Autobiography: arts and entertainment

Surrender

Surrender

Author: Bono Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/11/2022

Bono - artist, activist and the lead singer of Irish rock band U2 - has written a memoir: honest and irreverent, intimate and profound, Surrender is the story of the remarkable life he's lived, the challenges he's faced and the friends and family who have shaped and sustained him. 'When I started to write this book I was hoping to draw in detail what I'd previously only sketched in songs. The people, places, and possibilities in my life. Surrender is a word freighted with meaning for me. Growing up in Ireland in the seventies with my fists up (musically speaking), it was not a natural concept. A word I only circled until I gathered my thoughts for the book. I am still grappling with this most humbling of commands. In the band, in my marriage, in my faith, in my life as an activist. Surrender is the story of one pilgrim's lack of progress ... With a fair amount of fun along the way.' - Bono As one of the music world's most iconic artists and the cofounder of organizations ONE and (RED), Bono's career has been written about extensively. But in Surrender, it's Bono who picks up the pen, writing for the first time about his remarkable life and those he has shared it with. In his unique voice, Bono takes us from his early days growing up in Dublin, including the sudden loss of his mother when he was 14, to U2's unlikely journey to become one of the world's most influential rock bands, to his more than 20 years of activism dedicated to the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty. Writing with candour, self-reflection, and humour, Bono opens the aperture on his life - and the family, friends and faith that have sustained, challenged and shaped him. Surrender's subtitle, 40 Songs, One Story, is a nod to the book's 40 chapters, which are each named after a U2 song. Bono has also created 40 original drawings for Surrender which will appear throughout the book.

A Different Stage

A Different Stage

Author: Gary Barlow Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2022

Pre-order the stunning autobiography from Gary Barlow. ______________ 'I just wanted to share my personal journey through the last five decades - the highs and lows, the ups and downs. So in A Different Stage, this is me opening the curtains and sharing moments nobody has heard or seen before...' In this warm, intimate and humorous book, rich with nostalgia and unexpected intimate detail, Gary Barlow unpacks the people, music, places, things and cultural phenomena that have made him the man that he is. From the working men's club where it all began through to the sold out stadium tours, this is the story of Gary's life told through music. Filled with a mixture of brand new photography from Gary's current one-man show and incredibly personal unseen personal photos and notebooks, A Different Stage is a beautiful and sumptuous book.

Jive Talker

Jive Talker

Author: Samson Kambalu Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2022

A bawdy, brilliant and heartbreaking memoir by the award-winning Malawian-born artist. With exuberant prose, a cast of extraordinary characters and a rebellious spirit, Samson Kambalu tells the story of how a little boy obsessed with fashion, football, Nietzsche and Michael Jackson won a free education at the Kamuzu Academy ('The Eton of Africa') and began his long journey to art school, and international artistic and academic success. The son of a philosophising, hard-drinking, poorly paid hospital manager, Kambalu’s award-winning conceptual work is now shown in galleries across the world and still evokes that childhood landscape of literary excitement, family chaos and music; post-colonial injustice, poverty and Aids.

Windswept & Interesting

Windswept & Interesting

Author: Billy Connolly Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/07/2022

In his first full-length autobiography, comedy legend and national treasure Billy Connolly reveals the truth behind his windswept and interesting life. Born in a tenement flat in Glasgow in 1942, orphaned by the age of 4, and a survivor of appalling abuse at the hands of his own family, Billy's life is a remarkable story of success against all the odds. Billy found his escape first as an apprentice welder in the shipyards of the River Clyde. Later he became a folk musician - a 'rambling man' - with a genuine talent for playing the banjo. But it was his ability to spin stories, tell jokes and hold an audience in the palm of his hand that truly set him apart. As a young comedian Billy broke all the rules. He was fearless and outspoken - willing to call out hypocrisy wherever he saw it. But his stand-up was full of warmth, humility and silliness too. His startling, hairy 'glam-rock' stage appearance - wearing leotards, scissor suits and banana boots - only added to his appeal. It was an appearance on Michael Parkinson's chat show in 1975 - and one outrageous story in particular - that catapulted Billy from cult hero to national star. TV shows, documentaries, international fame and award-winning Hollywood movies followed. Billy's pitch-perfect stand-up comedy kept coming too - for over 50 years, in fact - until a double diagnosis of cancer and Parkinson's Disease brought his remarkable live performances to an end. Since then he has continued making TV shows, creating extraordinary drawings... and writing. Windswept and Interesting is Billy's story in his own words. It is joyfully funny - stuffed full of hard-earned wisdom as well as countless digressions on fishing, farting and the joys of dancing naked. It is an unforgettable, life-affirming story of a true comedy legend. 'I didn't know I was Windswept and Interesting until somebody told me. It was a friend who was startlingly exotic himself. He'd just come back from Kashmir and was all billowy shirt and Indian beads. I had long hair and a beard and was swishing around in electric blue flairs. He said: Look at you - all windswept and interesting! I just said: Exactly! After that, I simply had to maintain my reputation...'

The Right Sort of Girl

The Right Sort of Girl

Author: Anita Rani Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/07/2022

'I'm a girl and northern and brown, didn't you know? A triple threat!' Trying to navigate her Indian world at home and the British world outside her front door, Anita Rani was a girl who didn't fit in anywhere. She was always destined to stand out: from playing Mary in her otherwise all white nursery nativity to growing up in eighties Yorkshire with her Punjabi family, spending evenings in the factory her parents owned whilst trying to figure out how best to get rid of hair that seemed to be growing EVERYWHERE. Anita shares the lessons she wishes her younger self could have known: 'Freedom is Complicated', 'You Will Fall in Love and Be Loved' and, most importantly, 'Your Anger is Legitimate'. How did she manage to become the powerhouse she is, whilst battling against being too white inside her home and too brown outside of it? This story of a second-generation British Indian woman up north is also a tale of tenacity and a life lived with positivity and humour. If you have ever felt alone, different, or just not the right sort of girl, this is the book for you.

This Much is True

This Much is True

Author: Miriam Margolyes Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2022

BAFTA-winning actor, voice of everything from Monkey to the Cadbury's Caramel Rabbit, creator of a myriad of unforgettable characters from Lady Whiteadder to Professor Sprout, MIRIAM MARGOLYES, OBE, is the nation's favourite (and naughtiest) treasure. Now, at the age of 80, she has finally decided to tell her extraordinary life story - and it's well worth the wait. Find out how being conceived in an air-raid gave her curly hair; what pranks led to her being known as the naughtiest girl Oxford High School ever had; how she ended up posing nude for Augustus John as a teenager; why Bob Monkhouse was the best (male) kiss she's ever had; and what happened next after Warren Beatty asked 'Do you fuck?' From declaring her love to Vanessa Redgrave to being told to be quiet by the Queen, this book is packed with brilliant, hilarious stories. With a cast list stretching from Scorsese to Streisand, a cross-dressing Leonardo di Caprio to Isaiah Berlin, This Much Is True is as warm and honest, as full of life and surprises, as its inimitable author.

A Likely Lad

A Likely Lad

Author: Pete Doherty Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/06/2022

Peter Doherty's is the last of the great rock 'n' roll stories - bad boy and public enemy. To his devoted fans, he is a cult hero, a modern-day Rimbaud. Musically, he has defined the past twenty years of indie rock with his sound, lyrics, lifestyle and aesthetic. Since The Libertines rose to international fame, Doherty has proved endlessly fascinating. A whirlwind of controversy and scandal has tailed him ever since the early 2000s, so much so that all too often his talents as a songwriter and performer have been overlooked; for every award and accolade, there is a scathing review. Hard drugs, tiny gigs on the hoof, huge stadium shows, collaborations, obliterations, gangsters and groupies - Doherty has led a life of huge highs and incredible lows. With his wildest days behind him, Doherty candidly explores - with sober and sometimes painful insight - some of his greatest and darkest moments, taking us inside the creative process, decadent parties, substance-fuelled nights, his time in prison and tendency for self-destruction. With his trademark wit and humour, Doherty also details his childhood years, key influences, pre-fame London shenanigans, and reflects on his era-defining relationship with Libertines co-founder Carl Barat and other significant people in his life. There is humour, warmth, insight, baleful reflection and a defiant sense of triumph. A Likely Lad is Doherty's version of the story - the genuine man behind the fame and infamy. This is a rock memoir like no other.

The Storyteller

The Storyteller

Author: Dave Grohl Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/06/2022

So, I've written a book. Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ('It's a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!'), I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. This certainly doesn't mean that I'm quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it's like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters...the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.

Audiobooks of the Month
Never Give Up

Never Give Up

Author: Bear Grylls Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/06/2022

Bear Grylls has always sought out adventure. From childhood escapades to would-record-breaking expeditions, to his infamous survival challenges, Bear has spent a lifetime in the wild. In his autobiography, the global adventurer, Chief Scout and TV presenter reflects on the extraordinary adventures that have shaped his life. Sharing personal stories from his toughest expeditions and capturing the exhilarating reality behind some of the hairiest survival missions, Bear takes readers up mountains and across oceans, through jungles and deserts. Immersing us in the behind-the-scenes action on his celebrated television shows, and with a rare insight into his family life, Bear recounts his most death-defying and life-defining moments. Packed with deeply personal and wildly entertaining tales, Never Give Up is a testament to the value of adventure. It celebrates the power of the wild and what it can teach us, and highlights the importance of courage, kindness and a resilient attitude - a 'never give up spirit' - to navigate the great adventure of life.

And Away...

And Away...

Author: Bob Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/05/2022

The long-awaited first autobiography by national treasure Bob Mortimer. Bob Mortimer's life was trundling along happily until suddenly in 2015 he was diagnosed with a heart condition that required immediate surgery and forced him to cancel an upcoming tour. The episode unnerved him, but forced him to reflect on his life so far. This is the framework for his hilarious and moving memoir, And Away... Although his childhood in Middlesbrough was normal on the surface, it was tinged by the loss of his dad, and his own various misadventures (now infamous from his appearances on Would I Lie to You?), from burning down the family home to starting a short-lived punk band called Dog Dirt. As an adult, he trained as a solicitor and moved to London. Though he was doing pretty well (the South London Press once crowned him 'The Cockroach King' after a successful verdict), a chance encounter in a pub in the 1980s with a young comedian going by the name Vic Reeves set his life on a different track. And now, six years on, the heart condition that once threatened his career has instead led to new success on BBC2's Gone Fishing. Warm, profound, and irrepressibly funny, And Away... is Bob's full life story (with a few lies thrown in for good measure.)

Audiobooks of the Month
Diddly Squat

Diddly Squat

Author: Jeremy Clarkson Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/11/2021

Love him or loathe him, you cannot help but be sucked into the shenanigans at Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm. An unlikely farmer, in June 2021 Clarkson's TV series Clarkson's Farm, documenting an intense, tough but funny year at his farm in the Cotswolds, debuted on Amazon Prime Video. If you read the Sunday Times, you will have already read this book as the content first appeared in his column. If not, grab your wellies and join new eco-warrior Clarkson on his voyage of discovery through the farming calendar, in the year he decided to actually do something on the sprawling thousand acre farm he bought in 2008 as he learns to become a farmer. The repetition from the columns are a little frustrating but nevertheless it's a funny book with lots of take outs. Following his attempts to become the potato king of Chipping Norton, we see the brutal reality of full-on vegetable farming, his attempt at doing a "Morgan Freeman" with bees and how the farming lifestyle becomes part of him, despite it paying him forty pence a day.

Will

Will

Author: Will Smith, Mark Manson Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/11/2021

One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had. Will Smith's transformation from a fearful child in a tense West Philadelphia home to one of the biggest rap stars of his era and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood history, with a string of box office successes that will likely never be broken, is an epic tale of inner transformation and outer triumph, and Will tells it astonishingly well. But it's only half the story. Will Smith thought, with good reason, that he had won at life: not only was his own success unparalleled, his whole family was at the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Only they didn't see it that way: they felt more like star performers in his circus, a seven-days-a-week job they hadn't signed up for. It turned out Will Smith's education wasn't nearly over. This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is the story of how one exceptional man mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself.

Audiobooks of the Month