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.
Scenes and Apparitions
By Roy Strong
Scenes and Apparitions begins where its predecessor, Splendours and Miseries, left off. It covers a period of Roy Strong's life from 1988 to 2003. Shaking off the shackles of public life, Roy was free for the first time to reinvent himself, leaving behind the political and cultural machinations of the art world. Left with little to live on, he turned his hand to what came his way, first as a consultant to the Canary Wharf development; then as a television and radio presenter; and finally as a full-time writer of books on the nation's history and civilisation, as well as on garden design and history.The urge to keep a diary ebbed and flowed and continues to be nothing other than sporadic - when this or that prods his pen to describe a scene or a person. This volume of his diaries is an unmissable record of how a citizen at the close of the second Elizabethan age observed and chronicles his own world, as the last decade of the twentieth century gave way to the first decade of the twenty-first.
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.
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.
By Kerry Katona
The long-awaited, inspiring autobiography from Kerry Katona. Updated for the paperback.Kerry Katona has been one of the most talked about celebrities of the last 12 years. Since bursting on the scene in 2000 with girl-band Atomic Kitten, her turbulent life has made her the subject of thousands of articles and numerous reality TV shows. Kerry released her first autobiography, TOO MUCH TOO YOUNG in 2006, but since then her life has become hardly recognisable, having taken many more twists and turns. This memoir will pick up from there and is, above all, a story of inspiration - from drugs, bad men, bankruptcy, armed robberies, embezzlement, plastic surgery, weight battles, booze, more drugs and depression - Kerry has survived and brought her life back from the brink to become a very together and happy mother of four.Now she has moved on, regained control of her life and tackled her problems head-on - becoming clean of drugs, getting back in shape, escaping her marriage and falling in love again. This is the remarkable, and at times heartbreaking, story behind how she did it.
The Science of Avatar
By Stephen Baxter
James Cameron's Avatar is the biggest movie of all time. Now the movie's legendary director has leant his support to an exploration of the world of Pandora with bestselling science-fiction author Stephen Baxter. From journeys into deep space to anti-gravity unobtanium, from Pandora's extraordinary flora and fauna to transferring consciousness, Baxter and Cameron reveal that we are often closer to world of Avatar than we might imagine.Stephen Baxter is the master of `what-if?' science fiction. In THE SCIENCE OF AVATAR he's written a book that will appeal to fans of both science-fiction and popular science. THE SCIENCE OF AVATAR will offer fans the unique opportunity to explore the spectacular world of Pandora, from the creator himself.
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.
Snakes and Ladders
By Dirk Bogarde
The sequel to Dirk Bogarde's bestselling memoir, Postillion Struck by LightningIn Snakes and Ladders, Dirk Bogarde continues his memoirs, from the trials of an army training camp at Catterick to the greatest challenge of his film career - the role of von Aschenbach in Death in Venice.Challenges were a constant feature in his life, some brought by chance, some self-imposed. It was an accident which altered his army career, a mistake which launched him into films. This second volume charts the ups and downs Bogarde experienced on the way to becoming one of the finest cinema actors of our time. It is also about the people who helped him in this game of 'snakes and ladders' - family and friends, actors and actresses, directors and producers, including Judy Garland.