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Biographies : 1-24 of 116

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  • So, Anyway... (Hardback)

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    JCLS

    So, Anyway... (Hardback)

    John Cleese

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    Known to many as Basil Fawlty and much loved for his key role in the Monty Python ensemble, John Cleese is one of Britain's favourite actors - and now he tells his life story in the revealing autobiography So, Anyway...

    A star of films including the Shrek series, Fierce Creatures and A Fish Called Wanda, this book finds John looking back on his life and revealing how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend - recalling his first ever public appearance at the age of 8, his tumultuous home life which involved moving every six months and his first ever encounter with writing partner Graham Chapman.

    As well as looking back on the success of his career-defining performances in Fawlty Towers and in Monty Python, John also gives his thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the joys of cricket and why everyone should know the dates of all the kings and queens of England.

    A hilariously funny and poignant life story from the national treasure that is the one and only John Cleese - a true giant of UK comedy.
  • H is for Hawk (Hardback)

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    HAWK

    H is for Hawk (Hardback)

    Helen Macdonald

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    Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, writer, poet, illustrator and historian Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk is a beautiful, heartfelt and clever memoir about the devastating experience of losing her father and, stricken by grief, becoming obsessed with the idea of training her own hawk.

    Purchasing Mabel for £800, Helen begins to stock her freezer with food for her new hawk, unplugs the telephone and begins a journey of self discovery, embarking on the unusual business of taming one of the world's most wild of animals.

    A written record of her spiritual journey, the taming of her goshawk provides a stunning contrast to her own untaming and is told with eloquence, intellectual intensity and vigour. A must-read for all fans of non-fiction.
  • Proud (Hardback)

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    PROU

    Proud (Hardback)

    Gareth Thomas

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    A highly respected sporting icon, Gareth Thomas was captain of both the Wales and British Lions rugby teams. But despite all this talent and respect, there was one thing rugby couldn't give him - the freedom to be himself...

    While coming to terms with his sexuality - a secret that could devastate not only his career, but also his life and those of his wife, family, friends and teammates - Gareth threw himself into the sport he loved. It was the only place where he could find any refuge from the pain and guilt of the lie he was living off the pitch. But the successes couldn't hide the stress and strain of his torment - he believed revealing his secret could spell the end of everything...

    As the world's most prominent sportsman to come out as a gay man, this startling and inspiring autobiography finds Gareth opening up and describing what it feels like to be an outsider in your own skin - and how he came to terms with who he really was. It's a story that transcends sport.
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    RGIG

    Ryan Giggs: The Man for All Seasons (Hardback)

    Steve Bartram

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    A multi Premier League-, Champions League-, League Cup-, FA Cup- and Community Shield-winning player, Ryan Giggs is the most decorated footballer in British football history and this new book details it all - from his debut against Everton as a teenager in 1991, to becoming Manchester United manager and then assistant to Louis van Gaal.

    Fully illustrated throughout, the book chronicles Giggs' astonishing career at the top of European football and provides an unparalleled insight into what set him - part of United's famous Class of '92 - apart from the rest: how he broke through into the Manchester United first team, the impact he had on the team throughout his astonishing 19-year playing career and how the legendary number 11 became the Red Devils' record holder for most appearances.

    With insight provided by the people who know this record-breaking midfielder better than anyone, including coaches, opponents, team-mates, club staff and friends, Ryan Giggs: The Man for All Seasons is a comprehensive and compelling overview of this Manchester United star's illustrious career at the top.
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    KBUI

    Kate Bush: Under the Ivy (Hardback)

    Graeme Thomson

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    One of the most talented, influential and highly respected - not to mention enigmatic, elusive and private - pop stars on the planet, Kate Bush is a compelling, brilliant artist.

    After 35 years away from the stage, Kate made her return to the live arena with a run of shows at Hammersmith Apollo in 2014 and this in-depth biography aims to respectfully discover more about the very private woman behind the world-famous songs like Wuthering Heights and seminal albums The Dreaming, Hounds of Love and The Kick Inside.

    Drawing on both a wealth of research and over 70 new interviews with those who have worked with and known Kate throughout her special career, Graeme Thomson's Under the Ivy not only examines her music and its global impact but also Kate's former rejection of live performances, her key relationships and her recent output which has delighted millions of music fans.
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    ODAB 13 years +
    13 years +
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    This is it! For the first time ever, global superstar heartthrobs One Direction have released their 100% official, no-holds-barred autobiography, One Direction: Who We Are.

    From their humble beginnings at a nervous X-Factor audition in 2010 to selling out arenas, releasing their bestselling third album Midnight Memories and making their own movie, Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis bare all in this beautifully produced 1D autobiography.

    What is it like being in One Direction? What did the band think of each other when they first met? How is life on the road? All of the questions fans are dying to ask are answered with modest honesty and are accompanied by never-before-seen photographs of One Direction, sketches, notes and more, taking fans behind the scenes of their incredible journey to superstardom.

    A must-have book for every fan, this One Direction autobiography is the story of their lives and reveals just what makes them beautiful!
  • Fergie Rises (Hardback)

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    FERG

    Fergie Rises (Hardback)

    Michael Grant

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    Heralded as one of, if not the, greatest managers in European football history, when Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012/13 Premier League Season he laid to rest 35 years at the very top of the English game where he became the most-successful British manager ever. But before the glitz and glamour of his high-flying role at Old Trafford, the former Manchester United manager plied his trade in the SPL, the Scottish premier League.

    Having recently been relieved of his duties as boss of St. Mirren, Ferguson, a hot-headed young manager with a troublesome reputation, had a lot to prove going into his new role as manager of Aberdeen Football Club. And this is where the story of Fergie Rises begins...

    Revolutionising the club, his management style and fighting the Old Firm stranglehold that the two teams had on Scottish football, Fergie Rises lays bare the full story of the little-known football manager who would go on to become a Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and World Club Championship winning manager.

    Taking views from the players inside the legendary Aberdeen dressing room, including Willie Miller, Jim Leighton and Gordon Strachan, Michael Grant examines the rivalries, setbacks, triumphs and personal tragedies that shaped a British sporting genius.
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    WIKS

    What I Know for Sure (Hardback)

    Oprah Winfrey

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    Oprah Winfrey - one of America's most powerful celebrities and a globally respected media star, as well as an Oscar-winning actress - offers plenty of words of wisdom on everyday topics that effect us all in What I Know For Sure.

    Taking articles from the famous column in O, the Oprah Magazine, the book finds Oprah tackling subjects ranging from making the most of life to finding love and dealing with difficult situations. Full of insight and revelation, the book opens with Oprah recalling her time on stage with Tina Turner in a chapter titled Joy - and you're sure to be smiling as you read her wise words of advice.

    Other themes throughout the book include Resilience, Connection, Gratitude, Awe, Clarity and Power - and all are tackled with Oprah's powerful honesty. The articles are candid, moving and sure to motivate. Pure inspiration from one of the world's favourite figures.
  • Harry's Last Stand (Hardback)

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    HYLS

    Harry's Last Stand (Hardback)

    Harry Leslie Smith

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    A breath of fresh air to the world of current affairs, Harry Leslie Smith introduces a new perspective on modern life through the eyes of a man who has seen it all in Harry's Last Stand.

    Claiming not to be a historian - but being living history himself - Harry brings a unique perspective on the issues that affect our everyday lives including NHS cutbacks, benefits policy, political corruption, food, poverty, education and much, much more...

    Following on from where his sensational Guardian article 'This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time' left off, the book delves into Harry's experience of seeing a great civilisation rising from the rubble, the fears of how easily this greatness can be eroded and what he thinks we can do as a nation to change that!
  • Travelling to Work (Hardback)

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    AKYWV

    Travelling to Work (Hardback)

    Michael Palin

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    After Monty Python finished, Michael Palin's career took an unexpected turn as he went into travel - a decision that would shape his working life for the next 25 years. The third volume of Michael's diaries, Travelling to Work reveals how he came to this decision and how he felt as he explored the world.

    Showing how he remained busy on a host of other projects during this time, the diaries begin in September 1988 as Michael travelled down the Adriatic in his modern-day take on Around the World in 80 Days. Following the success of this documentary, he starred in not only A Fish Called Wanda but also American Friends - a film based on his great-grandfather's diaries.

    He also starred in drama GBH, wrote the West End play The Weekend and wrote his first novel Hemingway's Chair during this time, before going back to travel with the popular series Pole to Pole and Full Circle.

    These diaries show Michael Palin as a workaholic man who grasps every opportunity that comes his way - and how his family will always be there for him, despite any doubts he has. Covering 10 roller-coaster years of his life, the diaries give a deeply personal insight into Michael's sense of adventure, enthusiasm and curiosity.
  • A Gift from Bob (Hardback)

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    ALJXI

    A Gift from Bob (Hardback)

    James Bowen

    (1)
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    Readers have fallen in love with the tale of James and Bob, a street cat James found abandoned in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation and now James Bowen is back with the follow-up to A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According to Bob with a touching festive story of the inseparable pair titled A Gift from Bob.

    Looking back at the last Christmas they spent scraping a living together on the streets of London, the book details how Bob helped James through one of his toughest times by providing him with strength, friendship and inspiration - while also teaching him an important lesson about the true meaning of Christmas.

    An extraordinary real-life tale of the transcendence of friendship and love, A Gift from Bob is the ideal Christmas gift for anyone who has fallen for the pair's earlier books or for those who simply adore animals.
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    INWE

    Insufficiently Welsh (Hardback)

    Griff Rhys Jones

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    One of our most popular personalities, Griff Rhys Jones, discovers his heritage - and a number of unusual facts and figures about the country - in the endlessly entertaining Insufficiently Welsh.

    Venturing through Snowdonia, Anglesey, the Gower, mid Wales, Brecon, Pembrokeshire, north Wales and Monmouthshire, the book finds Griff searching for his Celtic roots in his quest to discover if, despite all his relatives being Welsh, he is, in fact, insufficiently Welsh.

    Full of the weird and wonderful, Griff offers his unique perspective and observations on the language, landscape, legends and much more that have come to define Wales as a country.
  • A Spy Among Friends (Hardback)

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    ASAF

    A Spy Among Friends (Hardback)

    Ben Macintyre

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    Along with his 'friends' Nicholas Elliott and James Jesus Angleton, Kim Philby was one of the rising stars in the intelligence world during the early years of the Cold War. The three spies drank in the same bars, wore the same suits and spoke with the same accents, but Philby had one secret he never revealed to MI6 agent Elliott and CIA agent Angleton - he was covertly working for Moscow. An agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, Ben Macintyre's A Spy Among Friends looks at how Philby managed to hide his true identity for so long. It's a gripping tale of duplicity, loyalty, trust and treachery, made all the more startling as it is true. Macintyre draws on detailed research and newly released MI5 files, along with family papers, to deliver the definitive biography of what may well be the great secret of the Cold War. The book also comes with an afterword from John Le Carre.
  • My Secret Sister (Hardback)

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    SECS

    My Secret Sister (Hardback)

    Helen Edwards and Jenny Lee-Sm

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    Helen Edwards suffered a traumatic childhood, suffering years of abuse at the hands of her neglectful mother and violent father. Adopted at six weeks old, Jenny Lee Smith was smothered in love and support as a child, becoming a golfing champion, but she always knew something was missing...

    In her fifties, Jenny decided to search her birth family and found her sister Helen. The siblings together searched for the truth about Jenny's birth - in turn uncovering a legacy of secrets that changed everything Helen knew about her family.

    My Secret Sister is an inspirational and moving true story about braving your past and not letting difficult times and bitterness define you as a person.
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    LKSC

    Lorraine Kelly's Scotland (Hardback)

    Lorraine Kelly

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    Sunday Times no.1 bestseller and national treasure Lorraine Kelly celebrates the gloriously diverse landscape and deep cultural heritage of Scotland in her personal journey through this truly unique country.

    Illustrated beautifully, containing stunning photography and told with all the charm and wit for which she has become a household name, join Lorraine in this collection of fascinating memories and stories from her adopted home of Dundee all the way to the wild and remote Scottish highlands.

    Whisky tasting, Viking fire festivals and hunting the infamous Loch Ness monster are just some of the tales that pull at the heartstrings of one of Britain's favourite television personalities. Ideal for fans of Lorraine Kelly's warm and humorous writing, or anyone looking to learn more about the REAL Scotland, the book is sure to entertain!
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    OWLW

    The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar (Hardback)

    Martin Windrow

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    Fans of A Street Cat Named Bob and When Fraser Met Billy will enjoy this moving and personal memoir about the deep bond that exists between man and animal. When author and historian Martin Windrow first met Mumble, it was love at first sight. Raising her from a fledgling owlet through to her development into a fully grown owl, first in secret in a south London tower block and then in a Sussex village, The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar is an intriguing and eccentric story that will appeal to anyone who loves pets. The book also gives an insight into the ornithology of owls and is told in a beautifully quirky and charming style, all complemented by personal photographs of Mumble herself.
  • Mid-term Report (Hardback)

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    PMON

    Mid-term Report (Hardback)

    Phil Redmond

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    Mid-term Report is a candid, insightful and humorous memoir from Phil Redmond, the creator of Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks. In the autobiography, he describes how his modest upbringing in Merseyside lead him to create three of Britain's most popular ever television dramas. All three shows were groundbreaking and managed to entertain audiences of millions, as well as introducing unforgettable characters such as Tucker Jenkins, Jimmy Corkhill and Tony Hutchinson. An inspirational read, Redmond reveals all about his influences, his life growing up and how his innovative and pioneering approach to television drama has won him numerous awards and accolades, as well as a few complaints!
  • Lou Reed - The Life (Hardback)

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    REED

    Lou Reed - The Life (Hardback)

    Mick Wall

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    When Lou Reed died in October 2013, the legendary rock musician received acclaim and plaudits from all corners of the music industry. After following his role in The Velvet Underground with a solo career that brought the world the likes of Perfect Day, Walk on the Wild Side and Satellite of Love, not to mention the iconic albums Transformer and Berlin, his influence shines through to this day. Living a colourful and varied life, Reed poured his emotions and experiences into his lyrics and this book, written by lifelong fan Mick Wall, examines the often misunderstood genius of the man behind the music. From the ECT treatment that scarred him at 17 to his three marriages, his experimental private life and his cultural influences, this is a book that shows how Lou Reed's darkly honest approach changed the ideals of rock music forever.
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    DELA
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    It is undeniable that Nelson Mandela is one of the most influential people the world has even known. A household name across the globe, his fight for black equality in South Africa made him an unforgettable and highly respected figure, but his road to the international statesmen he became was without doubt a turbulent one. Although spending 27 years in prison and branded a terrorist by some, he was not born an outlaw. Born into a well-respected family in his local community, he was destined to become an advisor to his tribal chief, like his father before him, but Mandela ended far from the mud-brick hut he grew up in... Rising to become a firebrand lawyer, political campaigner, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the President of South Africa, he was an inspiration to say the very least. This comprehensive yet accessible story of the life of Nelson Mandela, illustrated with nostalgic photographs, is completely up to date and a fitting tribute to the extraordinary freedom fighter.
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    LAMA

    The Wisdom of Compassion (Hardback)

    His Holiness The Dalai Lama

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    Get a rare insight into the life of the Dalai Lama with this inspirational book. Through captivating anecdotes, The Wisdom of Compassion reveals how the Dalai Lama has learned lessons from his meetings with remarkable people from all walks of life and used these to become a better and more rounded individual. Approaching the world with humour, dignity and optimism, the book covers how the Dalai Lama not only empathised with those who are suffering, but also demonstrated the benefits of practising forgiveness and compassion. Drawing on some of unique friendships formed over seven decades of practice, this captivating book, written by the Dalai Lama with Victor Chan, shows how when you open your heart and mind to others, you can not only overcome adversity, but also find happiness and fulfilment.
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    BITB

    The Boys in the Boat (Hardback)

    Daniel James Brown

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    A charismatic young man abandoned by his family at an early age, Joe Rantz dared to dream of escaping the challenges of the Great Depression and the painful memories of his early family life, finding solace in rowing. Heading on an extraordinary journey, Joe found himself lining up in a gold medal rowing race at the Berlin Olympics of 1936, in front of Adolf Hitler himself. Written by Daniel James Brown and full of lyricism and unexpected beauty, The Boys in the Boat is an inspirational true story.
  • Teenage Tommy (Hardback)

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    TEET

    Teenage Tommy (Hardback)

    Richard Van Emden

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    At just 16 years old, Benjamin Clouting embarked with the British Expeditionary force for France in August 1914. Following this, he served on the Western front during every major engagement of the First World War except Loos, being wounded twice and having his horse shot from under him during a cavalry charge. Always wanting to be a soldier, he signed up for the force in 1913, meaning his training had barely completed by the time war broke out. Even though the Regiment tried to stop him going to France as he was under age, Ben flatly refused and went to serve under some of Britain's greatest war officers, including Major Tom Bridges and Captain Hornby. These memoirs, edited by Richard Van Emden, offer a detailed account of life during the war, covering everything from the desperate fighting to hold back the German onslaught at 2nd Ypres to the camaraderie and bonds built between those situated in the trenches.
  • Stolen (Hardback)

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    EPSY

    Stolen (Hardback)

    Louise Monaghan

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    Stolen: Escape from Syria describes how, as one of the worst civil wars in Syria's history raged throughout the country, Louise Monaghan walked across a heavily guarded border to save her six-year-old child from the father who had so callously kidnapped her. She encountered captivity, beatings and cruelty beyond belief along the way, but miraculously both Louise and her little girl escaped. Their journey back, led by illegal people-smugglers, took them through bomb attacks and sniper fire and is actually a miracle in itself. This emotional read is a breathtaking true story about survival.

  • Gardens of Stone (Hardback)

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    GDOS

    Gardens of Stone (Hardback)

    Stephen Grady

    (3)
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    Written by Stephen Grady OBE, a man recruited by the French Resistance when he was just 16, Gardens of Stone is an extraordinary wartime memoir. Covering Stephen's extraordinary life, the book combines an adventure story with a poignant coming-of-age tale. Arrested aged 14 for the crime of sabotage and threatened with deportation or the firing squad, Stephen is eventually released two years later. Under the threat of imminent betrayal, he learns the arts of clandestine warfare and - in a shocking moment that his haunted him throughout his life - how to kill. Stephen made such an impact with his work for the French Resistance that he was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the American Medal of Freedom and this book offers an insight into his staggering life story.