

In This Podcast

Julianne Hill

Julianne Hill, a legal affairs writer, joined the ABA Journal staff in 2022. She is an award-winning reporter and producer whose work appeared in outlets including PBS, The History Channel, This American Life and Writer’s Digest.

Lee Rawles

Lee Rawles, assistant managing editor for the web, joined the ABA Journal staff in 2010 as a web producer. She manages the web team and the magazine’s ABA Insider section, and she is the host of the Journal’s award-winning Modern Law Library podcast.

Amanda Robert

Amanda Robert, a legal affairs writer, joined the ABA Journal staff in 2019. She previously worked for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer as an assistant editor and staff writer, and for Legal Newsline as a contributing writer. She also handled communications for a national intellectual property law firm and was a reporter for Illinois Times and the Centralia Daily Sentinel in Southern Illinois. She earned a Master of Arts degree in journalism from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, with a certificate in social justice, from Saint Louis University.

Anna Stolley Persky

Anna Stolley Persky, a legal affairs writer, joined the ABA Journal staff in 2023. She previously freelanced for the Journal and several other legal publications. Persky has been a reporter at Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times Westside Weekly section, as well as the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals. She also worked as a legal affairs producer for Fox News Channel. Persky earned her JD from the University of California at Davis King Hall School of Law and her BA in liberal arts studies from Sarah Lawrence College. She is slated to earn her MFA in creative writing from George Mason University in 2024.