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.
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.
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.
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.
Moeen Ali has been one of England’s most popular cricketers of recent years, with high points including wrapping up a 2017 test against South Africa with a hat-trick, and being named Player of the Series. This autobiography discusses his street cricket roots and his journey from county level to international scene, while also giving an extended insight into his family background and personal faith.
Springsteen on Springsteen
Interviews Speeches Encounters
Spanning four decades, from an interview with Rock (US) magazine in 1973, less than a month after the release of Springsteen’s first album, to his keynote speech at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in 2012, this is The Boss speaking to journalists or directly to his audience. Slightly off-mint.
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.
A Farmer's Diary
A Year at High House Farm
Running a farm in Northumberland with 200 sheep, chickens, barley and wheat crops, and a micro-brewery and wedding venue operating from the outbuildings, requires many skills. Recording the work of the farm through the year, Sally Urwin gives an insight into the challenges, amusements and frustrations she encounters, from bringing in the harvest, lambing and sheep shearing to fixing dry stone walls and attending the village talent contest.
The Drowned and the Saved
In his final book, Primo Levi turned once again to his time in Auschwitz, and the lessons to be drawn from it. He reflects on the necessity of bearing witness to the truth, on survivor guilt, his feelings towards the Germans and the futility of hatred, and delivers a sobering reminder that, with would-be dictators waiting in the wings, the unimaginable could happen again.
In a long career working for the BBC, ITN and Sky News, award-winning journalist Jeremy Thompson travelled the world to report on events including the Tiananmen Square massacre and the release of Nelson Mandela. His autobiography offers a glimpse behind the scenes in the newsroom and shares both poignant and amusing moments during assignments, from the Miners’ Strike to the election of Donald Trump.
My Life and Times in Cricket
Chris Adams played a handful of Tests and One Day Internationals for England in 1989 and 1990 but it was on the county scene where he distinguished himself: as a leading run-scorer and championship-winning captain of Sussex in the 2000s. This autobiography reflects on his experiences in domestic and international cricket and his thoughts about coaching and captaincy.
Karl Jordan and the Naturalist Tradition
‘How do we know what we know about biodiversity and, conversely, why do we seem to know so little?’ Kristin Johnson approaches those questions through a study of Karl Jordan (1861–1959), a taxonomist and Curator of Insects at the Natural History Museum, London, who devoted his life to naming, describing and ordering a small subset of Earth’s biodiversity – over 3,000 species of Lepidoptera, Coleoptera and Siphonaptera.
Diaries and Selected Letters
Much of Mikhail Bulgakov’s career was a struggle with Soviet censorship, and his greatest novel, The Master and Margarita, remained unpublished in his lifetime. These chronological extracts from his diaries and letters – their recipients included Stalin himself – run from 1921 to 1940, and record his initial success and subsequent fall from favour, including his interrogation by the secret police.
Don't You Leave Me Here
Born in 1947, Wilko Johnson read English at university, hit the hippie trail to Afghanistan and taught Shakespeare in a secondary school before becoming Dr Feelgood’s mesmerizing guitarist in the 1970s. His candid and often funny memoir tells his story from first love in Canvey Island, through rock stardom, to not dying with cancer.
Drawing on his own youthful friendship with the novelist and hundreds of interviews with those who knew him, Andrew Turnbull recreates Fitzgerald’s itinerant childhood as his father sought work, his studies at Princeton, literary success, marriage to the troubled Zelda, and his struggle with alcoholism.
White Boots and Miniskirts
A True Story of Life in the Swinging Sixties
From the author of Bombsites and Lollipops, this is a memoir of the Swinging Sixties, recounting how Jacky grew up as a free-spirited, hedonistic girl in search of adventure and independence. The decade’s music, fashion and culture has become iconic, but this is a more personal look at a world of souped-up Minis, conmen, typewriters, bed-hopping, tragic romances, flat-sharing, Soviet spies and the smoke-filled pubs of Fleet Street. Slightly off-mint.
The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45
First published in 1946 Wladyslaw Szpilman’s account of his survival in the Warsaw Ghetto inspired the Oscar-winning film The Pianist. Reprinted here with diary extracts by the German officer who saved him, it offers a picture of the claustrophobia and terror of ghetto life.
A Fortunate Man
The Story of a Country Doctor
First published in 1967, this book follows the GP John Sassall as he goes about his rounds in rural Gloucestershire. What emerges, in the words of John Berger and the photographs of Jean Mohr, is a portrait of a community, and of a remarkable man who combined breadth of vision with a deep appreciation of the minutiae of everyday life.
The Devil's Diary
Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich
Alfred Rosenberg was the principal ideologue behind the Nazi Party, whose ideas formed the theoretical basis for the Third Reich and the Holocaust. This book chronicles his rise to power, his relations with other leading Nazis, and his trial and execution. Its sources include Rosenberg’s own diary, which disappeared after his trial at Nuremberg and was only rediscovered 75 years later.
My Life Outside the Lines
Coming to prominence on television at the age of 35, Nick Nolte has since earned three Oscar nominations for his film performances. This autobiography explores his early life in Iowa and years as a model as well as his Hollywood career and high-profile addiction problems. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Born to sharecroppers in Georgia, Martin Luther King, Sr. (1899–1984) was a prominent Baptist preacher. This memoir, first published in 1980, recounts his struggles against racism, and his fatherly pride and anxiety as his son became the leading light of the Civil Rights movement.
The Travelling Vet
From Pets to Pandas: My Life with Animals
Jonathan Cranston treats cows, dogs, pigs and cats at his Cotswolds veterinary practice, but he has also had a remarkable career working around the world with species including crocodiles, rhinos and pandas, and as an advisor on the Jurassic World franchise. In this anecdotal collection he shares some of his more peculiar and poignant experiences, which include microchipping armadillos, anaesthetising giraffes, birthing calves, castrating a sugar glider and encountering victims of rhino poaching.
The Epic Voyages of Maud Berridge
The Seafaring Diaries of a Victorian Lady
Maud Berridge (1844–1907) made five voyages with her husband, Master Mariner Henry Berridge, from Gravesend to Melbourne and back. One of these, on the clipper Superb, was a trip of 14 months, rounding both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, and stopping off in Polynesia and San Francisco. Interweaving Maud’s diaries with contemporary reports and a modern commentary, her great-granddaughter has assembled an account of a Victorian captain’s wife’s adventures at sea.
Since receiving a terminal diagnosis of leukaemia in 2010, Clive James has produced an extraordinary late harvest of poetry and prose. In this collection of essays, he looks back with characteristic wit, humour and perception on a lifetime’s reading, offering his unique insights into writers from Conrad, Hemingway and Larkin to VS Naipaul and WG Sebald. Woven throughout these literary ruminations, moreover, is a thoughtful and moving reflection on life and death.
A Life in Questions
‘Why is this lying bastard lying to me?’ With this question in mind, Britain’s most incisive interviewer has skewered politicians from John Major to Theresa May on national television. Now, in this long-awaited memoir, he reflects on a career that has taken him to many of the world’s trouble spots, from Beirut to Belfast. Funny and poignant, it is packed with revealing anecdotes about the great, the good and the rotters he has met.
Once the all-conquering bad boy of tennis, John McEnroe is increasingly better known for his insightful commentaries and opinions on the game. In this memoir he reflects on his playing years but also on his life since, developing new careers in broadcasting and art dealing, and bringing up a large family. Still competing in senior tournaments and recently coach to Milos Raonic, he also has plenty to say on the state of modern tennis.
Train to Nowhere
One Woman's War, Ambulance Driver, Reporter, Liberator
First published in 1948, this Second World War reportage relates the experiences of Anita Leslie, the daughter of a baronet and a distant cousin of Winston Churchill. Her account includes descriptions of working for the Mechanised Transport Corps, driving an ambulance for the Free French Forces, writing letters home from Hitler’s office in the Reich Chancellery, and marching in the Victory Parade in Berlin.
An Indian Summer of Steam
Railway Travel in The United Kingdom and Abroad 1962–2013
Working on the railways from the early 1960s, David Maidment was in a privileged position to witness the last days of steam and continued his interest by seeking out steam across the world after its demise in Britain. Accompanied by 200 of his own images, this 'railway biography' tells the story of his career and his pursuit of working steam and steam specials in Europe and China.
Bolts from the Blue
From Cold War Warrior to Chief of the Air Staff
Trained as a jet pilot in the late 1950s when Britain was still a leading air power, Richard Johns achieved the top rank in the RAF in 1997, by which time Britain's military capacity had been much reduced. His autobiography examines his key operations as commander, including the First Gulf War and Balkan conflict in the 1990s, as well as reflecting on the evolution of the RAF and the other services during his career.
The Old Man and the Knee
How to Be a Golden Oldie
‘I’d like to get one thing straight. I am not old. I know what old is, and I’m not it.’ This light-hearted guide to retirement discusses the amusing and exasperating points of ageing, from what to do with your spare time and coping with the changing attitudes and manners of younger generations to worrying about declining physical fitness and the perils of social media.
Making a Noise
Getting it Right, Getting it Wrong in Life, Broadcasting and the Arts
This candid memoir by Czech-born journalist and arts administrator John Tusa recollects the wrangles with BBC senior management over the creation of Newsnight in 1979 (he was a presenter). It also reveals how as managing director of the World Service (1986–93) he saw off unwanted political influence over its remit. And musing on his stint as head of the Barbican (1995–2007), he demonstrates how his passion for the arts turned the centre’s fortunes around.
A Miscarriage of Justice and the Fight to End the Death Penalty
The case of Oklahoma death-row inmate Richard Glossip has caused an international outcry, since even those who prosecuted him for murder admit he killed no one. The British reporter who became his close friend tells the story of Glossip’s campaign against three scheduled executions. Slightly off-mint.
A Season in the Wilderness
This classic of American nature writing records the author’s time as a ranger in the canyons of Utah. A rallying-cry for the protection of wilderness, it describes the stark beauty of the landscape: its terracotta earth, arching rock formations, wild horses and Pueblo Indian petroglyphs. First published half a century ago, this new edition includes an introduction by the writer and wildlife campaigner Robert Macfarlane.
The Sheep Stell
Memoirs of a Shepherd
Despite coming from a middle-class, academic family, Janet White dreamed of living and working somewhere wild and beautiful, ‘a place high and remote as a sheep stell, quiet as a monastery, challenging and virginal’. Here, she describes how she followed her ambition to be a farmer, from her first job as a dairymaid to owning her own sheep farm on a remote island in New Zealand. Originally published in 1991, and reissued with a new introduction by Colin Thubron.
Too Marvellous for Words!
Award-winning writer Julie Welch describes Felixstowe College as just like Malory Towers: her schoolgirl experiences there included pillow fights, midnight feasts and swotting for exams. This memoir of boarding-school life in the 1960s, however, covers topics Enid Blyton avoided, such as homesickness, anorexia and sex. Tracking down fellow boarders and an old teacher, Welch pieces together the school’s history and documents her own part in its story.
My Life on a Plate
Chef, television presenter and award-winning businesswoman Prue Leith (b.1940) is one of Britain’s foremost culinary authorities and has helped to revolutionize the country’s eating habits. In this candid and witty autobiography she describes her childhood in apartheid South Africa, her arrival in London in the 1960s and her rapid ascent to restaurant owner, Daily Mail columnist and cookery book author.
The Stories Behind the Headlines at the World's Most Famous Newspaper
As the chief reporter and news editor for the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck was one of Fleet Street's most prominent journalists for over 20 years. In this memoir he recalls the most sensational scoops and scandals, including the Jeffrey Archer perjury case, the David Beckham and Rebecca Loos affair, and a variety of stories involving politicians, celebrities, serial killers and even MI5.
An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major
This collection of essays takes a balanced look at the successes and failures of John Major’s government, and re-evaluates its legacy. Contributions from politicians including Charles Clarke, Paddy Ashdown and John Redwood and commentators such as Peter Oborne and Christian Wolmar reflect on the government’s fragile majority, battles over Europe and the Maastricht treaty, the Exchange Rate Mechanism debacle, the first Gulf War, and the Northern Ireland peace process.
Born in the Welsh valleys, Joan Ruddock went on to lead the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament before becoming an MP and the first Minister for Women in the Blair government. In this memoir, she recalls the hard lives of her parents, which fuelled her passion for social justice, her career as campaigner and politician, the euphoria she felt after the 1997 election, and the frustration and disillusionment that followed.
There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You
Something of a national treasure, thanks to her appearances as the archetypal mum in the Oxo television commercials, Lynda Bellingham (1948–2014) was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. In this memoir, she reflects on her life and continuing work while undergoing treatment for the disease as well as her relationships with her family, and her quest to find her birth father, having been adopted in infancy.
An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
‘Nothing you do on this planet can ever truly prepare you for what it means to leave it.’ Mike Massimino has left it twice – aboard the space shuttles Columbia and Atlantis, on servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope. Massimino’s entertaining, warts-and-all account describes life as an astronaut, from the first week of training to seven-hour-long space walks.