Biographies & Autobiographies

Real Lives

  • LRGM
    Guy Martin
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    Guy Martin's books always provide an exhilarating insight into the daredevil's full-throttle life. But what would happen if he couldn't take part in road races? This exciting book will show you that even when he's in pain, he's in no mood to rest up...

    Guy describes how it felt when he crashed out of the lead of an Ulster Grand Prix superbike race held on the world's fastest race track. This accident left him with a broken spine and hand and he was unable to take part in road racing for a while but he didn't take it easy. He took it upon himself to break records on the world's biggest Wall of Death, cycled 2,745 miles across the length of the Unites States (while sleeping rough) and travelled to Latvia to investigate his family's roots.

    He also talks about the wacky races he took part in while recovering including wild Harley choppers on dirt and turbo-charged Transit vans through the Nevada desert. Of course, he's also got his day job at the truck yard and butty van.
  • Lessons I've Learned - Davina McCall - Hardback - 9781409165699 - Davina McCall
    Davina McCall
    • £4.00
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    Davina McCall shares her life experiences in her eagerly anticipated autobiography, Lessons I've Learned.

    One of the nation's favourite television personalities, the book is written with her trademark warmth and humour and covers all of her extraordinary life. From battles with drugs and alcohol to her undying love for her family and the crazy experiences in Davina's jetsetting career.

    She reveals what each experience has taught her and hopes her wisdom will inspire you to learn lessons in the same way. It's a memoir to inspire you to reach your own personal goals and to find happiness.
  • SPMM
    Mike Massimino
    • £5.99
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    Mike Massimino always wanted to be a spaceman. Even being rejected by NASA twice could not stop him achieving his dream. This is his inspirational story.

    Combining high science with thrilling adventure, Mike reveals how even when he was told his eyesight was too poor to be an astronaut, he wouldn't give up on his goal - he simply trained his eyes to be better and was accepted by NASA at the third time of asking.

    This was the beginning of an 18-year career (1996-2014) that found him servicing the Hubble telescope, walking in space and even being the first man to tweet from space. Mike talks movingly about the Columbia tragedy and how it felt to step into a space shuttle following this horrific experience.

    Vivid and awe-inspiring, he also provides a fascinating insight into the hard work, camaraderie and sheet guts it takes to step into space and live as an astronaut.
  • LFLS
    Adam Henson
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    • RRP £18.99
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    A popular presenter on the BBC's Countryfile show and a proud farmer who was born on a farm in Gloucestershire that he still runs today, Adam Henson talks about the unbreakable bond he shared with his father, Joe, in this poignant autobiography.

    In Like Farmer, Like Son, he explores a hidden family history that goes right back to his grandfather, the stage and film star Leslie Henson. He talks about how (and why) Joe decided to move away from the family passion and indulge in one of his own - farming - and how this inspired Adam as he grew up.

    Both men decided to combine their passion for showbusiness with their love of agriculture and Joe even overcame a serious stammer to become a regular broadcaster on Country Matters, He even opened the world's first Farm Park.

    A fine tribute to one of the most important figures in his life (who sadly died during the autumn of last year), Adam reveals the family traits, childhood experiences and farming wisdom which have made him the man he is today.
  • SOBP
    Sarah Gristwood
    • £5.99
    • RRP £16.99
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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.
  • CRWN
    Nicola Tallis
    • £5.99
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    Written by acclaimed historian and debut author Nicola Tallis, Crown of Blood is a retelling of the tragic life of Lady Jane Grey. It follows her journey from the deadly intrigues of her childhood right through to her trial and execution.

    Forced onto the throne by the great power players at court, Queen Jane reigned for just 13 tumultuous days before being imprisoned in the tower and being condemned for high treason and then being executed.

    An engaging and dramatic biography, this book explores a range of evidence that has never been seen before and sweeps away many of the myths to reveal a moving, human story of a young woman who was extraordinarily intelligent, proudly independent and very courageous.
  • JVMS
    Jamie Vardy
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    Jamie Vardy's having a party - and you're invited!

    The Leicester City and England striker, who worked his way up from non-league to the highest stage, has just enjoyed the best year of his life. Leading the line and scoring so many goals for the Foxes in their unbelievable Premier League-winning season, he was also one of the few England players to make an impact at Euro 2016 and is now frightening Champions League defences with his pace and goalscoring instinct.

    This autobiography finds Jamie talking about his Roy of the Rovers-style story. An ordinary lad from Sheffield, he was rejected by his boyhood club as a teenager and spent time playing at the likes of Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town before finally finding his feet a Leicester. After playing a huge part in their escape from relegation, he then had a season to remember when Leicester charged to the top of the table - and stayed there - in the 2015/2016 season. During this miracle run, he also became the first player to score in 11 consecutive Premier League games.

    This is an inspiring story that proves dreams can come true. It's a must-read for any football fan.
  • Colder - Hardback - 9781471153556 - Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Bt OBE
    Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Bt OBE
    • £5.00
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    • Save £20.00
    Sir Ranulph Fiennes is Britain's greatest living polar explorer and this book provides a visual guide to the trials and tribulations he has gone through while on his expeditions.

    Fully illustrated, the book (with some adventures that were previously published in the narrative memoir, Cold) has maps, diary notes and personal photography from Fiennes' expeditions including the Transglobal Expedition and his unsupported crossings of Antarctica.

    The detailed maps showcase his routes across the various arctic landscapes he has traversed and there are captions that provide analysis of exactly what he has achieved. The book is not only full of stunning scenery, but also shows how Fiennes has pushed the boundaries of the human body in cold conditions.
  • GRUT
    Greg Rutherford
    • £5.99
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    Not only a gold medal-winning athlete (in fact, he's one of the most successful British Olympians of all time) but also one of the stars of this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing, Greg Rutherford tells his story in this revealing autobiography.

    One of the few Brits to have won gold at European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic level, he reveals how his route to the top was not a smooth journey. A reckless teenager who would sometimes sleep rough or car surf, he found an outlet in sport.

    He tells how falling short in the Beijing Olympics inspired him to glory on London 2012's unforgettable 'Super Saturday' and explains how his hard work and dedication paid off. An opinionated and likeable figure, he also offers up his thoughts on current issues surrounding the athletics world including doping.
  • Joey Barton - No Nonsense - Hardback - 9781471147586 - Joey Barton
    Joey Barton
    • £3.50
    • RRP £20.00
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    One of the most compelling and controversial characters from 'the Beautiful Game', Joey Barton reveals all in this explosive, warts-and-all autobiography.

    Raw yet redemptive, the book not only finds Joey looking back at a footballing career that has taken in stints at Manchester City, Newcastle, Queens Park Rangers, Marseille, Burnley and Glasgow Rangers but also a troubled personal life that found him being sent to prison for assault in 2008.

    It was this experience, along with the birth of his children, that made Joey sit back and re-evaluate his life and decisions. He claims that football is a sport that 'eats people alive' and in his trademark candid, challenging and entertaining style explains how this and his upbringing affected his decision-making. A popular figure on social media, he also talks about his plans for the future.
  • TOTC
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    Ross Brawn, the most successful figure in Formula 1 history, and Adam Parr, the former CEO of Williams, have come together in Total Competition to explain to motor racing fans the lessons they have learned during their career and how they can use these to achieve their very own business goals.

    Compelling, comprehensive and revealing, this book explains what it takes to get to the top in a way that recalls Sir Alex Ferguson's bestselling advice guide, Leading. Ross Brawn talks about his four decades of success and examines the methods he has used to achieve so much. He also examines the occasions when he has got things wrong.

    This is a definitive portrait of modern motorsport that explores the pressures of the sport and the cut-throat nature of an industry where coming second is deemed as failure.
  • PTMH
    Clare Campbell
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £10.00
    This poignant book will pull on the heartstrings of anyone who reads it, especially those who love cats.

    Written by Clare Campbell, the author of Dogs of Courage, it examines the plight of the nation's rescue cats. It's packed with stories about how brave cats who have strayed from their owners have been over the course of history. From when wild cats were considered vermin to some of the most incredible rescues that have taken place in recent years, these are extremely touching stories.

    Very loyal animals - no matter how badly they're treated - this book gives credit to those amazing people who care for stray cats and reveals just how much they're loved in return.
  • NGEL
    Monty Don
    • £5.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    Monty Don, the popular Gardeners' World presenter, provides a passionate celebration of dogs and how much they mean to us in the heart-warming Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs.

    After appearing on the show, Nigel became a star in his own right. He's charming, handsome and obedient, like so many dogs are. In this memoir, Monty fondly recalls the dogs he has grown up with and explores why we love this animal so much. He looks at why they have such an emotional and domestic impact on us all.

    A gentle read with plenty of heart-warming humour, this is a book about the deep love humans feel for these paw-some pals.
  • Alan the Christmas Donkey - Hardback - 9781509839025 - Tracy Garton
    Tracy Garton
    • £3.00
    • RRP £9.99
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    This is the true story of Alan the Christmas Donkey - a little animal who made a big difference.

    Tracy Garton had over twenty years' experience running the Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary but after a devastatingly difficult winter full of sky high bills, she wasn't sure if she had the finances - or physical strength - to carry on. But then she received a phone call in the first week of January. A donkey has been abandoned 130 miles away and left to die in a supermarket car park.

    When Tracy saw Alan for the first time, he was forlorn, balding and shivering. She whispered to him: 'Don't worry boy, I won't give up on you'. The duo had a very eventful year; grappling with attacks from vandals and perilous flash while trying to raise money. As the festive season rolled around, Alan managed to give her the greatest gift of all.

    This is a funny, warm and inspiring read for animal lovers.
  • BLLD
    Steven Jamieson
    • £3.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £6.00
    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.
  • COPB
    Hunter Davies
    • £9.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £7.00
    A signed edition of Hunter Davies' The Co-Op's Got Bananas: A Memoir of Growing Up in the Post-War North.

    A popular author who was best friends with The Beatles, Hunter Davies reveals how despite warfare in the 1940s and rationing persisting until the early '50s, life could still be sweet for young children in this poignant and powerful social memoir.

    Covering from 1945 onwards, Hunter talks about growing up in the North of England and how this tumultuous era was laced with glorious moments of colour and emotion. It's a must read for anyone interested in our past.
  • HIHS
    • £9.99
    A signed edition of Helen McDonald's H is for Hawk.

    Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and the 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.
  • FMOA
    Chris Graham
    • £7.99
    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £11.00
    When Chris Graham was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at the age of just 34, he made the decision to live life to the fullest and enjoy incredible adventures and the best of what the world has to offer.

    This poignant memoir finds Chris looking back at a life that took him from a trouble childhood into the British Army. Alzheimer's has already claimed the life of his father at 42 and saw his brother in a nursing home at 43. To make the most of life, Chris decided to embark on an awareness-raising 16,000-mile solo cycle around North America...

    Armed only with his bike, a sense of humour and British determination, Chris left his loyal wife Vicky and his son Dexter at home as he undertook this amazing challenge - despite the fact he could forget the different between left and right at any point. Of course, he made it home in time for Christmas... this is an inspiring, moving and heart-rending book.
  • A Life in Football: My Autobiography - Hardback - 9781472123589 - Ian Wright
    Ian Wright
    • £4.00
    • RRP £18.99
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    One of the most recognisable - and possibly loudest - characters in football, Arsenal legend Ian Wright talks about the career that took him from non-league football to Highbury and then into punditry in his highly entertaining memoir, A Life in Football.

    A fantastic gift for any football fan, you can hear Wrighty's voice as he reveals all about what it was like playing for Crystal Palace and then moving on to Arsenal where he won trophies and broke records galore. While at the Gunners, the team evolved from George Graham's supposedly 'Boring, boring Arsenal' into a thrilling team managed by Arsene Wenger. Wrighty explains what it was like to be part of this revolution and also discusses his fabourite team mates, what it meant to break Arsenal's goalscoring record and what he really thinks of Tottenham Hotspur...

    He also talks about more personal issues; touching upon everything from spending a week in prison to presenting on primetime television.
  • UNGU
    Jonathan Trott
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    One of the most popular English cricketers of recent times, Jonathan Trott's Unguarded is an autobiography that not only looks at his sporting successes but also finds him opening up about mental health issues.

    A mainstay during one of England's most successful periods, Jonathan scored a century on his debut to clinch the Ashes in 2009. Despite being a regular and pivotal part of the team, Jonathan left the 2012-13 Ashes tour of Australia as he was suffering from a stress-related illness.

    In this eye-opening memoir, readers will find themselves transported right into the heart of the England dressing room - and into the heart of what it is to be a professional sportsman. From the successes on the field that were followed by a sharp decline to the dangers that pressure and expectation can bring, this is a book all about the rewards and risks that sports stars take...
  • My Turn: The Autobiography - Hardback - 9781509813902 - Johan Cruyff
    Johan Cruyff
    • £4.00
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £16.00
    The footballing world was shocked and saddened by the death of Dutch legend Johan Cruyff in March this year. Widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, he inspired the likes of Ajax, Barcelona and the Netherlands to glory.

    In his autobiography, My Turn, Johan tells the story of a truly unbelievable sporting career. A player who was synonymous with total football, he helped change the way teams played football and inspired players to break the shackles of convention and play in any position on the pitch. He talks about starting out at Ajax, where he won eight national titles and three European Cups, before moving on to Barcelona, where he quickly won La Liga.

    As well as club success, he also won many individual awards and inspired his country to a World Cup final appearance in 1974. While his playing career went from strength to strength, his off-the-field life was more turbulent - he encountered bankruptcy and was even the victim of a kidnapping attempt. He then followed this up with a trophy-laden managerial career. This is his story in his own words.
  • Kind of Blue - Hardback - 9781509837199 - Ken Clarke
    Ken Clarke
    • £6.00
    • RRP £25.00
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    A witty, honest and forthright read that takes its title from his beloved Miles Davis, Ken Clarke looks back over his 46 years as the member of parliament for Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire in Kind of Blue: A Political Memoir.

    One of the genuine 'Big Beasts' of the political scene, Ken has been at the heart of the government under three different prime ministers and is well known not only for his Europhile views but also his love of cricket, Nottingham Forest Football Club and jazz.

    In this memoir, he charts his rise from a working-class scholarship to high political office and the upper echelons of his party and the government. However, Clarke is not a straightforward Tory; his position on the left of the party often led to Margaret Thatcher questioning his credentials and his passionate commitment to the European project has led many fellow Conservatives to regard him with suspicion - and cost him the leadership on no less than three occasions.

    With a ringside seat in British politics for four decades, this is a candid account of life both in and out of government full of observations that will enthral readers of all political persuasions.
  • LGWR
    Alan Johnson
    • £5.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £11.00
    The third volume of Alan Johnson's bestselling memoir takes you direct into the corridors of Westminster and lifts the lid on the life of a hard-working constituency MP.

    It tells of Alan's early political skirmishes as a trade union leader, where his negotiating skills and charismatic style came to the notice of Tony Blair and other senior members of the Labour Party. As a result, Alan was chosen to stand in the constituency of Hull West and Hessle, and entered Parliament as an MP after the landslide election victory for Labour in May 1997.

    But Alan was different to most politicians and here he talks of his support for the Hull trawlerman and their families. He also talks about how he rose through various ministerial positions to become home secretary in 2009.
  • Rise - Hardback - 9781474602686 - Sian Williams
    Sian Williams
    • £4.50
    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £14.49
    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.