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Top 10 Best Biographies and Autobiographies

Biographies and autobiographies, whether they are about famous figures in pop culture or history or about seemingly normal people with incredible life stories, can be truly compelling reads. If you're looking for a real-life story that is inspiring, moving or shocking we have someone for everyone in our list of biographies and autobiographies. See what you can find in our top 10 best biographies and autobiographies...

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1. The Man Who Was Saturday

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Patrick Bishop

This fascinating read marks the 40th anniversary of Airey Neave's death. The spymaster and politician was the first British officer to escape from Colditz, a lawyer at the Nuremburg war trial and worked alongside Margaret Thatcher in her bid to become prime minister in 1975. Patrick Bishop describes Airey's remarkable life all the way to his shocking death in 1979.

2. Journeys to the Other Side of the World

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Sir David Attenborough

Before David Attenborough became the household name and national treasure he is now he completed the Zoo Quest in 1954 which saw him travelling the world to discover unusual animals for a UK zoo expedition. In this memoir which was originally published in the 1950s you can follow a young David through his adventures in Madagascar, New Guinea, Australia and more. 

3. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me

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Kate Clanchy

Kate Clanchy is a teacher and journalist who has had her fair share of unusual and meaningful encounters with students. For teachers, this book will be hilarious and relatable, for everyone else, this will be a nostalgic reminder of their own school days. 

4. Best Foot Forward

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Adam Hills

The Last Leg fans will love this candid autobiography from Adam Hills. Recalling his childhood memories and early days as a stand-up comedian in Australia, this book takes you through how Adam became a success on British TV. From hilarious run-ins with celebrities to his experiences as a disabled comedian, this is an eye-opening account of the life of one of TV’s favourite comedians and presenters. 

5. We Need to Weaken the Mixture

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Guy Martin

TV's Guy Martin recounts his most challenging experiences, including restoring some very famous cars and his past jobs in farming and truck fitting, in this brilliant autobiography. Discover some of Guy's wildest stories as well as some of his most personal.

6. Trials and Error

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Dougie Lampkin

If you or someone you know is very into their motorcycling then this autobiography from Dougie Lampkin, the greatest off-road rider, will be gladly received. With insights into his inspirations for his stunts and fascinating details into his family of sportspeople, this book is a candid and interesting read for all motorcycle enthusiasts. 

7. Leaders Who Changed History

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This big history book from DK features biographies on a range of famous historical leaders including Elizabeth I, Cleopatra and Emmeline Pankhurst. There is a mixture of revered and controversial leaders in this brilliant read for history fans. 

8. More Power

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Hugh Matheson

Jurgen Grobler is one of the most successful sports coaches the world has seen and in this biography written by Olympian Hugh Matheson, you can learn all about how he came to lead so many rowing teams to gold medals. Jurgen worked with top athletes including Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent and his amazing life has been kept out of the spotlight until now.

9. Help Me

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Marianne Power

Marianne Power decided to put the wise words of self-help books to the test and lived by the rules and suggestions laid out in a different self-help book every month for a whole year. This is a witty and moving book that will give every read some food for thought. 

10. Churchill: The Life

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Max Arthur

This illustrated biography features rare and previously unseen photographs of Winston Churchill and his family from the Churchill Archive Centre and Broadwater collection. Perfect for history buffs, this book takes you through the life of Winston Churchill from his childhood to his time as prime minister to his life after the war. Historian, Max Arthur, brings together photographs, telegrams, speech drafts and more to create an unforgettable biography about a fascinating figure.


If you still want more incredible true life stories then check out our full range of biographies and autobiographies.