Non-Fiction

Biographies & Autobiographies

  • TOLR
    Rio Ferdinand
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    Manchester United and England legend Rio Ferdinand's BBC documentary Being Mum and Dad was one of the most heartbreaking shows of the year. It found the former footballer describing the experiences he went through after losing his wife, Rebecca, to cancer in 2015 and Rio talked candidly about how it felt to suddenly find himself a single parent and taking on the role of both mother and father.

    In Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad, Rio shares how his grief has affected every aspect of his life and aims to inspire and help any others who have found themselves in similar situations, especially men who have a habit of bottling up their emotions. Honest and courageous, this is a very emotional and important book.

    He also looks back on happier times, describing how he met Rebecca and fondly recalling their wedding. Rio reveals the advice and support that helped him piece his life back together and encourages readers to find the help they need in tough times.
  • How to be Champion - Hardback - 9781409174301 - Sarah Millican
    HCSM
    Sarah Millican
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    Sarah Millican is one of Britain's favourite comedians and in her autobiography she recalls some of the daftest and funniest experiences of her life.

    From being contacted by an old school bully to living in your childhood bedroom in your 30s and being unceremoniously dumped in a Frankie & Benny's, this is an honest and hilarious book full of confessions about life and all its embarrassments.

    She also talks about how she was good at school but not so adept at making friends; the way she changed her life for the better after her divorce; and the excitement (!) of IBS .
  • IRLB
    John Bowman
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    Ireland: The Autobiography offers a fresh, vivid take on the last century of Irish life through a brilliant collection of eyewitness accounts and recollections. Broadcaster and historian John Bowman has spent years mining archives, diaries and memoirs to create a remarkably varied and intense mosaic of voices and perspectives. Collectively, they give us an image of Ireland unlike anything we've read before.
  • NMDL
    Nelson Mandela
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    Dare Not Linger is a fascinating, thought-provoking and poignant biography of Nelson Mandela's time as president of South Africa. It draws on Mandela's writings during this time and has been completed by Mandla Langa and features a prologue from Mandela's widow, Graca Machel.

    In 1994, Mandela became the first president of democratic South Africa and in his five years in office, he managed to transform a nation that had been divided by centuries of colonialism and apartheid into a fully functioning democracy where everyone was considered equal.

    Mandela kept many detailed notes during his time in charge and this fascinating book reveals how he and his team changed SA for the better. It shows all of the challenges he had to overcome in his quest to achieve his dream of a liberated South Africa.
  • RMAB
    Roger Moore
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    Roger Moore, the much-missed actor who played James Bond in a series of classic films, reflected on life and ageing in A bientot, a book that was sent to his publisher shortly before he passed away.

    He looks back on his life in a very charming and human way and remembers everything from life-changing moments from his childhood to those times when he thought 'what might have been' and the increasingly tricky aspect of keeping up with the changing times.

    There is also talk of the joys and frustrations of travel and accounts of how family life can bring about both unparalleled moments of happiness and intense periods of sadness. This book features Roger's very own sketches and offers a glimpse into an endearing, witty and unpretentious man.
  • 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.
  • My Secret Sister - Hardback - 9780283072031 - Helen Edwards & Jenny Lee Smit
    SECS
    Helen Edwards & Jenny Lee Smit
    (1)
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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.
  • CLDR
    Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Bt OBE
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    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.
  • ELRV
    Nicola Tallis
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    Nicola Tallis unveils the story of Lettice Knollys, one of the most prominent women of the Elizabethan era.

    Cousin to Elizabeth I (and also quite likely to be an illegitimate granddaughter of Henry VIII), Lettice had a life full of both dizzying highs and dreadful lows. She was a darling of the court who became embroiled in a love triangle with Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I.

    She was plagued by scandals of both affairs and murder and eventually lost a husband and son to the executioner's axe. Based on meticulous research, this book looks at the impact Lettice had on the period and her role in some of its defining events.
  • HLVC
    Kevin Sampson
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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.
  • BSFI
    Ben Stokes
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    Ben Stokes is one of the most exciting talents in cricket today. Not cast in the same mould as the majority of English cricketers, he is fiery, combative and gladitorial. In this stunning autobiography, he talks about his love for the sport and how he has managed to achieve so much in so little time.

    An all-rounder who bats, bowls and fields at full throttle, he describes how he spent his childhood in New Zealand and then found a home in Cumbria with his family when he was just 11. This move sparked off a career that saw him playing county cricket for Durham and then the England team.

    He looks over the most pivotal moments in his career so far - from thrashing the fastest ever Test century at Lord's to achieving the quickest ever Test double-hundred by an Englishman. Ben puts in 100% effort and commitment every time he steps onto the field of play; this is his story and is a must-read for cricket fans.
  • 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.
  • FTEH
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    A companion to the brilliant Channel 4 series of the same name, The Freedom Trails: Escaping Hitler tells the incredible story of some of the brave individuals who managed to escape Nazi Germany.

    Over 5,000 British, Commonwealth and American servicemen made the journey over the Pyrenees, the Slovenian mountains and the Italian alps and many died en route. However, the brave men and women of the resistance still managed to defy the odds and keep the routes open.

    Among those you'll read about are Blondie Haslar, the leader of the Cockleshell Heroes, US airman Chuck Yaeger (whose story was retold in The Right Stuff) and Andree de Jongh, a young woman who risked her life to smuggle men through occupied France and survived being sent to two concentration camps.

    Based on in-depth research and interviews with survivors as well as his own experiences walking the trails, broadcaster and former Royal Marine Monty Halls book is dramatic and gripping from first page to last.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Six Little Miracles - Hardback - 9781785031113 - Janet Walton
    SIXL
    Janet Walton
    • £2.89
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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.
  • SOBP
    Sarah Gristwood
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    • 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.
  • Spaceman - Hardback - 9781471149528 - Mike Massimino
    SPMM
    Mike Massimino
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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.
  • 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.
  • Absolute Pandemonium - Hardback - 9780283072314 - Brian Blessed
    APBB
    Brian Blessed
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    Actor. Film star. Martial artist. Mountaineer. Trained undertaker. Unlikely diplomat. There's no one quite like Brian Blessed and in his new autobiography, Absolute Pandemonium, the national treasure takes readers on a riotous journey from his childhood to finding fame.

    Told in his own words (you can even hear his bellowing voice as you read!), Brain leaves no detail to the imagination as he regales readers with tales such as falling for Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Trojan Women, suffering some unfortunate wire problems when he's hoisted to the heavens on the set of Flash Gordon and charming George Lucas to land the part of Boss Nass in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

    There are far less 'Hollywood' stories along the way, too, where Brian takes secret revenge on his headmistress (and her very big bottom), woos his wife Hildegard Neil and braves the shocking death toll on the hit drama series My Family and Other Animals...

    A perfect book for his many, many fans and those with an interest in film and theatre, Brian Bessed's autobiography is hilarious, light-hearted and very, very loud.
  • ALIF
    Ian Wright
    (1)
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    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £14.00
    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.
  • ATCD
    Tracy Garton
    • £3.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £6.00
    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.
  • SMIM
    Nicholas Shakespeare
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    Historian Nicholas Shakespeare reveals how Winston Churchill almost didn't become prime minister following the fall of Neville Chamberlain's government in May, 1940...

    Showing how easily events could have gone in a different direction, this biography explains how Churchill was to blame for a disastrous battle in Norway before then going on to rise to the most powerful post in the country just weeks later.

    Based on fascinating new research that delves deep into the backgrounds of all the key players in the government during World War II, this book offers a new perspective on Churchill's election and leadership (as well as the personal issues that appeared) while also covering the dramatic action that took place on the battlefield in Norway.
  • OFAS
    David Jason
    • £7.99
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    David Jason, the nation's favourite actor, talks about his life in acting and how he brought characters like Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter and Detective Jack Frost to life.

    He reveals behind-the-scenes gossip about each character (and show) and reveals how each one changed his life. David also explains why each one means so much to him.

    Told with characteristic charm and wit, this is a funny and poignant autobiography from a national treasure.