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.
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.
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.
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. For most of us, his book is as close as we will get to blasting out of Earth’s atmosphere and going into orbit. Massimino’s entertaining, warts-and-all account describes life as an astronaut, from the first week of training to seven-hour-long space walks.
What I Learnt
What My Listeners Say – and Why We Should Take Notice
Jeremy Vine succeeded Jimmy Young as presenter of Radio 2's phone-in show in 2003 and since then has taken over 25,000 calls – including the joyous, the furious and the occasional joker. As well as his radio show, Vine is a familiar face on television, and his book describes working on everything from general election coverage to Strictly Come Dancing, but his emphasis is on his listeners ‘and all the surprises they spring’. Slightly off-mint.
Pour Me, a Life
AA Gill is best remembered for his hysterically funny – and often scathing – restaurant reviews, but behind his brilliant career lay a dark past. In this frank memoir he reveals how, as a student in his twenties, he was already a serious alcoholic. Sifting through blurred memories, he recalls his drunken affairs and a failed marriage, before pioneering rehab saved his life and set him on the path to three decades of sobriety.
To Cambridge and Beyond – A Writer's Memoir
In this erudite memoir, the screenwriter and novelist charts his journey from Chicago via Cambridge to Fleet Street, where the ambition and romantic yearnings of his youth were followed by the first taste of success with his Oscar-winning screenplay for Darling.
In His Own Words
In 2013, Benedict XVI became the only Pope to resign from office in modern times. In these conversations with the religious journalist Peter Seewald, he discusses the reasons for his resignation and his admiration for his successor, speaking frankly about the controversies that have dogged the Church, including ‘Vatileaks’ and the child abuse scandal, and revealing his thoughts about his life, his philosophy, his mistakes, and the future of Christianity.
Composing an American Life
One of America’s foremost composers reflects on his life and times, from the marching bands of his 1950s childhood to his acclaimed 2005 opera Doctor Atomic. He also explains the interplay of tradition and innovation in his own compositional process and the work of fellow-musicians.
The Long Walk
The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
In 1939 Polish Army lieutenant Slavomir Rawicz was sentenced to 25 years forced labour in a Siberian prison camp. In this controversial story of endurance, Rawicz describes his imprisonment and alleged escape to India across the Himalayas and Gobi Desert.
Commandant Of Auschwitz
The Autobiography of Rudolf Hoess
Rudolf Hoess was Commandant of Auschwitz from its construction in 1940 until late 1943, and supervised the murder of over three million Jews as part of the Nazis’ ‘final solution’. He was an expert in the administration of concentration camps and mass exterminations. Hoess wrote this autobiography in 1947 while in prison in Poland. He was tried, sentenced and hanged later that year. The autobiography and other documents are translated here by Constantine Fitzgibbon, with an introduction by Primo Levi.
Kathleen and Frank
The Autobiography of a Family
Drawing on his mother’s diary and letters, the novelist Christopher Isherwood recreates the story of his parents’ marriage: how Kathleen, the lively daughter of a successful wine merchant fell in love with Frank, the shy, artistic son of a country squire. This family history evokes an Edwardian world of amateur music-making, suffragettes, rising hemlines and social change – a world brought to an end by the Great War, in which Frank Isherwood was killed.
The author of The Long View and the much-loved Cazalet Chronicles, Elizabeth Jane Howard (1923–2014) lived, worked and loved in literary circles. Her candid autobiography describes her marriages – to Peter Scott and Kingsley Amis – love affairs with Arthur Koestler and Laurie Lee (among others), other much-valued friendships and her years alone after leaving Amis. Slightly off-mint.
While a junior reporter, Michael Parkinson played cricket for Barnsley and counted Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird amongst his team mates. Detailing his rise from local journalist to national broadcaster, this memoir relates his experiences in the television industry over a 40-year period, including the infamous TV-am launch, and his thoughts about the many famous and influential people he interviewed on his long-running chat show and Desert Island Discs.
A Different Kind Of Weather
William Waldegrave was a key figure in Margaret Thatcher’s government. His elegantly written memoir recalls the quintessentially English upbringing that would shape his life and career. With unusual frankness and dark humour, Waldegrave charts the rise and fall of Mrs Thatcher, offering a rare glimpse of the narcotic effect of politics, and a unique insight into one of the most tumultuous eras of modern British history.
Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
A Life in Music
Dave Stewart’s career as songwriter, performer and producer has spanned four decades. In this memoir he shares the stories behind his creative partnerships with a host of musicians and his rise to global stardom with Annie Lennox as Eurythmics. Foreword by Mick Jagger. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Strangers on a Bridge
The Case of Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers
On 10 February 1962, on Glienicke Bridge between East Germany and West Berlin, the American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was exchanged for Rudolf Abel, Soviet head of espionage in the USA. James Donovan was the American lawyer who defended Abel in court and negotiated his release to the USSR and the return of Powers. First published in 1964, this is the first-hand, inside story of a tense episode at the height of the Cold War. Slightly off-mint.
The Pigeon Tunnel
Stories from My Life
John Le Carré has drawn on his years in British intelligence to create a body of fiction that explores the moral ambiguities of our world. In this long-awaited memoir, he provides vivid, insightful, and often very funny cameos of his con-man father Ronnie, meeting Margaret Thatcher, the casinos of Monte Carlo, New Year’s Eve with Yasser Arafat, watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, and the aid worker who inspired The Constant Gardener. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Naturalist at Work
The Scottish naturalist David Douglas made three trips to the Pacific Northwest between 1825 and 1834, sending back many specimens new to science, including the Douglas Fir that bears his name. Jack Nisbet follows his footsteps to the mouth of the Columbia River, to find the land and its peoples largely unchanged. This handsomely bound volume is illustrated with reproductions from Douglas’s journals, period maps and prints, and modern colour photographs. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Best of Benn
Speeches, Diaries, Letters and Other Writings
Tony Benn (1925–2014) was not only a prominent, charismatic and principled politician, but also the pre-eminent diarist of his generation. This volume brings together a selection of his journalism, speeches and diary entries to highlight key moments in his career and to illustrate the range of issues on which he campaigned, such as workers' rights and the abolition of the death penalty, as well as his interest in the connections between Christianity and socialism.
A Mysterious Something in the Light
The Life of Raymond Chandler
After a childhood in Chicago overshadowed by his father’s alcoholism, a public school education in England, the return to Los Angeles and a lucrative career in the oil business, Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) turned to writing in middle age. This biography follows Chandler’s uneven path to a late career as a writer and the fame of novels such as The Big Sleep and Double Indemnity, which raised crime fiction to the level of art.
No Room for Small Dreams
Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel
One of the founders of modern Israel, Shimon Peres served his country as prime minister, president and foreign minister. He is best remembered, however, for his unswerving commitment to peace. In this final book, completed shortly before his death in 2016, he reflects on 70 years in politics, the turning points in Israeli history, the qualities required for leadership, and the hard choices that face his nation in the quest for peace.
A Good Face for Radio
Confessions of a Radio Head
As the host of Radio 4's PM for 15 years, Eddie Mair established a unique style, bringing deadpan humour to the programme alongside hard-hitting political interviews and serious news journalism. This collection of his weekly columns, which were published in the Radio Times between 2010 and 2016, reflects his idiosyncratic wit and mischievous tone, lampooning contemporary political events, poking fun at his fellow broadcasters and musing on the quirks of everyday life.