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 Ranulph Fiennes
Explorer and adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes explores the concept of fear, and shows us through his own experiences how we can push our boundaries in everyday life.Sir Ranulph Fiennes has climbed the Eiger and Mount Everest. He's crossed both Poles on foot. He's been a member of the SAS and fought a bloody guerrilla war in Oman. And yet he confesses that his fear of heights is so great that he'd rather send his wife up a ladder to clean the gutters than do it himself.In FEAR, the world's greatest explorer delves into his own experiences to try and explain what fear is, how it happens and how he's overcome it so successfully. He examines key moments from history where fear played an important part in the outcome of a great event. He shows us how the brain perceives fear, how that manifests itself in us, and how we can transform our perceptions.With an enthralling combination of story-telling, research and personal accounts of his own struggles to overcome fear, Sir Ranulph Fiennes sheds new light on one of humanity's strongest emotions.
From the Heart
By Kym Marsh
KYM MARSH is one of our most-loved stars, but her life has been a rollercoaster ride through love, laughter and tears.Now Kym's ready to tell her full story for the first time, describing her difficult childhood growing up on a council estate in Wigan, and struggling at school with bullying and an eating disorder.She describes falling in love at 17 and finding herself pregnant while still a teenager. By the time she was 21, she was a single mum with two very young children, David and Emily, and it was a real struggle to make ends meet.But Kym had always dreamt of performing and even though the odds were stacked against her, she was determined to make her dream a reality. One day she auditioned for a new TV show called Popstars and her life changed forever.Kym now stars in the nation's favourite soap, Coronation Street. But her life off-screen hasn't been easy. She reflects on her marriage to Jack Ryder and how hard she tried to make it work. Kym found new love with Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas and after tragically losing their first baby Archie in 2009, the couple were over the moon to welcome little Polly Lomas into the world earlier this year.Entertaining, funny and incredibly honest, From the Heart is a fantastic read all about how sometimes the best things happen in life when you refuse to give up hope.
The Fight of my Life
By Barbara Clark
Barbara Clark is a former nurse, foster carer and mother of two children, one with special needs, and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in February 2005. During her treatment, she found that there was a drug existing, Herceptin, that would double survival chances for her particular form of cancer from 14%. However, it wasn't available on the NHS and therefore, for Barbara, unaffordable. In the midst of aggressive chemotherapy, Barbara, incredibly, found the strength to fight not just the NHS but the government, and to win the right to be prescribed the drug on the NHS, not just for herself but for thousands of other women. THE FIGHT OF MY LIFE will tell the story behind those headlines. It will tell how she first found her cancer, and what it was that gave her the will to battle on and take on, not just the disease but the authorities who were prepared to let her die for want of a drug. Barbara's reasons for living are her three children, two of whom she fosters and who have special needs: their stories and how they dealt with her cancer will also be central to this an amazing, uplifting, inspiring book. Herceptin has treated Barbara's cancer, but it doesn't guarantee a complete cure - rather, it buys her more time to care for the people who are most precious to her, to help other women and to pursue what she calls her 'passion for life'. THE FIGHT OF MY LIFE is the story of an extraordinary woman and of great human courage in the face of despair.
By Ruth Dee
Imagine what it would be like if your thoughts weren't the only ones in your head.Ruth has lived with other people in her head since she was four years old. She splintered off into different selves when her grandfather began sexually abusing her. It was her way of coping with the dreadful things she endured at home. The worse things got, the more personalities Ruth created in order to try to escape her life.Ruth eventually left home and after years of hard work, Ruth came to terms with her past and now helps others suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder. Fractured is the story of a life torn apart by abuse and a remarkable woman who pieced herself back together again.
A Friend Like Henry
By Nuala Gardner
This is the inspiring account of a family's struggle to break into their son's autistic world - and how a beautiful retreiver dog made the real difference.Dale was still a baby when his parents realised that something wasn't right. Worried, his mother Nuala took him to see several doctors, before finally hearing the word 'autism' for the first time. Scared but determined that Dale should live a fulfilling life, Nuala describes her despair at her son's condition, her struggle to prevent Dale being excluded from a 'normal' education and her sense of hopeless isolation. Dale's autism was severe and violent and family life was a daily battleground.But the Gardner's lives were transformed when they welcomed a gorgeous Golden Retriever into the family. The special bond between Dale and his dog Henry helped them to produce the breakthrough in Dale they had long sought. From taking a bath to saying 'I love you', Henry helped introduce Dale to all the normal activities most parents take for granted, and set him on the road to being the charming and well-adjusted young man he is today.This is a heartrending and fascinating account of how one devoted and talented dog helped a little boy conquer his autism.