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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.
The amazing story of Malala’s courage and her fight for the education of girls is well known. Here, in her own voice, she tells of her journey from her early days as a clever school girl to her exceptional life as an international speaker on the rights of girls to get an education. Growing up in a village in the Swat valley in Pakistan Malala and her friends faced persecution from Islamic fundamentalists who believed women should not be educated. In 2012, Malala and her two school friends were targeted and shot when travelling home from school one day. Fortunately, Malala and her friends survived. From that day on, Malala campaigned for the rights of all girls to get an education. Hearing her tell her story is inspirational. ~ Julia Eccleshare A film about Malala's Life, He Named Me Malala, is released in the UK on Friday 6 November 2015. Click below to view the trailer.
Initial investigations have already uncovered details previously unknown to the public, while some of the cricket world's giant figures have volunteered due praise - and criticism - for this remarkable figure. Tim Lane and co-author Elliot Cartledge will explore the 'Roebuck phenomenon', how this seemingly awkward and eccentric intellectual giant became, briefly, an English cricket captain, was embroiled in a long-standing feud with the likes of Ian Botham and Viv Richards, gained adulation throughout the sub-continent and Australasia and established what was essentially a homespun charity to put scores of impoverished Africans through secondary schooling and university. Along with the recollections and revelations of colleague and confidante Tim Lane, the book will feature in its telling the likes of Ian Botham, Viv Richards, Ian Chappell, Mark Nicholas, Steve Waugh, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, Kerry O'Keefe, Martin Crowe, Mike Coward, Jim Maxwell and many others, including members of the Roebuck family. The book has one supreme quality: it is fair-minded - Martin Flanagan, Sydney Morning Herald This first-class work of investigative reporting tracks down key figures who shed crucial light on Roebuck's life, while resisting pat conclusions. - Steven Carroll, Canberra Times This tantalising kaleidoscope of a book, which honours the complexity of the man while rigorously pursuing the truth. - Steven Carroll, Canberra Times There could be no more difficult person to interperet - Tim Lane, Sunday Age
A magisterial life of Ted Hughes - identified recently as the only English poet since the First World War with a claim to true greatness and one of Britain's most important writers - to be published on National Poetry Day by prize-winning biographer Jonathan Bate. Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate, was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. He is one of Britain's most important poets, a poet of claws and cages: Jaguar, Hawk and Crow. Event and animal are turned to myth in his work. Yet he is also a poet of deep tenderness, of restorative memory steeped in the English literary tradition. A poet of motion and force, of rivers, light and redemption, of beasts in brooding landscapes. With an equal gift for poetry and prose, and with a soul as capacious as any poet who has lived, he was also a prolific children's writer and has been hailed as the greatest English letter-writer since John Keats. With his magnetic personality and an insatiable appetite for friendship, for love and for life, he also attracted more scandal than any poet since Lord Byron. At the centre of this book is Hughes's lifelong quest to come to terms with the suicide of his first wife, Sylvia Plath, the saddest and most infamous moment in the public history of modern poetry. Ted Hughes left behind him a more complete archive of notes and journals than any other major poet, including thousands of pages of drafts, unpublished poems and memorandum books that make up an almost complete record of Hughes's inner life, preserved by him for posterity.
She ranked high at the court of her uncle, Henry VIII, and was lady of honour to five of his wives. Beautiful and tempestuous, she created scandal, not just once, but twice, by falling in love with unsuitable men. Fortunately, the marriage arranged for her turned into a love match. Throughout her life her dynastic ties to two crowns proved hazardous. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London on three occasions, once under sentence of death. She helped to bring about one of the most notorious royal marriages of the sixteenth century, but it brought her only tragedy. Her son and her husband were brutally murdered, and there were rumours that she herself was poisoned. She warred with two queens, Mary of Scotland and Elizabeth of England. A brave survivor, she was instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson. Her story deserves to be better known.
More Letters of Note is another rich and inspiring collection, which reminds us that much of what matters in our lives finds its way into our letters. These letters deliver the same mix of the heartfelt, the historically significant, the tragic, the comic and the unexpected. Discover David Bowie's response to his first piece of fan mail from America and even Albus Dumbledore writing to a reader applying for the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts. Including letters from: Jane Austen, Richard Burton, Helen Keller, Alan Turing, Albus Dumbledore, Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry James, Sylvia Plath, John Lennon, Gerald Durrell, Janis Joplin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Janis Joplin, Hunter S. Thompson, C. G. Jung, Katherine Mansfield, Marge Simpson, David Bowie, Dorothy Parker, Buckminster Fuller, Beatrix Potter, Che Guevara, Evelyn Waugh, Charlotte Bronte and many more.
David Darling’s is a most agreeable voyage through the history of flight and the men – and women who took such risks in the battle to get airborne. There is as much stupidity as bravery on show with a plentiful leavening of derring-do and madness-with-a-purpose, the rewards great, failure deadly. Humans have tried – still try - every means possible to get above the earth and David Darling shows us just some of the enterprise that’s been used from balloons to the man who made SF a reality, Yves Rossy and the personal jet-pack. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in Space, Mary Roach Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air , Richard Holmes
Europe is currently dealing with an unprecedented flow of human beings escaping conflict, hunger and political injustice. In Asia there is another flow of refugees undertaking an even deadlier journey from North Korea via China and Mongolia to reach the South - and freedom. It's an unsparing account of her North Korean life, escape with her mother across the river to China only to be faced with assault and rape with a price on their head as valuable merchandise in a country with a shortage of marriagable women. This book is Yeonmi Parks's own story but it also shows us the personal suffering that refugees face and, especially for North Koreans, the education needed to cope with life on the other side of the divide. One of the many dreadful images the book left me is beleagured North Korean medics and teachers bribing their patients in order that they might eat, images far indeed from the golden dawn of the North Korean wonderland. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like ReadingNothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea, Barbara DemickHuman Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees, Caroline Moorehead
In the spring of 1993, Thomas Harding travelled to Berlin with his grandmother to visit a small house by a lake. It was her 'soul place', she said - a sanctuary she had been forced to leave when the Nazis swept to power. The trip was a chance to see the house one last time, to remember it as it was. But the house had changed. Twenty years later Thomas returned to Berlin. The house now stood empty, derelict, soon to be demolished. A concrete footpath cut through the garden, marking where the Berlin Wall had stood for nearly three decades. Elsewhere were signs of what the house had once been - blue tiles showing behind wallpaper, photographs fallen between floorboards, flagstones covered in dirt. Evidence of five families who had made the house their home over a tumultuous century. The House by the Lake is a ground breaking work of history, revealing the story of Germany through the inhabitants of one small wooden building: a nobleman farmer, a prosperous Jewish family, a renowned Nazi composer, a widow and her children, a Stasi informant. Moving from the late nineteenth century to the present day, from the devastation of two world wars to the dividing and reuniting of a nation, it is a story of domestic joy and contentment, of terrible grief and tragedy, and of a hatred handed down through the generations. It is the long-awaited new work from the best-selling author of Hanns and Rudolf.
Alan describes how he lost patience with some of the luvvies, wafflers and wannabees he encountered along the way, and tells us what he really thought of some of the tasks and candidates he came across during the making of The Apprentice, giving his reaction to the egos and the backbiting as well as the genuine talent that shone through. He explains how he brought on board Nick Hewer, Margaret Mountford and Karren Brady, what became of the winners when the cameras stopped rolling - and how working on the show has inspired him and many others. As with his previous books, What You See Is What You Get and The Way I See It, there is no ghostwriter; this is written by the man himself. And, as ever, it is honest, funny and outspoken - Alan Sugar at his entertaining best.
Born in 1948 into a family of ministers in Kingston, Jamaica, the statuesque and strikingly beautiful Grace Jones lived with her family in Syracuse, NY, before launching a career as a model in New York City. Gaining fame as the cover girl for such publications as Vogue and Elle, Jones's flamboyant look proved to be a hit on the New York City nightclub circuit and she became a darling of the disco scene, which led to a recording contract and a substantial following among gay men. With her sexually charged, outrageous live shows, Grace soon earned the title of 'Queen of the Gay Discos'. When she moved to Paris in 1970, the French fashion scene embraced her unusual, androgynous looks and, in addition to cover work, she dominated the runways of designers like Yves St. Laurent and befriended the likes of Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld. While there, she shared an apartment with Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange and became artist Jean-Paul Goude's muse - he also fathered her son Paulo. (Grace was married twice - to a producer and a bodyguard - and she dated Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren for four years.) But with the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Grace Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work, putting her 21/2 octave voice to good use. She is as known for her unique look as she is for her music and has influenced the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Annie Lennox.
'Other things in the world are white but for me porcelain comes first.' A handful of clay from a Chinese hillside carries a promise: that mixed with the right materials, it might survive the fire of the kiln, and fuse into porcelain - translucent, luminous, white. Acclaimed writer and potter Edmund de Waal sets out on a quest - a journey that begins in the dusty city of Jingdezhen in China and travels on to Venice, Versailles, Dublin, Dresden, the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina and the hills of Cornwall to tell the history of porcelain. Along the way, he meets the witnesses to its creation; those who were inspired, made rich or heartsick by it, and the many whose livelihoods, minds and bodies were broken by this obsession. It spans a thousand years and reaches into some of the most tragic moments of recent times.
Nice to see you, to see you...? A dancer, comedian, singer, actor, musician and all-round entertainer, Bruce achieved national recognition as the host of Sunday Night at the London Palladium in the 1950s. With his classic one-man shows, appearances alongside some of the world's greatest performers, and hugely popular TV shows ranging from The Generation Game to Strictly Come Dancing, he is a household name renowned for putting a smile on the nation's face. Charting his life story from talented young lad growing up in north London to achieving national treasure status, Strictly Bruce is full of dazzling photographs and warm anecdotes spanning eight decades of Bruce's life, man and boy.
From the Horse’s Mouth
… or the Groom’s
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