Christmas: Biography Buffs

  • We Need to Weaken the Mixture - Hardback - 9780753545454 - Guy Martin
    WNTW
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    Whether breaking land speed records, working 70-hour weeks mending trucks for a haulage firm or buying his local pub, Guy Martin is always busy. We Need to Weaken the Mixture is a book that finds him inviting you to keep up to speed with his always-on life.

    In this book, he talks about his exciting TV challenges ranging from building a Typhoon to restoring a 1983 Williams F1 car and also his 'proper' jobs including taytie farming and truck fitting.

    He also recalls the most terrifying experience of his life - singing out of tune in front of the Kirmington crowd on New Year's Eve!
  • UPBF
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    Following the devastating stillborn birth of their son Willem, seasoned adventurer Ben Fogle and his wife Marina made a promise to embrace every day and be more positive. This led to Ben's dream of conquering Mount Everest.

    In April 2018, Ben set off along with Olympic Gold-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton and mountaineer Kenton Cool to climb to the top while raising funds for the British Red Cross and highlighting the environmental challenges mountains face.

    The trio walked the fine line between life and death 8,000 metres above sea level and Ben quickly realised how enlightening this seven-week journey was going to be.

    This memoir is told with humour and warmth and covers both Ben and Marina's - who was holding the family together at home - experiences during his expedition.
  • HLPM
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    Praised by Fearne Cotton and Jessie Burton, Marianne Power's Help me is the humorous and moving story of the journalist's quest to live according to the rules she found in her self-help books.

    Marianne decided to test one book a month for a year to see if following the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and embracing the Power of Now really dig have a significant and positive impact on her mental health. What began as a clever and fun experiment soon evolves into something much more poignant...

    This is a deeply personal, witty and moving book about one woman's journey of redemption - and it's one that can also inspire you to find happiness.

    For fans of authors like Matt Haig, Bryony Gordon, Danny Wallace
  • In My Life - Alan Johnson - Hardback - 9780593079539 - Alan Johnson
    AJML
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    Former home secretary Alan Johnson celebrates his love of music in this marvellously entertaining memoir.

    He recalls first hearing Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly's True Love on the radio as a child in the 1950s and how this led to a lifelong passion. He fondly remembers humming Elvis Costello's Watching the Detectives while working as a postman and celebrates his love of artists ranging from Lonnie Donegan and The Beatles to David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen.

    A great read for music lovers and those who are interested in politics, this book lets you discover more about Alan Johnson the man while also transporting you back to a world of jukeboxes full of unashamedly romantic love songs and heartbreaking ballads.
  • WTLW
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    Bookworms and literature lovers will delve into this compendium full of over 100 biographies of the world's greatest writers including Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

    Each author, playwright and poet's profile is accompanied by a stunning portrait and a critical evaluation of their key ideas, themes and techniques.

    From the Middle Ages through to contemporary writers, this book offers a captivating insight into the lives, loves and influences of a number of extraordinary writers.
  • FMYH
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    Beloved singer and broadcaster Linda Nolan provides a brave and honest account of her life and battles with cancer in an inspiring memoir that will make you laugh, cry and want to dance.

    The autobiography finds Linda - one of the singers from The Nolans whose hit I'm in the Mood for Dancing is still a floor-filler today - talking about her roller-coaster life. She discusses what it was like growing up in a big Irish family and how she and her sisters coped with the worldwide fame that followed. She also reveals the secrets and feuds that threatened to tea them apart.
    Linda candidly talks about her first battle with breast cancer and how the death of her husband left her deeply depressed and contemplating suicide. After choosing to live life to the full again, she received the news the cancer had come back and was now incurable. However, Linda has decided to enjoy the time she has left and embrace all the little things in life.
  • BFFW
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    The Last Leg host and stand-up comedian Adam Hills tells his life story in this touching and hilarious biography.

    Adam has been performing for over 30 years and in this book he talks about losing his leg and how his experiences as a disabled comedian have inspired him in so many ways. He reveals how following your heart and staying positive can lead to so many incredible experiences - including hosting one of Channel 4's most popular shows!

    He also talks through his favourite childhood memories, backstage blunders and exciting encounters with celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Connolly and the bloke who sang The Macarena.
  • JOSW
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    Sir David Attenborough is now in the seventh decade of his hugely successful television career as a broadcaster and naturalist. His success began with the famous Zoo Quest in 1954, where he travelled the world to discover exotic animals for a zoo exhibition in the UK.

    In this fascinating memoir, David revisits his journeys from Madagascar and New Guinea to the Pacific Islands and the Northern territory of Australia.

    Originally published in the late 1950s, this warm and humorous account finds David exploring some of the most remarkable cultures and wildlife from this time including his encounters with paradise birds, chameleons and sifakas.
  • LWYM
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    After listening to The Archers and hearing the story about Helen Tichener being emotionally abused by her husband, Helen Walmsley-Johnson found some of the plot elements disturbingly familiar. This is her story about how she wound up - and escaped - two relationships full of coercive control.

    Helen's first husband controlled all aspects of her life, from who she saw to how much money was in her bank account. He alienated her from friends, family and even their three daughters. He eventually threw her out, leaving Helen no chance but to painfully rebuild her life.

    In her early 40s, Helen met Franc - who at first seemed kind, charming and considerate but soon also started telling her what to wear, eat and even to think.

    This candid and gripping memoir explains how she ended up being trapped by two smiling abusers and has been written to help other women in similar situations have the courage to walk away. It will help you recognise, understand and survive this sinister form of abuse.
  • EDMM
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    Ed Sheeran is the world's biggest pop star right now and this book showcases images from a 10-year collaboration between 'The A-Team', 'Shape of You' and 'Galway Girl' singer and photographer Christie Goodwin.

    Christie first photographed Ed when he was a young busker in 2008 and in the decade since, he has played to thousands upon thousands of fans in stadiums and festivals all over the world. This book contains intimate and unseen photographs of Ed in action from all over this time.

    It features a foreword and photo captions from Ed's father, John Sheeran and will delight anyone who is fascinated by the singer-songwriter's hugely successful career.
  • NMDL
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    Dare Not Linger is a fascinating, thought-provoking and poignant biography of Nelson Mandela's time as president of South Africa. It draws on Mandela's writings during this time and has been completed by Mandla Langa and features a prologue from Mandela's widow, Graca Machel.

    In 1994, Mandela became the first president of democratic South Africa and in his five years in office, he managed to transform a nation that had been divided by centuries of colonialism and apartheid into a fully functioning democracy where everyone was considered equal.

    Mandela kept many detailed notes during his time in charge and this fascinating book reveals how he and his team changed SA for the better. It shows all of the challenges he had to overcome in his quest to achieve his dream of a liberated South Africa.
  • BODA
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    Internet sensation Bodacious the Shepherd Cat tells his life story in this meow-some memoir.

    The purr-fect book for cat lovers is told from Bodacious' point of view. He talks about how he ended up living on a farm and fondly recalls the early mornings and frosty starts, hard work and mouth-watering food he's enjoyed along the way.

    From Oscar the farm cat to border collie/fox terrier-cross Pepper, Bodacious talks about the animal characters he met on the farm and perfectly captures the atmosphere of the farm house, orchards and fields.
  • EIMK
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    The Elephant Whisperer was a bestseller when it was published in 2009 but sadly the book's author - renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony - died in 2012.

    In An Elephant in My Kitchen, Lawrence's surviving partner Francoise Malby Anthony looks back over her grief and the way she had to take over the running of South African game reserve Thula Thula - even though she knew little about conservation.

    She had to contend with a lack of funds, poachers and a rogue elephant charging at Land Rovers full of terrified guests. Among her other incredible experiences were a baby getting lost in her kitchen; a baby hippo who hated water making friends with a little girl rhino; and a German Shepherd called Duma who became a nursemaid to the elephants.

    Witty and poignant, this is a book about how Francoise overcame her grief with the help of a new tusked family - and then went on to fulfil her dream of building a rescue centre for orphaned rhinos and other wildlife.
  • TEDL
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    Dougie Lampkin, the world's greatest off-road rider, talks about his life in motorcycling in this incredible and unique autobiography.

    He reveals the inspirations behind his stunts and how he always believed he was set for a life on two wheels - his dad placed a motorcycle next to his cot before he arrived home for the first time, after all!

    Dougie comes from a family of sportsmen and had won seven consecutive outdoor world titles and five indoor world titles, earning him the MBE by the age of 25 and this book he brings the excitement of his sport vividly to life - sharing behind-the-scenes drama of his Red Bull challenges including riding over a multi-million-pound F1 car without leaving a scratch.

    For fans of: Guy Martin, Michael Dunlop, Carl Fogarty
  • FMOA
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    When Chris Graham was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at the age of just 34, he made the decision to live life to the fullest and enjoy incredible adventures and the best of what the world has to offer.

    This poignant memoir finds Chris looking back at a life that took him from a trouble childhood into the British Army. Alzheimer's has already claimed the life of his father at 42 and saw his brother in a nursing home at 43. To make the most of life, Chris decided to embark on an awareness-raising 16,000-mile solo cycle around North America...

    Armed only with his bike, a sense of humour and British determination, Chris left his loyal wife Vicky and his son Dexter at home as he undertook this amazing challenge - despite the fact he could forget the different between left and right at any point. Of course, he made it home in time for Christmas... this is an inspiring, moving and heart-rending book.
  • The Century Girls - Hardback - 9781471161322 - Tessa Dunlop
    CNTY
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    Six women who have lived the last hundred years of British history reveal how their lives have changed since the suffragettes won the right for women (over 30 and who met certain property qualifications) to vote in 1918.

    Hailing from locations spread across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Helena, Olive, Edna, Joyce, Ann and Phyllis - The Century Girls - explain what they saw, how they were treated, who they loved, what they did and where they are now. They look back at times as housewives and working and describe the surroundings they grew up in.

    This is a personal account of how women gradually began to build independent lives for themselves in post-Great War Britain and what their day-to-day lives were like and how they changed throughout the following decades.
  • MREP
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    Jurgen Grobler, one of Britain's most esteemed sporting coaches and the mastermind behind many Olympic rowing successes, has remained largely out of the spotlight throughout his life.

    This biography, written by Olympic medallist Hugh Matheson and rowing historian Christopher Dodd, looks at the ways in which he has inspired Britain's rowing teams so so many Gold medals.

    Grobler has worked with athletes including Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell over the years and won Gold in a range of boat classes. This book looks over his career - from his early years in the German Democratic Republic to the fall of the Berlin Wall and then a move to Britain in pursuit of rowing greatness.
  • TRLG
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    Campaigner, publisher and wanderer Alastair Sawday has spent his life travelling all around the world and in this book he celebrates the joys of slow travel. His musings will inspire you to take a breath and embrace all the beauty that surrounds you on your next trip away.

    This travelogue finds Alastair looking back on his own travels and recalling stories from those who have travelled to provide ruminations and reflections about people, places and ideas. He contemplates how much slow journeying adds to the appeal of France profonde, the darker side of Sicily and even the woodland, flora, fauna, views and silence of rural Britain.

    This is the perfect book for armchair travellers who haven't climbed mountains, swam in rivers and don't really change, but are eager to understand our world and its infinite variety of joys.
  • IOTM
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    Taxi! This hardback book tells the astonishing story of three mates, the taxi they drunkenly purchased and a 43,000 mile-round trip of global misadventure.

    Like many, Paul, Johno and Leigh had plans to travel the world. Little did they know that when they bought themselves a London cab, they'd end up embarking on a journey that took them off the beaten track to some of the most fascinating, dangerous and deadly places on Earth.

    From altercations with the Iranian Secret Police to a terrifying experience with the Taliban, the trio had all kinds of experiences on their fantastic, thrilling and dangerous journey. They even managed to break two World Records along the way!

    With its crazy premise and some colourful language, this highly entertaining and quirky memoir will delight fans of Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace.
  • JOAN
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    This is the first ever biography of Joan Leigh Fermor - a social beauty, professional photographer and muse who made a huge cultural impact during the 1930s.

    Although her husband, the author and soldier Patrick Leigh Fermor, has been written about extensively, little is known about Joan. This book, written by acclaimed archivist Simon Fenwick, reveals her to be a woman who defied the social conventions of the times and how, despite her family's wealthy status, she managed to earn her own living.

    Joan met and mingled with some of the leading lights of 1930s bohemia including John Betjeman, Evelyn Waugh and Maurice Bowra and was a regular feature in gossip columns for her affairs, fashion and travels.

    This book covers her marriages and fall-outs and reveals her to be a highly intellectual and sexual woman who lived life to the full, no matter what the consequences.
  • TCKG
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    Charles Spencer's thrilling sequel to Killer of the King tells an old story with new eyes as it recalls the manhunt for Charles II that followed the rebellion that spurred his father's beheading in 1649.

    A true story packed with action and adventure, Spencer has thoroughly researched the events and uses Samuel Pepys account to reveal what happened.

    He explains how Charles relied on a variety of hiding places to hide Catholics from lethal persecution while on the run from Oliver Cromwell's armies and how in the 1650s, they returned the favour by saving his life...
  • TOAH
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    On 8 November, 1923, Adolf Hitler stormed into a beer hall in Munich, fired his pistol in the air and declared the start of a revolution.

    Seventeen hours later and he was on the run from the police, with his career seemingly in tatters. All that remained of his bold move was a trail of destruction... Written by historian David King, this is the true story of the monumental criminal proceeding that followed as Hitler and nine other suspects were charged with high treason.

    While reporters from all over the world came to witness the trial, things clicked into place for Hitler and he ended up hailing the fiasco of the beer hall putsch as a victory for the fledgling Nazi Party. This trial thrust Hitler into the limelight and provided him and set him on his journey to power.

    Using trial transcripts, police files and a host of sources, including 500 documents recently discovered from the Landsberg Prison record office, King's The Trial of Adolf Hitler explains how this failure of the justice system changed the world forever.
  • FTEH
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    A companion to the brilliant Channel 4 series of the same name, The Freedom Trails: Escaping Hitler tells the incredible story of some of the brave individuals who managed to escape Nazi Germany.

    Over 5,000 British, Commonwealth and American servicemen made the journey over the Pyrenees, the Slovenian mountains and the Italian alps and many died en route. However, the brave men and women of the resistance still managed to defy the odds and keep the routes open.

    Among those you'll read about are Blondie Haslar, the leader of the Cockleshell Heroes, US airman Chuck Yaeger (whose story was retold in The Right Stuff) and Andree de Jongh, a young woman who risked her life to smuggle men through occupied France and survived being sent to two concentration camps.

    Based on in-depth research and interviews with survivors as well as his own experiences walking the trails, broadcaster and former Royal Marine Monty Halls book is dramatic and gripping from first page to last.
  • WKTH
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    An explorer and writer that has led expeditions on five continents, this inspirational book follows Levison Wood as he attempts to walk the entire length of the Himalayas.

    Tying in with a hit Channel 4 show, this is a powerful and enigmatic tale of survival and endurance. Levison reveals how he managed to form strong bonds with local guides, porters, mountain men, soldiers, farmers, smugglers and shepherds as he embarked on his quest.

    By travelling on foot and following the same footpaths as the locals, Levison uncovers hidden stories that reveal the history of the Himalayas and stretch back over two millennia of exploration.