Christmas: Biography Buffs

  • 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.
  • STBS
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    Simon Reeve is known for his survival instincts and popular TV documentaries that have found him dodging bullets on frontlines, diving with rays, sharks and seals and walking through minefields. But what most people don't know is that he grew up in a rough area of Acton, West London with barely any qualifications...

    Now, for the first time he reveals his extraordinary life story. Littered with jaw-dropping and dangerous anecdotes, this is a real-life read you will scarcely believe. Simon talks about his journeys across jungles, deserts, mountains and oceans in great detail and is sure to inspire you to start exploring.

    He also reveals why he loves exploring so much and what it's like to witness the world's most beautiful, dangerous and remote regions up close.
  • 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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    This book will be available to buy from mid-September onwards. Please keep checking back.

    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.
  • 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
  • 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
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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Happy Mum, Happy Baby - Hardback - 9781473651203 - Giovanna Fletcher
    HMHB
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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.
  • 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
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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.
  • MRJP
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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
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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.
  • 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.