Just Ignore Him
Comedian Alan Davies lost his mother to leukaemia at the age of six and was sexually abused by his father from the age of eight, a trauma that he was only able to finally confront when he informed the police in 2017. Davies's honest memoir discusses how these events affected him and also recalls lighter moments of suburban life and school in 1970s Essex.
Gary Numan: The Autobiography
By the age of 21, Gary Numan could claim four bestselling albums and two world tours. His subsequent decline, punctuated by a constant struggle with Asperger’s syndrome, was equally rapid, and his return to celebrity in the 21st century marked a huge artistic transformation.
Peggy and Me
The comedian, actress and writer had always viewed dog owners slightly askance – they talked obsessively about their pets, and their clothes and sofas were covered in hair. Then she got Peggy, a shih-tzu bichon-frise cross puppy, and discovered the joy and comfort of canine companionship amid life-changing crises, and its lessons in life, love, trust and friendship. Slightly off-mint
Can't Sleep, Can't Train, Can't Stop
More Misadventures in Triathlon
Having told the story of an unlikely athlete taking on an Ironman triathlon in his acclaimed Can’t Swim, Can’t Ride, Can’t Run, Andy Holgate ups the stakes in this sequel volume, humorously describing his quest to complete two such events, six weeks apart, the first in the hot and unforgiving terrain of Lanzarote. Slightly off-mint
More Than Likely
The TV comedies Porridge and The Likely Lads are Clement and La Frenais' best known work but in their long career they have also created scripts for films, plays and musicals such as The Commitments. This dual biography intersperses personal reminiscences with memories of their many productions and anecdotes about stars including Richard Burton, Sean Connery and Tracey Ullman.
Being David Archer
And Other Unusual Ways of Earning a Living
HGV driver, lead actor in The Archers, electrician, Time Lord in Doctor Who, website designer, video game voiceover artist – Tim Bentinck has had an eclectic career. This characteristically witty, self-deprecating biography contrasts the straightforward life of farmer David Archer, a character Bentinck played for almost four decades, with the rollercoaster life of a jobbing actor.
Eriskay Where I Was Born
Born at Haun, on the small, Gaelic-speaking island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides, Angus Edward ‘Detsag’ MacInnes (1925–2005) tells the story of his family and his own life, from growing up as one of ten children to his long and adventurous career in the Merchant Navy, and gives a richly detailed description of island life. First published in 1997 and reissued with a new foreword by Decker Forrest in 2017.
One Man's Odyssey Through the Lower Leagues of English Football
As a teenager, Ben Smith shared Arsenal training sessions with Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright, and looked set for a bright career, but spent his playing time with lower league teams such as Reading, Southend and Weymouth. This account alternates between his life in football, including his frustrations and low points, and his later experiences teaching and coaching.
An Ode to Darkness
Despite living in the ‘land of the polar night’, Norwegian journalist Sigri Sandberg is afraid of the dark. In this diary she describes a five-day stay at her mountain cabin, where she confronts her fear alone, reflecting on the cultural and psychological meanings of darkness while also exploring research into the damage that pervasive artificial light is doing to our well-being.
A Memoir of My Hollywood Years
This second volume of Julie Andrews’s autobiography begins with her Hollywood debut in Mary Poppins which, closely followed by The Sound of Music, catapulted her to stardom. She reflects on motherhood, the pressures of fame, the failure of her first marriage, and her long personal and professional partnership with her second husband, the director Blake Edwards, with whom she made Victor/Victoria.
Who Am I, Again?
In this memoir, Lenny Henry recalls his upbringing in Dudley as one of seven children, and how as a 16-year-old factory apprentice he successfully auditioned for his first TV appearance on New Faces. He also reveals his struggles with the racism of 1970s Britain, and its entertainment industry. At every stage, he confesses, he asked himself, ‘Am I good enough?’ Looking back, he concludes with words of advice to aspiring comedians.
Tales from the Secret Footballer
He's Back. And this time He's Not Alone.
The Secret Footballer tells more anecdotes from his own career in the game, along with tales about other players, and reflections on the difficulty of choosing a new career to move on to. His anonymity allows him to be honest about his own insecurities, and the bad behaviour, personal rivalries and struggles with mental health he has witnessed.
First Time Ever
Folk legend Peggy Seeger is the half-sister of American protest singer Pete Seeger but it is her marriage and collaborations with British activist and songwriter Ewan MacColl for which she is best known. In this memoir she reflects on her bohemian New York upbringing, left-wing politics and activism and the British folk scene of the 1950s and 1960s that she did much to nurture.
The Unwelcome Visitor
Depression and How I Survive It
Soap actress and Loose Women regular Denise Welch has been frank about her struggles with alcohol, anxiety and depression. In this account she traces her experiences back to a post-natal depressive episode, discusses the difficulty of identifying ‘triggers’, and reveals how cathartic it was to speak about her problems on social media.
Syria, Salisbury and Saving Lives at War
The British Army’s leading chemical weapons expert, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon has served in conflict zones around the world. He recalls his first, terrifying encounter with nerve gas in the 1991 Gulf War, his resulting PTSD, and how, after years learning how to prevent attacks and training doctors to treat victims, he was called to his home town of Salisbury to investigate the poisoning of two Russians.
In the year following the Allied landings in Sorrento, Norman Lewis worked as a British counter-intelligence officer in Naples, a city under Allied occupation. An unflinching autobiographical account of life there, Naples ’44 describes the deprivation and suffering caused by war and the resilience of local community. Read by Nicholas Boulton. Unabridged.
The Story of My Life
Born in Venice in 1725, Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798) lived the life of a libertine and adventurer, gambling, womanizing and sometimes staring at prison walls. His voluminous memoirs, written during his final years as librarian at the Castle of Dux in Bohemia, secured his reputation, but also provide an invaluable account of eighteenth-century life. The third and last volume continues his adventures ‘In London and Moscow’ and ‘Spanish Passions’. Unabridged.
The Story of My Life
Born in Venice in 1725, Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798) lived the life of a libertine and adventurer, gambling, womanizing and sometimes staring at prison walls. His voluminous memoirs, written during his final years as librarian at the Castle of Dux in Bohemia, secured his reputation, but also provide an invaluable account of eighteenth-century life. In Volume 2, Casanova embarks on ‘the Eternal Quest’ – his life of amorous liaisons – and ‘Adventures in the South’. Unabridged.
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Confessions of a Post-punk Percussionist, Volume I
Stephen Morris was recruited as the drummer of Joy Division (then known as Warsaw) from a small ad in a Macclesfield music shop. In this memoir he remembers working with Ian Curtis, the Manchester post-punk scene and the formation of New Order, and reflects on his pioneering work with drum machines that helped shape the band's sound.
The Last of the Great Rock Stars
The acclaimed bass player of The Who, John Entwhistle was a quieter personality than his bandmates but made up for it in eccentricities and a capacity for work and consumption that earned him the nickname 'the ox'. This life of one the greats of rock has been compiled with access to his own notes for an autobiography and interviews with friends and family.
One Two Another
Line by Line: Lyrics from The Charlatans, Solo and Beyond
The Charlatans rose to prominence with their 1990 single 'The Only One I Know' and have sustained a loyal following to the present day with a string of successful albums. Lead singer Tim Burgess is the main songwriter and this volume collects over 70 of his best lyrics accompanied by commentary about the circumstances of each song's composition and backstage anecdotes.
Behind the Lens
In this memoir David Suchet looks back on his career, from rep theatre to the Royal Shakespeare Company and TV fame as Poirot, and also reflects on his personal life, upbringing and faith. A keen photographer all his life, the actor illustrates the book with his own images of the places and people that have been important to him, off-set and backstage pictures, and portraits of fellow actors.
A Journey Beyond the Muse
As a young fashion model in the Swinging Sixties, Jenny Boyd was at the heart of the era’s music scene – she was married to Mick Fleetwood, and her sister to George Harrison. She tells of the highs and lows that followed: the pressures of touring, the volatile relationships, her struggles with drugs, and how she built a new life as a therapist.
Travelling to Work
Diaries 1988–98, Volume 3
Michael Palin embarked on filming Around the World in 80 Days with some trepidation – it did not seem like a good time to step away from the career he had spent over two decades cultivating. Travelling to Work reveals his doubts and struggles as he worked on a novel, continued to act, and failed to resist the lure of filming Pole to Pole and Full Circle.
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Confessions of a Post-Punk Percussionist, Volume I
Stephen Morris was recruited as the drummer of Joy Division (then known as Warsaw) from a small ad in a Macclesfield music shop. In this memoir he remembers the Manchester post-punk scene, working with Ian Curtis and the formation of New Order.
From Foster Care to Footballer
The popular footballer Mark Bright played for various clubs in FA, League and play-off finals, and is now a TV pundit. This memoir, introduced by Gary Lineker, reflects on his career but also tells the story of his turbulent childhood, during which he found a stable home with a foster family after his birth parents split up, but experienced racism at school and elsewhere.
Diary of a Rural GP
Hilarious True Stories from a Country Practice
For almost 30 years on the Devon–Cornwall border, Dr Mike Sparrow attended to his patients in his village surgery or in their farms and hamlets scattered across the countryside. Now retired from General Practice, he looks back on his most memorable cases: sewing fingers back on, delivering babies vet-style, burying beagles ... but Sparrow was never a man for Standard Operating Procedure.
The Great Artists
Claude Monet (1840–1926) was one of the original Impressionist group whose subjects were modern life and the play of light on people and landscape. This richly illustrated introduction to his life and work traces Monet’s style and preoccupations from early success at the official Salon (with Camille in 1866) to his final paintings of the waterlilies in his garden at Giverny.
Having debuted for the All Blacks aged 23, Read made over 100 Test appearances, winning the World Cup twice. This memoir discusses the challenges of captaining great players, the coaches who influenced him, and New Zealand’s road to world domination in the sport. Alongside anecdotes about teammates, he analyses the game’s future and describes how he personally dealt with injury and defeat.
Both of Us
My Life with Farrah
Ryan O’Neal, star of Love Story and Bones, and Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett seemed a golden couple. Their romance was complex though, and fell apart in 1994 only to be rekindled in the years before her early death. This frank memoir addresses the insecurities and unsavoury moments in their relationship while also expressing O’Neal’s love and regrets.
In 2013, tired of shabby flatshares and frenetic London life, Danie Couchman bought a narrowboat. Unable to afford a permanent mooring, she moved every fortnight, navigating the Thames, the Grand Union Canal and the River Lea. In five years of itinerant, off-grid living in this urban wilderness, she reconnected with nature and found friends amid the eclectic, nomadic community of boat-dwellers.
Ernest Shackleton’s third Antarctic expedition in 1914–17 aimed to cross the southern continent via the Pole, but when their ship Endurance was crushed by ice floes, the team escaped to the relative safety of Elephant Island. From there, Shackleton and three of his men made the perilous trek to fetch help. A story of tremendous endurance and courage, this is Shackleton’s account of one of the most famous Antarctic expeditions. First published in 1919.
John Barleycorn: A Drinking Life
In this semi-autobiographical novel, John Barleycorn shares the travels and adventures of Jack London (1876–1916) across North America, sailing with oyster pirates, prospecting for gold, living rough, struggling to be a writer and, crucially, losing the fight against alcohol addiction.
Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Thomas De Quincey's powerful autobiographical study describes his addiction to opium and its psychological effects: childhood experience is turned into dreams that are at first euphoric, but become horrific as his dependence on the drug deepens. Published in 1822, the book brought De Quincey literary fame and became an important influence on later writers.
Where Shall We Run To?
The acclaimed children’s author recalls his wartime childhood on Alderley Edge, the distinctive Cheshire landscape that shaped his fictions such as The Owl Service. He recalls the sounds of German bombers, air-raid sirens and ack-ack guns, his father joining the army, life at the village school, and the arrival of the Americans with sweets and chewing gum. From this vivid evocation of a vanished England, he leaps forward to the 21st century and a reunion with a childhood friend.
The Killer Across the Table
Former FBI agent and criminal profiler John Douglas, whose work inspired films and dramas including The Silence of the Lambs, Criminal Minds and Mindhunter, analyses the lives and crimes of four killers in this books. He reveals the interrogation techniques he uses to gain an understanding of how psychopaths and predators see the world, and explains how this knowledge can help investigators to solve challenging cases.
Exceeding My Brief
Memories of a Disobedient Civil Servant
In this frank memoir Barbara Hoskings (1926–2021) recalls a career that took her from writing for The Cornishman newspaper to becoming press secretary for Harold Wilson and Edward Heath, who she accompanied to Paris for the signing of the Treaty of Rome, and to Munich for the Olympic Games. She also remembers the elitism and sexism she encountered, and the changes in attitude that she witnessed during her long working life.
Rebel With a Cause
The first woman to represent the Welsh valleys, Ann Clwyd spent 33 years in parliament, partly as a shadow minister before being sacked for not toeing the party line. This memoir recounts key events she witnessed first hand, from the miners’ strike to the EU referendum, and discusses causes she embraced, including the NHS and her involvement in Iraq, which led to Saddam labelling her an ‘enemy of the people’.
Behind Diplomatic Lines
Relations With Ministers
As Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office from 1986 to 1991, Patrick Wright was well positioned to observe the inner workings of the British government during a tumultuous period in world affairs. His diaries offer a day-to-day account of the aftermath of the Falklands War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, strained relations with the EU, the first Gulf War and the fall of Margaret Thatcher.
1977: The Bollocks Diaries
Never Mind the Bollocks
In 1977 the Sex Pistols sent a shockwave through popular culture with their music, fashion, graphic design and manipulation of the media. This scrapbook-style celebration of the year when their only studio album was released tells the story of the tumultuous times through newspaper cuttings, photographs, flyers and the recollections of the band and people close to them. Slightly off-mint.
Hemingway in Love
The Untold Story
In 1961, a few weeks before Hemingway took his own life, AE Hotchner visited his old friend for the last time. What the writer told him formed the final piece of the mystery Hemingway had been revealing down the years: the story of the affair that destroyed his marriage, and the woman who haunted his life and fiction. Withheld for decades out of consideration for his widow, this frank account reveals an unknown Hemingway: humble, thoughtful and full of regret. American Cut Pages.
A Life for Music
Britten was one of the greatest English composers of the 20th century and for four decades was a key figure in the country's cultural life. This biography teases out his paradoxes, as an innovative composer who revered predecessors such as Purcell and as a supporter of left-wing causes who was on friendly terms with royalty. Written by a Suffolk poet, it also emphasizes Britten's affinity with the county's marshes and beaches and the literary inspirations behind his work.
The Life of P.T. Barnum
This brazenly self-aggrandizing, but entertaining autobiography by Phineas T. Barnum provides a first-hand account of both the grandiose and fraudulent sides of mass American culture in its early stages. In his career as a travelling impresario, libellous newspaper editor and hypocritical public benefactor, he was known for spectacular hoaxes and publicity stunts, as well as Barnum’s American museum, the inspiration for The Greatest Showman.
Tippi Hedren came from modest Mid-West beginnings to become the matriarch of a Hollywood dynasty and a cinematic icon. This autobiography details her early breakthroughs; complicated relationship with Hitchcock; life as a single mother; the terrifying filming of Roar, featuring dozens of lions and tigers; and her work as a humanitarian and animal rights activist. A photographic insert includes images of key moments in her life, co-stars and her big-cats preserve. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
In this memoir, one of America’s greatest playwrights reviews his life from the vantage of old age, avoiding a strictly chronological approach as he looks back on his Depression-era childhood in Harlem and his early success. He chronicles the development of his political and literary ideas, and the struggles with McCarthyism that followed, and his marriage to Marilyn Monroe is recalled tenderly, alongside encounters with JF Kennedy and Clark Gable.
But You Did Not Come Back
‘You might come back, because you’re young,’ Marceline Loridan-Ivens’s father told her as they were deported to concentration camps. ‘But I will not.’ Addressing this memoir to him, she recalls the events leading to their arrest in occupied France, her incarceration in Birkenau, and her lifelong struggle with these experiences, while warning of the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe today.
War and the Death of News
From Battlefield to Newsroom – My Fifty Years in Journalism
Martin Bell has seen war from both sides, first as a soldier and then as a journalist, reporting from some of the worst conflicts of recent decades. In this personal account he describes his experiences in Vietnam, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, and reflects on the way that journalism has changed. In the face of ‘embedded’ reporting, ‘infotainment’, social media and ‘post-truth’, he issues an impassioned call to put substance back into the news.
The Diary of Mary Berg
Growing up in the Warsaw Ghetto
As the daughter of an American citizen, Mary Berg belonged to a tiny minority of those held in the Warsaw ghetto during the Second World War who were given some privileges. The diary she started on her fifteenth birthday is a compassionate account of the day-to-day suffering she witnessed there.
Have a Cigar!
The Memoir of the Man Behind Pink Floyd, T.Rex, The Jam and George Michael
After booking The Pretty Things for a student dance and becoming their manager, Bryan Morrison’s career developed organically. His autobiography recalls his rapid rise in the music industry, representing a host of top stars before expanding into music publishing and developing a business empire.
Scenes and Apparitions
As Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, Sir Roy Strong was a leading figure in Britain’s cultural life. His second volume of diaries begins as he leaves the public stage to devote himself to writing and his love of gardening. With a rich and diverse cast of characters including Tony Blair, Judi Dench, Elton John, Laurence Olivier, Harold Pinter, Margaret Thatcher and the Queen, it casts a wryly humorous eye over the turn of the millennium.
Time to Talk
More interested in basketball than cricket when growing up in Antigua, Curtly Ambrose quickly rose through the ranks when he started to take the game seriously, establishing himself as the world’s leading fast bowler in the 1990s. His biography charts his meteoric rise and achievements in international cricket and reveals his opinions on the game, on his teammates and on Caribbean and sporting politics.
The Extraordinary Story of Britain's First Female Firefighter
Josephine Reynolds was 12 when her family home in west Wales burned down. In 1981, aged 17, she joined the fire service. This memoir tells how she coped in this all-male environment, while dealing with forest fires, escaped zoo animals and unexploded bombs.
Between the Lines
Although less lauded than some of the glamorous players around him, fellow pros and coaches acknowledged that Michael Carrick held a key role in Manchester United’s winning team in the last decade of Alex Ferguson’s reign. This autobiography reveals his thoughts about his time at West Ham, Spurs, United and England, and the players and managers he worked with including Harry Redknapp, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham.