Biographies & Autobiographies

Real Lives

  • BLLD
    Steven Jamieson
    • £3.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    A story of friendship and heroism, this real-life read finds Cornish lifeguard Steven Jamieson revealing all about the bond he shared with a Newfoundland dog called Bilbo.

    When the two first met, Steven was not expecting Bilbo to change his life forever. He was happy enough just living in his bijou home overlooking Land's End and the Atlantic ocean and doing his job. When he spotted Bilbo's webbed paws and thick, double layer of fur, he realised this dog might just be an excellent swimmer...

    Promoted to honorary lifeguard, Bilbo managed to save three lives and earned fans from all over the world. As the pair became closer, they had to find their way through some very dark days. It was their close relationship that got them through these huge life obstacles...

    Warm, heartfelt and moving, this is an inspiring read for anyone who loves animals.
  • EPSY
    Louise Monaghan
    • £4.99
    • RRP £17.99
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    Stolen: Escape from Syria describes how, as one of the worst civil wars in Syria's history raged throughout the country, Louise Monaghan walked across a heavily guarded border to save her six-year-old child from the father who had so callously kidnapped her.

    She encountered captivity, beatings and cruelty beyond belief along the way, but miraculously both Louise and her little girl escaped. Their journey back, led by illegal people-smugglers, took them through bomb attacks and sniper fire and is actually a miracle in itself.

    This emotional read is a breathtaking true story about survival.
  • RSSW
    Sian Williams
    • £7.99
    • 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
    • £5.99
    • RRP £20.00
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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.
  • HLVC
    Kevin Sampson
    • £5.99
    • RRP £12.99
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    On 15 April 1989, the world witnessed one of the worst football disasters occur at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield. 96 people were crushed to death and another 766 injured in a tragedy that was later admitted to have been exacerbated by police failures.

    Written by Kevin Sampson - a man who was actually in the stands on that fateful day and who has close connections with the Justice campaign - this book contains exhaustive and exclusive interviews with people who have become familiar public figures and many who are telling their heart-rending stories for the first time.

    From the tragic events of the day itself to the shocking aftermath that has taken years to resolve, this book interweaves the views of the people who were there with the families and friends of those who died, along with the observations of the people who played key roles in the long search for the truth.
  • RIGB
    Lyn Rigby
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
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    The mother of soldier Lee Rigby, who was murdered in Woolwich in May 2013, tells a personal story of grief and love for the son she lost.

    Although she has questions for the government and military, this is a tribute to a young father whose future was so cruelly taken away.
  • AMDK
    Julian and Tracy Austwick
    (1)
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    • RRP £12.99
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    A touching true story about the bond that developed between a girl with cerebral palsy and a donkey who was left for dead with seemingly little hope of recovery. After being found, Shocks was taken into care at the Donkey Sanctuary.

    Meanwhile, Amber and her twin sister were born prematurely at 26 weeks and Amber had to be rushed into theatre for an emergency tracheostomy. Her parents were then given the devastating news that she had cerebral palsy and it was unlikely that she'd be able to walk or talk.

    When Amber met Shocks at the Donkey Sanctuary, their lives were changed for the better. This heart-warming and poignant book reveals how their company and friendship helped each other on their respective roads to recovery.
  • TMWS
    Christine Lee
    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £9.00
    We've all fallen in love with the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, the East End nurse whose time spent helping the poorer classes inspired her to write the bestselling Call the Midwife book. Here, Jennifer's sister, Christine Lee, opens readers eyes to the lesser-known periods of Jennifer's life.

    From their early idyllic years to the cruelty and neglect they suffered after their parents divorced, and from Jennifer being forced to leave home at fourteen to their training as nurses, The Midwife's Sister is a moving and evocative tale of two lives that always remained intertwined - through marriages, children, joy and heartbreak.

    For anyone who has been unable to put Jennifer Worth's wonderful books down, or fans of the television reimagining of the goings on at Nonnatus House, The Midwife's Sister is emotional and completely absorbing.
  • TREE
    Jack Cooke
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    • RRP £14.99
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    Jack Cooke loves nothing more than climbing trees. Especially those trees that line the streets of London.

    In this witty and personal memoir, he talks about exploring England's capital city through the treetops. Part-guidebook and part-meditation on the joys of nature, this is a thoroughly entertaining read that finds Jack climbing all sorts of trees and scurrying up a Scots pine to get views that very few have seen.

    From London's parks, canals and rivers to the secret gardens he spots sometimes just 10 foot above street level, this is an oddball celebration of viewing things from a different angle. It might inspire you to go outside and climb a tree - but please be careful among the bark and branches!
  • LITV
    Alan Bennett
    (1)
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
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    With a film adaptation starring Academy Award winner Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings proving a huge success, now is as good a time as any to reacquaint yourself with Alan Bennett's hilarious memoir The Lady in the Van.

    Instructed by the council that she must move on from the streets of Camden, an eccentric old lady, Miss Mary Shepherd, is invited to move her van into the garden of kind homeowner Alan Bennett - and there her and her van stay for the next 15 years.

    A fascinating story that was adapted into an award-winning stage show, The Lady in the Van is a funny, poignant and life-affirming book filled with beautiful illustrations from the talented David Gentleman, the new film's screenplay and stunning on-set photographs.
  • IOTM
    Paul Archer
    • £3.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    Taxi! This hardback book tells the astonishing story of three mates, the taxi they drunkenly purchased and a 43,000 mile-round trip of global misadventure.

    Like many, Paul, Johno and Leigh had plans to travel the world. Little did they know that when they bought themselves a London cab, they'd end up embarking on a journey that took them off the beaten track to some of the most fascinating, dangerous and deadly places on Earth.

    From altercations with the Iranian Secret Police to a terrifying experience with the Taliban, the trio had all kinds of experiences on their fantastic, thrilling and dangerous journey. They even managed to break two World Records along the way!

    With its crazy premise and some colourful language, this highly entertaining and quirky memoir will delight fans of Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace.
  • MLIP
    Wendy Hilling
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
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    Sure to appeal to animal lovers - especially those who love A Street Cat Named Bob - My Life in His Paws is a remarkable true story that celebrates the bond between humans and animals.

    Wendy Hilling has a rare skin condition which means her skin is very delicate and that she is in constant pain. Every moment of her life is difficult - her throat is very narrow and she can stop breathing at any time. When she met the golden retriever Ted last year, her life changed forever.

    The two shared an unshakeable bond and Ted became Wendy's full-time carer. He's now saved her life more times than she can remember and is always there for her, no matter what. This book finds Wendy talking about her unique relationship with the dog and sharing some of the incredible experiences they have enjoyed together. She reveals how he has helped give her freedom and confidence as she battles against the odds.
  • Six Little Miracles - Hardback - 9781785031113 - Janet Walton
    SIXL
    Janet Walton
    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
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    A wonderfully heart-warming and uplifting read, Six Little Miracles is the true story of Janet Walton, the mother of the world's first and only all-female sextuplets.

    Janet and her husband, Graham, were told that they could never have children, so you can imagine their joy and surprise when they found out that Janet was pregnant. But the news didn't stop there. Janet wasn't pregnant with just one baby, she was pregnant with six!

    On 18 November 1983, Janet gave birth to Hannah, Luci, Ruth, Sarah, Kate and Jennie, and her life changed forever... From learning to bottle-feed six new-born infants to an unfathomable school run, boy trouble, teenage tantrums and everything in-between, Janet has watched her little girls blossom into confident young women - and loved every minute of it!

    Now 30, Janet's daughters have grown up and flown the nest. For the very first time, in this book Janet tells the moving, humorous and honest story of what it was like to raise her six girls and how they changed her life for the better.
  • Harry's Last Stand - Hardback - 9781848317260 - Harry Leslie Smith
    HYLS
    Harry Leslie Smith
    (1)
    • £2.99
    • RRP £12.99
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    A breath of fresh air to the world of current affairs, Harry Leslie Smith introduces a new perspective on modern life through the eyes of a man who has seen it all in Harry's Last Stand.

    Claiming not to be a historian - but being living history himself - Harry brings a unique perspective on the issues that affect our everyday lives including NHS cutbacks, benefits policy, political corruption, food, poverty, education and much, much more...

    Following on from where his sensational Guardian article 'This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time' left off, the book delves into Harry's experience of seeing a great civilisation rising from the rubble, the fears of how easily this greatness can be eroded and what he thinks we can do as a nation to change that!
  • Breaking the Silence - Hardback - 9781473606005 - Jo Milne
    BRSL
    Jo Milne
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £16.99
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    With the moment an operation enabled her to hear for the first time in almost 40 years being named by Google as one of the most inspiring moments of 2014 and hitting millions of views on YouTube, Jo Milne's memoir Breaking the Silence tells a truly remarkable and uplifting story about how her world changed in incredible ways...

    Deaf from birth, Jo lived in a world of silence for 39 years. Battling deep depression and the difficulties her lack of hearing threw at her, Jo was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Usher Syndrome, an affliction that will one day rob her of her sight too, before she turned 30. Determined to live her life to the full, in 2014 Jo made the decision to undergo a cochlear implant surgery which would allow her to hear for the first time in her life. Every day since then has become a journey of discovery...

    From hearing the Beatles and Rolling Stones for the first time to finally being able to put a voice to the familiar sight of her own mother, Jo Milne's Breaking the Silence is a beautifully written, heart-warming real-life story about an unbelievably brave woman who always lives life with a smile on her face.
  • APIYG
    Mandy Thomas
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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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.
  • AKODG
    Helen Macdonald
    • £13.39
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £1.60
    Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and both the Costa Book of the Year 2014 and Costa Biography Award, writer, poet, illustrator and historian Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk is a beautiful, heartfelt and clever memoir about the devastating experience of losing her father and, stricken by grief, becoming obsessed with the idea of training her own hawk.

    Purchasing Mabel for #800, Helen begins to stock her freezer with food for her new hawk, unplugs the telephone and begins a journey of self discovery, embarking on the unusual business of taming one of the world's most wild of animals.

    A written record of her spiritual journey, the taming of her goshawk provides a stunning contrast to her own untaming and is told with eloquence, intellectual intensity and vigour. A must-read for all fans of non-fiction.
  • AQEPP
    James Rebanks
    • £13.59
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £3.40
    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.
  • There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You - Hardback - 9781473608566 - Lynda Bellingham
    TSIB
    Lynda Bellingham
    • £3.99
    • 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.
  • My Secret Sister - Hardback - 9780283072031 - Helen Edwards & Jenny Lee Smit
    SECS
    Helen Edwards & Jenny Lee Smit
    • £2.99
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    Helen Edwards suffered a traumatic childhood, suffering years of abuse at the hands of her neglectful mother and violent father. Adopted at six weeks old, Jenny Lee Smith was smothered in love and support as a child, becoming a golfing champion, but she always knew something was missing...

    In her fifties, Jenny decided to search her birth family and found her sister Helen. The siblings together searched for the truth about Jenny's birth - in turn uncovering a legacy of secrets that changed everything Helen knew about her family.

    My Secret Sister is an inspirational and moving true story about braving your past and not letting difficult times and bitterness define you as a person.
  • AQRIN
    Rosie Lewis
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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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
    Damien Lewis
    • £15.19
    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £3.80
    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.
  • ARLXK
    Jayne Senior
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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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.
  • ARMCR
    Coral Jones
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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    This is the heartbreaking story of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones, which sparked the biggest police search in UK history. The nation was shocked by her disappearance from the tiny Welsh village of Machynllech in October 2012. Her body was never fully recovered but paedophile Mark Bridger was convicted of her murder and abduction following a month-long trial in May 2013. In this gripping and harrowing book, April's heartbroken parents Coral and Paul speak at length about their beloved daughter and the search for her, their ordeal as they faced Bridger in court every day during the trial, and their ongoing fight against the vile child pornography he viewed in the days leading up to April's abduction. They remember with enduring love the daughter who fought so bravely to survive premature birth and mild disability, and who was enchanted by all the things a little girl finds magical. Paul Jones kept a diary throughout the ordeal, the contents of which are revealed for the first time in this searingly honest account of unimaginable emotional pain. Alongside books such as Madeleineby Kate McCann and Goodbye Dearest Hollyby Kevin Wells, Aprilwill stand as a poignant reminder of what it means to lose the thing you most love.