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Read the opening extract of the brand new C. J. Skuse book before its publication on 24/09/2015

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…

Books of the Month

Royalty Inc Britain's Best-Known Brand
Stephen Bates
September 2015 Book of the Month. Stephen Bates, a former Guardian Royal Correspondent, chronicles the ups and downs of the British Monarchy and their evolution into today's Royalty Inc. He writes about...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
Jewels of Allah The Untold Story of Women in Iran
Nina Ansary
September 2015 Book of the Month. A fascinating, behind the scenes view, looking simply and astutely at the history and story of women in Iran. The author is a historian born in...
Format: Paperback - Released: 25/06/2015
     
The Man Who Didn't Go to Newcastle
Alison Clink
September 2015 Book of the Month. A wonderfully eloquent, heartfelt and touching recollection of the author’s relationship with her brother, after he has been told he has inoperable cancer and a short...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/04/2015
     

Other Featured Books this Month

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: Paperback - Released: 27/08/2015
     
The Bletchley Girls War, Secrecy, Love and Loss: the Women of Bletchley Park Tell Their Story
Tessa Dunlop
Interest in Bletchley Park has reached dizzying and glamorous heights, so to read a realistic rather than romanticised picture of fifteen women who spent time there is utterly compelling. These Bletchley Park veterans are from various backgrounds, they have widely...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/07/2015
     
Left for Dead My Journey Home from Everest
Beck Weathers
The extraordinary story of one of the survivors of the infamous 1996 Everest disaster - now made into a film, Everest, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley and Josh Brolin. Heartstoppingly exciting and ultimately very moving, Left for Dead is a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
What a Thing to Say to the Queen A Collection of Royal Anecdotes from the House of Windsor
Thomas Blaikie
Evidence of the Queen's strong sense of humour in Thomas Blaikie's collection of anecdotes revealing her amused reaction to some of the clangers she's been subject to. Taken from commentaries, histories and auto/biographies it's a portrait of the Queen from...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
The Blitzed City The Destruction of Coventry, 1940
Karen Farrington
Karen Farrington starts her books before 1940 showing the development of flying and how soon the military saw its potential for war. Then there were the bombs themselves, at first hand grenades tossed out of cockpits before more lethal firepower...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
Proud My Autobiography
Gareth Thomas
Winner of the Sports Book of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. In 2009 Gareth Thomas was quoted as saying “It ended my marriage and nearly drove me to suicide. Now it’s time to tell the world...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/06/2015
     
Bannockburn Scotland's Greatest Battle for Independence
Angus Konstam
'Everyone interested in the battle, for whatever reason, would do well to read this engaging book' Sunday Times In Scotland, history and politics often become entangled. For some, the past is a source of inspiration for the future. For others,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2016
     
Into Thin Air A Personal Account of the Everest Disaster
Jon Krakauer
Jon Krakauer's acclaimed account of a disastrous expedition on Mt Everest. This is the true story of a 24-hour period on Everest, when members of three separate expeditions were caught in a storm and faced a battle against hurricane-force winds,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/07/2011
     
The Making of Home The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Homes
Judith Flanders
One of my very favourite books of last year, a wonderful all encompassing history of European and American home life as experienced over the past 500 years. Judith Flanders overturns our notions of what home has meant in previous centuries,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
The Last Escaper
Peter Tunstall
Peter Tunstall, WWII bomber pilot and - after being shot down, he became renowned as a determined tormentor of his German captors and also one of the most determined escapers. The last of the Colditz survivors tells his story. ~...
Format: Paperback - Released: 10/09/2015
     
Final Solution The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949
David Cesarani
A thorough and wide-ranging history questioning our view of Nazi Germany’s treatment of the Jews, David Cesarani’s history starts 6 years before the war and ends 4 years afterwards in the displacement camps of Europe. A revisionist and questioning history...
Format: Hardback - Released: 29/01/2015
     
Stalin's Englishman The Lives of Guy Burgess
Andrew Lownie
The extraordinary true story of Guy Burgess, the man at the heart of the Cambridge Spy Ring and a linchpin of Cold War espionage.
Format: Hardback - Released: 10/09/2015
     
The Man with the Golden Typewriter Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters
Fergus Fleming
Before the world-famous films came the world-famous novels. This books tells the story of the man who wrote them and how he created spy fiction's most compelling hero. Fleming's output was matched by an equally energetic flow of letters. He...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/11/2015
     
Dear Lupin... Letters to a Wayward Son
Roger Mortimer, Charlie Mortimer
A charming, witty and touching collection of letters from a father to his son, that became a huge bestseller in hardback. Nostalgic, witty and filled with characters and situations that people of all ages will recognise, Dear Lupin is the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/03/2013
     
Maggie Smith A Biography
Michael Coveney
The definitive biography of Maggie Smith, grande dame of stage and screen, and a national treasure. No one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith, one of Britain's best-loved actors. This new biography shines...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
Deep South Four Seasons on Back Roads
Paul Theroux
For the past fifty years, Paul Theroux has travelled to the far corners of the earth - to China, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands, South America, Russia, and elsewhere - and brought them to life in his cool, exacting prose.
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
The Temporary Bride A Memoir of Food and Love in Iran
Jennifer Klinec
A memoir of food, cooking and nationality, where you come from and where you can belong. Having abandoned a high-flying job in London’s financial industry, Jennifer Klinec starts a cookery school introducing the foods of the world to her students....
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
No Such Thing as Failure The Extraordinary Life of a Great British Adventurer
David Hempleman-Adams
Known as the only man who has achieved what is known as the Adventurer’s Grand Slam by reaching both the North and South Poles and having climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents David Hempleman-Adams doesn’t come across as...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/11/2015
     
The Frood The Authorised and Very Official History of Douglas Adams & the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Jem Roberts
A fresh look at the life and work of Douglas Adams, with the help of friends, family and colleagues, J L Roberts reveals not only the man but his influence on fiction, science and conservation. ~ Sue Baker ...
Format: Paperback - Released: 10/09/2015
     
A Different Kind of Weather A Memoir
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: Paperback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
Dior by Dior The Autobiography of Christian Dior
Christian Dior
Christian Dior rocketed to fame with his first collection in 1947 when the 'New Look' took the world by storm. This charming and modest autobiography gives a fascinating and detailed insight into the workings of a great fashion house, while...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/09/2015
     
The Face of Britain The Nation Through its Portraits
Simon Schama
Simon Schama brings Britain to life through its portraits, as seen in the five-part BBC TV series The Face of Britain and the major National Portrait Gallery exhibition In the age of the hasty glance and the selfie, Simon Schama...
Format: Hardback - Released: 16/09/2015
     
A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson
In the company of his friend Stephen Katz (last seen in the bestselling Neither Here nor There), Bill Bryson set off to hike the Appalachian Trail, the longest continuous footpath in the world. Facing savage weather, merciless insects, unreliable maps...
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/07/2015
     
The Silk Roads A New History of the World
Peter Frankopan
A major reassessment of world history, The Silk Roads is an important account of the forces that have shaped the global economy and the political renaissance in the re-emerging east. The Silk Roads were no exotic series of connections, but...
Format: Hardback - Released: 27/08/2015
     
Come, Tell Me How You Live Memories from Archaeological Expeditions in the Mysterious Middle East
Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie's personal memoirs about her travels to Syria and Iraq in the 1930s with her archaeologist husband Max Mallowan, where she worked on the digs and wrote some of her most evocative novels. Acclaimed as 'a pure pleasure to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 27/08/2015
     
What Goes on Tour Stays on Tour Great Tales from My Rugby Travels
Brian Moore
Renowned English rugby player Brian Moore recalls his mischievous misadventures on tour, and provides hard-won tips to avoid trouble. To help readers get the best out of any tour, Moore provides top tips on how best to organise one, including...
Format: Paperback - Released: 27/08/2015
     
Louis Van Gaal The Biography
Maarten Meijer
Louis Van Gaal led the young Ajax team he moulded to Champions League glory in 1995, went on to win titles across Europe with Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich and served two stints as national coach of Holland. This...
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/07/2015
     
England Rugby Heroes
Julian Bennetts
Drawing on almost 150 years of rich rugby heritage and featuring more than 70 carefully crafted biographies, this book describes each player's career, the highlights and their special skills.
Format: Hardback - Released: 13/08/2015
     
The Republic of Imagination
Azar Nafisi
A more impassioned plea for the importance of reading you will be hard pressed to find. Coming from Iran, a repressed state where to read fiction was to invite extreme personal danger Azar Nafisi lives now in America where it...
Format: Paperback - Released: 27/08/2015
     
Life After You
Lucie Brownlee
Lucie Brownlee lost her husband Mark when he suddenly dropped dead at the age of 37. Through her blog, Wife after death and now in her autobiography she charts the two years she has spent as a widow and how...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/09/2015
     
The Yellow Jersey Club
Edward Pickering
What does it take to accumulate such great mental strength, skill and endurance? What are the differences as well as the key factors in common? What sets these men apart from the rest of the field? This book gives the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/07/2015
     
Chapter and Verse - New Order, Joy Division and Me
Bernard Sumner
For the first time, Bernard Sumner writes of his career in music, first with Joy Division and then New Order. He goes back to his childhood tracing his earliest musical influences taking readers through to the manic years of New...
Format: Paperback - Released: 10/09/2015
     
Chase Your Shadow The Trials of Oscar Pistorius
John Carlin
Shortlisted for the Biography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. As the Independent Newspaper’s South African Bureau Chief from 1989-1995, John Carlin has extensive knowledge of the country, its political and sporting heroes, his book Playing...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/08/2015
     

Last Month's Featured Books


Notes from A Small Island
Bill Bryson
In 1995, before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire to move back to the States for a few years with his family, Bill Bryson insisted on taking one last...
 
 

The Path of the Ninja
Martin Faulks
By turns thrilling, funny and spiritually enlightening, this is a real-life Kick-Ass. Martin Faulks grew up in a Norfolk village. Returning from the rec with a friend one day they...
 
 

Sixty Degrees North Around the World in Search of Home
Malachy Tallack
August 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Follow the latitude line from Malachy Tallack's home on Shetland and you voyage to Greenland,...
 
 

The Secret Life of Fighter Command: Testimonials from the Men and Women Who Beat the Luftwaffe
Sinclair McKay
Firstly, I'm no expert on history so can't answer for the accuracy of the text and the range of material used in writing this history. For me as a general...
 
 

Walking the Nile
Levison Wood
In November 2013, former soldier Levison Wood embarked on one of the last great explorations; to walk the Nile from source delta. In this detailed, thoughtful, inspiring and dramatic book,...
 
 

Village of Secrets Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
Caroline Moorehead
A myth has grown up around the villages of France’s mountainous Massif Central and the part they played in aiding refugees and escaping Jews. While extraordinary acts of daring and...
 
 

The Debs of Bletchley Park
Michael Smith
More than eight thousand women worked at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, largely unsung, they played a crucial role in breaking the German codes. As Michael Smith’s new...
 
 

The Life and Loves of a He Devil A Memoir
Graham Norton
A look at the loves and passions in Graham Norton’s life, looking back to recall early loves and inspirations and considering how they change as you grow older. These are...
 
 

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 was published ahead of the indomitable Tom Jones’ 75th...
 
 

The Twinkling of an Eye
Brian Aldiss
Writer, soldier, bookseller, father: Brian Aldiss has earned many titles in his life. In the Twinkling of an Eye is a candid, vivid and charming look at the stories behind...
 
 

Breaking Ground Classic Travel Writing from Pioneering Women

A unique collection of classic travel writing, showcasing and celebrating the pioneering spirit of women throughout the ages. Spanning three centuries, this assortment of writings reveals a rich treasure trove...
 
 

The Valley A Hundred Years in the Life of a Yorkshire Family
Richard Benson
Winner of the James Tait Black Prize for biography 2015. If I could nominate a Book of the Month, this would be it, Richard Benson’s family memoir has kept me...
 
 

The Month Before's Featured Books


The Churchill Factor How One Man Made History
Boris Johnson
From one political renegade to another as Boris Johnson distils the essence of the Churchill magic. He considers Churchill in wartime and in peacetime, his bravery, outspokenness, oratory and legendary...
 
 

The Invisible Woman Taking on the Vintage Years
Helen Walmsley-Johnson
June 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. From Helen Walmsley-Johnson, adapted from her Guardian columns (Vintage Years), a guide to finding your...
 
 

Rod Laver An Autobiography
Rod Laver
Praised from an early age for having “the eye of a hawk” Rod Laver still retains one of the most powerful reputations in men’s tennis. He was World No 1...
 
 

No Limits My Autobiography
Ian Poulter
Shortlisted for the Autobiography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Now one of England’s top professional golfers, Ian Poulter can be a controversial and forthright figure...
 
 

Sikkim Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom
Andrew Duff
Andrew Duff's discovery of family connections with Sikkim leads him into uncovering the history of one of the small states caught up in the politics of Empire, eventually subsumed into...
 
 

The Last Act of Love The Story of My Brother and His Sister
Cathy Rentzenbrink
A powerful, timely and incredibly moving memoir in the bestselling tradition of Blake Morrison, Joan Didion and Ruth Picardie. Told with boundless warmth and affection, The Last Act of Love...
 
 

Revolution
Russell Brand
Russell Brand lays bare the discontent running below the surface of life, everything from the political inaction on corruption in the financial industry to the demonization of the poor and...
 
 

The Virgin Way How to Listen, Learn, Laugh and Lead
Sir Richard Branson
There’s no single magic formula on offer but Richard Branson can share a lifetime’s learning, setting down what he’s learned and what he’s observed in those who have inspired him....
 
 

Young Lawrence A Portrait of the Legend as a Young Man
Anthony Sattin
Said to be the first examination of T E Lawrence as a young man, in his new book, Anthony Sattin has used first-hand source material, museum records and foreign office...
 
 

In These Times Living in Britain Through Napoleon's Wars, 1793-1815
Jenny Uglow
You emerge from reading In These Times almost convinced that you, too were one of the people waiting on the outcome of the Battles, dealing with family away at war,...
 
 

Loving Amy A Mother's Story
Janis Winehouse
A new and intimate appraisal of Amy Winehouse from her mother, Janis. Watching her precocious and often difficult daughter grow-up, Janis saw her develop into a musician with a world-wide...
 
 

Jambusters The Remarkable Story Which Has Inspired the ITV Drama Home Fires
Julie Summers
This is the book that inspired the major ITV drama series HOME FIRES. Through archive material and interviews with many WI members, Julie Summers takes us behind the scenes, revealing...
 
 

My Salinger Year
Joanna Rakoff
Poignant, keenly observed and irresistibly funny, My Salinger Year is a memoir about literary New York in the late 1990s, a pre-digital world on the cusp of vanishing, where a...
 
 

Hitler's Forgotten Children My Life Inside the Lebensborn
Ingrid von Oelhafen, Tim Tate
It's hard for anyone rooted in their identity, their nationality and family history to know what it can be like to have none of those things. To have to spend...
 
 
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