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.
The Rival Queens
By Nancy Goldstone
'A gripping tale of royal feuds and divided kingdoms' - AMANDA FOREMANSet 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 fully control. When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. 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.
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).
By Ronnie O'Sullivan
World Snooker Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan's frank and honest account of his astonishingly dramatic life.I used to rely on drugs and alcohol to keep me going, but now I've got the healthiest addiction going - running.This book explains how running has helped me to fight my demons - my addictive personality, depression, my dad's murder conviction, the painful break-up with the mother of my children - and allowed me to win five World Snooker Championships.It is also about all of 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 when things get tough.Finally, it's about what it's like to get the buzz - from running, from snooker, from life. Because when it comes down to it, everyone needs something to drive them on.
Robert E. Lee
By Brian Holden Reid
An authoritative and balanced assessment of a great American commander.General Robert E Lee, handsome, immaculately attired and dignified, quickly emerged as one of the great heroes of the American Civil War. This is rather surprising for, as Brian Holden Reid points out in his lucid new study, Lee was the most successful general to command troops against the armies of the United States before General Vo Nguyen Giap in Vietnam.Lee's reputation as a peerless commander was greatly embroidered by writers after 1865 who were dedicated to the Lost Cause and presented a sentimental picture of the Old South with Lee as its finest product. His character and achievements in the Civil War were presented as a validation of the Confederate cause. It is important for historians to come to terms with this legacy. Professor Holden Reid briskly surveys the forms that the Lee legend took after his death in 1870 and discusses the reasons behind the way it crystallised as it did. As a non-American he brings a fresh, detached eye to this process.Holden Reid argues that Lee's qualities as a general do not require any exaggeration or embellishment. Lee's short period of field command, just under three years, was marked by imagination, decisiveness, stamina, and a determination to win the Civil War rather than just avoid losing it. Holden Reid defends Lee stoutly against later critics who have argued that his offensive strategy was self-defeating. He believes that it was the only realistic course offered to the Confederacy to win its independence. He acknowledges though that all great commanders have their faults. Lee exhibited occasional over-confidence, under-estimated his enemy, and failed to develop his staff in any modern sense. The result is an authoritative and balanced assessment of a great American commander.
Road to Valour
By Aili McConnon, Andres McConnon
An Italian SCHINDLER'S LIST, this is the inspirational story of Gino Bartali, who made the greatest comeback in Tour de France history and secretly aided the Italian Resistance during the Second World War.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 still holds the record for the longest gap between victories. Yet it was his actions during the Second World War, when he secretly aided the Resistance, rather than his remarkable exploits on a bike, that truly cemented his place in the hearts and minds of the Italian people.Based on nearly ten years of research, and including fascinating new interviews, this is the only book written that fully explores the scope of Bartali's wartime work. A breathtaking account of one man's unsung heroism and his resilience in the face of adversity, this is an epic tale of courage, comeback and redemption, and the untold story of one of the greatest athletes of the twentieth century.
Racing Through the Dark
By David Millar
The SUNDAY TIMES bestselling memoir from the Tour de France cyclist who lifts the lid on his drug use and return to sport.By his eighteenth birthday David Millar was living and racing in France, sleeping in rented rooms, tipped to be the next English-speaking Tour winner. A year later he'd realised the dream and signed a professional contract. He perhaps lived the high life a little too enthusiastically - he broke his heel in a fall from a roof after too much drink, and before long the pressure to succeed had tipped over into doping. Here, in a full and frank autobiography, David Millar recounts the story from the inside: he doped because 'cycling's drug culture was like white noise', and because of peer pressure. 'I doped for money and glory in order to guarantee the continuation of my status.' Five years on from his arrest, Millar is clean and reflective, and holds nothing back in this account of his dark years.
Ruby: The Autobiography
By Ruby Walsh
Autobiography of champion jockey and much-loved sports personality Ruby Walsh.A much-loved sports personality throughout Ireland and Great Britain, Ruby has had a career of outstanding success, which includes having won all four of the home Grand Nationals. This new edition brings his story right up-to-date to include all of the races over the busy Christmas period as well as last year's astonishing triumph against the odds. With many doubting that he could be race-fit following a broken leg in November 2010, Ruby competed at Cheltenham Festival in March 2011 and won five races, finishing as the leading jockey.Ruby also talks openly about the three key working relationships in his life - with Paul Nicholls, Willie Mullins and his father, the legendary Ted Walsh - as well as laying bare the relationship that exists between him and jockey Tony McCoy - both great friends and professional rivals. With his intimate knowledge of the two greatest horses of our time, he also provides valuable insight into what it is like to ride Kauto Star and Denman. Ruby charts the rise of an immensely talented and unstoppable force in the world of sport.
By Kevin Ivison
The gripping true story of bomb disposal work that won Ivison a George Medal - and started a living nightmare...When two of his colleagues are killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, young bomb disposal officer Kevin Ivison is called in to defuse a second even deadlier bomb just a hundred yards from the bodies of his friends. To make things worse, the entire area is under fire from snipers, and a crowd of angry Iraqis have begun to hurl petrol bombs...With little chance of living through this impossible task, Kevin leaves final messages for his loved ones and sets out alone towards the bomb that he is sure will be the last thing he sees. In this gut-wrenching and terrifying true story of heroism and survival, Kevin Ivison explains why he chose to be a bomb disposal expert in the first place, how he found the courage to face his death, and the unendurable stress that has given him nightmares ever since.
A Royal Passion
By Katie Whitaker
From quarrels, passion, treason to execution, discover one of the great overlooked love stories of history.King Charles I was a Protestant. Henrietta Maria, a 15-year-old French princess, was a Catholic. Arranged for political gain, their marriage was a dangerous experiment, yet against the odds they fell in love. However Henrietta's Catholicism fuelled rumours of improper influence over a supposedly helpless king. Unable to trust his Parliament, Charles's fear for the queen's safety plummeted the country into civil war and forced her to flee abroad, never to see her husband again. They kept up a poignant correspondence but in 1649, the king was condemned as a traitor and publicly executed, thus ending an extraordinary partnership that influenced the course of history.
Reach for the Sky
By Paul Brickhill
The bestselling story of Britain's most courageous and most famous flyer, the Second World War hero Sir Douglas Bader.In 1931, at the age of 21, Douglas Bader was the golden boy of the RAF. Excelling in everything he did he represented the Royal Air Force in aerobatics displays, played rugby for Harlequins, and was tipped to be the next England fly half. But one afternoon in December all his ambitions came to an abrupt end when he crashed his plane doing a particularly difficult and illegal aerobatic trick. His injuries were so bad that surgeons were forced to amputate both his legs to save his life. Douglas Bader did not fly again until the outbreak of the Second World War, when his undoubted skill in the air was enough to convince a desperate air force to give him his own squadron. The rest of his story is the stuff of legend. Flying Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain he led his squadron to kill after kill, keeping them all going with his unstoppable banter. Shot down in occupied France, his German captors had to confiscate his tin legs in order to stop him trying to escape. Bader faced it all, disability, leadership and capture, with the same charm, charisma and determination that was an inspiration to all around him.
Riding Through The Storm
By Geoff Thomas
Geoff Thomas's heroic battle to overcome leukaemia, and then take on the toughest sporting challenge: to ride the Tour de FranceWhen Geoff Thomas struggled to play a friendly game of tennis while on holiday in Mallorca in May 2003, he thought little of it. Recently retired as a footballer, he believed it was a sign of ageing and perhaps a pulled muscle. But when the pain wouldn't go away, his wife Julie persuaded him to go to a doctor. He was diagnosed as having leukaemia.RIDING THROUGH THE STORM focuses on his journey round the Tour de France in the summer of 2005, riding the 2,240-mile course in the 21 days it takes Lance Armstrong and all the top cyclists, despite never having cycled much before. Despite the odds against him achieving it, he rode the course and raised nearly £200,000 for charity. As he rides, he looks back on his successful career as a footballer, and the bone-marrow transplant that saved his life. This is a powerful, moving and inspirational story of extraordinary achievement.
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.
Rasputin: The Last Word
By Edvard Radzinsky
Sensational new biography - using the discovery of long lost contemporary documents - of the Russian peasant mystic whose malign influence helped lead to the downfall of the Romanovs.An unprecedented insight into the most enigmatic of men thanks to the use of previously unavailable sources and interviews.