The Blink of an Eye
By Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard
With a foreword by Bill Bryson'A wonderful meditation on the human condition and a testament to the power of love'Max Pemberton, columnist and author of Trust Me, I'm a (Junior) Doctor 'As gripping as a thriller'Daily Express* * *At the age of 38, Rikke Schmidt Kjaergaard, a Danish scientist, wife and mother of three, is struck down by an acute bout of bacterial meningitis. She awakes from a coma in intensive care to find herself completely paralysed, unable to show she is conscious except by blinking her eye. It becomes her only form of communication as in the months that follow, Kjaergaard's husband Peter sits beside her helping to interpret every eye movement. She struggles with every basic of life - painfully learning how to breathe, move, eat and speak again. Despite being given a five per cent chance of survival, she works intensively to recover and achieve every small breakthrough. The Blink of an Eye is a celebration of love and family and every little thing that matters when life is in the balance - written by a scientist uniquely able to describe her physical and mental journey to recovery.
The Boy on the Shed:A remarkable sporting memoir with a foreword by Alan Shearer
By Paul Ferris
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year AwardThe Sunday Times Sports Book of the Year The Times Sports Book of the Year Telegraph Football Book of the Year'Ferris's wonderful memoir represents a twin triumph. He has endured every kind of setback in life but has invariably reinvented himself; and his writing is a pure pleasure.' The Sunday Times 'Enough depth and humanity to make your average football autobiography look like a Ladybird book.' Telegraph'A masterpiece of the genre' Brian McNally 'Football memoirs rarely produce great literature but Ferris's The Boy on the Shed is a glistening exception.' Guardian 'Fascinating and stylishly told.' David Walsh, The Sunday Times The Boy on the Shed is a story of love and fate. At 16, Paul Ferris becomes Newcastle United's youngest-ever first-teamer. Like many a tricky winger from Northern Ireland, he is hailed as 'the new George Best'.As a player and later a physio and member of the Magpies' managerial team, Paul's career acquaints him not only with Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Bobby Robson, Ruud Gullit, Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer but also with injury, insecurity and disappointment.Yet this autobiography is more than a tale of the vagaries of sporting fortune. It begins during 'The Troubles' in a working-class Catholic family in the Protestant town of Lisburn, near Belfast. After a childhood scarred by his mother's illness and sectarian hatred, Paul meets the love of his life, his future wife Geraldine. Talented and carefree on the pitch, shy and anxious off it, he earns a tilt at stardom. His first spell at Newcastle turns sour, as does his return as a physio, although obtaining a Masters degree shows him what he could achieve away from football.When Paul qualifies as a barrister, a career in Law beckons. Instead, a craving to prove himself in the game draws him back to St James' Park as part of Shearer's management triumvirate - with unfortunate consequences.Written with brutal candour, dark humour and consummate style, The Boy on the Shed is a riveting and moving account of a life less ordinary.
Over and Out: My Innings of a Lifetime with Test Match Special
By Henry Blofeld
For over half a century, Henry Blofeld has conveyed his unfailing enthusiasm for the game of cricket as a much loved broadcaster and journalist. His characteristically patrician tones, overlaid with those of the bon viveur, have delighted listeners to the BBC's Test Match Special where the personality of the broadcaster comes second only to a deep knowledge of the game and its players. With his engaging conversational tone it is easy to see why listeners feel as if they are actually at the Test match watching in Henry's friendly company. Now that 'Blowers' has decided to declare his TMS innings closed, his book reveals the secrets of life in the commentary box and of the rich cast of characters with whom he shared it, from the early days of John Arlott and Brian Johnson to Aggers and new boys Boycott, Swann, Vaughan and Tuffers. Henry is equally revealing of his own performances and self-deprecatingly recalls his several verbal misfortunes while live broadcasting. Like the greatest commentators and writers on the game Blofeld has always understood that there is a world beyond the cricket field. Not forgetting pigeons passing, red buses and much loved cricket grounds, Henry Blofeld writes of his favourite countries, and experiences while travelling, and meeting and interviewing many cricket-loving celebrities. His passionate and entertaining book will become one of the classics of cricket's literature.
Wiffle Lever to Full!
By Bob Fischer
'Personal and engaging . . . anyone who agrees that Star Wars was a defining moment of our collective childhood will love this book' - The Times'Funny and affectionate' - Time Out'Will have you hitching aboard the Millennium Falcon to a galaxy overflowing with infinite possibilities. ****' - Metro*************In 1981, the eight-year-old Bob Fischer was entranced by Daleks, Vogons and crack Imperial Stormtroopers. Almost three decades later, Bob decides to rekindle the affair with a tour of the UK's sci-fi and cult TV conventions. Freewheeling from Doctor Who to Discworld, Star Wars to Star Trek and Robin of Sherwood to Red Dwarf, he combines misty-eyed memories with a terrifying travelogue of terrible, torturous . . . terror. Or something. In space, no one can hear you scream. And don't expect much sympathy in Peterborough, either.
Thinking Out Loud
By Rio Ferdinand
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER'A lacerating account ... painful but necessary' EVENING STANDARD'Beautiful & significant ... Tackles grief with honesty' DAWN FRENCH'Very important and moving book' ALASTAIR CAMPBELL'A searingly honest book. So much of Rio's emotional turmoil and deep loss resonated with me. At the same time I loved his message of hope' GLORIA HUNNIFORD'Rio's courageous story of life, loss, grief and hope' PRIMA CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE, 'Best of the Celebrity Crop''Tender, heartbreaking ... An extraordinary and unforgettable book. *****' HEAT* * * * * *'When Rebecca died, the idea that one day I might begin to feel better would have struck me as laughable ... I know how persuasive this kind of permanence thinking can be. I know too that anyone locked in its grip will laugh if I promise them that their pain will one day ease. It will. Of course it will. But I know better than to expect anyone to believe me.'In 2015, former England football star Rio Ferdinand suddenly and tragically lost his wife and soulmate Rebecca, aged 34, to cancer. It was a profound shock and Rio found himself struggling to cope not just with the pain of his grief, but also with his new role as both mum and dad to their three young children. Rio's BBC1 documentary, Being Mum and Dad, touched everyone who watched it and won huge praise for the honesty and bravery he showed in talking about his emotions and experiences. His book now shares the story of meeting, marrying and losing Rebecca, his own and the family's grief - as well as the advice and support that get him through each day as they strive to piece themselves back together. Thinking Out Loud is written in the hope that he can inspire others struggling with loss and grief to find the help they need through this most difficult of times.
Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing
By Daniel Tammet
'Full of charm and fascination' The Bookseller'Would dazzle any storyteller in love with words and their deepest meanings' Amy Tan, author of Joy Luck Club'A generous book and a beguiling read' Rebecca Gowers* * * * * *From the bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers, a delightful and eclectic exploration of language, and what it can teach us about ourselves and our lives.Why is the name 'Cleopatra' not allowed in Iceland? Why do clocks 'talk' to the Nahua people of Mexico? And if we are what we eat, are we also what we say? These are just some of the questions Daniel Tammet answers in Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing, a mesmerising new collection of essays investigating the intricacies and profound power of human language. Tammet goes back in time to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; he looks at the music and patterns that words make, and how languages evolve and are translated. He meets one of the world's most accomplished lip readers in Canada, learns how endangered languages like Manx are being revived and corresponds with native speakers of Esperanto in their mother tongue. He studies the grammar of the telephone, contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects, and also asks: will chatbots ever manage to convince us that they are human?From the art of translation to the lyricism of sign language, Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing is a fascinating journey through the world of words, letters, stories and meanings, and an extraordinary testament to the stunning range of Tammet's literary and polyglot talents.
By Levison Wood
Levison Wood was only 22 when he decided to hitch-hike from England to India through Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but he wasn't the conventional follower of the hippy trail. A fascination with the deeds of the early explorers, a history degree in the bag, an army career already planned and a shoestring budget of £750 - including for the flight home - he was determined to find out more about the countries of the Caucasus and beyond - and meet the people who lived and worked there.EASTERN HORIZONS is a true traveller's tale in the tradition of the best of the genre, populated by a cast of eccentric characters; from mujahideen fighters to the Russian mafia. Along the way he meets some people who showed great hospitality, while others would rather have murdered him...
The Girl Who Climbed Everest
By Bonita Norris
'What I've learned from climbing mountains is that we can push ourselves far beyond what we think we are capable of, and it's outside of our comfort zones that the most amazing things happen.'What drives us to go to our limits and beyond? What does it take to make dreams come true over all else? And how can you turn fear into courage? From Everest to K2, The Girl Who Climbed Everest is the story of Bonita Norris' journey undertaking the world's toughest and most dangerous expeditions. Once an anxious teenager with an eating disorder it was the discovery of a passion for climbing that inspired Bonita to change her life. Drawing on her experiences to capture the agonies - both mental and physical - and joys of her incredible feats Bonita also imparts the lessons learned encouraging you to harness greater self-belief.The Girl Who Climbed Everest is an honest exploration of everything Bonita has learnt from climbing. Life lessons about ambition, values, risk, happiness, the courage to fail, and what's ultimately important. An indispensable and important book for anyone who has ever doubted their potential or put limits on themselves - whatever challenge you face or ambitions you want to achieve, The Girl Who Climbed Everest will inspire you to take action and live life more fearlessly.
The Finch in My Brain
By Martino Sclavi
'Raw, brave, heart-lifting.' STEF PENNY, author of UNDER THE POLE STAR'Whenever I see Martino I am reminded of how little I know about life and death compared to him. How we don't know what is within us or what may lie on the other side. I hope it's as magical and beautiful as this book.' RUSSELL BRANDWhen film producer Martino Sclavi began experiencing intense headaches, he attributed them to his frenetic lifestyle. As it turned out, he had grade 4 brain cancer and was given 18 months to live. After undergoing brain surgery - while awake - Martino found he had lost the ability to recognise words. His response was to close his eyes and begin to move his fingers across the keyboard to write this, an account of life before diagnosis and since. Defying all predictions Martino is still very much alive, words read out to him by the monotone of a computerised voice he calls Alex. But he must now live in a new way. This book - that he has written but cannot read - charts the effects of his experience: on his relationship with his young son, his marriage, his work and with himself. In the wake of his illness, everything must be reconfigured and Martino is made to question the habits, dreams and beliefs of his old life and confront the present. What he finds is strange and beautiful. Searching for the words between life and death, Sclavi shows that with determination and a subtle, persistent sense of humour, it is possible to change the story of our lives.
By Tamsin Treverton Jones
Trees are part of the British psyche. We care if just one tree is cut down unnecessarily. So what happens when 15 million are blown down in one night? Part travelogue, part memoir, part celebration of nature's ability to heal itself, Windblown is as rich in character and story-telling as the rings of an ancient oak.'Windblown is a marvellously original mixture of reportage and memoir, holding a memorable event in recent history up to the light and making sense of it' Bel Mooney'A wonderful read' Michael Fish'Vivid ... thoroughly researched and informative' TLS'This eloquently written account shows that the Great Storm was a wake-up call, providing a wealth of information that helps us manage our treescape today.' Tony Kirkham, Head of the Kew Gardens Arboretum
Home is Burning
By Dan Marshall
'An incredibly personal story ... sad, but unbelievably funny' - Claudia Winkleman, BBC Radio 2 Arts Show'This memoir is gasp-out-loud, offensively funny, touching and a sure thing for anyone who likes David Sedaris - but with more Mormons' - RedAt twenty-five, Dan left his 'spoiled white asshole' life in Los Angeles to look after his dying parents in Salt Lake City, Utah. His mother, who had already been battling cancer on and off for close to 15 years, had taken a turn for the worse. His father, a devoted marathon runner and adored parent, had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease which was quickly eroding his body. Dan's four siblings were already home, caring for their parents and resenting Dan for not doing the same. Home is Burning tells the story of Dan's year at home in Salt Lake City, as he reunites with his eclectic family -the only non-Mormon family of seven in the entire town - all of them trying their best to be there for the father who had always been there for them.
The Wild Other
By Clover Stroud
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE'This story - so fierce and brave and visceral and raw - will stay with me forever. Clover Stroud is a force of nature, and a woman who is fearless in the face of life and death. I loved it.' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love'An astonishing book about loss, love, darkness, pain, sex and adventure. I adore it.' Dolly Alderton'There is so much richly evoked life here... beautifully written.' Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Times'This redemptive memoir will steal your heart; it will return it bruised but emboldened.' Mail on Sunday'I have huge admiration for the spirit of this memoir, and its author: full of heart, bravery and adventure. A moving, gripping read.' Amy Liptrot, author of The OutrunClover Stroud grew up in rural Wiltshire surrounded by animals and family. When she was just sixteen her adored mother had a horrific riding accident which left her permanently brain-damaged, and suddenly Clover was left to fend for herself. She embarked on an extraordinary journey to heal her broken heart, courting men and danger through two marriages and five children.The Wild Other is a grippingly honest account of love, sex and travelling to the darkest edges of human experience and back again. Powerful and deeply emotional, this is the story of an extraordinary life lived at its fullest.
Gizelle's Bucket List
By Lauren Fern Watt
'A dog story that doesn't fail to amaze.' Miranda Hart, bestselling author of Peggy and Me'I laughed and cried. Everyone reading this will be touched by Lauren's amazing bucket list adventures with her dog Gizelle.' James Bowen, bestselling author of A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According to Bob'An inspirational and uplifting experience that will make you feel anything is possible.' ElleThrough the most important times of her life, Lauren's big beautiful English mastiff Gizelle had always been there for her.She was there through the choppy waters of her first relationship, and by her side through the painful reality of her mother's addiction, and when she finally left home for New York she was there to fill up her tiny Manhattan apartment and become her enormous, pavement-hogging, snuffly best friend.So when Lauren discovered the shocking news that Gizelle had a life-threatening tumour, she designed an epic bucket list to make the absolute most of the time they had left together.Their heartwarming adventure will change her forever and provide her with the best lessons she could ever learn for her life ahead.