Real-Life Reads for Mums

  • Up - Ben Fogle - Hardback - 9780008319182 - Ben Fogle
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    Following the devastating stillborn birth of their son Willem, seasoned adventurer Ben Fogle and his wife Marina made a promise to embrace every day and be more positive. This led to Ben's dream of conquering Mount Everest.

    In April 2018, Ben set off along with Olympic Gold-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton and mountaineer Kenton Cool to climb to the top while raising funds for the British Red Cross and highlighting the environmental challenges mountains face.

    The trio walked the fine line between life and death 8,000 metres above sea level and Ben quickly realised how enlightening this seven-week journey was going to be.

    This memoir is told with humour and warmth and covers both Ben and Marina's - who was holding the family together at home - experiences during his expedition.
  • QNVC
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    Popular BBC presenter and acclaimed historian Lucy Worsley examines how Queen Victoria grew from dancing princess to one of Britain's greatest monarchs in this eye-opening biography.

    Lucy looks at 24 significant days from Victoria's life including her birth and her coronation to reveal what she was like as a person and how her actions left a mark on history.

    Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth, this biography celebrates Queen Victoria's extraordinary personal life.
  • BODA
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    Internet sensation Bodacious the Shepherd Cat tells his life story in this meow-some memoir.

    The purr-fect book for cat lovers is told from Bodacious' point of view. He talks about how he ended up living on a farm and fondly recalls the early mornings and frosty starts, hard work and mouth-watering food he's enjoyed along the way.

    From Oscar the farm cat to border collie/fox terrier-cross Pepper, Bodacious talks about the animal characters he met on the farm and perfectly captures the atmosphere of the farm house, orchards and fields.
  • SSDY
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    At 94 years old, Madge Lambert is one of the few remaining women to have served as a nurse during the Burma Campaign between 1944 and 1945. It was while working here that she met her husband, Captain Basil Lambert. The couple have a love of dance that saw them appear on a Strictly Come Dancing Remembrance Day special.

    Based on first-hand research and meetings with Madge, Robert Blair's biography celebrates their romance, explaining how they met in the most desperate of times. Joining the troopship when she was just 20 years old and not long qualified, she was based in Chittachong on the Indian border, close to a fierce battle between the Allied forces and the Japanese.

    Madge spent long and exhausting hours nursing badly injured soldiers and eventually met Basil. This is a heart-warming and poignant account of how their burgeoning romance survived the final few months of war - and has thrived ever since.
  • EIMK
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    The Elephant Whisperer was a bestseller when it was published in 2009 but sadly the book's author - renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony - died in 2012.

    In An Elephant in My Kitchen, Lawrence's surviving partner Francoise Malby Anthony looks back over her grief and the way she had to take over the running of South African game reserve Thula Thula - even though she knew little about conservation.

    She had to contend with a lack of funds, poachers and a rogue elephant charging at Land Rovers full of terrified guests. Among her other incredible experiences were a baby getting lost in her kitchen; a baby hippo who hated water making friends with a little girl rhino; and a German Shepherd called Duma who became a nursemaid to the elephants.

    Witty and poignant, this is a book about how Francoise overcame her grief with the help of a new tusked family - and then went on to fulfil her dream of building a rescue centre for orphaned rhinos and other wildlife.
  • Ed Sheeran: Memories we made - Hardback - 9781788400664 - Christie Goodwin
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    Ed Sheeran is the world's biggest pop star right now and this book showcases images from a 10-year collaboration between 'The A-Team', 'Shape of You' and 'Galway Girl' singer and photographer Christie Goodwin.

    Christie first photographed Ed when he was a young busker in 2008 and in the decade since, he has played to thousands upon thousands of fans in stadiums and festivals all over the world. This book contains intimate and unseen photographs of Ed in action from all over this time.

    It features a foreword and photo captions from Ed's father, John Sheeran and will delight anyone who is fascinated by the singer-songwriter's hugely successful career.
  • FMYH
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    Beloved singer and broadcaster Linda Nolan provides a brave and honest account of her life and battles with cancer in an inspiring memoir that will make you laugh, cry and want to dance.

    The autobiography finds Linda - one of the singers from The Nolans whose hit I'm in the Mood for Dancing is still a floor-filler today - talking about her roller-coaster life. She discusses what it was like growing up in a big Irish family and how she and her sisters coped with the worldwide fame that followed. She also reveals the secrets and feuds that threatened to tea them apart.
    Linda candidly talks about her first battle with breast cancer and how the death of her husband left her deeply depressed and contemplating suicide. After choosing to live life to the full again, she received the news the cancer had come back and was now incurable. However, Linda has decided to enjoy the time she has left and embrace all the little things in life.
  • BFFW
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    The Last Leg host and stand-up comedian Adam Hills tells his life story in this touching and hilarious biography.

    Adam has been performing for over 30 years and in this book he talks about losing his leg and how his experiences as a disabled comedian have inspired him in so many ways. He reveals how following your heart and staying positive can lead to so many incredible experiences - including hosting one of Channel 4's most popular shows!

    He also talks through his favourite childhood memories, backstage blunders and exciting encounters with celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Connolly and the bloke who sang The Macarena.
  • JOSW
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    Sir David Attenborough is now in the seventh decade of his hugely successful television career as a broadcaster and naturalist. His success began with the famous Zoo Quest in 1954, where he travelled the world to discover exotic animals for a zoo exhibition in the UK.

    In this fascinating memoir, David revisits his journeys from Madagascar and New Guinea to the Pacific Islands and the Northern territory of Australia.

    Originally published in the late 1950s, this warm and humorous account finds David exploring some of the most remarkable cultures and wildlife from this time including his encounters with paradise birds, chameleons and sifakas.
  • SLAS
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    Gemma Hoggs' Stable Lass is a heartfelt memoir that reveals what it's like to work at one of the country's top racing yards.

    Gemma explains how despite the long hours and low pay, she finds her job incredibly rewarding: she works in the beautiful surroundings of Middleham in Wensleydale and the majesty of the horses makes up for any challenges she faces from humans.

    She talks about the dangers, politics, in-fighting, romances and affairs that exist in the horse riding industry and also opens up about her grief after losing a horse. She also reveals all about the people she deals with - from straight-talking boss Mickey Hammond to millionaire owners and jockeys that starve themselves to lose weight...
  • HLPM
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    Praised by Fearne Cotton and Jessie Burton, Marianne Power's Help me is the humorous and moving story of the journalist's quest to live according to the rules she found in her self-help books.

    Marianne decided to test one book a month for a year to see if following the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and embracing the Power of Now really dig have a significant and positive impact on her mental health. What began as a clever and fun experiment soon evolves into something much more poignant...

    This is a deeply personal, witty and moving book about one woman's journey of redemption - and it's one that can also inspire you to find happiness.

    For fans of authors like Matt Haig, Bryony Gordon, Danny Wallace
  • AJML
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    Former home secretary Alan Johnson celebrates his love of music in this marvellously entertaining memoir.

    He recalls first hearing Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly's True Love on the radio as a child in the 1950s and how this led to a lifelong passion. He fondly remembers humming Elvis Costello's Watching the Detectives while working as a postman and celebrates his love of artists ranging from Lonnie Donegan and The Beatles to David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen.

    A great read for music lovers and those who are interested in politics, this book lets you discover more about Alan Johnson the man while also transporting you back to a world of jukeboxes full of unashamedly romantic love songs and heartbreaking ballads.
  • The Century Girls - Hardback - 9781471161322 - Tessa Dunlop
    CNTY
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    Six women who have lived the last hundred years of British history reveal how their lives have changed since the suffragettes won the right for women (over 30 and who met certain property qualifications) to vote in 1918.

    Hailing from locations spread across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Helena, Olive, Edna, Joyce, Ann and Phyllis - The Century Girls - explain what they saw, how they were treated, who they loved, what they did and where they are now. They look back at times as housewives and working and describe the surroundings they grew up in.

    This is a personal account of how women gradually began to build independent lives for themselves in post-Great War Britain and what their day-to-day lives were like and how they changed throughout the following decades.
  • The Story of Beatrix Potter - Hardback - 9781909881808 - 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.
  • Happy Mum, Happy Baby - Hardback - 9781473651203 - Giovanna Fletcher
    HMHB
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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.
  • In the Days of Rain - Hardback - 9780008209162 - Rebecca Stott
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    Rebecca Stott's In the Days of Rain is the Costa Biography Award Winner 2017

    Rebecca Stott's In the Days of Rain is a fascinating yet shocking memoir about her experiences growing up in - and breaking away from - a fundamentalist Christian cult.

    Any readers who were left stunned and captivated by Bad Blood and Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal will find themselves fully immersed in this incredible true story. Rebecca recalls how her father begged her to help him write a memoir while on his deathbed. He wanted to talk about his family's experiences in a fundamentalist Christian sect but every time he reached a certain point, the painful memories all became too much.

    The sect were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan and lived by a number of strict rules - women had to wear headscarves and any non-sect books were banned. Although Rebecca was born into the sect, she needed to know more about their culture and asked intelligent yet dangerous questions while growing up. She soon discovered her father, an influential preacher, had been asking the same questions.

    Here Rebecca talks about her father's ongoing struggle between faith and doubt and how this affected their relationship and livelihood for a long time after breaking away...