Real Lives

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • AHOH
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    When veterinarian Massimo was at a low spot in his life he found himself looking after a little hedgehog. Little was he to know just how much of a difference Ninna would make.

    Ninna was only a few days old when he met her but Massimo soon became enamoured with her curious, playful and affectionate ways. However, when Ninna wakes from her first hibernation, she's desperate to move on and embrace the freedom that nature can offer...

    Letting Ninna go signals a new beginning for Massimo and he sets up a sanctuary for injured, orphaned and fragile hedgehogs. This book will appeal to animal lovers and fans of A Streetcat Named Bob and Finding Gobi.
  • 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...
  • 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
  • YVTS
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    Described as 'warm, evocative and funny' by the Daily Telegraph, Julian Norton's A Yorkshire Vet Through the Seasons is an inspirational memoir that finds the vet recounting some of his favourite - and most heartbreaking - experiences.

    In his 20-year career, Julian has treated animals ranging from cats and dogs to snakes, horses, cows and alpacas and here he talks through some of his biggest challenges and most surprising patients. It's all told with compassion, charm and candour.

    You will recognise Julian from Channel 5's The Yorkshire Vet and this book showcases his professionalism and compassion. Whether treating a pet at his practice or performing an emergency procedure in the middle of the night, this hardback is full of drama, sadness and happiness.
  • 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.
  • SSDY
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    At 94 years old, Madge Lambert is one of the few remaining women to have served as a nurse during the Burma Campaign between 1944 and 1945. It was while working here that she met her husband, Captain Basil Lambert. The couple have a love of dance that saw them appear on a Strictly Come Dancing Remembrance Day special.

    Based on first-hand research and meetings with Madge, Robert Blair's biography celebrates their romance, explaining how they met in the most desperate of times. Joining the troopship when she was just 20 years old and not long qualified, she was based in Chittachong on the Indian border, close to a fierce battle between the Allied forces and the Japanese.

    Madge spent long and exhausting hours nursing badly injured soldiers and eventually met Basil. This is a heart-warming and poignant account of how their burgeoning romance survived the final few months of war - and has thrived ever since.
  • Norton the Cat Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781785035050 - Peter Gethers
    AF0907
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    • Just £1.66 per book
    These books are purr-fect for any cat lover. They celebrate the bond that exists between felines and humans.

    Peter was a confirmed loner and wasn't keen on cats but then he received Norton from his then-girlfriend and although she went, the cat stayed and the duo became inseparable.

    These books look at how Norton taught Peter how to live and love. There's also a heartbreaking tribute to the 14 years they spent together in Forever Norton.
  • IYCT
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    Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed's inspiring book brings together the best quotes of advice he has been given by a host of politicians, actors, sports personalities and celebrities.

    Featuring wisdom and insight from the likes of Stephen Fry, Dame Judi Dench, Bear Grylls, Ruby Wax and Heston Blumenthal, this beautiful book (with orange sprayed edges and pen-and-ink portraits of each famous face by the talented Samuel Kerr) is packed with quips, tips and so much more advice that covers various aspects of life and its foibles.

    Perfect for dipping in and out of, this gift book is a treasure trove of the encounters Richard has had with a wide range of famous faces over the years - and the advice they gave that he believes will lead you to a better life.
  • 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.
  • A Bientot - Hardback - 9781782438618 - Roger Moore
    RMAB
    (1)
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    Roger Moore, the much-missed actor who played James Bond in a series of classic films, reflected on life and ageing in A bientot, a book that was sent to his publisher shortly before he passed away.

    He looks back on his life in a very charming and human way and remembers everything from life-changing moments from his childhood to those times when he thought 'what might have been' and the increasingly tricky aspect of keeping up with the changing times.

    There is also talk of the joys and frustrations of travel and accounts of how family life can bring about both unparalleled moments of happiness and intense periods of sadness. This book features Roger's very own sketches and offers a glimpse into an endearing, witty and unpretentious man.
  • TOLR
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    Manchester United and England legend Rio Ferdinand's BBC documentary Being Mum and Dad was one of the most heartbreaking shows of the year. It found the former footballer describing the experiences he went through after losing his wife, Rebecca, to cancer in 2015 and Rio talked candidly about how it felt to suddenly find himself a single parent and taking on the role of both mother and father.

    In Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad, Rio shares how his grief has affected every aspect of his life and aims to inspire and help any others who have found themselves in similar situations, especially men who have a habit of bottling up their emotions. Honest and courageous, this is a very emotional and important book.

    He also looks back on happier times, describing how he met Rebecca and fondly recalling their wedding. Rio reveals the advice and support that helped him piece his life back together and encourages readers to find the help they need in tough times.
  • Twelve Babies On A Bike Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781407250274 - Dot May Dunn
    AF0549
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    • Just £1.67 per book
    In Dot May Dunn's heart-warming memoirs she tells the story of her childhood in wartime Britain, her life as a pupil midwife in the Midlands and as a nurse in the backstreets of Birmingham. Her compelling and emotional tale is perfect for fans of Jennifer Worth's Call The Midwife.
  • CSSVE
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    Rebecca Stott's In the Days of Rain is the Costa Biography Award Winner 2017

    Rebecca Stott's In the Days of Rain is a fascinating yet shocking memoir about her experiences growing up in - and breaking away from - a fundamentalist Christian cult.

    Any readers who were left stunned and captivated by Bad Blood and Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal will find themselves fully immersed in this incredible true story. Rebecca recalls how her father begged her to help him write a memoir while on his deathbed. He wanted to talk about his family's experiences in a fundamentalist Christian sect but every time he reached a certain point, the painful memories all became too much.

    The sect were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan and lived by a number of strict rules - women had to wear headscarves and any non-sect books were banned. Although Rebecca was born into the sect, she needed to know more about their culture and asked intelligent yet dangerous questions while growing up. She soon discovered her father, an influential preacher, had been asking the same questions.

    Here Rebecca talks about her father's ongoing struggle between faith and doubt and how this affected their relationship and livelihood for a long time after breaking away...
  • 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.
  • AWLH
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    Only 111 of the 903 Blue Plaques that honour Londoners belong to women. This, despite thousands of truly remarkable women making significant and lasting impacts on every aspect of modern life...

    From politics and social reform to arts, medicine, science, technology and sport, this book celebrates those women whose achievements have largely went unnoticed and explains how their actions, ideas and inventions helped make the world a richer place to live in.

    Some of these women went about their lives and worked quietly with courage, conviction, skill and compassion, while others were fearless trailblazers who shattered the status quo of a 'man's world'.
  • GHWK
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    A classic memoir about the bond between man and animal, this edition of T. H. White's The Goshawk includes a foreword from H is for Hawk author Helen Macdonald.

    First published in 1951, the book finds White describing the struggles (and enjoyment) he experienced while trying to train a wild goshawk, a notoriously difficult bird. With no training and only a few out-of-date books on falconry to guide him, he set about trying to bend the will of Gos to his own.

    Suffering setback after setback, White found himself becoming more and more attached to his new animal friend and together he believed they could soar.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.