Biographies & Autobiographies

Celebrity

  • BOWI
    Paul Morley
    • £5.99
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    Ziggy Stardust, Ashes to Ashes, Life on Mars, Rebel Rebel, Heroes... the list of classic songs goes on and on. One of the most important artists of modern times, David Bowie is sorely missed by so many music lovers. This biography, written by esteemed critic Paul Morley, sheds light on his wide-ranging career and legacy.

    Written with passion, insight and flair (Morley was one of the curators of the David Bowie Is exhibition after all), the book looks at how Bowie worked, played, aged, structured his ideas and changed the music, fashion and cultural landscapes forever more. Morley takes in all the highlights of Bowie's career - from his incendiary live performances to his incredible albums and working with Brian Eno and Tony Visconti to forming artistic relationships with John Lennon, Lour Reed and Iggy Pop.

    Morley also provides an in-depth look at Bowie's final album Blackstar - a record that was released only days before his death at the age of just 69. A celebration of a true chameleon of arts and culture, this book looks at Bowie's different styles and how even when he withdrew from the spotlight, he remained just as important to popular culture.
  • NOCP
    Sir Tony Robinson
    • £6.99
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    From Blackadder to Time Team (via Maid Marion and Her Merry Men, of course), Tony Robinson has established himself as one of the nation's favourite actors, presenters and authors.

    In this very funny memoir, he fondly looks back at a career that has lasted over 50 years. From his starring role as a child in a stage production of Oliver! to the iconic Baldrick, he makes it clear there was never any cunning plan but he's enjoyed every moment of his very successful career. He presented Time Team for 20 years and has also watched countless gardens be ruthlessly dug up in the name of archaeology.

    Funny, self-depreciating and always entertaining, Tony also looks back at the times his life wasn't quite so plain sailing. He was bullied by Steve Marriott, failed to impress Liza Minnelli and was pushed into a smelly London dock by John Wayne! He's also risked life and limb filming The Worst Jobs in History. This is a brilliant book for everyone who loves the work of Tony Robinson.
  • AG1076
    Damon Hill
    • £6.99
    • 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.
  • RSSW
    Sian Williams
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    • RRP £18.99
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    You will recognise Sian Williams from her years of working as a journalist for the BBC, ITN and Channel 5. She's also a trained trauma assessor and in Rise, she provides a poignant and inspirational account of how people survive and can even thrive after suffering terrible experiences.

    Looking at just what it is that makes some people get back up when the most difficult and challenging life events knock them down, Sian examines whether some people are more resilient than others and if so, what lessons we can learn from them. She explores the science of resilience and growth after trauma and recounts first-hand accounts from those who have merged from horrific experiences with new perspectives.

    Written with candid and refreshing honesty, Sian also documents her own experiences from when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This story is used to drive the narrative forward and help inspire others who have suffered through physical or mental ill health, loss of a loved one, abuse or post-traumatic stress.
  • LFRB
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    Sometimes serious, sometimes tender and quite often fantastic and funny, this book contains a collection of letters that Roald Dahl penned to his mother throughout his extraordinary life.

    Starting with a letter that was written when Roald was just 9 years old and studying at a boarding school, the book features what became weekly letters as he first became a fighter pilot during the Second World War and then went on to work as a diplomat and spy in Washington.

    Full of the humour and storytelling genius that featured in his classic books including The BFG and Matilda, the letters in this book provide a fascinating insight into what Roald Dahl was really like and how he honed his skills as a writer.
  • TPGD
    Jim Buttress
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    • RRP £16.99
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    A top gardening judge who presides over the UK's favourite flower shows, Jim Buttress reveals his life story in this warm and funny memoir.

    Starting his career as a practical gardener, Jim reveals how he managed to achieve one of the most impressive careers in British horticulture. He fondly looks back on his boyhood obsession with Percy Thrower and the 10 years he spent as Superintendent of the Central Royal Parks - a job that could involve anything from having a chat with the Queen Mother to figuring out ways to water elephants in Hyde Park.

    He also reveals what it's like to exhibit - and win gold - at the Chelsea Flower Show and shares some of the stories he's seen as judge. From the joy of awarding medals to grateful winners to the shock of being threatened by an irate loser, this book is packed with colourful characters and a grand love for all things gardening.
  • MDLF
    Chris Evans
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    Now he's approaching 50, Chris Evans is very much aware he's a prime candidate to be entering a 'midlife crisis'. In this book, he argues that this is completely the wrong term for this time in a man or woman's life and it's really the Golden Age.

    At 50, many people are still capable of physically doing everything they have always wanted to - and sometimes even better than before! Mentally, those approaching their 50s are also more in the know than before, but how do you make the most of this time? Here, Chris talks about taking a year out to plan to make the most of this period and enjoy a successful future.

    Wise and witty, Chris looks at the best ways to rest, the most worthwhile relaxation methods and the sleep and nutrition needed to ensure there's a happy 25 years (at least) ahead.
  • OROM
    Olly Murs
    • £7.99
    • RRP £18.99
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    One of the UK's biggest stars, Olly Murs reveals what really happens when he goes on tour in his latest book, On the Road.

    Providing an exclusive insight into the hard work that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to putting on a 27-date nationwide tour, Olly shares all the jokes, arguments, heartbreaks and giggles he experiences along the way.

    An access-all-areas insight into Olly's day job, he also reveals what really happened when he got the X Factor job. Complete with 200 exclusive pictures, there are also guest appearances from the likes of Robbie Williams, Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand, John Bishop and big-name footballers.
  • JCLS
    John Cleese
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    Known to many as Basil Fawlty and much loved for his key role in the Monty Python ensemble, John Cleese is one of Britain's favourite actors - and now he tells his life story in the revealing autobiography So, Anyway...

    A star of films including the Shrek series, Fierce Creatures and A Fish Called Wanda, this book finds John looking back on his life and revealing how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend - recalling his first ever public appearance at the age of 8, his tumultuous home life which involved moving every six months and his first ever encounter with writing partner Graham Chapman.

    As well as looking back on the success of his career-defining performances in Fawlty Towers and in Monty Python, John also gives his thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the joys of cricket and why everyone should know the dates of all the kings and queens of England.

    A hilariously funny and poignant life story from the national treasure that is the one and only John Cleese - a true giant of UK comedy.
  • APBB
    Brian Blessed
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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.
  • TSIB
    Lynda Bellingham
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    • RRP £16.99
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    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.
  • OWIL
    Paul Merton
    • £4.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    The long-awaited autobiography from one of our nation's best-loved comedians, Paul Merton reveals all in his warm, witty new book, Only When I Laugh: My Autobiography. Best-known for his appearances on BBC's Have I Got News For You and as the former host of Room 101, the book tells the fascinating story of Paul's life.

    From his working-class upbringing in Fulham to spending over 25 years upon the television screens of millions of viewers, the book bares all: from schools days; run-ins with nuns; his meatpacking job; taking acid; and his attempts to break into the world of comedy. But life wasn't all laughs... Paul, too, sustained a terrifying manic episode which here is observed with sensitivity and honesty - an ultimately uplifting chapter of his life.

    Brilliantly written and immensely witty and enjoyable throughout, Paul Merton's autobiography, Only When I Laugh, is equally as thoughtful as it is entertaining. A must-have book for any fans of comedy!
  • AHYJA
    Sharon Osbourne
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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    Sharon Osbourne's life has always been an extreme rollercoaster ride. And despite her best efforts, the last few years have been the most dramatic and turbulent of all. In her gripping new autobiography Sharon reveals the truth behind the headlines. There have been times of huge joy and pleasure - becoming a grandmother for the first time and seeing both Jack and Kelly come through testing times to find happiness and contentment at last. But there has also been a lot of heartache. Sharon describes the shocking and unexpected battle to save her thirty-year marriage to Ozzy - and the devastating betrayal that lay behind their separation. She also lived through every mother's worst nightmare when Jack was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis - and writes movingly of her hopes and fears for her beloved son. A tough but fair judge on the X Factor, Sharon is just as hard on herself. She is honest about the mistakes she has made - from misguided plastic surgery to her battles with her weight and body image. Filled with laughter, tears and hard-won wisdom, Unbreakable is as funny, frank and fearless as Sharon herself.
  • TUFN
    Phil Tufnell
    • £4.79
    • RRP £20.00
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    From playing for England at Lord's to being named 'King of the Jungle' on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here, Phil Tufnell has had an incredible career. In this memoir, he looks back with trademark 'Tuffers' humour at his life since retiring from cricket in 2003.

    From his weekly ribbing of Sue Barker on A Question of Sport to showing off his ballroom fleckle as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, Phil reveals all about the places he's been and the people he has met during his broadcasting career. Told with absolute joy, this is a celebration of all the things he achieved through this very unexpected career change.

    From bizarre requests from TV executives to sheer pride at mastering skills he never thought possible, Phil Tufnell's Where Am I? is a hilarious and heart-warming treasure trove of stories from one of the nation's favourite personalities.
  • OUNT
    Steve Backshall
    • £5.99
    • RRP £18.99
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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.
  • CMOR
    Caitlin Moran
    • £4.99
    • RRP £18.99
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    Possibly the only drawback about the bestselling "How To Be A Woman" was that its author, Caitlin Moran, was limited to pretty much one subject: being a woman. "Moranthology" is proof that Caitlin can actually be 'quite chatty' about many other things, including cultural, social and political issues which are usually the province of learned professors, or hot-shot wonks - and not a woman who once, as an experiment, put a wasp in a jar, and got it stoned. These other subjects include: Caffeine; Ghostbusters; Being Poor; Twitter; Caravans; Obama; Wales; Marijuana Addiction; Paul McCartney; The Welfare State; Sherlock; David Cameron Looking Like Ham; Amy Winehouse; Elizabeth Taylor's Eyes; Michael Jackson's Funeral; 'The Big Society'; Big Hair; Nutter-letters; Failed Nicknames; Wolverhampton'; Squirrels' Testicles; Sexy Tax; Binge-drinking; Chivalry; Rihanna's Cardigan; Boris Johnson - Albino Shag-hound; Party Bags; Hot People; Transsexuals; The Gay Moon Landings; and My Own, Untimely Death.
  • ACSIX
    David Buckley
    • £8.79
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    David Buckley's unique approach to unravelling the Bowie enigma, via interviews with many of the singer's closest associates, biography and academic analysis, makes this unrivalled biography a classic for Bowie fans old and new. This revised edition of Strange Fascination comes at a time when Bowie is, once again, on a creative roll, and captures exclusive details about the tours, the making of the albums, the arguments, the split-ups, the music and , most importantly, the man himself. Also including exclusive photographic material, Strange Fascination is the most complete account of David Bowie and his impact on pop culture ever written.
  • AIBKD
    Matt Thorne
    • £11.99
    • RRP £12.99
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    Legendarily reticent, perverse and misleading, Prince is one of the few remaining 80s superstars who still, perhaps, remains unexplained. Now a firm fixture in the pop canon, where such classics as 'Purple Rain', 'Sign o' the Times' and 'Parade' regularly feature in Best Ever Album polls, Prince is still, as he ever was, an enigma. His live performances are legendary (21 Nights at the O2 in 2007) and while recent releases have been modestly successful at best, his influence on urban music, and R'n'B in particular, has never been more evident. The Minneapolis Sound can now be heard everywhere. Matt Thorne's Prince, through years of research and interviews with ex-Revolution members such as Wendy and Lisa, is an account of a pop maverick whose experiments with rock, funk, techno and jazz revolutionised pop. With reference to every song, released and unreleased, over 35 years of recording, Prince will stand for years to come as the go-to book on the Great Man.
  • ADSHV
    Paul Trynka
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
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    Has there ever been a more charismatic and intriguing rock star than David Bowie? In Starman, Paul Trynka has painted the definitive portrait of a great artist. From Bowie's early years in post-war, bombed-out Brixton to the decadent glamour of Ziggy Stardust to the controversial but vital Berlin period, this essential biography is a celebration of Bowie's brilliance and a timely reminder of how great music is made - now with an update on the making and release of The Next Day.
  • ABFQS
    Patti Smith
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    A prelude to fame, Just Kids recounts the friendship of two young artists--Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe - whose passion fueled their lifelong pursuit of art. In 1967, a chance meeting between two young people led to a romance and a lifelong friendship that would carry each to international success never dreamed of. The backdrop is Brooklyn, Chelsea Hotel, Max's Kansas City, Scribner's Bookstore, Coney Island, Warhol's Factory and the whole city resplendent. Among their friends, literary lights, musicians and artists such as Harry Smith, Bobby Neuwirth, Allen Ginsberg, Sandy Daley, Sam Shepherd, William Burroughs, etc. It was a heightened time politically and culturally; the art and music worlds exploding and colliding. In the midst of all this two kids made a pact to always care for one another. Scrappy, romantic, committed to making art, they prodded and provided each other with faith and confidence during the hungry years--the days of cous-cous and lettuce soup. Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. Beautifully written, this is a profound portrait of two young artists, often hungry, sated only by art and experience. And an unforgettable portrait of New York, her rich and poor, hustlers and hellions, those who made it and those whose memory lingers near.
  • AOHJQ
    Lena Dunham
    • £7.19
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    For readers of Nora Ephron, Tina Fey, and David Sedaris, this hilarious, poignant, and extremely frank collection of personal essays confirms Lena Dunham - the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO's 'Girls' - as one of the brightest and most original writers working today. "If I could take what I've learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile. I'm already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or thinking that it was your fault when the person you are dating suddenly backs away, intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on earth. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a dietician. I am not a mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle."
  • AOIXO
    Charlotte Crosby
    • £13.59
    • RRP £16.99
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    Charlotte Crosby has been one of the UK's best-loved TV stars since she burst onto the celeb scene in 2011 with Geordie Shore. Laugh-out-loud hilarious, genuine, and a proper Geordie, Charlotte's popularity has even seen her crowned winner of 2013's Celebrity Big Brother. With her trademark humour and warmth, in ME ME ME Charlotte takes us on a very unique journey through her eventful teenage years (where literally nothing is off limits!), her attempts at holding down jobs (and booze), the life-changing experience of Geordie Shore, the truth about Gaz and his parsnip, and her inspiring weight-loss triumph. Full of drawings, doodles, and Charlotte's personal photos, this will be unlike any other celebrity autobiography on the market. Extremely personal, insanely honest and pant-wettingly funny.
  • AQJIQ
    Danny Baker
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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    The dazzlingly funny second volume of Danny Baker's memoirs: the television years. Since my first book was published I have had countless friends and family members get in touch to say how come I hadn't included this story or that tale. Was I ashamed of being shot twice, once up the arse, in Jamaica Road? How long should a man live with such a secret? If by retrospectively dropping my trousers every few pages I can reveal a fuller picture of myself during these years, then so be it. Besides. Being shot up the arse. In front of your mates. What else did I forget?
  • ARCGI
    Bridget Christie
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
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    Bridget Christie is a stand-up comedian, idiot and feminist. On the 30th of April 2012, a man farted in the Women's Studies Section of a bookshop and it changed her life forever. A Book For Her details Christie's twelve years of anonymous toil in the bowels of stand-up comedy and the sudden epiphany that made her, unbelievably, one of the most critically acclaimed British stand-up comedians this decade, drawing together the threads that link a smelly smell in the women's studies section to the global feminist struggle. Find out how nice Peter Stringfellow's fish tastes, how yoghurt advertising perpetuates rape myths, and how Emily Bronte used a special ladies' pen to write Wuthering Heights. If you're interested in comedy and feminism, then this is definitely the book for you. If you hate both then I'd probably give it a miss. "Christie is adept at turning on a sixpence between being comical, or serious, or both at once, and at pricking her own earnestness." (Telegraph). "Christie piles derision and tomfoolery upon everyday sexism, while never pretending that jokes alone will solve the problem." (Guardian).