Non-Fiction

Biographies & Autobiographies

  • HNBB
    Robert Webb
    (1)
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    Robert Webb is one of the stars of Peep Show and a regular on television screens all over the country. In his memoir, How Not to Be a Boy, he explores the relationships and experiences that made him who he is as a man.

    Told with heart, wit and honesty, Robert explains all about the lessons he learned while growing up and how he came to realise that it's almost impossible to be Luke Skywalker or any other 'bloke' that society demands men look up to... He talks about friendships, relationships and family in great detail and reveals how experiences with all of these helped him develop in his own individual way.

    Part a memoir, part a call to arms for men to start talking openly about their problems, this is a funny, touching and important read from one of Britain's most popular personalities.
    'Quite simply brilliant. I (genuinely) cried. I (genuinely) laughed out loud. I loved it.' J.K. Rowling
    'A truly great read, full of heart' Dawn French
  • TIGH
    Adam Kay
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    Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, comedian Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a fascinating insight into the multitude of work the staff of the NHS has to undertake to keep us all safe and in good health.

    A junior doctor between 2004 and 2010, Adam provides a no-holds-barred account of the 97-hour weeks, life-or-death decisions and the constant tsunami of bodily fluids he had to contend with...

    Looking back on notes scribbled in secret after his busy shifts, Adam also explains how he managed to survive on the low pay and the effect his choice of career had on both his social life and relationships. This is a book that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know - and a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward.
  • TOAH
    David King
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    On 8 November, 1923, Adolf Hitler stormed into a beer hall in Munich, fired his pistol in the air and declared the start of a revolution.

    Seventeen hours later and he was on the run from the police, with his career seemingly in tatters. All that remained of his bold move was a trail of destruction... Written by historian David King, this is the true story of the monumental criminal proceeding that followed as Hitler and nine other suspects were charged with high treason.

    While reporters from all over the world came to witness the trial, things clicked into place for Hitler and he ended up hailing the fiasco of the beer hall putsch as a victory for the fledgling Nazi Party. This trial thrust Hitler into the limelight and provided him and set him on his journey to power.

    Using trial transcripts, police files and a host of sources, including 500 documents recently discovered from the Landsberg Prison record office, King's The Trial of Adolf Hitler explains how this failure of the justice system changed the world forever.
  • DBAL
    Dylan Jones
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    One of the greatest musical icons of all time, David Bowie's legacy and influence continues to reign strong across so many aspects of our culture. This biography is drawn from over 180 interviews and will tell you so much you didn't know about the man (who fell to Earth) behind Ziggy Stardust, Starman and Ashes to Ashes.

    Respected journalist and editor Dylan Jones has collated thoughts from Bowie's friends, rivals, lovers and collaborators to provide insight into a musician who was equally flamboyant and private. It looks at his entire career and traces his life from growing up in Brixton to his time spent in New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and beyond.

    It reveals the huge impact Bowie's schizophrenic half-brother, Terry, had on his life and how he would absorb influences through intense relationships before dropping people cold when he'd got what he needed. Also featuring never-before-seen material from interviews Jones conducted with Bowie over two decades, this is an intimate, insightful and gloriously gossipy portrait of one of our finest ever polymaths.
  • MTTB
    Patrick Barclay
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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.
  • MKMI
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    Drawing on declassified documents, private family archives and interviews with retired MI5 officers as well as the families of MI5 agents, Matt Charman's M reveals not just the shadowy world of espionage but also the brilliant, enigmatic man at its centre - Maxwell Knight.

    A nature enthusiast and jazz obsessive, Knight is seen as one of MI5's greatest spymasters and he's often credited with doing more than anyone to break up British fascism during the Second World War. Known to agents and colleagues simply as M (and rumoured to be the inspiration for the character of the same name in the James Bond series), Knight did not have many qualifications but is credited with transforming the agency e.g. he was the first in MI5 to grasp the potential of training female agents.

    This book sheds light on seven of the men and women Knight recruited and the impact they had on our history as they infiltrated some of the most dangerous political organisations around. These brave men and women's identities have never been revealed before and now it is finally possible to celebrate these courageous, selfless individuals and their world-changing actions.
  • COXJ
    Brendan Cox
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    Jo Cox was a daughter, mother, wife, sister, MP, humanitarian and activist who believed in the power of community and cared for so many others - especially those less fortunate than her.

    Her murder in 2016 shook the nation and in the aftermath of her death, her husband Brendan urged the general public to remember what she stood for during her life rather than the way she died.

    This poignant memoir looks back at all the good things Jo did during her life and the successful campaigns she ran. Brendan also looks to the future and explains the ways in which he plans to honour her legacy by continuing to push for a more inclusive and positive society.

    The publication of this book coincides with the launch of greatgettogether.org, an event that finds communities coming together to celebrate all the things they have in common.
  • LGWB
    Charley Boorman
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    Famed for his love of motorcycles, Charley Boorman suffered a major road accident in Portugal in February, 2016. Having spent so much of his life on two wheels, the crash left him with a smashed right ankle, severe damage to his left fibia and tibia and serious concerns over whether he would be able to ride a motorbike again...

    Long Way Back is the emotional story of his rehabilitation. He reveals how he was unsure if he'd ever be able to walk properly and recalls everything from the ambulance ride to the Portuguese hospital where operations took place and even the medivac flight back to London.

    Written in alternating chapters during the time he was unable to walk, Charley also provides an introspective account of his childhood and aspiring love of motorbikes and all the formative influences of his life including his touring film director father, long-time friend Ewan McGregor and Jason Connery (Sean's son), the man who introduced him to bikes.
  • ALIF
    Ian Wright
    (1)
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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.
  • JAAH
    Lucy Worsley
    (1)
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    It's now 200 years since the death of Jane Austen and historian and television presenter Lucy Worsley is marking the occasion with this captivating book that looks at what the influential novelist's home life was really like.

    Lucy examines the places and spaces that mattered to Jane and explains why she lived the way she did. She also explains how, despite her reputation, Jane's life was not full of country houses and ballrooms but was often a struggle.
    Although it's often said Jane, the author of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park, lived a 'life without incident', this thoroughly researched book explains how that wasn't always the case. It reveals Jane was a passionate woman who fought for her freedom. She also had at least five marriage prospects - but wouldn't settle for anyone who wouldn't match up to Mr. Darcy...
  • PTSB
    Peter Wedderburn
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    Pete Wedderburn is the Telegraph's resident vet and in Pet Subjects, he recalls some of his favourite animal patients.

    From animals big to small, Pete the Vet has seen it all. He recalls both the heart-warming and heartbreaking moments from his career and tells them all with a tender and witty turn of phrase.

    Among the critters you'll get to read about are Apollo the hamster, Nero the cat and Ned the terrier.
  • RLPD
    Tom Watkins
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    Retired policeman Tom Watkins is the founder of Animal Search UK - Britain's foremost search service for missing pets. The Real Pet Detective is his story.

    Tom talks about the various ways in which he and his team have managed to reunite animals with their grateful owners and these range from recording owners' voices to lure cats from hiding places and even organising a fly-over to raise the profile of a missing terrier.

    Animal Search UK reunites over 2,000 pets and owners every month and The Real Pet Detective spans 20 years of dramatic and heart-warming rescues.
  • GMKE
    Portia Simpson
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    Portia Simpson was Scotland's first ever qualified female gamekeeper and in this memoir - set against the glorious backdrop of the Scottish Highlands - she talks about the highs and lows she has experienced during her career.

    A lover of the great outdoors from a very early age, Portia talks about her childhood and how she managed to break into what is traditionally a conservative and male-dominated profession. She explains how she honed her skills, where she trained and the dedication that set her apart from the crowd - and even inspired a character in the BBC's Monarch of the Glen.

    This is a captivating read that provides a fascinating and unique look at the life of a huntswoman while also offering a sense of wonder at nature's beauty.
  • HMHB
    Giovanna Fletcher
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    After being awarded the Celebrity Mum of the Year title, Giovanna Fletcher talks about what a positive and uplifting experience raising children is in Happy Mum, Happy Baby.

    Although she covers the physical, mental and emotional challenges faced by mothers, Giovanna focuses on the positives of family life and explains the lessons she has learned through her parenthood journey so far.

    Married to McFly's Tom Fletcher, Giovanna and her family are hugely popular and in this book she encourages you to be confident in yourself as a parent and celebrates how putting a focus on being a happy and confident mum can inspire babies and children to also be happier.
  • LLDM
    Davina McCall
    (2)
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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.
  • TREE
    Jack Cooke
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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!
  • MRJP
    Jo Pavey
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    An Olympian who won the 10,000m at the European Championships (her first ever Gold!) in 2014 at the age of 40, Jo Pavey has quite the story to tell...

    On 10 May, 2015, Jo achieved the seemingly impossible by winning the 10,000m just eight months after giving birth and in 'a running vest older than most of the girls I was competing against'. In this inspiring autobiography, the athlete dubbed 'Supermum' reveals how she has managed to combine parental responsibilities and an elite sporting career with such success.

    From pushing a buggy on training runs to leaving the kids to build sandcastles in the long jump pit while she hits the track, there are so many situations that will feel familiar to any career parents who try to balance work and life. A positive and uplifting read, this is the story of a mum that runs and a runner that mums.
  • TPGD
    Jim Buttress
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    A top gardening judge who presides over the UK's favourite flower shows, Jim Buttress reveals his life story in this warm and funny memoir.

    Starting his career as a practical gardener, Jim reveals how he managed to achieve one of the most impressive careers in British horticulture. He fondly looks back on his boyhood obsession with Percy Thrower and the 10 years he spent as Superintendent of the Central Royal Parks - a job that could involve anything from having a chat with the Queen Mother to figuring out ways to water elephants in Hyde Park.

    He also reveals what it's like to exhibit - and win gold - at the Chelsea Flower Show and shares some of the stories he's seen as judge. From the joy of awarding medals to grateful winners to the shock of being threatened by an irate loser, this book is packed with colourful characters and a grand love for all things gardening.
  • GHWK
    TH White
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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.
  • CSCTC
    Keggie Carew
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    Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2016, Keggie Carew's Dadland is a story of war and grief, jealousy and madness and mischief and fierce love.

    A poignant exploration of what becomes of us as we grow old, it is full of Keggie's memories of her rather unorthodox but charming father. As her father Tom begins to lose his memory, Keggie tries to unravel his story but finds out so many surprising secrets.

    She learns that Tom Carew was a maverick, a left-handed stutterer and a law unto himself. He was also part of an elite SEO unit who was parachuted behind enemy lines to raise guerilla resistance in France, Burma and during the Second World War - and that was just the beginning...

    Dadland takes in elements of peace and war and then follows a painful path into dementia. It's a heartbreaking, powerful and perfectly poignant true story about an extraordinary man.
  • SOBP
    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.
  • MYJC
    Johan Cruyff
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    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.
  • KCKB
    Ken Clarke
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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.
  • BSMC
    Jason McAteer
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    The fighting McAteers: that's how the McAteer family of title-winning boxers were known throughout Birkenhead, across the Mersey from Liverpool. But for eleven-year-old Jason McAteer, growing up in the shadow of Liverpool FC, football became the dream. After signing with Bolton Wanderers at the age of twenty-one, the call to the international scene followed with the Republic of Ireland and, soon after, to his beloved Liverpool FC. The dream had become a reality. From his time with the Irish World Cup squad of 1994 to those tumultuous days in Saipan in 2002; on through his decision to leave Liverpool for Blackburn Rovers; his move to Sunderland, and the depression he fell into after finishing his professional career with Tranmere Rovers, Jason McAteer looks back with characteristic honesty and humour on his life - the jokes, the matches, and the personalities. This is the real Jason McAteer: a little bit bruised, a little bit battered. But still fighting.