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Tank Action

By David Render, Stuart Tootal
Authors:
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.
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Trenchard: Father of the Royal Air Force

By Russell Miller
Authors:
Russell Miller
Hugh 'Boom' Trenchard was embarrassed by being described as 'The Father of the Royal Air Force' - he thought others were more deserving. But the reality was that no man did more to establish the world's first independent air force and ensure its survival in the teeth of fierce opposition from both the Admiralty and the War Office. Born in Taunton in 1873, Trenchard struggled at school, not helped by the shame of his solicitor father's bankruptcy when he was sixteen. He failed entrance examinations to both the Royal Navy and the Army several times, eventually obtaining a commission through the 'back door' of the militia. After service in India, South Africa - where he was seriously wounded - and Nigeria, he found his destiny when he joined the fledgling Royal Flying Corps in 1912, where he was soon known as 'Boom' thanks to his stentorian voice. Quick to recognise the huge potential aircraft offered in future conflicts, he rose rapidly to command the RFC in France during the First World War despite handicaps that would have blighted conventional military careers: he was obstinate, tactless, inarticulate and chronically unable to remember names - yet he was able to inspire unflagging loyalty among all ranks. Despite his conspicuous distrust of politicians, he served as a successful Chief of the Air Staff for a decade after the war and then, at the personal request of the King, took over as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, which he reorganised and reformed. He never wavered in his belief that mastery of the air could only be achieved by relentless offensive action, or in his determined advocacy of strategic bombing. His most enduring legacy was the creation of the finest air force in the world, engendered with the spirit that won the Battle of Britain.
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Ted Hughes

By Elaine Feinstein
Authors:
Elaine Feinstein
Ted Hughes is one of the greatest English poets of this century, yet his life was dogged by tragedy and controversy. His marriage to the American poet Sylvia Plath marked his whole life and he never entirely recovered from her suicide in 1963, though he chose to remain silent on the subject for more than 30 years. Many people, including his friend Al Alvarez, have held Hughes's adultery responsible for Plath's death. Elaine Feinstein first met Hughes in 1969, and she was a good friend of his and his sister Olwyn's, both of whom guarded the Plath estate. She knows many of the European and America poets who so influenced Hughes - Seamus Heaney, Thom Gunn, Miroslav Holub, and knows the world in which both he and Plath moved.
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Tiny Prisoners

By Maggie Hartley
Authors:
Maggie Hartley
Evie and Elliot are scrawny, filthy and wide-eyed with fear when they turn up on foster carer Maggie Hartley's doorstep. Aged just two and three years old, this brother and sister have hardly set foot outside their own home. They have been prisoners, locked in a terrifying world of abuse, violence and neglect. Maggie soon realises that Evie and Elliot are lacking the basic life skills we all take for granted. The outside world terrifies them; the sound of the doorbell sends them into a panic that takes hours to abate. Gradually unlocking the truth of their heart-breaking upbringing, Maggie tells their shocking true story.From emotionally scarred and damaged little children, we see how - with warmth and dedication - Maggie transforms their lives. As this moving story unfolds, we share Maggie's joy when these children finally smile again, when they realise they do have a future after all.
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Too Scared to Cry

By Maggie Hartley
Authors:
Maggie Hartley
A digital short story from author and foster carer Maggie Hartley. Also contains a sneak peek chapter from Maggie's highly anticipated debut memoir, TINY PRISONERS.Brothers Ben and Damien are shockingly quiet when they arrive on Maggie's doorstep. They don't shout or play like normal three and four year olds. They hardly dare make a sound, so much have they been conditioned to be 'seen and not heard' by their mother and controlling stepfather.More disturbingly, their little baby half-brother Noah is completely unresponsive. He doesn't play, he doesn't smile, he doesn't crawl - he doesn't even cry. In a state of blankness brought about by emotional neglect, poor baby Noah is disconnected from the world. Maggie has never seen such a young life so affected before. Yet with time, love and care, Maggie gradually unpicks what has caused this terrible void. She teaches the children to play and laugh and to not be afraid to make noise. We see Ben, Damien and Noah take steps towards a positive future and their journey reaches a happy conclusion when they are adopted by a loving family. With love and affection, they are no longer scared to be themselves. They are free to make their voices heard.
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Testament of Youth

By Vera Brittain
Authors:
Vera Brittain
This classic memoir of the First World War is now a major motion picture starring Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington. Includes an afterword by Kate Mosse OBE.In 1914 Vera Brittain was 20, and as war was declared she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life - and the life of her whole generation - had changed in a way that would have been unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain's account of how she survived those agonising years; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time, and has lost none of its power to shock, move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933.
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To Hell with Picasso & Other Essays

By Paul Johnson
Authors:
Paul Johnson
A rich and varied collection of essays.Pugnacious and savage, eloquent and unpredictable, Paul Johnson sets out to entertain and to inform and to shake the complacency of his readers. These essays selected from the best of his weekly pieces in The Spectator over the last five years, range widely.All his essays are liberally peppered with his astonishing knowledge of the highways and byways of the last thousand years of English history.
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Three Corvettes

By Nicholas Monsarrat
Authors:
Nicholas Monsarrat
This is how the war at sea really was...Nicholas Monsarrat's war, in those dark years of 1939-1945, was a ferocious, unforgiving, terrible war: the Battle of the Atlantic. An RNVR officer, he served on His Majesty's corvettes, tough little ships charged with the impossible task of seeing vital convoys safely through the packs of marauding U-boats. Between watches he kept a record of life on board, the good times and the bad, true tales of heroism, fear and all too often death. This was the war at sea as it really was. The three books were sensationally published even while the war raged about him, and make a fascinating prelude to the post-war The Cruel Sea.Also in this edition are his other short pieces on the sea, including the stories HMS Marlborough Will Enter Harbour and The Ship That Died of Shame. Here is some of the most dramatic literature of the sea ever written, from one of the finest writers of his generation.
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Trigger Time

By Mick Flynn
Authors:
Mick Flynn
Gritty, but witty, description of life and death on the front line in Afghanistan, by the bestselling author of BULLET MAGNET.Now Zad, Afghanistan: a small unit of British soldiers are beseiged on a hilltop, surrounded by Taliban. There is no way out but through ambush country, on roads full of IEDs. In any case, the British have no intention of running: they have promised the local population that they are here to stay. But every day the attacks on their position become more daring, the shells more accurate. It is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt...This is the gritty but life-affirming story of how Britain's most highly decorated frontline soldier led his men through two tours in Afghanistan. Through rocket strikes and IED attacks, drugs busts, ambushes and full scale battles, Mick Flynn's first priority has always been to get his men out alive. But it is an ambition he can't promise to live up to...
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Treasures from the Attic

By Mirjam Pressler
Authors:
Mirjam Pressler
The story of Anne Frank, her family and the famous diaries, told with the help of thousands of letters, documents and photographs recently discovered in an attic.Anne Frank wrote a diary from the age of 13 as she hid for over two years in the back of an Amsterdam warehouse escaping the horrors of Nazi occupation. An intimate record of tension and struggle, adolescence and confinement, anger and heartbreak, it is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century, famed throughout the world. Since first publication in 1947, the diary has been read by tens of millions of people in many different translations. A bestseller in its 1952 and 1997 (definitive) editions, it remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit. Recently discovered letters, documents and photographs of Anne and her family including letters from her, her father's letters from Auschwitz and his poignant descriptions of searching for his family after the war and his discovery of the diaries, have been made into a family saga by Mirjam Pressler, the editor of the definitive edition of the Diary. The book, which reads like a novel, an epic, fateful, family saga, recounts the story of Anne's family both before, during and after the war. It contrasts the normality of family life with the horrors of persecution, deportation and the concentration camps and through it we gain new insight into Anne and her iconic diary.
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Time and Chance

By L. Sprague deCamp
Authors:
L. Sprague deCamp
Time and Chance is the autobiography of Hugo, World Fantasy and SFWA Grand Master Award-winning author, L. Sprague de Camp. It is a fascinating insight into a man who began writing in the late 1930's and remained an active voice in the genre up until his death in the last year of the twentieth century, and who was a prime mover in the formation of the fields of Science Fiction and Fantasy as we know them today.
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Tales from a Midwife

By Jennifer Worth, Anne Reid, Stephanie Cole
Authors:
Jennifer Worth
Read by:
Anne Reid, Stephanie Cole
This omnibus audio edition of CALL THE MIDWIFE, SHADOWS OF THE WORKHOUSE and FAREWELL TO THE EAST END chronicles Jennifer Worth's career as a midwife, from her arrival in the war-scarred Docklands as a wide-eyed trainee, to the demolition of the tenements.It provides a fascinating snapshot of social history, documenting the East End in the days when there was a real sense of community, when times were tough but there was plenty of good humour and neighbourly support to help the inhabitants through the harsh econonic climate.
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There Will Be Rainbows: A Biography of Rufus Wainwright

By Kirk Lake
Authors:
Kirk Lake
The first ever biography of one of the most fascinating singers to have appeared in the last 50 years."Rufus Wainwright is the greatest songwriter on the planet" - Elton JohnRufus Wainwright's work mixes innovation and tradition like no other contemporary pop performer. His private life, which, by choice or otherwise, he has lived in public, is equally incredible -- and in its own, sometimes peculiar, often exaggerated way, has encompassed all three of the clichéd tenets of the popular artist (sex, drugs and rock n roll).In seeking to explain how the artist works and where his place lies in a great tradition, Kirk Lake enters into the diverse worlds of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, opera, gay liberation, Canadian folk, neo-Conservatism, drug addiction and Hollywood musicals. He follows Wainwright's journey (from Van Dyke Parks, to rehab, to Carnegie Hall), and talks to those who have orbited close to Wainwright. Rufus Wainwright: A Biography is an intelligent, critical piece of music writing that befits the integrity and complexity of the artist's work while fully embracing the self-deprecating humour and flamboyance that embodies Rufus Wainwright, the person.
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Twelve Babies on a Bike

By Dot May Dunn
Authors:
Dot May Dunn
A young midwife's account of her training in the Midlands in the 1950s. A SUNDAY TIMES bestseller.It's 1957, and in a shattered post-war world, life goes on. Dot, a pupil midwife, negotiates the streets on her trusty old bicycle - come rain or shine - to help women in need.Living and working under the supervision of the strict Mrs O'Reilly, she must complete her training with twelve deliveries: there's Mrs Wardle who lives in a seedy slum; the eighth Clarke baby, born in an unusual place; the superstitious Wests, desperate for a boy; baby Murphy who is received with laughter; and brothel-worker Mrs Maloney.Amid lectures, textbooks and university dances, Dot must saddle up at any time of the day and night to attend deliveries. But just when she thinks she's got the measure of the job, fate deals her an unexpected hand...
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Thommo Speaks Out

By Ashley Mallett
Authors:
Ashley Mallett
'I just run in and go whang.'This is how Jeff Thomson, the fastest bowler of all times, explains his technique. Thommo was feared by batsmen all around the world. Sri Lankan Sunil Wettimuny recalls facing one of Thommo's balls: 'Never before or since that day did I know fear on the cricket field.'Mike Brearley, the Middlesex captain who led England during the World Series Cricket incursion, said of Thommo: 'Broken marriages, conflicts of loyalty, the problems of everyday life fall away as one faces up to Thomson.'Greg Chappell, Thommo's former captain, put it this way, 'I don't care if Thommo hasn't a clue where they are going, he'll frighten these blokes out. They'll be so desperate to get to the other end they'll run themselves out.'This is Jeff Thomson's story, from the cricket fields of his Sydney schoolboy days to the international matches and beyond, as told to Ashley Mallet by Thommo, his former team mates and his opponents.Thommo's legendary partnership with Dennis Lillee, a combination known as Lillian Thomson, was one of the most lethal in the history of cricket. As the caption to Paul Rigby's famous cartoon said:'Ashes to ashes, dust to dust - if Thommo don't get ya, Lillee must . . .'
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There Will Be Rainbows

By Kirk Lake
Authors:
Kirk Lake
The first ever biography of one of the most fascinating singers to have appeared in the last 50 years."Rufus Wainwright is the greatest songwriter on the planet" - Elton JohnRufus Wainwright's work mixes innovation and tradition like no other contemporary pop performer. His private life, which, by choice or otherwise, he has lived in public, is equally incredible -- and in its own, sometimes peculiar, often exaggerated way, has encompassed all three of the clichéd tenets of the popular artist (sex, drugs and rock n roll).In seeking to explain how the artist works and where his place lies in a great tradition, Kirk Lake enters into the diverse worlds of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, opera, gay liberation, Canadian folk, neo-Conservatism, drug addiction and Hollywood musicals. He follows Wainwright's journey (from Van Dyke Parks, to rehab, to Carnegie Hall), and talks to those who have orbited close to Wainwright. Rufus Wainwright: A Biography is an intelligent, critical piece of music writing that befits the integrity and complexity of the artist's work while fully embracing the self-deprecating humour and flamboyance that embodies Rufus Wainwright, the person.
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Time to Say Hello

By Katherine Jenkins
Authors:
Katherine Jenkins
The UK's biggest-selling classical artist reveals how her angelic voice has shot her to superstardom...Katherine Jenkins is an international singing superstar who has redefined a music genre: she has brought classical music to the masses and inspired young and old with her incredible voice, her glamorous looks and, above all, her love for music, her country and her fans.Born in Neath, South Wales, Katherine won national acclaim as the BBC Welsh Choirgirl of the year and soon after a place at the Royal Academy of Music. Auditioning for a terrifying panel of industry experts at Universal Music she came away with the largest recording deal in classical music history. And so began Katherine's meteoric rise to stardom.TIME TO SAY HELLO is Katherine's incredible story. Packed with laughter, adventure, heartbreak and music, it is the tale of a dream coming true and one that will keep you gripped to the last note ¿
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A Three Dog Life

By Abigail Thomas
Authors:
Abigail Thomas
Spellbinding memoir of a woman coping with the aftermath of her husband's traumatic brain injury.When Abigail Thomas's husband, Richard, was hit by a car, it destroyed his short-term memory and consigned him to permanent brain trauma. He had been taking their dog, Harry, out for a walk, and Harry had come home alone.Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, Rich must live the rest of his life in an institution. He has no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before. This tragedy is the ground on which Abigail had to build a new life rather than abandon her husband. How she built that life is a story of great courage and great change, of moving to a small country town, of a new family composed of three dogs, knitting and friendship, of facing down guilt and discovering gratitude. It is also about her relationship with Rich, a man who lives in the eternal present, and the eerie poetry of his often uncanny perceptions. This wise, plain-spoken, beautiful book enacts the truth Abigail discovered in the five years since the accident: You might not find meaning in disaster, but you might, with effort, make something useful of it.Forced to adapt to a life alone, Abigail finds solace at home, discovering that friends, family and dogs (Carolina, Harry and Rosie) can reshape a life of chaos into one that, while wrenchingly sad, makes sense - a life full of its own richness and beauty.
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This Is My Life

By Eamonn Holmes
Authors:
Eamonn Holmes
The candid and highly entertaining autobiography of one of the UK's most popular TV presentersEamonn Holmes is one of the most popular TV presenters in the UK. For twelve years he was the main anchor at GMTV drawing daily audiences of six million viewers. His humour, easy presenting style and ability to think on his feet have earned him not only millions of fans but several industry awards. But success has come at a cost...Both Eamonn's TV career and his life have been roller coasters of highs and lows. At the age of 21 Eamonn became the youngest ever anchorman in Irish television but when his show was axed, he faced an uncertain future. No home, no job and mounting debts prompted crippling panic attacks. And when his beloved father died, Eamonn made a clean break and decided to take a job on a brand new morning show, GMTV. The rest is history.From having a gun held to his head in Belfast to the breakdown of his marriage; from the TV guests he has loved and loathed to the rows with co-presenter Anthea Turner and his burning ambition to make it as a TV presenter, Eamonn reveals the highs and lows of his life as he has never done before.
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Touché

By Agnes Catherine Poirier
Authors:
Agnes Catherine Poirier
Why France and Britain are so different, and why they do things in opposite ways.A brilliant and vigorous observer of both French and British societies, which she knows intimately, 32-year-old Agnes Catherine Poirier has spent the last ten years explaining the peculiarities of France to the British and of Britain to the French. Not an easy job.Having studied both in Paris and London, writing in both languages for the French and British press, Agnes Catherine Poirier plays with national stereotypes, which are both stupid and dangerous, with dexterity and savoir faire. She goes beneath the surface to explain why France and Britain keep arguing and competing endlessly, why they are so different and why they do things in almost opposite ways.Covering the worlds of art, politics, action, food, institutions, sex, history, media, society and philosophy, she tells us as much about us as why France is a nation apart.Revenge for tabloid attacks on France or for British expats' invasions of Brittany and the Dordogne? You decide. But this will entertain and educate all readers about their own country and whether its 'entente' with La Belle France is 'cordiale' or not.You may disagree with her but you may never see yourself in the same way again.
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