Biographies

Real Lives : 1-24 of 25

  • 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.
  • CDOC

    Michael Sparrow

    • £3.99
    • RRP £15.98
    • Save £11.99
    Filled with true-to-life anecdotes that will have you laughing all the way through, the two books in the Country Doctor Set - recalling Michael Sparrow's 20 years as a GP - are poignant and honest accounts of the trials and tribulations endured by the local doctor.

    Told with great self-deprecating humour and a sharp wit, these at times harrowing and vivid memoirs reflect on some of the more remarkable injuries and illnesses suffered by Sparrow's patients - from a drowning drug runner on a Caribbean shoreline to an unidentified corpse by a Devon cowshed.
  • 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!
  • TORP

    Arthur Aldridge

    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £10.00
    This is the true, touching and terrifying story of how two young men from completely different worlds embarked on the friendship of a lifetime during the most threatening and dangerous years of World War Two.

    Oxford-educated officer Arthur Aldridge, and Bermondsey-born Cockney gunner Bill Carroll are the two characters central to this emotion-packed story of ultimate comradeship. Filled with nostalgia and historic detail, this engaging and fascinating memoir recalls the men's near-death experiences against Hitler's maritime fleet and two enemy ships off the coast of Malta while rescuing a fellow pilot, as well as many other encounters the two were lucky to survive.

    Vivid storytelling of their unique recollections and the close friendship that existed between them make this ideal for fans of non-fiction writers like Geoffrey Wellum and Patrick Bishop.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • NTRI
    • £4.99
    • RRP £22.97
    • Save £17.98
    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.
  • HYLS

    Harry Leslie Smith

    • £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!
  • BOAT

    Paul Hendrickson

    • £3.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £16.01
    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.
  • SECS

    Helen Edwards & Jenny Lee Smit

    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £9.00
    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.
  • AMXMB

    James Rebanks

    • £12.89
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £4.10
    From James Rebanks, the Herdwick Shepherd, comes The Shepherd's Life, a story of the Lake District and its people which could redefine the literature of rural life.

    Some people's lives are entirely their own creations. James Rebanks' isn't. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, he and his family have lived and worked in and around the Lake District for generations. Their way of life is ordered by the seasons and the work they demand, and has been for hundreds of years. These modern dispatches from an ancient landscape tell the story of a deep-rooted attachment to place, describing a way of life that is little noticed and yet has profoundly shaped this landscape. In evocative and lucid prose, James Rebanks takes us through a shepherd's year, offering a unique account of rural life and a fundamental connection with the land that most of us have lost.

    It is a story of working lives, the people around him, his childhood, his parents and grandparents, a people who exist and endure even as the world changes around them. Many stories are of people working desperately hard to leave a place. This is the story of someone trying desperately hard to stay. James Rebanks is the Herdwick Shepherd. His family has farmed in the same area for more than six hundred years.
  • LOSA

    Jon Ronson

    (1)
    • £2.00
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £10.99
    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.
  • MLMP

    Matt Whyman

    (3)
    • £2.50
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £12.49

    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!

  • COLD

    Ranulph, Sir, Fiennes

    • £5.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £14.01
    Hailed as 'the world's greatest living explorer' by the Guinness Book of Records, Sir Ranulph Fiennes draws on his expert knowledge and own life experiences to examine the extremes and dangers of cold in our environment.

    Tracing his adventuring apprenticeship 40 years ago on the Greenland Ice Cap to his masterminding over the past five years of the crossing of the Antarctic in winter; where temperatures plummeted to -92oC, Fiennes follows the cold through history, including the deaths of the mighty armies of Hitler and Napoleon, and through the past 150 years where the natural challenge of cold has hindered adventurers and explorers around the globe.

    Scientifically rigorous, historically questioning and intensely personal, Fiennes also focuses on modern-day situations regarding the mass melting of ice caps from the Arctic to the Antarctic. A unique examination of cold in all its glory and peril which provides an intriguing and eye-opening read.
  • EPSY

    Louise Monaghan

    • £4.99
    • RRP £17.99
    • Save £13.00

    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.

  • 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.

  • NPAT
    (2)
    • £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!

  • SUGA

    Brenda Ashford

    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00

    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.

  • YOGB
    (2)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £9.00
    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!
  • ADTVH

    Emma Milne

    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £1.80
    Misty was ecstatic to see her owner but to the nurse's surprise her owner just stood there and said, What have you done with my dog's head? 'I'm sorry, replied the nurse, what do you mean? She's just been in for spaying. That isn't my dog's head. The rest of it is my dog but you've put a different head on it. On a crisp October morning in 1996, Emma Milne started her first job as a newly qualified vet, a career captured on camera for eleven series of television's "Vets in Practice". Now she tells the full story. We discover the numerous things that can get stuck in an animal's stomach, how to stop a cow exploding, and - the biggest truth of all - that animals are easy to deal with in comparison to their owners. They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and these "Tales from the Tail End" turn out to be stranger - and funnier - than you could ever have imagined!