Getcha Rocks Off
By Mick Wall
Hanging out with rock stars, trying to steal their chicks, or throwing up over their guitars after launching into the hospitality a little too enthusiastically, Mick Wall spent much of the 1980s sprawled in limos and five-star hotels with the biggest rock bands in the world, including Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Mötley Crüe, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Van Halen, Motörhead and more. He was Kerrang! magazine's star writer and the presenter of Monsters of Rock, his own weekly show on Sky TV, and the decade passed in a blur of hard drugs, hot women, and some of the heaviest people your mother definitely would not like. Depicting a world where vague concepts like 'the future' are disdained in favour of nights that last a week and weeks that last forever, Getcha Rocks Off is a rock apocalypse Cider With Roadies, and a more frank and disturbing Apathy for the Devil. It is the kind of book you need to put on your leather jacket to read, open that bottle of Jack and reach for the Charlie. And let the good times roll...
Going Off Alarming
By Danny Baker
The dazzlingly funny second volume of Danny Baker's memoirs: the television years.Since my first book was published I have had countless friends and family members get in touch to say how come I hadn't included this story or that tale. Was I ashamed of being shot twice, once up the arse, in Jamaica Road? How long should a man live with such a secret? If by retrospectively dropping my trousers every few pages I can reveal a fuller picture of myself during these years, then so be it.Besides. Being shot up the arse. In front of your mates.What else did I forget?
By T. H. White
With a foreword by Helen Macdonald, author of the multi-award-winning H IS FOR HAWK.'No hawk can be a pet. There is no sentimentality. In a way, it is the psychiatrist's art. One is matching one's mind against another mind with deadly reason and interest. One desires no transference of affection, demands no ignoble homage or gratitude. It is a tonic for the less forthright savagery of the human heart.'First published in 1951, T.H. White's memoir describes with searing honesty his attempt to train a wild goshawk, a notoriously difficult bird to master. With no previous experience and only a few hopelessly out-of-date books on falconry as a guide, he set about trying to bend the will of his young bird Gos to his own. Suffering setback after setback, the solitary and troubled White nonetheless found himself obsessively attached to the animal he hoped would one day set him free.
Going to Sea in a Sieve
By Danny Baker
The first hilarious volume of comedy writer, journalist, radio DJ and screenwriter Danny Baker's memoir, and now the inspiration for the major BBC series CRADLE TO GRAVE, starring Peter Kay.'And what was our life like in this noisy, dangerous and polluted industrial pock-mark wedged into one of the capital's toughest neighbourhoods? It was, of course, utterly magnificent and I'd give anything to climb inside it again for just one day.'In the first volume of his memoirs, Danny Baker brings his early years to life as only he knows how. With his trademark humour and eye for a killer anecdote, he takes us all the way from the council house in south-east London that he shared with his mum Betty and dad 'Spud' (played by Peter Kay) to the music-biz excesses of Los Angeles, where he famously interviewed Michael Jackson for the NME. Laugh-out-loud funny, it is also an affectionate but unsentimental hymn to a bygone era.
Going to Blazes
By Malcolm Castle
The Greedy Bastard Diary
By Eric Idle
Eric Idle, the legendary star of Monty Python fame, takes fans on a deeply personal and hilarious whirlwind tour around America.'I still feel somewhat nervous encroaching on the Palin territory of writing a travel diary based on a journey ... though it is true, I reason, that all the Pythons have been involved in documentaries. So this must be a Python thing. What is this urge to probe and examine by ex-comedians? Are they tired of dressing up as women? Surely not.' - Eric IdleThe man who brought you the anthems 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' and 'Sit on my Face' shows his naughty bits - and much more! As he crossed the US on The Greedy Bastard Tour, Eric Idle kept a diary on the Monty Python website updating fans with his experiences, insights and observations. Inspired by those blogs, THE GREEDY BASTARD DIARY is an honest, hysterical and moving book - part travelogue, part memoir - that chronicles those 80 days on the road, offering Idle's thoughts on his career, personal life and the country he now calls his home. Reflective, ironic, and stamped with his renowned wit, this illuminating work takes readers on a personal tour with the legendary star and offers an intimate, close-up look inside the man as never before.
Great Bales of Fire
By Malcolm Castle
More tales of a country fireman, from the author of ALL FIRED UP. Perfect for fans of Heartbeat or Last of the Summer Wine.It's the early 1980s and rookie fireman Malcolm Castle is set to take on the biggest challenge of his life. After three years bouncing around in the back of the country fire-engine, he's about to start driving it! At just 22-years-old - less than half the age of many of his colleagues - he's set to thunder through the narrow streets of one of England's most beautiful medieval towns and speed out across the glorious Shropshire countryside. But while his responsibilities are changing fast, almost everything else in Malcolm's life stays the same. Despite facing his fair share of car accidents, house and farm fires, he still seems to spend an awful lot of time answering a string of unlikely and unexpected emergency calls. He rescues shortsighted dogs from frozen lakes, newborn lambs from flooded golf-courses, a pair of angry cows from a busy dual carriageway - and even a hot-footed hamster from a burning cage. Backed up by a heartwarming cast of fellow firemen, Malcolm's enthusiasm for his job and his life are as infectious as ever. So whether it is cats up trees or trees on cars, follow Malcolm as he takes to the wheel for another crazy year in the country fire brigade.Told with the same gentle humour as his first book, ALL FIRED UP, and full of even more extraordinary real-life anecdotes, Shropshire's longest-serving fireman is back - a little older, a little wiser, and even more convinced he has the best job in the world.
By John Gielgud
'In this comprehensive volume, we see the actor in a range of roles: loving son, wicked gossip, star actor, indecisive director, anguished lover, brilliant anecdotist. This splendid book reveals an infinitely complicated and attractive character. We may not look upon his like again' Jonathan Croall, SpectatorThe above quotes sums it up - this astonishing collection of letters brings us up close to one of the foremost, and best loved, actors of this century. John Gielgud wrote letters almost every day of his adult life. Whether at home in London or abroad, he delighted in recounting what he felt about events around him. Here for the first time - and not previously available to biographers - are Gielgud's love letters. They show that he was not shy is expressing the intimacies of personal relationships. He also loved gossip and writes about his contemporaries, including the great actors of period: Olivier, Richardson, Redgrave, Peggy Ashcroft, Edith Evans and the like. A revealing account but also a hugely warm and compelling insight into a man of many sides.
Getting Our Way
By Christopher Meyer
A highly informed insider's account of some of the 'honest men' as they sought, by fair means or foul, to get Britain its way in the world.GETTING OUR WAY recounts nine stories from Britain's diplomatic annals over the last five hundred years, in which the diplomats themselves are at the centre of the narrative. It is an inside account of their extraordinary experiences, sometimes in the face of physical danger, often at history's hinge. Be it Henry Killigrew's mission to Edinburgh in 1572, Castlereagh at the Congress of Vienna, Our Man in Washington and the Nassau Deal, or the handover of Hong Kong to China, we can see how Britain has viewed its interests in the world and sought to advance them. Some of these dramatic episodes record triumph, some failure, but all of them illustrate how the three pillars of the national interest - security, prosperity and values - have been the foundation of British foreign policy for half a century. Each story is illuminated by colourful anecdotes and insights drawn from Christopher Meyer's first-hand experience of international relations. Moreover, the book is a salutary reminder that foreign policy and diplomacy begin and end with the national interest. And far from being the preserve of aloof aristocrats, the pursuit of our national interest is replete with an extraordinary combination of high principle and low cunning, vice and virtue, all with the specific aim of 'getting our way'.
By Christian Ryan
Kim Hughes was one of the most majestic and daring batsmen to play for Australia in the last 40 years. Golden curled and boyishly handsome, his rise and fall as captain and player is unparalleled in our cricketing history. He played at least three innings that count as all-time classics, but it's his tearful resignation from the captaincy that is remembered.Insecure but arrogant, abrasive but charming; in Hughes' character were the seeds of his own destruction. Yet was Hughes' fall partly due to those around him, men who are themselves legends in Australia's cricketing history? Lillee, Marsh, the Chappells, all had their agendas, all were unhappy with his selection and performance as captain - evidenced by Dennis Lillee's tendency to aim bouncers relentlessly at Hughes' head during net practice.Hughes' arrival on the Test scene coincided with the most turbulent time Australian cricket has ever seen - first Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, then the rebel tours to South Africa. Both had dramatic effects on Hughes' career. As he traces the high points and the low, Chris Ryan sheds new and fascinating light on the cricket - and the cricketers - of the times.
By Michael White
Groundbreaking biography of Galileo, one of the greatest scientists and religious heretics in historyA giant of science, Galileo's achievements allow him to be bracketed alongside Newton, Einstein and Darwin. A devout Roman Catholic, his genius threw him into conflict with his Church and his refusal to back down turned him into a martyr for many. Here, bestselling author Michael White gets to grips with the man and the world he challenged. Both biography and exploration of a time when religious and scientific understanding had become deeply and dangerously intertwined, GALILEO ANTICHRIST traces the path that led to its subject's denunciation as a heretic. And here the story is tainted with the suggestion of conspiracy and cover up. For while it is perfectly possible to view Galileo's collision with the Catholic Church as near inevitable, White draws on evidence recently discovered in the Vatican archives to question the accepted reasons for his trial. In doing so he shows why Galileo became such a contentious figure, so contentious in fact that, centuries later, the Pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger felt driven to declare the process against the father of science as 'reasonable and just'.
By Anthony Summers
The classic, definitive biography of Marilyn Monroe, now updated in the year of the 50th anniversary of the iconic star's deathShe was born Norma Jeane but the world knew and loved her as Marilyn. Her life was one of unprecedented fame and private misery, her death a tragedy surrounded by mysteries. Drawing on first-hand interviews Anthony Summers offers both a classic biography and a shockingly revealing account of the screen goddess's relations with John and Robert Kennedy.'The definitive story of the legend ... more convincing at every page - told with all the coldness of truth and the authority of the historian, but at the end of it we still love Marilyn' Maeve Binchy, Irish Times
A Game with Sharpened Knives
By Neil Belton
'This is a text you will remember for years...austere, authoritative fiction, a fine and melancholy novel, its poignant insights shimmering' Hilary Mantel, Literary Review'Neil Belton's first novel is an improbable masterpiece. It is improbable because it requires the reader to imagine what it is like to be a scientific genius. It is a masterpiece because he pulls it off' EVENING STANDARDThe reviews have been simply stunning for this debut novel set in Ireland in 1941. Nobel prize-winning physicist Erwin Schrodinger was forced to flee Austria in 1933 after the Nazis invaded but was saved from disgrace and danger when the revolutionary Irish leader, Eamon de Valera, invited him to Ireland. The novel is set against the background of a country not truly at peace, either with Germany, or with its neighbour across the Irish Sea. Erwin Schrodinger, cosmopolitan intellectual and emotional enigma, is living in cramped exile on the outskirts of Dublin, with his wife, his lover, and their child. But in the pervading atmosphere of fear and distrust, Schrodinger lives a precarious existence, haunted by his past and by mysterious threats in the present.