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Biographies and Autobiographies

In their own words or from the pen of a biographer, the lives of others hold a magnetic intrigue. Indulge your curiosity here… Read and find out more about the lives of well-known figures. Want more inspiration? Head to our 'Best Autobiographies Ever' blog post filled with recommendations from our bookish friends.

Sour: My Story A Troubled Girl from a Broken Home. the Brixton Gang She Nearly Died for. the Baby She Fought to Live for.

Sour: My Story A Troubled Girl from a Broken Home. the Brixton Gang She Nearly Died for. the Baby She Fought to Live for.

Author: Tracey Miller, Lucy Bannerman Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/08/2014

They call me Sour. The opposite of sweet. Shanking, stabbing, steaming, robbing, I did it all, rolling with the Man Dem. I did it because I was bad. I did it because I had heart. And the reason I reckon I got away with it for so long? Because I was a girl. SOUR is the true story of a former Brixton gang girl, drug dealer and full-time criminal. A member of the Younger 28s, a notorious gang that terrorised the postcodes around Brixton in the 90s, Sour escapes a troubled family life to immerse herself in the street life of likking and linking. She never leaves her house without a knife. At the age of fifteen, she stabs an innocent man in the street, earning her unrivalled respect and 'Top-Dog' status amongst her crew. She believes she is invincible. But the consequences of her actions are soon to catch up with her. Waking for the second time in two weeks in a hospital bed, to the news that she is pregnant, she realises it's time to turn her life around. Motherhood will be a rude awakening, but it may also be her saving grace. Told with raw emotions and ferocious honesty, this is the real, on-the-record, story of one woman's descent down the rabbit hole of gangland, and her efforts, as a daughter, mother and girlfriend, to claw herself out.

ebook of the month
Bedsit Disco Queen How I Grew Up and Tried to be a Pop Star

Bedsit Disco Queen How I Grew Up and Tried to be a Pop Star

Author: Tracey Thorn Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/01/2014

I was only sixteen when I bought an electric guitar and joined a band. A year later, I formed an all-girl band called the Marine Girls and played gigs, and signed to an indie label, and started releasing records. Then, for eighteen years, between 1982 and 2000, I was one half of the group Everything But the Girl. In that time, we released nine albums and sold nine million records. We went on countless tours, had hit singles and flop singles, were reviewed and interviewed to within an inch of our lives. I've been in the charts, out of them, back in. I've seen myself described as an indie darling, a middle-of-the-road nobody and a disco diva. I haven't always fitted in, you see, and that's made me face up to the realities of a pop career - there are thrills and wonders to be experienced, yes, but also moments of doubt, mistakes, violent lifestyle changes from luxury to squalor and back again, sometimes within minutes.

ebook of the month
The Private Lives of the Tudors Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty

The Private Lives of the Tudors Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty

Author: Tracy Borman Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/05/2016

'I do not live in a corner. A thousand eyes see all I do.' Elizabeth I The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed. These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior. They saw the tears shed by Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They knew the tragic secret behind 'Bloody' Mary's phantom pregnancies. And they saw the 'crooked carcass' beneath Elizabeth I's carefully applied makeup, gowns and accessories. It is the accounts of these eyewitnesses, as well as a rich array of other contemporary sources that historian Tracy Borman has examined more closely than ever before.

Trash An Innocent Girl. A Shocking Story of Squalor and Neglect.

Trash An Innocent Girl. A Shocking Story of Squalor and Neglect.

Author: Tracy Miller, Britney Fuller Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/10/2014

'To start: it was just me and my mom. I am an only child, and she is a single parent. My mother is a trash hoarder. Ever since I can remember the house was always messy and stunk. At around age 9ish I noticed that something was wrong. I started throwing bags of trash away every day, just to have my mom freak out when she got home. We didn't eat at home anymore because the fridge was disgusting, and she used the sink as a trash can, so it got clogged. We always ate out, we never had a home-cooked meal, and I've never had a family dinner at a dinner table. I had a stool in the corner of the living room. That is what I sat on, and that alone. I kept that corner as clean as I could. Made sure there was foot space, and that there wasn't dust on the walls. That was my corner, my space. It never seemed to matter though, eventually that spot would get overrun with trash too...' Trash is Britney Fuller's shocking account of growing up in the house of a hoarder.

ebook of the month
My Life in Football

My Life in Football

Author: Trevor Brooking Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2014

When Trevor Brooking was still at school, the Essex-born teenager was one of the most eagerly pursued prospects in London, but he chose to go to West Ham United - the only club that was prepared to allow him to complete his studies - and so began a lifelong attachment to the Upton Park outfit. In 1967 he made his debut for the club, and went on to play for them until 1984, helping them to win two FA Cup trophies, and scoring the only goal in the 1980 final. A cultured midfielder at the heart of West Ham's side, he was soon seen as crucial to England's fortunes, helping them to qualify for the World Cup finals in 1982. Brooking recalls the highlights of his career, playing with and against some of the most famous names in the sport, and provides revealing details about life with West Ham and England. His story recalls a time when he was a symbol of solidity during the era of flared trousers, punk, and the turmoil of the Revie regime. Respected by fans and his peers alike, Brooking has been at the forefront of the FA's work to develop the game in recent years, and his views on the future of football are essential reading.

ebook of the month
My Life in Football

My Life in Football

Author: Trevor Brooking Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/04/2015

When Trevor Brooking was still at school, the Essex-born teenager was one of the most eagerly pursued prospects in London, but he chose to go to West Ham United - the only club that was prepared to allow him to complete his studies - and so began a lifelong attachment to the Upton Park outfit. In 1967 he made his debut for the club, and went on to play for them until 1984, helping them to win two FA Cup trophies, and scoring the only goal in the 1980 final. A cultured midfielder at the heart of West Ham's side, he was soon seen as crucial to England's fortunes, helping them to qualify for the World Cup finals in 1982. Brooking recalls the highlights of his career, playing with and against some of the most famous names in the sport, and provides revealing details about life with West Ham and England. His story recalls a time when he was a symbol of solidity during the era of flared trousers, punk, and the turmoil of the Revie regime. Respected by fans and his peers alike, Brooking has been at the forefront of the FA's work to develop the game in recent years, and his views on the future of football are essential reading.

ebook of the month
Honest My Story So Far (the Official Autobiography)

Honest My Story So Far (the Official Autobiography)

Author: Tulisa Contostavlos Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/09/2012

Tulisa Contostavlos is one of the most talented and high-profile recording artists working in the UK today. She has three platinum N-Dubz albums, four MOBO awards, a groundbreaking drama series, two documentaries, a MIND award and an X Factor judge's win under her belt. Not bad for a girl who's not yet twenty-five. But this is not just a tale of glittering success. Tulisa grew up on a tough London estate and left school with no qualifications as she struggled to cope with deep-seated emotional problems while caring for her mother alone. She has seen first hand what drugs, alcohol, gang culture and violent relationships can do to young people, but she has come through it all to become the confident, inspiring artist she is today. After taking her little muffins Little Mix to the winning spot of the X Factor at the end of 2011, and with her long-awaited solo album being released later this year, the future is bright for Tulisa. Told in her own words, this is her story.

Binge

Binge

Author: Tyler Oakley Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/2015

For someone who made a career out of over-sharing on the internet, Tyler Oakley has a shocking number of personal mishaps and shenanigans to reveal in his first book: he experienced a legitimate rage blackout in a Cheesecake Factory; he had a fashion stand-off with the White House secret service; he crashed a car in front of his entire high school in his fast food restaurant server's uniform; he projectile vomited while bartering with a grandmother. With millions of fans clamouring for more Tyler Oakley, he delivers his best untold, hilariously side-splitting moments with trademark flair in Binge.

ebook of the month

There are people who just read biographies, interested only in the details of the lives of real people. There are others, like us, who enjoy dipping a toe, every now and then, into the deep inviting waters of the biography pool, to see first-hand the experiences of a person, past or present, who captures our imagination or pique’s our interest. From the First Man on the Moon to the latest winner of a jungle-based reality TV programme; sport-star to leading politician; religious leader to Arctic explorer, the choice is vast!

Want more inspiration? Head to our 'Best Autobiographies Ever' blog post filled with recommendations from our bookish friends.