Real Lives

Biographies

Real Lives : 1-24 of 26

Showing 1-24 of 26 items

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    NTRI
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    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.

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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.
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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!
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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.
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    UPBE
    (1)
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    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!
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    BOAT

    Hemingway's Boat (Hardback)

    Paul Hendrickson

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    Paul Hendrickson provides an invaluable, unforgettable and original portrait of Ernest Hemingway and his beloved boat, Pilar, in Hemingway's Boat. Telling the story of the great American writer by focusing on the boat he wrote on, fished from and loved on, this gives a new insight into the life of a man who became a literary sensation. The biography covers from the pinnacle of Hemingway's fame in 1934 to his suicide in 1961, and this enchanting read showcases the close connection between events in his life and the words that ended up on the pages in his work.
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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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    LOSA

    Lost At Sea (Hardback)

    Jon Ronson

    (1)
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    Jon Ronson, the award-winning writer, documentary maker and author of The Men Who Stare At Goats, is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. In Lost At Sea, he presents a collection of his adventures, from meeting the man preparing to welcome aliens to Earth to another who tried to split the atom in his kitchen and the Deal or No Deal contestants who developed a foolproof system to beat the Banker. Frequently hilarious, sometimes disturbing and always entertaining, Lost At Sea is a compelling read that features some bizarre and unusual stories and intriguing people.
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    SMMK

    Secrets My Mother Kept (Hardback)

    Kath Hardy

    (6)
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    An inspirational and moving true story, Kath Hardy's Secrets My Mother Kept is extremely powerful and shows how truth and lies can keep families together and also destroy them. Kath grew up on a vast council estate in 50s London and the two most important people in her life were her manipulative mother Flo and her sister Aunty. But following her mother's death years later, Kath discovers a secret bundle of letters that shows the sisters were keeping secrets, one of which would cast a harrowing shadow over Kath and her sibling's lives...
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    MLMP

    Oink! My Life With Minipigs (Hardback)

    Matt Whyman

    (3)
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    If you're one of the many people yearning to live the good life in rural bliss surrounded by animals, Matt Whyman's Oink! My Life With Minipigs will show you the reality behind the fantasy! An author and house husband, Matt enjoys the quiet life, whereas his high-flying, business-savvy wife Emma loves the chaos that kids, pets and livestock bring. So when Emma adds minipigs Butch and Roxi to a household already full to bursting with children, dogs and chickens, the scene is set for domestic drama. In Emma's mind, the new arrivals will just snuggle up with the rest of the family on the sofa, but Matt feels sure that the battle for hearts, minds and snouts is far from won. A book full of warmth, laughs and heart, Oink! tells the story of one man and his menagerie and is a cautionary tale for anyone who thinks living with pigs is the way to a simple life!

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    THER

    Northerners (Paperback)

    Sefton Samuels

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    Northerners is a portrait of a no-nonsense people. It contains Sefton Samuels's stunning photography of everyday life in the north of England across the last four decades and features everything from the bleaker side of life with the riots in Moss Side through to legendary figures like Alan Bennett and Morrissey. This beautiful hardback shows that beyond the cliches of Northern life lies an altogether different portrait. The Guardian has described this book as "the photographic equivalent of Ken Loach" and it is sure to take pride of place on anyone who loves the North's bookshelf!

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    HWAS
    (1)
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    Readers who love animals will enjoy this three-book collection of heart-warming and poignant true stories.

    The Meerkats of Summer Farm is Jane Collier's account of how, after being found abandoned by their mother, two playful and ever-inquisitive meerkats became the star attraction at Axe Valley Bird and Animal Park in Devon, while Boo! The Underdog With a Heart of Gold is a bestseller from Lisa Edwards about a truly unlikely hero - therapy dog Boo, who has the uncanny ability to sense what each individual needs in times of despair. Finally, Sarah Oliver's Pollyanne tells the inspirational rags-to-riches story of one little donkey's amazing journey from the Knacker's Yard to star of the West End's opera scene!
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    FIRE

    All Fired Up (Hardback)

    Malcolm Castle

    (1)
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    The longest serving fireman on the watch in Shrewsbury, Malcolm Castle provides a funny, moving and gloriously nostalgic account of just how surprising a fireman's life can be in All Fired Up: Tales of a Country Fireman. When he was 18, Malcolm became a fireman and pictured himself rushing into burning buildings to save fair damsels in distress. Little did he know he would also be jumping into slurry pits to rescue cows and saving stuck sheepdogs from fence panels. Nothing about working for the fire service was quite what he expected and this warming hardback gives an intriguing portrait of both life in the service and rural Britain.

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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.

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    ALWH

    A Long Walk Home (Hardback)

    Judith Tebbutt

    (2)
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    While on an adventurous holiday in Kenya, Judith Tebbutt's life changed forever when she was dragged into the depths of despair in lawless Somalia. After her husband David was murdered, Judith was captured by pirates and forced to endure enforced isolation and near starvation at their hands for 192 days. A Long Walk Home describes this horrific experience and how she managed to survive. Held hostage in a squalid room with a large ransom over her head, Judith learned that the responsibility of securing her release now rested with her son Ollie. With a tremendous amount of faith in her son, Judith resolved she would survive, doing everything she could to make her captors see her as a real human being. A powerful and unflinching account of this awful time, this book is a testament to resilience and the importance of family.
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    BIGW

    Vet: The Big Wild World (Hardback)

    Luke Gamble

    (1)
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    After cutting his teeth as a vet in the West Country, Luke Gamble now has to see if he can stand on his own two feet. Wild stallions, drowning cows and constipated snakes aside, his challenges have only just begun. Luke was described by the actor Martin Clunes as: "Like Dr Dootlittle but real", and The Vet: The Big Wild World is a hardback that tells how he is marrying the girl of his dreams while also attempting to launch his own practice. On top of this, he's also managing an international veterinary charity! Packed with startling true stories, you will have so much admiration for Luke as he swaps the familiar farms for the refugee camps of Africa, all as part of his idealistic quest to make a difference to the lives of animals!

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    SHER

    Fisherman's Friends (Hardback)

    Fisherman's Friends, Port Isaa

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    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.

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    ATWW

    All Teachers Wise and Wonderful (Hardback)

    Andy Seed

    (1)
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    A year after his experiences in the bestselling All Teachers Great and Small and after two years in his teaching job, Andy Seed returns to Craigthwaite Primary school brimming with confidence and looking forward to a year he believes will bring its own rewards. But he hasn't counted on Sheena, a nine-year-old with a permanent scowl, exploding piggy banks or bottle-rocket missiles.

    All Teachers Wise and Wonderful is the second in Andy's trilogy about life as a Yorkshire Dales teacher and is a warm, witty and refreshing memoir. A heart-warming read full of colourful anecdotes about school and village life.
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    NPAT
    (1)
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    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!

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    KATD

    Kate's Daughter (Hardback)

    Piers Dudgeon

    (2)
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    Containing some striking personal photographs, Piers Dudgeon's Kate's Daughter: The Real Catherine Cookson tells the rags to riches tale of the esteemed British author. The story is told by people who knew her as she grew up and what emerges is a fresh portrait with vividly drawn detail that casts a new light on an author whose real life was almost as sensational and dramatic as the fictional worlds she created. A fresh documentary portrait, the book does not shy away from the fears that cast Catherine into the nightmare of mental breakdown and also discusses how her husband Tom Cookson may have been responsible for leading her out of this and gave her the courage to be herself and write her way into the hearts and minds of book readers across the world.

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    MYPC

    My Paper Chase (Hardback)

    Harold Evans

    (1)
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    From a wartime beach in Wales to the gleaming skyscrapers of 21st century Manhattan, the extraordinary career of Fleet Street legend Harold Evans has spanned five decades of tumultuous social, political and creative change.

    This moving memoir from the editor of the Sunday Times delivers a penetrating insight into some of the major events in post-war Britain and charts the incredible rise of a working class boy who failed the 11-plus but achieved so much in a lifetime.
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    SUGA

    A Spoonful of Sugar (Hardback)

    Brenda Ashford

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    A Spoonful of Sugar is a heart-warming memoir from 91-year-old Brenda Ashford as she looks back over the 62 years of her life she spent working as a Norland Nanny. As a young trainee at the outbreak of World War II, Brenda worked with poverty-stricken evacuees from London's East End as well as in the nurseries of smart Kensington homes. She also frequently put her life at risk and made a number of sacrifices for the children she loved so much. Throughout the course of her career, she looked after over 100 children and this book shows how much she cared for every single one of them. Warm, funny and moving, this is a true story that brings to life the colourful world of wartime England.

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    YOGB
    (2)
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    Witty and original, Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It is a screamingly funny travelogue of one man's findings in the far-flung places of the world. So much more than a travel book, Geoff Dyer's comments on the minutiae of the human comedy, from Amsterdam to Cambodia and Rome to Indonesia (to name but a few), hilariously and insightfully brings locations, experiences and sensations vividly to life. Readers will find themselves right alongside Dyer in his moments of calm as well as at the odd floundering in a sea of grievances, but will certainly remain smiling the whole time. A modern classic and essential reading that will not disappoint!
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    DUST

    Red Dust Road (Hardback)

    Jackie Kay

    (2)
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    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.