Christmas: Biography Buffs

  • Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years - Hardback - 9781509809592 - Nelson Mandela
    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.
  • JOAN
    • £7.99
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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.
  • LGWB
    • £5.99
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    Famed for his love of motorcycles, Charley Boorman suffered a major road accident in Portugal in February, 2016. Having spent so much of his life on two wheels, the crash left him with a smashed right ankle, severe damage to his left fibia and tibia and serious concerns over whether he would be able to ride a motorbike again...

    Long Way Back is the emotional story of his rehabilitation. He reveals how he was unsure if he'd ever be able to walk properly and recalls everything from the ambulance ride to the Portuguese hospital where operations took place and even the medivac flight back to London.

    Written in alternating chapters during the time he was unable to walk, Charley also provides an introspective account of his childhood and aspiring love of motorbikes and all the formative influences of his life including his touring film director father, long-time friend Ewan McGregor and Jason Connery (Sean's son), the man who introduced him to bikes.
  • Travelling Light - Hardback - 9781408708521 - Alastair Sawday
    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.
  • Sir Matt Busby - Hardback - 9781785032066 - Patrick Barclay
    MTTB
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    Manchester United's identity as an attacking force can all be tracked back to one man - legendary manager, Sir Matt Busby.

    With an emphasis on young, local players, Busby's football teams played a quick, passing, attacking game that entertained fans in their droves. However, tragedy struck when his 'Busby Babes' team were involved in the 1958 Munich air disaster where 23 people died (including eight players). This definitive biography looks at the effect of this tragedy and how, a decade later, Busby led a new United team to triumph as they won the European Cup.

    With interviews with players including Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Nobby Styles, who reveal just what it felt like to play for one of the greatest and most influential football managers of all time, this book reveals the qualities that set Busby apart.
  • IOTM
    • £3.99
    • RRP £9.99
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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.
  • TCKG
    • £7.99
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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...
  • The Trial of Adolf Hitler - Hardback - 9781447251118 - David King
    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
    • £7.99
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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.
  • Walking the Himalayas - Hardback - 9781473626249 - Levison Wood
    WKTH
    • £2.99
    • RRP £14.99
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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.
  • Happy Mum, Happy Baby - Hardback - 9781473651203 - Giovanna Fletcher
    HMHB
    • £6.49
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    After being awarded the Celebrity Mum of the Year title, Giovanna Fletcher talks about what a positive and uplifting experience raising children is in Happy Mum, Happy Baby.

    Although she covers the physical, mental and emotional challenges faced by mothers, Giovanna focuses on the positives of family life and explains the lessons she has learned through her parenthood journey so far.

    Married to McFly's Tom Fletcher, Giovanna and her family are hugely popular and in this book she encourages you to be confident in yourself as a parent and celebrates how putting a focus on being a happy and confident mum can inspire babies and children to also be happier.
  • Absolute Pandemonium - Hardback - 9780283072314 - Brian Blessed
    APBB
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    Actor. Film star. Martial artist. Mountaineer. Trained undertaker. Unlikely diplomat. There's no one quite like Brian Blessed and in his new autobiography, Absolute Pandemonium, the national treasure takes readers on a riotous journey from his childhood to finding fame.

    Told in his own words (you can even hear his bellowing voice as you read!), Brain leaves no detail to the imagination as he regales readers with tales such as falling for Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Trojan Women, suffering some unfortunate wire problems when he's hoisted to the heavens on the set of Flash Gordon and charming George Lucas to land the part of Boss Nass in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

    There are far less 'Hollywood' stories along the way, too, where Brian takes secret revenge on his headmistress (and her very big bottom), woos his wife Hildegard Neil and braves the shocking death toll on the hit drama series My Family and Other Animals...

    A perfect book for his many, many fans and those with an interest in film and theatre, Brian Bessed's autobiography is hilarious, light-hearted and very, very loud.
  • SOBP
    • £4.99
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    As well as being the creator of classic characters including Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and Squirrel Nutkin, Beatrix Potter lived an extraordinary life of her own.

    This biography from Sarah Gristwood unveils just how extraordinary Beatrix's life was. Describing her as a woman of contradictions (a sheltered Victorian daughter who grew into an astute modern businesswoman; a talented artist who became a scientific expert; a famous author who gave everything up to be a farmer...), this book follows the key turning points in Beatrix's life.

    From her brief first engagement to her happy second marriage and how she drew inspiration from her childhood pets and beloved locations in the Lake District, this book also explores Beatrix's last 30 years - when she abandoned books and worked as a farmer and conservationist, saving thousands of acres of the Lake District that still thrive today.
  • This Mum Runs - Hardback - 9780224100427 - Jo Pavey
    MRJP
    • £2.49
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    An Olympian who won the 10,000m at the European Championships (her first ever Gold!) in 2014 at the age of 40, Jo Pavey has quite the story to tell...

    On 10 May, 2015, Jo achieved the seemingly impossible by winning the 10,000m just eight months after giving birth and in 'a running vest older than most of the girls I was competing against'. In this inspiring autobiography, the athlete dubbed 'Supermum' reveals how she has managed to combine parental responsibilities and an elite sporting career with such success.

    From pushing a buggy on training runs to leaving the kids to build sandcastles in the long jump pit while she hits the track, there are so many situations that will feel familiar to any career parents who try to balance work and life. A positive and uplifting read, this is the story of a mum that runs and a runner that mums.
  • WEWR
    (1)
    • £6.99
    • RRP £18.99
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    Mixing heart-stopping action with powerful and poignant insights into the reality of war, MP Johnny Mercer reveals all about his journey from young commando to a captain with one of the most pressurised and skilled jobs in the army.

    Having served in the army for 12 years, Joint Fires Controller Johnny was tasked with the job of bringing down artillery and air strikes in close proximity to his own troops on his third tour of Afghanistan. He was based in an area riddled with Taliban leaders and faced danger with every patrol. He was determined to protect his men, but then one morning everything changed...

    In his autobiography, Johnny looks back on his commando training and transports you right into the heat, blood and chaos of battle. With brutal and unflinching honesty, he describes what it feels like to risk your life every day and the painful process of watching friends die. He also recalls the way he took the fight back to the enemy with a relentless efficiency that cost him personally.

    When he arrived back in the UK, Johnny was shocked by the lack of care available for veterans and their families and vowed to run for Parliament in the hope that he could make a difference.
  • Relish: My Life on a Plate - Hardback - 9781787472099 - Prue Leith
    RMLP
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    Thanks to her no-nonsense approach to cooking, Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith is one of Britain's favourite foodies. This is her eye-opening life story, told in her own words. She looks over her eventful career, home life and relationships with heart, humour and honesty.

    Prue Leith has always described herself as greedy, but this autobiography shows that is not necessarily the case. A South African who came to London in the early '60s and opened her Leith's restaurant shortly after, she was a famed food critic by the turn of the '70s and here she recalls how her love of food inspired such a glorious career.

    She reveals how her passion for food has helped her in every aspect of her life and also looks back over everything from the birth of her son and the adoption of her daughter to her affairs. It's a warts-and-all approach that will have you laughing, crying and understanding why good food is so important to Prue.
  • Jo Cox: More in Common - Hardback - 9781473659186 - Brendan Cox
    COXJ
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    Jo Cox was a daughter, mother, wife, sister, MP, humanitarian and activist who believed in the power of community and cared for so many others - especially those less fortunate than her.

    Her murder in 2016 shook the nation and in the aftermath of her death, her husband Brendan urged the general public to remember what she stood for during her life rather than the way she died.

    This poignant memoir looks back at all the good things Jo did during her life and the successful campaigns she ran. Brendan also looks to the future and explains the ways in which he plans to honour her legacy by continuing to push for a more inclusive and positive society.

    The publication of this book coincides with the launch of greatgettogether.org, an event that finds communities coming together to celebrate all the things they have in common.
  • Mountain - Steve Backshall - Hardback - 9781409144038 - Steve Backshall
    OUNT
    • £2.49
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    A popular adventurer and wildlife presenter with all ages, Steve Backshall has been climbing since his teens and has a genuine love for the mountains.

    This book is peppered with anecdotes of his climbs and is a celebration of the power of natural landscapes and how they can make us feel very small but also very alive. Despite breaking his back while climbing in 2008, Steve was not put off and managed to seek a variety of new challenges.

    He looks back at some of his greatest achievements while climbing including the first ascent of Mount Kuli in the Bornean rainforest, his trek up K2 in Karakorum and describes the terror of a travelling companion's fall into a crevasse while trailing a snow leopard.

    Exciting, inspiring and sure to make you feel on top of the world, this is a stunning autobiography about Steve's incredible achievements.
  • Five Minutes of Amazing - Hardback - 9780751565416 - Chris Graham
    FMOA
    • £3.99
    • RRP £18.99
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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.
  • LLDM
    (2)
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    Davina McCall shares her life experiences in her eagerly anticipated autobiography, Lessons I've Learned.

    One of the nation's favourite television personalities, the book is written with her trademark warmth and humour and covers all of her extraordinary life. From battles with drugs and alcohol to her undying love for her family and the crazy experiences in Davina's jetsetting career.

    She reveals what each experience has taught her and hopes her wisdom will inspire you to learn lessons in the same way. It's a memoir to inspire you to reach your own personal goals and to find happiness.
  • Spaceman - Hardback - 9781471149528 - Mike Massimino
    SPMM
    • £2.49
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    Mike Massimino always wanted to be a spaceman. Even being rejected by NASA twice could not stop him achieving his dream. This is his inspirational story.

    Combining high science with thrilling adventure, Mike reveals how even when he was told his eyesight was too poor to be an astronaut, he wouldn't give up on his goal - he simply trained his eyes to be better and was accepted by NASA at the third time of asking.

    This was the beginning of an 18-year career (1996-2014) that found him servicing the Hubble telescope, walking in space and even being the first man to tweet from space. Mike talks movingly about the Columbia tragedy and how it felt to step into a space shuttle following this horrific experience.

    Vivid and awe-inspiring, he also provides a fascinating insight into the hard work, camaraderie and sheet guts it takes to step into space and live as an astronaut.
  • Watching the Wheels - Hardback - 9781509831906 - Damon Hill
    AG1076
    • £2.99
    • RRP £18.99
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    In the year that marks the 20th anniversary of his glorious World Championship triumph, Damon Hill looks back on his life and Formula 1 career in the eye-opening autobiography, Watching the Wheels.

    The son of Formula 1 driver Graham Hill, Damon candidly reveals what it was like to grow up in such an esteemed family and the grief he suffered when he lost his father at the age of just 15. Despite this, Damon still vowed to race and faced up to his mortality many times on the track.

    When Ayrton Senna, a team-mate of his, was killed during a race in 1994, Damon's life changed forever. Here, he talks about his respect for Ayrton and how much he affected his life. He discusses the various trials, tribulations, successes and failures he encountered along the way to his big success.

    An honest and rewarding read for anyone who loves sport or motor racing, Damon also reveals all about his battles with the other drivers of his era including his great nemesis, Michael Schumacher.
  • My Turn: The Autobiography - Hardback - 9781509813902 - Johan Cruyff
    MYJC
    • £3.99
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    The footballing world was shocked and saddened by the death of Dutch legend Johan Cruyff in March this year. Widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, he inspired the likes of Ajax, Barcelona and the Netherlands to glory.

    In his autobiography, My Turn, Johan tells the story of a truly unbelievable sporting career. A player who was synonymous with total football, he helped change the way teams played football and inspired players to break the shackles of convention and play in any position on the pitch. He talks about starting out at Ajax, where he won eight national titles and three European Cups, before moving on to Barcelona, where he quickly won La Liga.

    As well as club success, he also won many individual awards and inspired his country to a World Cup final appearance in 1974. While his playing career went from strength to strength, his off-the-field life was more turbulent - he encountered bankruptcy and was even the victim of a kidnapping attempt. He then followed this up with a trophy-laden managerial career. This is his story in his own words.
  • JBNN
    • £4.99
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    One of the most compelling and controversial characters from 'the Beautiful Game', Joey Barton reveals all in this explosive, warts-and-all autobiography.

    Raw yet redemptive, the book not only finds Joey looking back at a footballing career that has taken in stints at Manchester City, Newcastle, Queens Park Rangers, Marseille, Burnley and Glasgow Rangers but also a troubled personal life that found him being sent to prison for assault in 2008.

    It was this experience, along with the birth of his children, that made Joey sit back and re-evaluate his life and decisions. He claims that football is a sport that 'eats people alive' and in his trademark candid, challenging and entertaining style explains how this and his upbringing affected his decision-making. A popular figure on social media, he also talks about his plans for the future.