Splendours and Miseries: The Roy Strong Diaries, 1967-87
By Roy Strong
'The Alan Clark diaries of cultural politics' Sunday Times'At every word a reputation dies' A. N. WilsonRoy Strong is best known as the flamboyant former director of two great cultural institutions - the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum. In his first volume of diaries, he takes the reader into the heart of his career, revealing himself to be not just a mercurial and brilliant administrator, but also a shrewd observer of the glittering and political milieu into which he was drawn.We encounter David Hockney in his studio, the poignant figure of Cecil Beaton in decline, Nureyev fizzing with ideas and the Philistine Mrs Thatcher among many others, including a bevy of the Royal Family. And throughout the diaries runs the thread of an exceptional marriage, following his elopement with the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman.Splendours and Miseries provides a unique panorama of the world of the arts, fashion and society, taking us from the outrageous Swinging Sixties to the hard-edged glitz of Thatcher's Britain.
The Secrets of My Life
By Caitlyn Jenner
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER In this remarkable memoir - written with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger during her pivotal first years of rebirth - Caitlyn Jenner reflects on her past as she looks to her future. With poignancy and humour, Caitlyn writes about her confusion growing up, the temporary triumph of the Olympics as Bruce Jenner, and the noose of being endlessly described as the ultimate in manhood. She reveals her sense of shame and deceit she felt as she got older, as she went to great lengths to tell lies to conceal her true self. She also delves into her life in the public eye; her marriages and her troubled relationships with her children; what lead to her decision to becoming Caitlyn, and how the transgender community and the world has embraced her new life. Written with a searing honesty, this books shows you the real and true Caitlyn.
By Peter Guralnick
Rock 'n' roll was born in rural Alabama, 1923, in the form of Sam Phillips, the youngest son of a large family living in a remote colony called the Lovelace Community. His father had a gift for farming, which was brought to an end by the Depression. His mother picked guitar and showed the kind of forbearance that allowed her to name her son after the doctor who delivered him drunk and then had to be put to bed himself. And yet from these unprepossessing origins, in 1951 Phillips made what is widely considered to be the first rock 'n' roll record, Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston's 'Rocket 88'. Just two years later a shy eighteen-year-old kid with sideburns, fresh out of high school, wandered into his recording studio to make a record 'for his mother', secretly hoping that it might somehow get him noticed. His name was Elvis Presley. Elvis's success, and the subsequent triumph of rock 'n' roll, was initially propelled to an almost astonishing degree by a limited number of releases by Carl 'Blue Suede Shoes' Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis - all from this tiny, one-man label. An engaging mix of biography and anecdote, Peter Guralnick's book brilliantly recreates one shining moment in the history of popular culture. And Sam Phillips was the man who brought it all about.
The Sty's the Limit
By Simon Dawson
'An amazing story of love, laughter and the challenges of living from the land ... Simon's self-sufficient rural life is an inspiration to us all' - Ben FogleFollowing a drunken misunderstanding Simon Dawson gave up his job in the city, moved to the wilds of Exmoor and became an accidental self-sufficient smallholder with an array of animals. But that was years ago now. Following up on his first book, PIGS IN CLOVER, this is the story of what happens when he suddenly realises that his life is changing all over again. He's not quite the spring chicken that he used to be: he is, horror of horrors, getting older.With a cast of best friends (some more helpful than others) including Ziggy, a panicked soon-to-be father desperate to grow up, Garth, an annoying teenager, and a rather handsome pig called The General, a plan is hatched to help each other mature (or immature). Heartfelt discoveries and hilarious endeavours ensue as they work through their age-related angsts, all with a fair dose of pigs, chickens, lambs and animal madness along the way. This is Exmoor's uplifting laugh-out-loud antidote to middle age in the mud; a place where you truly realise that the sty's the limit!
The Second Half
By Roy Keane, Roddy Doyle
No. 1 bestselling memoir of Roy Keane, former captain of Manchester United and Ireland - co-written with Man Booker Prize-winner Roddy Doyle. Now updated with a new chapter, including Roy leaving Aston Villa and the Republic of Ireland's qualification for Euro 2016.In a stunning collaboration with Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle, Roy Keane gives a brutally honest account of his last days as a player, the highs and lows of his managerial career, and his life as an outspoken ITV pundit.'Roy Keane's book is a masterpiece . . . It may well be the finest, most incisive deconstruction of football management that the game has ever produced' Mail on Sunday'A genuine pleasure . . . His thoughts on his players are humane, interesting, candid and never less than believable' The Times'The best things are the small things: regretting joining Ipswich when he discovered the training kit was blue; refusing to sign Robbie Savage because his answerphone message was rubbish; being appalled that his side had listened to an Abba song before playing football' Evening Standard'The book is brilliantly constructed, rattling along at breakneck speed . . . full of self-deprecation . . . a ruthless self-examination' Daily Telegraph
Song of the Sea
By Jane Dolby
Jane Dolby fell in love with a fisherman - the most dangerous peacetime occupation that exists - leading her to find a place in a traditional British world that many have forgotten. Jane was not expecting to fall in love, but she did with Colin, a local fisherman in her hometown. Then one day she faces the loss every fisherman's wife fears: the disappearance of her husband when his boat overturns at sea. Three days later, the boat is finally dredged up, without Colin. At the same time as Jane struggles with her grief, she must fight to keep a roof over her family's heads. With the help and kindness of friends and strangers, the fishing world rallies around one of their own and in time, Jane forms a plan to give something back to the community that has helped her. Jane brings together 40 women from fishing communities up and down the country to release a charity single, founding The Fishwives Choir, and gives a voice to women previously unheard.SONG OF THE SEA is the true story of one woman's love and loss, and after years in which grief stole her ability to sing, she finds her own voice again.
Shades of Jamie Dornan
By Jo Berry
Jamie Dornan is becoming a megastar. His announcement as lead role Christian Grey in the upcoming film adaptation of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY caused a media frenzy and he has been hitting the headlines ever since. After Charlie Hunnam drastically stepped away from the role, the model-turned-actor Dornan was catapulted into the international spotlight.As well as modelling for Calvin Klein alongside Kate Moss, he appeared in Sofia Coppola's MARIE ANTOINETTE, has dated Keira Knightley, was cast as the sheriff in the hit US fantasy TV drama ONCE UPON A TIME, and followed it up with an acclaimed leading performance in the Gillian Anderson-starring TV thriller THE FALL.Now set for the part of auburn-haired, sexually deviant billionaire Christian Grey, this book will reveal 50 shades of Jamie Dornan - a no holds barred biography of the man who, come 2015, everyone will want to know intimately.
The Silver Spitfire
By Tom Neil
A brilliantly vivid Second World War memoir by one of 'the Few' Spitfire fighter pilots.Following the D-Day landings, Battle of Britain hero Tom Neil was assigned as an RAF liaison to an American fighter squadron. As the Allies pushed east, Neil commandeered an abandoned Spitfire as his own personal aeroplane. Erasing any evidence of its provenance and stripping it down to bare metal, it became the RAF's only silver Spitfire. Alongside his US comrades, he took the silver Spitfire into battle until, with the war's end, he was forced to make a difficult decision. Faced with too many questions about the mysterious rogue fighter, he contemplated increasingly desperate measures to offload it, including bailing out mid-Channel. He eventually left the Spitfire at Worthy Down, never to be seen again.THE SILVER SPITFIRE is the first-hand, gripping story of Neil's heroic experience as an RAF fighter pilot and his reminiscences with his very own personal Spitfire.
Space Below My Feet
By Gwen Moffat
A classic mountaineering memoir by one of the UK's foremost female climbers.In 1945, when Gwen Moffat was in her twenties, she deserted from her post as a driver and dispatch rider in the Army and went to live rough in Wales and Cornwall, climbing and living on practically nothing. She hitch-hiked her way around, travelling from Skye to Chamonix and many places in between, with all her possessions on her back, although these amounted to little more than a rope and a sleeping bag.When the money ran out, she worked as a forester, went winkle-picking on the Isle of Skye, acted as the helmsman of a schooner and did a stint as an artist's model. And always there were the mountains, drawing her away from a 'proper' job.Throughout this unique story, there are acutely observed accounts of mountaineering exploits as Moffat tackles the toughest climbs and goes on to become Britain's leading female climber - and the first woman to qualify as a mountain guide.
By Ann Widdecombe
Forthright memoirs of a singular personality - former MP and STRICTLY COME DANCING star, Ann Widdecombe.With characteristic verve and integrity, Ann Widdecombe recalls her life and highlights the people and events that most influenced her along the way.From her early family life in Singapore and her convent school days to her student ambitions at Birmingham and Oxford, and her long-serving years as an MP, this is the life story of one of our most outspoken and celebrated politicians. Offering unique insight into her time as a Minister in three Departments and the Shadow Cabinet in the 1990s, Ann also explains the roots of her conversion to Catholicism in 1993 and her deeply held views on abortion and gay marriage.A rare anti-hunting Tory, who campaigned for prison education and once put on a miner's overalls to go down a coal mine, Ann Widdecombe has never been afraid of controversy. Her memoirs reveal a singular personality who lives life to the full. From feisty and witty appearances on Have I Got News For You to her unforgettable and star-turning performances on Strictly Come Dancing, Ann has earned her place in the public's affections and has been heralded as a 'national living treasure' by the Guardian.Also containing Ann's trenchant views on the Coalition, MPs' expenses and the state of the nation, this is a provocative and entertaining read. Frank, fearless and engaging, Ann's autobiography will delight her admirers and win her yet more fans.
Shadows Of The Workhouse
By Jennifer Worth
The inspiration for the second series of the BBC's phenomenally popular CALL THE MIDWIFE, starring Miranda Hart.In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered. There's Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House - she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank's parents both died within six months of one another and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun's room. These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.
Stieg and Me
By Eva Gabrielsson
The poignant account of the 30-year life shared together by Stieg Larsson and Eva Gabrielsson.There is only one person who can tell Stieg Larsson's story other than himself - his lifelong companion and muse, Eva Gabrielsson. Here she tells the story of their 30-year romance, of Stieg's upbringing and early years, and how this shaped his morals and personality. She talks of his life-long struggle to expose Sweden's Neo-Nazis, of his struggle to keep the magazine he founded, Expo, alive, his difficult relationships with his immediate family, and the joy and relief he discovered writing The Millennium trilogy.Their story is told as a series of short vignettes, and Eva Gabrielsson speaks with rare candour and dignity, inspired only by the truth as she knows it. This book is poignant in its account of two soulmates and the life they shared, and most importantly is deeply insightful into the man everyone wants to know better, and about whom so little is known.
By Mark Todd
The greatest equestrian of the 20th century makes a stunning comeback in the 21st century.Mark Todd's eventing career is the stuff of legend and encompasses one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time.When he 'retired' from competing in eventing in 2000, he had already been named 'Rider of the Century' for his natural empathy with a horse and his extraordinary success, which included back-to-back Olympic gold medals, five Burghley wins and three Badminton victories. He has also show jumped to Olympic level and trained winners on the racecourse. Considered a legendary horseman by his peers, he seemed to have done it all.He returned to train racehorses in his native New Zealand but, eight years later, the idea of a comeback took root, part dare, part personal challenge to see if he could still cut it in a changed sport. Within eight months, he was riding at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in 2011, he hit the headlines by becoming the oldest rider to win Badminton. He is now at the forefront of New Zealand's resurgence ahead of the London Olympic Games.The story of his progress from dairy farmer to world renown is told with typically laid-back humour, but it reveals the fierce determination, discipline and personal sacrifice which lies behind the relaxed outlook.
Seasons of My Life
By Hannah Hauxwell
The classic and much-loved memoir by Hannah Hauxwell about life in remote Yorkshire in the 1970s.Hannah Hauxwell first came to the nation's attention on Yorkshire television's award-winning documentary TOO LONG A WINTER, when she captured the hearts and imaginations of millions who were captivated by her ability to single-handedly run her family's farm in an isolated area in Yorkshire. Since the age of 35, following the deaths of her parents and uncle, she lived a self-sufficient life without electricity or running water at Low Birk Hatt Farm. What most enchanted people about Hannah was that she survived sixty years of gruelling work and weather with unimpaired serenity and good humour. Her love of the countryside, her passion for animals and her appreciation of the right values make Hannah a remarkable woman and in this classic book she tells her unique and inspiring story. SEASONS OF MY LIFE is an enduring and affectionate look at rural life in a world where everything is changing.
A Spectacle of Dust
By Pete Postlethwaite
Vibrant and candid memoirs of the late, great British character actor, Pete Postlethwaite.After training as a teacher, Pete Postlethwaite started his acting career at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre where his colleagues included Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Antony Sher and Julie Walters. After routine early appearances in small parts for television programmes such as THE PROFESSIONALS, Postlethwaite's first success came with the acclaimed British film DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES in 1988. He then received an Academy Award nomination for his role in THE NAME OF THE FATHER in 1993. His performance as the mysterious lawyer "Kobayashi" in THE USUAL SUSPECTS is well-known, and he appeared in many successful films including ALIEN 3, BRASSED OFF, THE SHIPPING NEWS, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, as Friar Lawrence in Baz Luhrmann's ROMEO + JULIET, and in INCEPTION with Leonardo diCaprio. Pete Postlethwaite was one of the best-loved and widely admired performers on stage, TV (SHARPE, THE SINS) and in cinema. In THE ART OF DISCWORLD, Terry Pratchett said that he had always imagined Sam Vimes as 'a younger, slightly bulkier version of Pete Postlethwaite', while Steven Spielberg called him 'the best actor in the world', about which Postlethwaite said: 'I'm sure what Spielberg actually said was, "the thing about Pete is that he thinks he's the best actor in the world."' This is the story of a diverse and multi-talented actor's eventful life, told in his own candid and vibrant words.
The Slippery Year
By Melanie Gideon
By Clive Small Tom Gilling
Organised crime doesn't just exist on our television screens. The real world of serious crime operates every day in every country. It is a multi-billion dollar business and at its core are the drug trade and a world of secrecy and self-protection where intimidation and violence are used as the first and only resort.Smack Express takes us deep into this world and unravels the web of criminal connections that are at the heart of the Australian underworld. It is about stand over merchants, big time drug dealers and small time crims, politicians, corrupt police, informants, undercover cops, contract killers, criminal gangs, and lawyers and accountants operating on the edge of the law. It is also about the Calabrian Mafia, triads and an international milieu that has connections across Southeast Asia and into Columbia.Authoritative and meticulously researched, Clive Small and Tom Gilling fit together all the pieces of this frightening and fascinating puzzle. Theirs is the book on organised crime for this generation.
Suffer The Little Children
By Frances Reilly
The heartbreaking yet inspiring account of a young girl who suffered at the hands of nuns in the Nazareth House Convent in Northern Ireland.Frances Reilly and her sisters were abandoned by their mother outside Nazareth House Convent - a Belfast orphanage run by nuns. Little did they know the unimaginable cruelty they'd endure within its walls.Frances suffered horrifically at the hands of the Sisters: brutally beaten, worked like a slave, abused and molested, the convent regime stripped her of everything - education, innocence and childhood. But the hope of rescue or escape never left her.Years later, Frances would face her demons in court, bringing to account those who so viciously stole her youth. SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN is a gripping and moving story of one child's spirit of survival.
By Sharon Neill
The true story of Britain's most remarkable medium, told in her own words."She said I was a psychic, that she dabbled herself and recognised my talent. I thought she was barmy, didn't think anything more of it - until the night Granny appeared to me..."Sharon Neill was studying at college when she first discovered she had an ability to talk to the dead. She began trying out readings on her friends for fun and soon developed her talent. She now works as a full-time medium and is highly revered within the psychic world.In this revealing autobiography Sharon gives an insight into many of the visions that have appeared to her over the years, with a glimpse of the dark and dangerous as well as the rewarding and uplifting.
Season in Red
By Kirsty Needham
When Kirsty Needham went to Beijing as a 'Foreign Expert' she had no idea quite how foreign - or confronting - the experience would be. Her romantic expectations of how it would be to work and live as a journalist in Beijing are swiftly swept away by the bizarre realities of this extraordinary country. As she grapples with the strange and often contradictory world of modern China - a country of communist slogans and transvestite nightclubs, SARS scares and SWAT-like teams of tourist handlers - Kirsty becomes embroiled in a world that constantly challenges her perceptions as it quietly wins her heart. By turns enlightening, hilarious and sometimes not a little scary, Kirsty's is a unique take on contemporary China as it is evolving right now. From a city where where St Bernard dogs are the new status symbols and nice middle-class Beijingers play the NASDAQ for fun she provides a fresh, compelling outsider's view of a little known and fascinating part of the world.