Biographies & Autobiographies

  • PCBF
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    From relegation battles to World Cups and glorious trophy wins to the 'robot' goal celebration, Peter Crouch is one of the country's favourite - and most recognisable - footballers. The former England international also has a warm sense of self-depreciating humour and that's reflected in this eye-opening and gossipy autobiography.

    Crouchy looks back over a career that has taken in stints at (take a deep breath) Queens Park Rangers, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City and lifts the lid on what really goes on behind the dressing-room doors of English football.

    He fondly remembers the team-mate who arrived at training in a bright red suit with matching top-hat, cane and glasses, without any actual glass in them; the players who refuse to touch a football before a game; and what what Cristiano Ronaldo says to himself when he looks in the mirror.

    He also talks about the rigours of post-match interviews; the perils of making a fool out of yourself on social media; and fall-outs with Rafa Benitez! He also recalls what it was like working for Harry Redknapp and the time Sven-Goran Eriksson's assistant Tord Grip brought out his accordion...
  • KEVN
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    You will love it when you read Kevin Keegan's autobiography! Love it!

    Fifty years after making his professional debut, Kevin Keegan looks over a glittering football career that saw him win trophies galore while playing for Liverpool and Hamburg and be named as England captain. He also recalls the ups and downs of his managerial career - from being the man in charge of the Newcastle team known as 'The Entertainers' to his unhappy time in charge of the national team.

    For the first time, he also reveals the shattering truth about his return to St James Park during the Mike Ashley era. Honest, brave, bold and funny, this is a moving account of an incredible life in the constantly changing world of football.
  • 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.
  • BLJB
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    From what no one tells you about the female body to ways you can avoid falling in love and how to use heckling as a life skill, Jo Brand gathers together the things she's learned about being a woman in the modern world.

    She also talks about her hopes for the future of womankind... This is a hilarious and highly useful guide to life.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • AGTJ
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    Robert Hutton tells the incredible story of Eric Roberts, the MI5 agent codenamed Jack King who helped flush out the Nazi sympathisers on British soil as part of Operation Fifth Column in June, 1940.

    Recruited into the world of espionage by Maxwell Knight, Roberts had the ability to make people trust him with their darkest secrets and received so many secrets from Nazi sympathisers who believed him to be a Gestapo officer...

    Drawing on newly declassified documents and private family archives, this book reveals just how close Britain was to succumbing to fascism during the Second World War - and how the actions of brave and brilliant people like Robert Hutton managed to avoid this.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • QNVC
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    Popular BBC presenter and acclaimed historian Lucy Worsley examines how Queen Victoria grew from dancing princess to one of Britain's greatest monarchs in this eye-opening biography.

    Lucy looks at 24 significant days from Victoria's life including her birth and her coronation to reveal what she was like as a person and how her actions left a mark on history.

    Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth, this biography celebrates Queen Victoria's extraordinary personal life.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • PIGF
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    Animal lovers who enjoyed reading The Secret Life of Cows will love Helen Browning and Tim Finney's Pig: Tales from an Organic Farm.

    This evocative and illuminating book explores why the humble pig holds such a special place in our hearts and follows the life and times of a gang of Saddleback pigs who live on one of the most advanced organic farms in the UK.

    By following them growing up, Helen has the chance to reveal just how mischievous, intelligent and inventive these animals can be - and share her vision for the future of ethical farming.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • STBR
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    Smoky was a four-pound Yorkshire terrier with a big heart. One of the heroes of the Second World War, she was found in mysterious circumstances and adopted by Corporal William 'Bill' Wynne, a member of the US Air Force.

    This book, written by acclaimed historian and war reporter Damien Lewis and based on the recollections of 93-year-old Wynne himself, tells the heart-warming and inspirational story of Smoky's life. He looks over all the air and sea rescue missions she embarked on and the awards she won. He also talks about how she used to parachute using a special rig!

    This book looks over Smoky's most heroic exploit - running a cable through a 70-foot pipe that enabled phone lines to reach a nearby occupied airbase in Luton. Smoky's efforts saved so many lives.
  • ALMH
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    In this tale of courage and determination, David Guss looks back over the Second World War exploits of PoW Lt Alastair Cram.

    Cram was taken prisoner in North Africa in November 1941 but ended up living in 10 different camps and three Gestapo prisons. However, Cram was a serial escapee - and found his way to freedom no fewer than 21 times.

    Cram met David Stirling, the legendary founder of the SAS in Gavi (known as the 'Italian Colditz') and together they laid the groundwork for the 'Cistern Tunnel' escape - one of the most audacious and also little-known escape attempts of the entire War.
  • SLAS
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    Gemma Hoggs' Stable Lass is a heartfelt memoir that reveals what it's like to work at one of the country's top racing yards.

    Gemma explains how despite the long hours and low pay, she finds her job incredibly rewarding: she works in the beautiful surroundings of Middleham in Wensleydale and the majesty of the horses makes up for any challenges she faces from humans.

    She talks about the dangers, politics, in-fighting, romances and affairs that exist in the horse riding industry and also opens up about her grief after losing a horse. She also reveals all about the people she deals with - from straight-talking boss Mickey Hammond to millionaire owners and jockeys that starve themselves to lose weight...
  • 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.