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Biography / Autobiography Biographies and Autobiographies

In their own words or from the pen of a biographer, the lives of others hold a magnetic intrigue for. Indulge your curiosity here…

This Month's Featured Books

Tom Jones - The Life
Sean Smith
“You couldn’t make up a life story as big as this” says author Sean Smith of his subject, Tom Jones. It’s published ahead of the indomitable Tom Jones’ 75th birthday in June and provides an entertaining and informative look at...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
Postcards from the Middle East How Our Family Fell in Love with the Arab World
Chris Naylor
Chris Naylor is a Director of A Rocha International, that takes its name from the Portuguese for Rock and forms an interdenominational Christian environmental organisation. Having worked as a teacher in the Middle East A Rocha led Chris to discover...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/03/2015
     
Tales from the Queen of the Desert
Gertrude Bell
Take a gentle yet fascinating stroll back into another era, into the memories of Gertrude Bell, a woman so far ahead of her time she would still be considered remarkable today. This is a blend of two of Bell’s books,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 13/02/2015
     
Late Fragments Everything I Want to Tell You (About This Magnificent Life)
Kate Gross
Diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer as a young woman, Kate Gross was destined never to see her children grow and mature, leave behind a much loved husband and lose all the possibilities that life and work can bring. She began...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/01/2015
     
Browned off and Bloody-Minded The British Soldier Goes to War 1939-1945
Alan Allport
How did ordinary men cope with being called up, propelled from civilian to soldier in a few short months they were then sent off to fight. Alan Allport captures their reactions through the writings of the men who recorded their...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/03/2015
     
Being Binky
Binky Felstead
Another Made in Chelsea participant reveals their inner life – and for Binky Felstead there’s plenty to tell – not just her sudden rise to TV fame and also looking back to a troubled childhood, her family and facing up...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
The Princess Matilda Comes Home
Shane Spall
From their winter berth at Cardiff, Tim and Shane Spall set out on a new journey to follow the Welsh Coast before striking out for the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland. Not such raw sailors as they once were,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
My Life in Agony Confessions of a Professional Agony Aunt
Irma Kurtz
Irma Kurtz’s own private life and her public self as Agony Aunt come together in a narrative that informs of her own life and the many, many other lives she has touched throughout her career. Universal problems but to each...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/03/2015
     
Dreams of the Good Life The Life of Flora Thompson and the Creation of Lark Rise to Candleford
Richard Mabey
As a long-time lover of Lark Rise to Candleford, this was a must-read for me and indeed will be for Flora Thompson’s many fans. It was all the more poignant to read of the long and hesitant apprenticeship she underwent...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
Censoring Queen Victoria How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon
Yvonne M. Ward
Queen Victoria’s correspondence filled rooms, in all, 460 volumes of letters. It was a mammoth task to edit this down to 3 volumes and two men were chosen for the job, Viscount Esher who did all the overseeing and liason...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
The Midwife's Sister
Christine Lee
The woman whose stories were the foundation for the books and later the TV series Call the Midwife had a troubled start in life. Here Jennifer Worth’s sister reveals their childhood and their close bond throughout their lives, a moving...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
The Tears of the Rajas Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905
Ferdinand Mount
Using the letters and diaries of his grandmother’s family, the Lows, who, for over 100 years were part of the British Raj, their moving story forms the basis of Ferdinand Mount’s new and compelling history of the British in India....
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
Landmarks
Robert Macfarlane
Infused with the poetry of the land, Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks explores and celebrates the close relationship between the landscape and the words we use to describe it, an outpouring of language and love that attempts to understand the way we...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
The Unexpected Professor An Oxford Life in Books
John Carey
A child of the Blitz, an evacuee sent to a rural village, John Carey looks back on life as an Oxford Literature Professor and long-time Sunday Times book reviewer sharing his enduring love of books and reading. Like for...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
A Different Kind of Weather
William Waldegrave
The life and times of William Waldegrave, he looks back on a full political career at the heart of the Conservative Party considering why he had such a passion for politics and what that passion can do to you. ...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
Once Upon a Time in the West...Country
Tony Hawks
Not one for the rural life, Tony, partner Fran and their child on the way move to the deep countryside. Is this Tony’s challenge to himself, to take up rural life with gusto? No, not quite, there’s also the small...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
Honourable Friends? Parliament and the Fight for Change
Caroline Lucas
From Green MP, Caroline Lucas, a clear and concise “outsider’s” view of Westminster politics. Telling of her own experiences battling with the parliamentary system, she also questions the failures in our politics that are undermining democracy. Like for Like...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
John Aubrey My Own Life
Ruth Scurr
Calling it a book of scholarly imagination, Ruth Scurr attempts to recreate John Aubrey’s life from his own writings. He was one of the first journalistic voices we have in English history; he was passionately interested in interpreting the landscape,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
The Yorkshire Shepherdess
Amanda Owen
Well known from her appearances on ITV’s The Dales, Amanda Owen is one of those lucky people living their dreams. Amanda Owen lives in a remote corner of Yorkshire; she’s a mother of 7 (she wants 10) children, a farmer’s...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Never Judge a Book by its Cover The Autobiography
Lisa Riley
At the heart of Lisa Riley’s book is the message, be who you want to be and stay true to yourself. She intends her book to be an inspirational look at overcoming prejudice, showing how self-belief can propel you through...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
H is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald
Winner of the Costa Book of the year 2014. Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2014. Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize 2014. Owning and training a hawk has been a life-long dream for Helen Macdonald, she accomplishes her...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
60 Postcards The Inspirational Story of a Young Woman's Journey to Celebrate Her Mother, One Postcard at a Time
Rachael Chadwick
Rachael Chadwick’s Mother was approaching 60 when she died, a devastating blow and the end to their close and loving relationship. As a way of celebrating her mother and to use the Eurostar tickets, a last gift from her mother,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     

Last Month's Featured Books

H is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald
Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2014. Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2014. Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize 2014. Owning and training a hawk has...
 
 
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
Chris Hadfield
Now retired, Chris Hadfield has fulfilled his life dream of becoming an astronaut. Before hanging up his space-suit he commanded the International Space station and famously sang David Bowie’s Space...
 
 
Through it All I've Always Laughed Memoirs of Count Arthur Strong
Count Arthur Strong
I’m thrilled to have been allowed to mention Show business legend, Count Arthur Strong and his new autobiography. What a great day for the reading public when they can at...
 
 
Four Sisters:the Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses
Helen Rappaport
The four daughters of the last Tsar of Russia, overlooked in life and in death, the young women, the eldest only twenty-three were gunned down with their parents at Ekaterinburg...
 
 
Something for the Weekend The Collected Columns of Sir Terry Wogan
Sir Terry, OBE Wogan, Telegraph Media Group
A collection of Terry Wogan’s best bits! Pomposity pricked, jokes, self-depreciatory stories, grumbles and observations, he has been writing his weekly column for 10 years, this anthology somehow managing to...
 
 
Went the Day Well Witnessing Waterloo
David Crane
David Crane’s history not only illuminates the Battle of Waterloo but also brings light to bear on Britain and the toll of the wars with Napoleon, the dead and the...
 
 
White Beech The Rainforest Years
Dr. Germaine Greer
Returning to Australia, Germaine Greer has long been concerned at the degradation of the land. Then, in 2001, a run-down dairy farm was up put for sale. This was her...
 
 
Wild A Journey from Lost to Found
Cheryl Strayed
With life feeling empty and without direction after her mother’s death and family breakup, Cheryl Strayed set off on an epic 1,100 mile journey down the West coast of America...
 
 
The Fish Ladder A Journey Upstream
Katharine Norbury
As Katharine Norbury tracks rivers and mountains, her own personal story plays out against this watery landscape. As an adopted child, serious illness leads her to search for her real...
 
 
Living it Arg
James Argent
James Argent, one of the longest serving members of the TV programme The Only Way is Essex, spills the beans on what goes on – on and off the set....
 
 
The Old Man and the Sea A True Story of Crossing the Atlantic by Raft
Anthony Smith
“Fancy rafting across the Atlantic: Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP” - to quote from Anthony Smith’s Daily Telegraph advertisement – and 80-year-old Smith got his crew allowing...
 
 
Where Memories Go Why Dementia Changes Everything - Now with a New Chapter
Sally Magnusson
Sally Magnusson captures so poignantly the sorrow of a child watching a parent disappear into the fog of dementia. In telling her Mother’s story, looking back at the vibrant woman...
 
 
Beneath the Heart of the Sea The Sinking of the Whaleship Essex
Owen Chase
First published in 1821 and the inspiration for 'Moby Dick', this is an absolutely fascinating true story, detailing a subject that will make you wince, grimace and wonder. Owen Chase...
 
 
Little Failure A Memoir
Gary Shteyngart
A Russian boy and his family manage to get permission to leave Brezhnev’s Russia for a new life America. He is skinny, asthmatic and fearful of his parents rowing and...
 
 
My Dear Bessie A Love Story in Letters
Chris Barker, Bessie Moore, Simon Garfield
My first reaction on first reading My Dear Bessie was to turn to the end to make sure that Chris, away at the war, didn’t get killed and that Bessie...
 
 
A Brief History of Magna Carta The Origins of Liberty from Runnymede to Washington
Geoffrey Hindley
The fascinating story behind the English Constitution, and why its influence remains significant today throughout the world. As civil Liberties and the rule of law are increasingly brought into question...
 
 

The Month Before's Featured Books

After Hitler The Last Days of the Second World War in Europe
Michael Jones
Even with Hitler dead it took 10 days to finally end World War Two, and it is against this background, the ending of the war and what came afterwards that...
 
 
If This is A Woman The Untold Story of Heroism and Survival Inside the Nazi's Women-Only Concentration Camp
Sarah Helm
Created by Heinrich Himmler, Ravensbruck was the only Concentration camp set up for women – and their children. It was up and running in 1939 and Sarah Helm details the...
 
 
A Book of Voyages
Patrick O'Brian
An early book by Patrick O’Brian, reissued to mark the anniversary of his birth. It’s a collection of travel writing from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, writing Patrick O’Brian loved...
 
 
Shopgirls True Stories of Friendship, Triumph and Hardship from Behind the Counter
Dr. Pamela Cox, Annabel Hobley
From Victorian times down to the present day, a history of the women who have worked in the growing retail trade. Individual stories are laced into the narrative giving us...
 
 
Travelling to Infinity: The True Story Behind the Theory of Everything
Jane Hawking
As the new biopic of Stephen Hawking is set to launch, his first wife, Jane recalls their life together, the diagnosis of his motor-neurone disease, the balance to be struck...
 
 
The Bletchley Girls
Tessa Dunlop
January 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Interest in Bletchley Park has reached dizzying and glamorous heights, so to read a realistic...
 
 
Bought and Sold
Megan Stephens
A holiday romance that went horribly wrong, at 14 Megan Stephens left her family and stayed behind quickly finding that her Mediterranean holiday dream quickly turned into a hell of...
 
 
A Brief History of the Hobbit
John Rateliff, J. R. R. Tolkien
This brand new, shorter edition of the critically acclaimed work includes J.R.R. Tolkien's complete draft manuscript of 'The Hobbit', together with notes about its history, and is perfect for readers...
 
 
The Debs of Bletchley Park and Other Stories
Michael W Smith
January 2015 Book of the Month. More than eight thousand women worked at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, largely unsung,...
 
 
Did She Kill Him? A Victorian Tale of Deception, Adultery and Arsenic
Kate Colquhoun
What a tangled web! An unhappy marriage, an overbearing hypochondriac of a husband whose extreme self medication – often with that Victorian cure-all Arsenic, only made his health worse, in...
 
 
Empty Mansions The Mysterious Story of Huguette Clark and the Loss of One of the World's Greatest Fortunes
Paul Clark Newell, Bill Dedman
A book that reads more like an epic novel than a true life account of one woman’s life, Huguette Clark inherited vast wealth from her father; the founder of Las...
 
 
Mr and Mrs Disraeli A Strange Romance
Daisy Hay
An intriguing look at a marriage between a Jewish novelist and an older woman embarking on her second marriage, a very successful marriage, they were a devoted couple. Together Mr...
 
 
My History A Memoir of Growing Up
Antonia Fraser
Suitably for an historian, Antonia Fraser explores her life against her development into a writer and historian, the influences that made her take this path and the strong thread of...
 
 
The Poet's Tale Chaucer and the Year That Made the Canterbury Tales
Paul Strohm
The year was 1386 and broke and out of favour with the Royal Court, Geoffrey Chaucer tried writing his way out of poverty. The result was The Canterbury Tales and...
 
 
Guantanamo Diary
Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Larry Siems
Edited and introduced by Larry Siems, a leading Human Rights activist, Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s diary is the first record to be published by an inmate of Guantanamo. It details his...
 
 
Quite A Good Time to be Born A Memoir: 1935-1975
David Lodge
At last, an autobiography from one of our best novelists, David Lodge. He gives us an acute portrait of a growing boy and a changing Britain. Born in 1935, David...
 
 
The Reckoning Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land
Patrick Bishop
In 1942, Avraham Stern, leader of the Infamous Stern gang was shot and killed in Palestine. A complex man, he saw it as his duty to do anything possible to...
 
 
Shades of Jamie Dornan
Jo Berry
Jamie Dornan turned from modelling to acting stepping into the role of the infamous Christian Grey in the new film Fifty Shades of Grey. The publicity machine is already cranked...
 
 
Sophia Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary
Anita Anand
Born in 1876 Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was bought up in England after the English deposed her father as heir to the Sikh kingdom in Northern India. She cast off...
 
 
Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford the Biography
Laura Thompson
A biography that captures the wit and humour of Nancy Mitford and her sisters, it will make you return to Nancy’s writings to experience the worlds she created that were...
 
 
Lives in Writing
David Lodge
To say this is a book of essays on writers and writing makes Lives in Writing sound so dull, however delve into its pages and you’ll find essays highlighting what...
 
 
Those Wild Wyndhams Three Sisters at the Heart of Power
Claudia Renton
Three sisters, Mary, Madeline and Pamela Wyndham whose family background and later their own marriages put them at the heart of aristocratic and political England in the dying days of...
 
 
The Wrong Knickers - A Decade of Chaos
Bryony Gordon
Most of us pretend our teens and twenties are the best years of our lives but not many of us are as brave as Bryony Gordon and confess to the...
 
 
Testament of Youth An Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900-1925
Vera Brittain
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH is one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War. It has now been made into a film, which has been scripted by Juliette Towhidi...
 
 
Love, Nina Despatches from Family Life
Nina Stibbe
January 2015 Guest Editor Harriet Evans on Love, Nina... I need a book that gives me a warm safe glow come winter and this is that book. It is...
 
 
A Very Private Diary A Nurse in Wartime
Mary Morris
You can read any number of memoirs by nurses following in the footsteps of Jennifer Worth but this one I really recommend, a compelling diary of a nursing career undertaken...
 
 
Hope in a Ballet Shoe
Michaela DePrince, Elaine DePrince
The amazing true story of how an orphan from Sierra Leone has become a major US ballet star. Michaela DePrince’s life began in a country wracked by conflict. Her parents...
 
 
American Sniper [Movie Tie-In Edition] The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, Jim DeFelice
A celebration of the remarkable life and legacy of fallen American hero Chris Kyle now a major film starring Bradley Cooper. Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, American Sniper is a thrilling...
 
 
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