By Ray Connolly
What was it like to be Elvis Presley? What did it feel like when impossible fame made him its prisoner? As the world's first rock star there was no one to tell him what to expect, no one with whom he could share the burden of being himself - of being Elvis.On the outside he was all charm, sex appeal, outrageously confident on stage and stunningly gifted in the recording studio. To his fans he seemed to have it all. He was Elvis. With his voice and style influencing succeeding generations of musicians, he should have been free to sing any song he liked, to star in any film he was offered, and to tour in any country he chose. But he wasn't free. The circumstances of his poor beginnings in the American South, which, as he blended gospel music with black rhythm and blues and white country songs, helped him create rock and roll, had left him with a lifelong vulnerability. Made rich and famous beyond his wildest imaginings when he mortgaged his talent to the machinations of his manager, 'Colonel' Tom Parker, there would be an inevitable price to pay. Though he daydreamed of becoming a serious film actor, instead he grew to despise his own movies and many of the songs he had to sing in them. He could have rebelled. But he didn't. Why? In the Seventies, as the hits rolled in again, and millions of fans saw him in a second career as he sang his way across America, he talked of wanting to tour the world. But he never did. What was stopping him?BEING ELVIS takes a clear-eyed look at the most-loved entertainer ever, and finds an unusual boy with a dazzling talent who grew up to change popular culture; a man who sold a billion records and had more hits than any other singer, but who became trapped by his own frailties in the loneliness of fame.
Get Me the Urgent Biscuits
By Sweetpea Slight
'A sparkling memoir full of charm and wit' NINA STIBBE'Anyone who loves the theatre will love this book' ZOË WANAMAKERAt eighteen, after moving to London with dreams of becoming an actress, an impressionable girl who paints freckles on her face begins work experience in a West End theatre company. In between mail-outs and making cups of coffee she meets the formidable producer Thelma Holt. Within a fortnight Thelma has stolen her, cancelled her audition for RADA, sent her to evening classes to learn to type, organised a minuscule salary and renamed her. From that moment she becomes Sweetpea. Her days are spent in an eccentric office where Alan Rickman or Vanessa Redgrave might pop in at any moment. Evenings are filled with the adrenaline of an opening-night performance or the chatter of a smart restaurant where casting for the next production is discussed. Existing somewhere between glamour and penury, Sweetpea finds herself surrounded by dynamic personalities and struggling to trust her own creative instincts. Over the years her apprenticeship takes in unusual demands, misbehaving actors, divinely inspired directors and a hot-air balloon ride with British theatre's finest. GET ME THE URGENT BISCUITS is a keenly observed memoir about the vanishing world of London's West End in the 1980s and 1990s, in which a young woman is swept into the orbit of a theatrical impresario. Shrewd, poignant and irresistibly funny, above all it is a coming-of-age story about the search for independence and an ode to the beguiling nature of theatre.
By John McEnroe
He is one of the most controversial sportsmen in history and a legend of Open Era tennis. But after reaching the top of his game - what came next? A decade after his international number-one bestseller SERIOUS, John McEnroe is back and ready to talk.Now the undisputed elder statesman of tennis, McEnroe has won over his critics as a matchless commentator and analyst at Wimbledon and other Grand Slam tournaments - with outspoken views on the modern game and its top players. He has continued to compete on the court, winning the ATP Champions Tour a record six times, and has travelled the globe to play in charity events. More surprising have been the calls from TV producers, inviting John to riff on his famous hot temper in cult shows such as 30 ROCK and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. And then there is his long-standing passion for American contemporary art.In BUT SERIOUSLY John McEnroe confronts his demons and reveals his struggle to reinvent himself from ex-champion to father, broadcaster and author. The result is a richly personal account, blending anecdote and reflection in an inspirational re-evaluation of what it means to be - and stay - successful.
Lessons I've Learned
By Davina McCall
"I am a work in progress. There are times when I feel in control and like I know what I'm doing...and there are times (quite a few)(actually lots) when I've got no idea whats going on, where to turn, what to do, how to behave, and those are the times I've sought help! I have been helped by some extraordinary people. I've been supported and counselled through my recovery from drugs and alcohol. I've been hypnotised to get me through going to the bottom of the sea in a sub (life at the extreme). I've read a squibillion (that's a lot) of fantastic self help books and I have shared and shared with the greatest girlfriends and family of all time. These nuggets of wisdom have at times literally kept me going, so I thought I'd pay it forward and share them with you."Presenter, wife, mother, fundraiser, fitness inspiration and now bestselling author,is there nothing Davina McCall cannot do? But success didn't come easy for Davina, and she has faced many challenges along the way. In this long-awaited book, she shares all the tips and wisdom she has picked up on her 'work-in-progress' journey.Written in the accessible, easy-going and humorous way that Davina has become famous and loved for, Lessons I've Learned will motivate readers to reach their goals, find happiness and fulfillment, and feel more confident.
Live, Laugh, Love, Always, Lydia
By Lydia Bright
From girl-next-door to overnight TOWIE stardom this is Lydia Bright's fabulous story so far.She grew up on one of the UK's biggest, BAFTA award-winning TV shows but there's still a lot you won't know about Lydia Bright as the confident beauty shares all for the first time!From fond family memories, first kisses and travelling around the world, to her dreams of an even more dazzling future, this is Lydia's full story - her greatest adventures yet - and your bubbly guide to living life to the full!TOWIE Find out what it was really like to be an Essex It GirlRELATIONSHIPS Lydia opens her heart and shares 5 rules for a flawless first dateFITNESS The workout routine she follows to get bikini-ready, plus recipes!BEAUTY Get the look; with makeup tutorials, product tips and style secretsINSPIRATIONAL QUOTES What drives her positivity, motivation and success?BUSINESS From budding fashionista to launching her own boutique and 3 clothing collectionsADVENTURE Help from a fearless globetrotter to take your trip of a lifetimePacked with lots of extra surprises, crazy stories and even more reasons to fall in love with Lydia's unstoppable attitude, LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE, ALWAYS, LYDIA is the fairy-tale-turned-reality that's only just getting started!
Last of the Giants
By Mick Wall
INCLUDES BRAND NEW CHAPTER COVERING GUNS N' ROSES EPIC WORLD TOURMany millions of words have already been written about Guns N' Roses, the old line-up, the new line-up. But none of them have ever really gotten to the truth. Which is this: Guns N' Roses has always been a band out of time, the Last of the Giants. They are what every rock band since the Rolling Stones has tried and nearly always failed to be: dangerous. At a time when smiling, MTV-friendly, safe-sex, just-say-no Bon Jovi was the biggest band in the world, here was a band that seemed to have leapt straight out of the coke-smothered pages of the original, golden-age, late-sixties rock scene.'Live like a suicide', the band used to say when they all lived together in the Hell House, their notorious LA home. And this is where Mick Wall first met them, and became part of their inner circle, before famously being denounced by name by Axl Rose in the song 'Get in the Ring'.But this book isn't about settling old scores. Written with the clear head that 25 years later brings you, this is a celebration of Guns N' Roses the band, and of Axl Rose the frontman who really is that thing we so desperately want him to be: the last of the truly extraordinary, all-time great, no apologies, no explanations, no giving-a-shit rock stars. The last of his kind.
Outside the Asylum
By Lynne Jones
What happens if the psychiatric hospital in which you have lived for ten years is bombed and all the staff run away? What is it like to be a twelve-year-old and see all your family killed in front of you? Is it true that almost everyone caught up in a disaster is likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? What can mental health professionals do to help? How does one stay neutral and impartial in the face of genocide? Why would a doctor support military intervention?Outside the Asylum is Lynne Jones's personal exploration of of humanitarian psychiatry and the changing world of international relief; a memoir of more than twenty-five years as a practising psychiatrist in war and disaster zones around the world. From her training in one of Britain's last asylums, to treating traumatised soldiers in Gorazde after the Bosnian war, helping families who lost everything in the earthquake in Haiti, and learning from traditional healers in Sierra Leone, Lynne has worked with extraordinary people in extraordinary situations. This is a book that shines a light on the world of humanitarian aid, and that shows us the courage and resilience of the people who have to live, work and love in some of the most frightening situations in the world.
Memoirs and Reflections
By Evgeny Kissin
Evgeny Igorevitch Kissin is a Russian-British-Israeli classical pianist. He first came to international fame as a child prodigy. He has been a British citizen since 2002 and an Israeli citizen since 2013. He has a wide repertoire and is especially known for his interpretations of the works of the Romantic era, particularly those of Frédéric Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Franz Liszt.The first two parts describe Kissin's childhood in Russia and his family's decision to live abroad after the attempted putsch at the Moscow White House. The third part consists mostly of his views of other pianists and conductors, as well as memories of people he met during his early years and career.Kissin writes about his parents, his sister, his grandparents and his teachers with tender affection and touching detail that gives his memoirs the transparency of water. Here are the things and the people and events that formed him, nurtured and challenged him, and the individuals who made him feel gratitude, amazement and awe. And, of course, it is infused with his lifelong engagement with making music, an obsessive love that captured him when he was young.The book throws a good deal of light on the life and attitudes of the mainly Russian Jewish intelligentsia, the problems of visas to America, Britain and other countries, and his views on performance of music, his own compositions in music and verse, and his personal approach to concerts. It also offers Kissin's philosophy of life and his understanding of human nature derived from meetings with learned people, books and his own day-to-day experience. He does not indulge in false modesty, but takes a realistic view of who he is in the eyes of the world.
The Love of the Game
By Mark Chapman
BBC sports presenter Mark Chapman is no longer in his physical prime. There is an argument to suggest he has never been in his physical prime. Now in his forties, he is facing a world of knee replacements and ever-expanding waistlines, whilst his children are thriving.There is huge pride that they are doing so well, mixed with a fair amount of jealousy that actually they are better at a wide range of sport than he ever was. He is passionate about sport and it has played a huge part in his life. His parents encouraged him from a very early age and he wants to pass the baton on to his son and daughters. Although there is every chance he might drop it and have a massive strop instead. He is also very aware of the huge changes in sport today compared to when he was growing up; and he is determined that his own attitude to his son and daughters' sport - be it football, netball, cricket or gymnastics - will be exactly the same. And he wants to shine a light on grass roots sports - the incredible and largely unsung contribution that volunteers make in the sporting commnity, without whom - for example - no professional footballer would be in the game today.Funny, touching, passionate about sport and parenthood, Mark Chapman paints sport as a touchstone for everything important: growing up, becoming a parent, enjoying family time, getting old, learning how to win (and how to lose gracefully), the legacy we all hope to leave our children; in short, life and all that goes into it.
By John Sutherland
A Sunday Times top-five bestsellerA searingly honest memoir of life, policing and falling apart'Every contact leaves a trace'John Sutherland joined the Met in 1992, having dreamed of being a police officer since his teens. Rising quickly through the ranks, and compelled by the opportunity to make a real difference to people's lives, he worked across the capital, experiencing first-hand the enormous satisfaction as well as the endless trauma that a life in blue can bring.There were remarkable, career-defining moments: commanding armed sieges, saving lives and helping to take dangerous people off the streets. But for every case with a happy ending, there were others that ended in desperate sadness.In early 2013, John suffered a major breakdown and consequent battle with crippling depression. After a career spent racing to be the first at the scene of crimes and catastrophes, he found himself in pieces, unable to put one foot in front of the other.Blue is a memoir of crime and calamity, of adventure and achievement, of friendship and failure, of laughter and loss, of the best and the worst of humanity, of serious illness and slow recovery. With searing honesty, it offers an immensely moving and personal insight into what it is to be a police officer in Britain today.
Alan Partridge: Nomad
By Alan Partridge
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERPraise for Nomad: 'Funniest book of the year' Sunday Telegraph'Alan Partridge's Nomad is almost certainly the funniest book ever written' Caitlin Moran'Sensationally funny. What brilliant writing' Richard Osman'Sensational' Jenny Colgan'Hilarious' Jon Ronson'Brilliantly funny' Marcus BrigstockIn ALAN PARTRIDGE: NOMAD, Alan dons his boots, windcheater and scarf and embarks on an odyssey through a place he once knew - it's called Britain - intent on completing a journey of immense personal significance.Diarising his ramble in the form of a 'journey journal', Alan details the people and places he encounters, ruminates on matters large and small and, on a final leg fraught with danger, becomes - not a man (because he was one to start off with) - but a better, more inspiring example of a man. This deeply personal book is divided into chapters and has a colour photograph on the front cover. It is deeply personal. Through witty vignettes, heavy essays and nod-inducing pieces of wisdom, Alan shines a light on the nooks of the nation and the crannies of himself, making this a biography that biographs the biographer while also biographing bits of Britain.
By David Render, Stuart Tootal
A gripping account of the Second World War, from the perspective of a young tank commander.In 1944, David Render was a nineteen-year-old second lieutenant fresh from Sandhurst when he was sent to France. Joining the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry five days after the D-Day landings, the combat-hardened men he was sent to command did not expect him to last long. However, in the following weeks of ferocious fighting in which more than 90 per cent of his fellow tank commanders became casualties, his ability to emerge unscathed from countless combat engagements earned him the nickname of the 'Inevitable Mr Render'.In Tank Action Render tells his remarkable story, spanning every major episode of the last year of the Second World War from the invasion of Normandy to the fall of Germany. Ultimately it is a story of survival, comradeship and the ability to stand up and be counted as a leader in combat.
By Henry Marsh
THE SUNDAY TIMES NO.1 BESTSELLERHenry Marsh has spent a lifetime operating on the surgical frontline. There have been exhilarating highs and devastating lows, but his love for the practice of neurosurgery has never wavered. Prompted by his retirement from his full-time job in the NHS, and through his continuing work in Nepal and Ukraine, Henry has been forced to reflect more deeply about what forty years spent handling the human brain has taught him.Moving between encounters with patients in his London hospital, to those he treats in the more extreme circumstances of his work abroad, Henry faces up to the burden of responsibility that can come with trying to reduce human suffering. Unearthing memories of his early days as a medical student, and the experiences that shaped him as a young surgeon, he explores the difficulties of a profession that deals in probabilities rather than certainties, and where the overwhelming urge to prolong life can come at a tragic cost for both patients and for those who love them.In this searing, provocative and deeply personal memoir, the bestselling author of Do No Harm finds new purpose in his own life as he approaches the end of his professional career, and a fresh understanding of what matters to us all in the end.