Biographies

Real Lives

 : 1-24 of 34
  • COLK
    Patrick Bishop
    • £5.99
    • RRP £17.99
    • Save £12.00
    We Brits love a good escape story - but how much more thrilling is it when the story is true! The Cooler King tells the story of William Ash, an American pilot who, after his plane was shot down over France in early 1942, spent the war striving to escape the Nazis' POW camps.

    Accompanied by Roger Bushell, who would go on to lead the Great Escape, and a host of fascinating characters, the book climaxes in a breakout via a tunnel dug in the latrines of the Oflag XXIB prison camp in Poland - this is one of the great untold stories of World War II. By weaving together contemporary documents and interviews with Ash's comrades, the book vividly recreates the multiple escape attempts, while also examining the POW experience and analysing the passion that drove prisoners to risk death in repeated bids for freedom.

    Uplifting, inspirational and full of high drama, The Cooler King by Patrick Bishop is a must for armchair historians - especially fans of Unbroken and The Real Great Escape.
  • LSTC
    Caroline Paul
    • £2.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £12.00
    A perfect gift book for anyone who fell in love with A Street Cat Named Bob and other such heartwarming animal tales, Lost Cat is a warm and playful story of obsessive cat-tracking, psychics and satellites...

    Written by Caroline Paul, the book chronicles the time her beloved, timid cat Tibia returned to her. But he did not return the same cat: he came back as a marauding, swashbuckling adventurer - and Caroline was jealous. Desperate to find out where he went and what he got up to, Caroline embarked on a quest to discover just what he got up to.

    Complete with watercolour illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton, which only add to the book's endearing charm, Lost Cat is funny, light and and ideal for anyone who has ever done anything desperate in the name of love.
  • APRL
    Paul Jones
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £12.00
    A heartbreaking memoir from Paul and Coral Jones, April tells the story of the shocking abduction and murder of their beloved five-year-old daughter, April.

    Throughout the ordeal, Paul Jones kept a diary of his thoughts and feelings and this book reveals them for the first time - portraying a searingly honest account of unimaginable emotional pain. Both parents speak of their love for their daughter, their feelings during the search and the draining ordeal of facing paedophile Mark Bridge in court during the trial in which he was convicted of her murder and abduction.

    The entire nation was shocked by April's disappearance from Machynllech, Wales in October 2012 in shocking circumstances that sparked the biggest police search in UK history. This harrowing book tells of the heartbreak her parents faced throughout this horrific period.
  • SIXL
    Janet Walton
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00
    A wonderfully heart-warming and uplifting read, Six Little Miracles is the true story of Janet Walton, the mother of the world's first and only all-female sextuplets.

    Janet and her husband, Graham, were told that they could never have children, so you can imagine their joy and surprise when they found out that Janet was pregnant. But the news didn't stop there. Janet wasn't pregnant with just one baby, she was pregnant with six!

    On 18 November 1983, Janet gave birth to Hannah, Luci, Ruth, Sarah, Kate and Jennie, and her life changed forever... From learning to bottle-feed six new-born infants to an unfathomable school run, boy trouble, teenage tantrums and everything in-between, Janet has watched her little girls blossom into confident young women - and loved every minute of it!

    Now 30, Janet's daughters have grown up and flown the nest. For the very first time, in this book Janet tells the moving, humorous and honest story of what it was like to raise her six girls and how they changed her life for the better.
  • YRKS
    Amanda Owen
    (1)
    • £5.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £11.00
    From Huddersfield to the hillside, The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen reveals how she achieved her dream to become a shepherdess - a far cry from her humble beginnings in her industrial northern hometown.

    Seen by the millions of viewers of ITV's The Dales caring for her 900 sheep, seven children, four dogs, husband, pigs, cows, horses and a goat on her Ravenseat farm, life is busy for Amanda but she couldn't be happier.

    From dealing with the tragedy of foot and mouth disease to the challenges of raising children in the remote countryside, the book is a heart-warming and unforgettable memoir that will inspire readers to look at the countryside with a whole new appreciation.
  • GURK
    Colour-Sergeant Kailash Kheban
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £13.01
    Gurkha: Better to Die than Live a Coward: My Life in the Gurkhas finds Colour Sergeant Kailash Limbu providing a fascinating insight into what life is like as a serving Gurkha.

    In the summer of 2006, Limbu's platoon was sent to relieve and occupy a police compound in the town of Now Zad in Helmand. They were expecting the operation to take 48 hours. It actually took 31 days and became one of the longest sieges during the Afghan campaign.

    In this memoir, Limbu recalls the month spent during this time - a period where he and his troop killed an estimated 100 Taliban fighters - and talks about his home life growing up in a village without roads or electricity. From his childhood to traditional Gurkha training and rituals - including learning how to use the lethal Kukri knife - this is an eye-opening and fascinating account of one man's life as a Gurkha.
  • BRSL
    Jo Milne
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £12.00
    With the moment an operation enabled her to hear for the first time in almost 40 years being named by Google as one of the most inspiring moments of 2014 and hitting millions of views on YouTube, Jo Milne's memoir Breaking the Silence tells a truly remarkable and uplifting story about how her world changed in incredible ways...

    Deaf from birth, Jo lived in a world of silence for 39 years. Battling deep depression and the difficulties her lack of hearing threw at her, Jo was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Usher Syndrome, an affliction that will one day rob her of her sight too, before she turned 30. Determined to live her life to the full, in 2014 Jo made the decision to undergo a cochlear implant surgery which would allow her to hear for the first time in her life. Every day since then has become a journey of discovery...

    From hearing the Beatles and Rolling Stones for the first time to finally being able to put a voice to the familiar sight of her own mother, Jo Milne's Breaking the Silence is a beautifully written, heart-warming real-life story about an unbelievably brave woman who always lives life with a smile on her face.
  • AKODG
    Helen Macdonald
    • £12.74
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £2.25
    Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and both the Costa Book of the Year 2014 and Costa Biography Award, 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.
  • BITA
    David Malone
    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £9.00
    In June 1973, a tiny village in County Dublin was about to lose its innocence for ever. On that bright and sunny afternoon, a seven-year-old boy was left in the care of his teenage neighbour. No one knew, or would even have dreamed of, was that the teenager was a Satanist. The two went out to the fields to look for rabbits and the child was never seen alive again.

    For the first time, David Malone reveals the exact events of that summer day: how the child was lured to his death, how the teenager came to delve so deeply into the occult and the nightmarish scene awaiting police when they entered the attic... But there is another disturbing question - how is it that this murder, which was easily one of the most shocking and horrific in living memory, was barely reported on? Why have you never heard of the boy in the attic until now..?

    A must-read for fans of true crime, The Boy in the Attic is an addictive examination of the most disturbing crime you've never heard of!
  • YESS
    (2)
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00
    Rich in period detail, Yes Sister, No Sister is Jennifer Craig's warming and revealing memoir, recalling life as a trainee nurse in 1950s Yorkshire. Affectionate and humorous, this is a life-affirming story of a long-lost era, ideal for fans of Call the Midwife.

    This hardback edition demonstrates the remarkable dedication and loyalty of the nurses who trained at the Leeds General Infirmary as well as the heart-warming camaraderie that existed between the young trainees despite the harsh conditions and strict discipline they were forced to reckon with.
  • UPBE
    Mike Pannett
    • £2.50
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £14.49
    From Mike Pannett, a former Metropolitan Police officer and the author of Not on my Patch, Lad, Up Beat and Down Dale takes a look at the life and crimes that occur in the Yorkshire countryside. Pannett polices one of the largest rural beats in England and in this fascinating book, he investigates a series of burglaries in remote farmhouses and calls out a full-scale search in dreadful weather for a missing man. There's also a night-time operation in an empty museum and the harrowing challenge of taking three children into care against their mother's wishes. This is an insightful biographical read from the 'James Herriot' of policing!
  • AMBJK
    Kate Gross
    • £9.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £5.00
    What are the things we live for? What matters most in life when your time is short? This brave, frank and heartbreaking book shows what it means to die before your time, and how to fill your life with wonder, hope and joy even in the face of tragedy. Ambitious and talented, Kate Gross worked at Number 10 Downing Street for two British Prime Ministers whilst only in her twenties. At thirty, she was CEO of a charity working with fragile democracies in Africa. She had married 'the best looking man I've ever kissed' - and given birth to twin boys in 2008. The future was bright. But aged 34, Kate was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. After a two-year battle with the disease, Kate died peacefully at home on Christmas morning, just ten minutes before her sons awoke to open their stockings. She began to write as a gift to herself, a reminder that she could create even as her body began to self-destruct. Written for those she loves,her book is not a conventional cancer memoir; nor is it filled with medical jargon or misery. Instead, it is Kate's powerful attempt to make sense of the woman who emerged in the strange, lucid final chunk of her life. Her book aspires to give hope and purpose to the lives of her readers even as her own life drew to its close. Kate should have been granted decades to say all that she says in these pages. Denied the chance to bore her children and grandchildren with stories when she became fat and old, she offers us all instead her thoughts on how to live; on the wonder to be found in the everyday; the importance of friendship and love; what it means to die before your time and how to fill your life with hope and joy even in the face of tragedy.
  • SOTS
    Michael Faulkner
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £10.00
    When Mike Faulkner, his wife Lynn and their two dogs first crossed Ringhaddy Sound to the Blue Cabin on an island in Strangford Lough, they planned to stay for a year. Seven years later, the island's magic hasn't lost its hold...

    Still on the Sound: A Seasonal Look at Island Life is an evocative celebration and examination of life on the famous Northern Island destination. From stormy midnight crossings to dramatic sea rescues and the general inconveniences of living in a wooden cabin on a sea lough, the book showcases a life which finds baby seals coming to stay in winter months and the location becoming a haven for yachtsmen in the spring.

    Illustrated with over 200 personal photographs, this is a warm, funny and irresistible love letter to the island.
  • KTAY
    Katie Taylor
    • £2.99
    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £16.00
    When Katie Taylor was chosen to bear the Irish flag at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, the pressure was on for her to deliver gold when she stepped into the boxing ring. It was the first time that the Olympics had included women's boxing as one of its events, and Taylor knew she had to deliver.

    In her new book, My Olympic Dream, Taylor reveals how she trained and prepared for the Olympics, explains what got her into boxing in the first place and details the day she fulfilled her Olympic dream ? winning gold in a close-fought contest.

    A special story from a truly remarkable woman and athlete, the book relives the glorious moment she took home gold and looks back on the triumph that changed her life forever.
  • TSIB
    Lynda Bellingham
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £12.00
    The late actress Lynda Bellingham provides a poignant, moving and uplifting memoir about her battle with cancer in There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You.

    Diagnosed in 2013, this book shows how Lynda and her family came to terms with a future they hadn't planned. Brutally honest, the book was written in what was to be Lynda's last few months and is full of the warmth and humour she was so loved for; it shows how she brought light to the darkest of times.

    As well as covering her illness, Lynda also looks back on her extraordinary life in the book. From appearances on Loose Women and Strictly Come Dancing to her role as Helen Herriott in All Creatures Great and Small, as well as her iconic role as the long-suffering OXO Mum, the book also takes a look at her tumultuous private life and search for her birth father - which revealed a family with a history in entertainment...

    Heartbreaking but also heart-warming, this highly emotional book is full of tales of love, loss and laughter and is a fitting, inspiring testament to the courage of a remarkable woman.
  • War Real Lives Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9780007945474
    NTRI
    (1)
    • £3.50
    • RRP £22.97
    • Save £19.47
    • Just £1.17 per book
    Sure to appeal to fans of Call the Midwife and Our Girl, this is a wonderfully nostalgic trio of real-life reads that shines a light on what life was like for the women left at home during the wartime era and beyond.

    The touching GI Brides takes a look at four girls who left their homeland to follow their new husbands across the Atlantic shortly after the end of the War. Not only did these girls - Gwendolyn, Rae, Margaret and Sylvia - have to cope with a new culture, they also had to get to know their husbands outside of the army... But after the Blitz, they were sure they could cope with anything and this book reveals how much fun they had!

    The Sweethearts is about those women who worked at the Rowntree's factory in York from the 1930s right the way through to the 1980s and how they kept the treats coming, no matter what was thrown at them... The Sugar Girls follows the women who worked at Tate & Lyle's factory in the East End during the Second World War - they're the ones who kept Britain sweet during the time of rations.

  • WIKS
    Oprah Winfrey
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £10.00
    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.
  • SHER
    Fisherman's Friends, Port Isaa
    • £3.99
    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £15.00

    The warm, entertaining and quite remarkable autobiography of a group of ten enigmatic Cornish seadogs, Fisherman's Friends is written in collaboration with leading ghostwriter Robert Uhlig. Recalling the two decades during which the old salts gathered on the village quayside in Port Isaac, Cornwall every Friday summer night to entertain the locals with rousing sea shanties and traditional folk songs, this is a wonderfully affectionate and timely tale. Telling of the fame that was then suddenly bestowed upon these burly middle-aged men, this wonderful hardback brings alive the joy of traditional music.

  • HYLS
    Harry Leslie Smith
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £9.00
    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!
  • NPAT
    • £2.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £10.00

    Written by Nanny Pat, the star of ITV2's The Only Way is Essex, Penny Sweets and Cobbled Streets: My East End Childhood vividly captures a lost way of life as she looks back over her colourful youth. Nanny Pat has always been at the heart of her family and her children and grandchildren still regularly pitch up at her house for a cup of tea, her famous sausage plait and some wise advice. Now, with her trademark warmth and humour, she evokes the East End of her childhood. With great character and wonderful anecdotes, this delightful memoir vividly captures a lost way of life and will appeal to any fans of TOWIE and the book even includes a recipe for Jellied Eels!

  • NEND
    Ingrid Betancourt
    • £4.99
    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £14.00

    A story of courage that captured the world's imagination, Ingrid Betancourt's six years in captivity and subsequent freedom is intelligently and vividly recalled in her memoirs - Even Silence Has an End. Having vowed to combat the corruption and climate of fear that enveloped Columbia, presidential candidate Betancourt was taken hostage in 2002 by FATC, a terrorist guerrilla organisation. In this deeply moving and spirited tale, she confronts the horror of what she went through while capturing the extraordinary drama of her disappearance into the depths of the jungle.

  • DUST
    Jackie Kay
    (2)
    • £2.00
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £14.99

    A remarkable journey through Jackie Kay's childhood - one ridden with prejudice and experiences of rejection - Red Dust Road is a moving and beautifully written autobiography. Vividly told, Kay's memoir tells of her upbringing as an adopted, mixed-race lesbian in a genuine and appealing manner, without unattractive doses of self pity. Full of good humour and touching honesty, and written in a flowing, delicate style more akin to a bestselling novel, this is a fascinating story of nature versus nurture. This remarkable read was the winner of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards: Book of the Year Award in 2011.

  • DOTL
    Rachel Johnson
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £13.00
    A Diary of The Lady: My First Year as Editor is a hilariously wonderful read from first time author - and editor - Rachel Johnson.

    The Lady, the UK's longest running women's magazine, was in need of an emergency facelift when novice editor Rachel Johnson entered the frame. Having never worked as an editor before, and having spent the last 15 years sat on the sofa, Rachel had a mission on her hands to rid The Lady of gloomy articles on watery eyes and ads for walk-in baths, which included a battle she was certainly not ready for: what to wear to work...

    A laugh-out-loud memoir, both surprising and enlightening in equal measure, A Diary of The Lady: My First Year is a marvellously indiscreet book about being in over your head and coming out the other side successfully.
  • GDOS
    Stephen Grady
    (3)
    • £4.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £15.01
    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.