By Sian Williams
'A week after my 50th birthday and just as our family was about to move home, something happened that changed the way I looked at life. I spoke to others about how they rebuilt their shattered worlds after very different personal traumas, emerging stronger than before. I hope our experiences, together with the latest science on resilience, will help guide all those going through tough times. This book says that it's possible not just to survive them, but to thrive. To rise.'Renowned as a much-loved and highly respected journalist and broadcaster with thirty years' experience, Sian Williams has studied the impact of acute stress for many years and is also a trained trauma assessor.In RISE, she explores the science of resilience and growth after trauma, offers advice from the experts, and learns from those who have emerged from horrific experiences, feeling changed yet stronger, with a new perspective on their life, their relationships and their work. She also documents her own path through breast cancer, with candid and unflinching honesty. Her story provides a narrative thread through a book designed to help others deal with all manner of adversity, including physical or mental ill health; loss of a loved one; abuse and post-traumatic stress.RISE is a deeply researched exploration of trauma, grief and illness, and most importantly resilience in the darkest of days. It is an inspiring and powerful piece of work, full of honesty, warmth and wisdom.
By Andrew Lycett
Paragon of English virtues or racist imperialist? Andrew Lycett (acclaimed biographer of Ian Fleming) has returned to primary sources to tell the intricate story of a misunderstood genius who became Britain's most famous and highest earning author. Among the many new sources, Lycett has discovered previously unpublished letters that illuminate Kipling's crucial years in India, his first girlfriend (the model for Mrs Hauksbee of Plain Tales from the Hills), his parents' decision to send him back to England to boarding school; and in his adult life his use of opium, his frustrating times in London and the brief peace he found in America before the devastating loss of both his young daughter and, in the First World War, his son. Lycett also uncovers the extraordinary story of Kipling's great love for Flo Garrard, daughter of the crown jeweller, and unravels the complicated yet enthralling saga of the American family the Balestiers, and of Carrie Balestier who became Kipling's wife. This biography is full of new material on Kipling's financial dealings with Lord Beaverbrook, his friendships with T.E. Lawrence, the painter Edward Burne-Jones and the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (who was his cousin).
The Rival Queens
By Nancy Goldstone
Set in Renaissance France at the magnificent court of the Valois kings, THE RIVAL QUEENS is the history of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm. Catherine de' Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, was a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for 30 years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous 'Queen Margot', was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control. When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his Huguenot followers to their deaths, in the notorious St Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Rich in historical detail and vivid prose, Nancy Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, international espionage and adultery form the background to a story whose fascinating array of characters include such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. From Catherine's early struggles with her husband's exquisite mistress, Diane de Poitiers, and her exultant rise to power, through Marguerite's poignant sacrifice of love and happiness to save her husband's life, and ultimately to the political awakening that leads to a threat to her very survival, THE RIVAL QUEENS is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.
By Ronnie O'Sullivan
World snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan's frank and honest account of his astonishingly dramatic life.Running is my drug. To be honest, drugs (and alcohol) used to be my drug, but now I've got the healthiest addiction going.Running is what has helped me fight my demons, win five world snooker championships, and cope with all the crap life's thrown at me. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and in this book I look at everything that hasn't killed me, but has had a good go - my addictive personality, depression, my dad's murder conviction, the painful break-up with the mother of my children, the difficulty of balancing family life with that of a sportsman. Those are the downers.But it's also about the great things in my life - my kids, snooker, my dad's release from prison, great mates who have helped me, and the psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters who has taught me how not to run away from life when it gets tricky.For the first time, I explain some of my madder moments - why I walked out in the middle of a match against Stephen Hendry, why I sat with a wet cloth over my face in a match against Mark King.This is a book about what it takes to be a champion - the sacrifices you have to make, the obsessive practice, the selfishness. Finally, it's a book about what it's like to get the buzz. and I hope anybody who's ever got the running buzz will relate to this.
Road to Valour
By Aili McConnon, Andres McConnon
ROAD TO VALOUR is the inspiring, against-the-odds story of Gino Bartali, the cyclist who made the greatest comeback in Tour de France history and continues to hold the record for the longest time-span between victories. Yet what ensured his permanent place in Italian hearts and minds were his actions in between, when he secretly aided the Italian Resistance during World War II.Aili and Andres McConnon chronicle Bartali's journey, starting in impoverished rural Tuscany where a scrawny, mischievous boy painstakingly saves his money to buy a bicycle, and before long is racking up wins throughout the country. At the age of 24, he stuns the world by winning the Tour de France, becoming an international sports icon in the process. But Mussolini's Fascists hijack his victory for propaganda purposes, derailing Bartali's career, and as the Nazis occupy Italy, Bartali undertakes dangerous missions to help those being targeted. He shelters a family of Jews in an apartment he financed with his cycling winnings and is able to smuggle counterfeit identity documents hidden in his bicycle past Nazi checkpoints under the guise of being a national hero in training. After the gruelling wartime years, Bartali fights to rebuild his career as Italy emerges from the rubble. Despite numerous setbacks and a legendary snowstorm in the Alps, the chain-smoking, Chianti-loving, 34-year-old underdog comes back and wins the most difficult endurance competition on earth - the Tour de France. Bartali's inspiring performance helps unite his fractured homeland and restore pride and spirit to a country still reeling from war and despair.Based on nearly ten years of research in Italy, France, and Israel, including interviews with Bartali's family, former teammates, a Holocaust survivor Bartali saved, and many others, this is the first book ever written about Bartali in English and the only book written in any language to fully explore the scope of Bartali's wartime work. Road to Valour is the breathtaking account of one man's unsung heroism and his resilience in the face of adversity. An epic tale of courage, comeback and redemption, it is the untold story of one of the greatest athletes of the twentieth century.
By Peter Brune
Ralph Honner: Kokoda Hero is the story of one of Australia's great World War II battalion commanders.Honner fought as a junior officer in the first and triumphant North African battles of Bardia, Tobruk and Derna. He then took part in the heartbreaking and disastrous campaigns in Greece and Crete where he was one of the last Australians to be evacuated by submarine-three months after Crete's fall.But it was during 1942, at Isurava on the Kokoda Trail and at the Japanese beachhead of Gona in Papua New Guinea, that Ralph Honner played a decisive role in the making of an Australian legend. Worshipped by his men, he was severely wounded in 1943 and, after a long convalescence, served Australia with distinction as a public servant, political figure and diplomat.