Real Lives

  • WTTM
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    Writer, teacher and journalist Kate Clanchy's Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me is an important, funny and candid memoir that offers a stunning insight into life inside British state schools.

    Regarded by His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman as 'the best book on teachers and children and writing that I've ever read', the book finds Kate looking back over the past three decades working in schools and celebrating the creativity, passion and practical nous of teachers.

    She recalls sex education classes with a group of 13-year-olds; working in a school's 'inclusion unit' to try and improve the fortunes of children who preferred not to learn; and nurturing a multi-cultural poetry group full of migrants and refugees.
  • WNTW
    (2)
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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
    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.
  • 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.
  • Bodacious: The Shepherd Cat - Hardback - 9780008275853 - Suzanna Crampton
    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.
  • 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
    (2)
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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.
  • 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...
  • A Woman Lived Here - Hardback - 9781472140074 - Allison Vale
    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'.
  • 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.
  • ARLXK
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    For fourteen years, Jayne Senior tried to help girls from Rotherham who had been groomed, raped, tortured, pimped and threatened with violence by sex traffickers. As the manager of Risky Business, which was set up to work with vulnerable teens, she heard heartbreaking and shocking stories of abuse and assiduously kept notes and details of the perpetrators, passing information on to the authorities in the belief that they would do something. Eventually, when she lost hope that the authorities would take action against the gangs she had identified as the abusers, she became a whistleblower for The Times investigative reporter Andrew Norfolk. Now, in her powerful memoir, she describes a life spent working to protect Rotherham's girls, the pressure put on her to stop rocking the boat, and why she risked prison in the hope that she could help end the appalling child exploitation in the town.
  • ASQJX
    Amanda Berry
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    'We have written here about terrible things that we never wanted to think about again...Now we want the world to know: we survived, we are free, we love life.' On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: "Help me, I'm Amanda Berry...I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for ten years." A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry and two other young women, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, to his home, where he trapped them and kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three girls were frequently raped, psychologically abused and threatened with death if they attempted to escape. Years after she was taken, Berry had a daughter by their captor, a child she bravely raised as normally as possible under impossible conditions. Drawing upon their recollections and the secret diary kept by Amanda Berry, Berry and Gina DeJesus describe the unimaginable torment they suffered and the strength and resourcefulness that enabled them to survive. Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro's house with original reporting on the efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlines - including details never previously released on Castro's life and motivations - Hope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage and ingenuity ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.
  • AACVW
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    In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he'd completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a slew of critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and on his writing. Equal parts travelogue, training log, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and settings ranging from Tokyo's Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him.Through this marvellous lens of sport emerges a cornucopia of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his greatest triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after fifty, of seeing his race times improve and then fall back. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" is rich and revealing, both for fans of this masterful yet private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running.