Real Lives

  • WNTW
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    Whether breaking land speed records, working 70-hour weeks mending trucks for a haulage firm or buying his local pub, Guy Martin is always busy. We Need to Weaken the Mixture is a book that finds him inviting you to keep up to speed with his always-on life.

    In this book, he talks about his exciting TV challenges ranging from building a Typhoon to restoring a 1983 Williams F1 car and also his 'proper' jobs including taytie farming and truck fitting.

    He also recalls the most terrifying experience of his life - singing out of tune in front of the Kirmington crowd on New Year's Eve!
  • Ed Sheeran: Memories we made - Hardback - 9781788400664 - Christie Goodwin
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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Smoky the Brave - Hardback - 9781786483072 - Damien Lewis
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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.
  • 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
  • The Century Girls - Hardback - 9781471161322 - Tessa Dunlop
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the Days of Rain - Hardback - 9780008209162 - Rebecca Stott
    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...
  • 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'.
  • The Story of Beatrix Potter - Hardback - 9781909881808 - Sarah Gristwood
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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.
  • AWNZQ
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    Lion is the heartbreaking and inspiring original true story of the lost little boy who found his way home twenty-five years later and is now a major film starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara. As a five-year old in India, I got lost on a train. Twenty-five years later, I crossed the world to find my way back home. Five-year-old Saroo lived in a poor village in India, in a one-room hut with his mother and three siblings...until the day he boarded a train alone and got lost. For twenty-five years. This is the story of what happened to Saroo in those twenty-five years. How he ended up on the streets of Calcutta. And survived. How he then ended up in Tasmania, living the life of an upper-middle-class Aussie. And how, at thirty years old, with some dogged determination, a heap of good luck and the power of Google Earth, he found his way back home. Lion is a triumphant true story of survival against all odds and a shining example of the extraordinary feats we can achieve when hope endures. 'Amazing stuff' The New York Post 'So incredible that sometimes it reads like a work of fiction' Winnipeg Free Press (Canada) 'A remarkable story' Sydney Morning Herald Review 'I literally could not put this book down. Saroo's return journey will leave you weeping with joy and the strength of the human spirit' Manly Daily (Australia) 'We urge you to step behind the headlines and have a read of this absorbing account...With clear recollections and good old-fashioned storytelling, Saroo...recalls the fear of being lost and the anguish of separation' Weekly Review (Australia)
  • APIYG
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    "He would say to me, 'You can't stop me - no one can!' There was no let-up from his evil. I knew he would never stop, so I just had to do what I could to survive." Mandy Thomas was just 18 when she met the man who would change her life forever. She was soon under his spell - and then her real nightmare began. Mandy found herself part of a cruel and violent relationship that she couldn't escape. Until one day he went too far...You Can't Run is Mandy's searingly honest and moving true story.
  • AQEPP
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    I am the luckiest man alive, because I get to live and work in the most beautiful place on earth: Matterdale in the English Lake District. When I was a child we didn't really go anywhere, except a week in the Isle of Man when I was about ten years old, and I never left Britain until I was twenty. Even now, years later, the best bit of any travelling is coming home. Bringing us into the world of shepherd's baking competitions, sheep shows and moments out on the fell watching the sheep run away home, James Rebanks interweaves thoughts and reflections on the art of shepherding with his photographs of the valley, people and animals that make up the daily life of the fells. A life lived by the three hundred surviving fell farming families, this is a book of photos and words filled with reverence and love.
  • AQRIN
    Rosie Lewis
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    Foster carer Rosie Lewis faces a battle to uncover the dark family secret that is tearing a family apart. Experienced foster carer, Rosie Lewis, is used to looking after children from difficult home situations, but she finds herself struggling when she agrees to take in Taylor and her younger brother, Reece, for a short while. Taylor tries desperately not to fit in, to be the tough young teen that she has had to become, making it clear that she cares about nothing and no-one, while Reece is just desperate for someone to love him. Rosie finds herself battling an unknown monster in their past, as social media and the Internet become a means to control and manipulate the siblings while in her care. And then a more sinister turn of events causes Rosie to dig into their past, desperate to discover the truth before her time with them is over and they must be returned to their family.
  • ARGQV
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    When special forces soldier Jason Morgan awoke from a months-long coma, he was told he'd never walk again. Discovered face-down in a Central American swamp after a jungle mission gone wrong, he had a smashed spine, collapsed lungs and countless broken bones. It was a miracle he'd even survived. Months of painful surgery followed, with Jason's life balanced on a knife-edge. Released from hospital in a wheelchair and plagued by memory loss, Jason's life fell apart. Left alone to raise his three infant sons, all hope seemed gone, until Jason met Napal, a handsome-as-hell black Labrador provided by a very special charity. With this one incredible dog at their side, Jason's life and that of his family would never be the same again. With Napal's help Jason was able to conquer his paralysis, eventually completing a marathon and winning numerous medals in the Wounded Warrior Games. More than that, this amazing service dog helped heal a family and taught Jason to be the father his kids needed him to be. A Dog Called Hope is the moving and heart-warming story of how Jason rediscovered his life's mission, his strength as a father and, through his beloved dog, his hope. It's the story of the closeness between one man and one dog like no other, and how this mesmerizing duo changed countless lives. Inspirational, tear-jerking and laugh-out-loud uplifting, this is a story that will brighten any day and warm every heart.