Real life stories can be shocking, heart-warming, terrifying, eye-opening and sometimes all of those at once. One thing is for certain, however, they do make gripping reading. In our true story books, there are loads of amazing and unusual accounts of extraordinary lives and experiences that will have you laughing or crying in disbelief. All of these books in our picks of 8 true life stories that are completely unexpected will have you shocked and moved by the strange world around you.
Chris Graham with Wendy Holden
After being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at 34, Chris Graham decided he wanted to raise awareness about early-onset Alzheimer's by cycling 16,000 miles around America. Despite the disease causing him to forget much-needed pieces of information, such as his left and right, he managed to complete his cycle and make it back home. Chris's eye-opening story is a truly emotional and inspiring read.
This illustrated autobiography takes you across Antarctica with Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, the greatest polar explorer in Britain. Featuring a mix of diary notes, photography and maps, this visual memoir shows you the many adventures Ranulph has had in the coldest temperatures. Shocking and fascinating, this book will open your eyes to the incredible dangers faced by this amazing individual.
Lifeguard Steven Jamieson has written his surprising story of how he took on a rather unlikely apprentice, a Newfoundland dog called Bilbo. Steven initially had no idea how great Bilbo would become at his job and after saving three lives he became a celebrity around the world. This moving story all about the incredible things man's best friend can do is a great real life story for when you're feeling down.
After Janet Walton and her husband, Graham, were told they couldn't have children, they were shocked to learn that Janet was pregnant with sextuplets. Not only that, but Janet became the only mother in the world to have all-female sextuplets. Now that all the girls are grown adults, Janet tells the story of how she raised her 6 cheeky but wonderful children and how they've all grown. This funny and emotional book will put a smile on the face of anyone who's had the joy of raising children.
Kevin Sampson was in the stands at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield the day 96 people were killed and 766 injured in one of the most horrific disasters in recent years. This book, written in association with the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, tells the stories of those who were affected by and lost loved ones in the disaster. This heart-breaking book will open your eyes to one of the most shocking events in recent times.
Paul Archer and Johno Ellison
Paul, Johno and Leigh had no idea of the adventures they were to have when they drunkenly bought a London taxi. This purchase prompted them to make the decision to travel the world, and in amongst the crazy and terrifying experiences they had, they broke two World Records, encountered the Taliban and were stopped by the Iranian Secret Police! This hilarious and unusual book will delight anyone with an adventurous streak.
Jo Milne underwent cochlear implant surgery in 2014 which allowed her to hear for the first time in her life. Her first hearing moments were filmed and garnered a staggering amount of views on Youtube as millions around the world were moved by her experience. However, as Jo has regained her hearing she is sadly losing her sight due to her Usher Syndrome. Jo's inspiring story will move you in this surprising memoir about what it is like to hear your mother's voice for the first time at 39 years old.
Jack Cooke has an odd hobby. He loves climbing the trees of London and sightseeing from up in the air. In this bizarre real life story Jack considers the beauty of nature and gives you a guide to exploring London from up high so you can have a go at being a tree-top tourist too.
If you want more riveting and revealing real true story books, then check out our full selection of real life stories.