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.
By Alys Fowler
'Fowler's moving memoir charts her experience of coming out as a gay woman, alongside her journey through Birmingham's canal networks, mapping both the waterways and the travails of her heart.' Observer'An emotional and compelling memoir, that left me inspired, both by her bravery in transforming her life, and by the unexpected beauty she finds along the way' Countryfile Magazine'Fowler beautifully exposes her emotional fragility while also celebrating the unloved nature of buddleia, herons and even the water rats who take refuge among the locks.' i paper'Fowler captures the beauty of the canal's dishevelled, neglected condition...' Times Literary Supplement'Thoughtful and heartbreakingly honest ...Beautiful' Press Association'An astounding memoir' Gay Star News'Hidden Nature is one of the most thrilling things I've read in a long time' Waterways World'She writes wonderfully about the species that have carved out a place for themselves amid the discarded shopping trolleys, condom packets and industrial waste' Guardian'This candid book is as much about mapping the heart as it is about mapping the paths of waterways. Lovely.' Simple Things'A beautiful memoir' Good Housekeeping'Gentle, brave and acutely observant' Woman's WeeklyLeaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, the Guardian's award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham's canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart.Her book is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care?Beautifully written, honest and very moving, Hidden Nature is also the story of Alys Fowler's emotional journey and her coming out as a gay woman: above all, this book is about losing and finding, exploring familiar places and discovering unknown horizons.
By Lesley-Ann Jones
*** By the Sunday Times bestselling author of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY ***'A fascinating insight into one of the greatest artists of our lifetime.' Evening Standard'This is a personal friendship in writing... an endearing and powerful tale of a man who conquered the entire entertainment industry with his creative force.' VarietyHis music thrilled the generation it was written for, and has entertained and inspired every generation since. HERO: DAVID BOWIE is an intelligent exploration of the man behind the myths and the makeup told from the very beginning.Respected music journalist and biographer Lesley-Ann Jones knew David Jones from the days before fame, when he was a young musician starting out, frustrated by an industry that wouldn't give him a break and determined to succeed. Here she traces the epic journey of the boy from Bromley born into a troubled background, to his place as one of the greatest stars in rock history.Jones has interviewed numerous friends and associates of Bowie, many of whom have never spoken publicly about him before. Drawing on this new material and meticulous research, the real story of Bowie's family background is told; the true inspiration behind the creation of Ziggy Stardust is revealed, and we learn how his marriage to Angie ended in agony following his comeback from a near fatal drug addiction. Jones also revisits Bowie's tragic relationship with his brother and his deep bond with T Rex frontman Marc Bolan. Bowie's rebellious nature, his many sources of inspiration and creativity, and his complex, intense personality are discussed here, creating a unique and compelling portrait of an extraordinary man. This is Bowie as you've never seen him before.
The House on an Irish Hillside
By Felicity Hayes-McCoy
'From the moment I crossed the mountain I fell in love. With the place, which was more beautiful than any place I'd ever seen. With the people I met there. And with a way of looking at life that was deeper, richer and wiser than any I'd known before. When I left I dreamt of clouds on the mountain. I kept going back.'We all lead very busy lives and sometimes it's hard to find the time to be the people we want to be.Twelve years ago Felicity Hayes-McCoy left the hectic pace of the city and returned to Ireland to make a new life in a remarkable house on the stunning Dingle peninsula.Beautifully written, this is a life-affirming tale of rediscovering lost values and being reminded of the things that really matter.
The Happy Hoofer
By Celia Imrie
'I've always been wilful... I've always been stubborn and always determined'One of our best-loved actresses, Celia Imrie would rather have been a dancer. As a child she planned to join the Royal Ballet and marry Rudolf Nureyev. Now she has become one of our finest and funniest performers, on stage, TV and screen - adored for her roles in Acorn Antiques and dinnerladies, as well as films including Calendar Girls and Nanny McPhee.In her hugely entertaining autobiography Celia Imrie recounts a life hurtling (not always intentionally) into adventures both on stage and off. Whether it's finding herself on stage with half the scenery stuck to her cardigan, or being kidnapped on her way to location, somehow she emerges from the chaos unscathed.Acting, she admits, is a mad, chaotic profession and it is her refreshing honesty, sense of mischief, fun and almost unruffled determination in the face of it all that makes this autobiography a never-ending delight.
A Hard Day's Work
By Patricia Warren
When Patricia founded the Farmers and Country Bureau more than 30 years ago, she could never have envisaged that she would be responsible for bringing together thousands of people, hundreds of weddings and dozens of babies. But the dating agency she set up from the kitchen of her farmhouse has been a runaway success and fulfilled Pat's childhood dream of helping people to find true love. Over the years she's become an expert in human behaviour, acting as counsellor and comforter as well as matchmaker, to lonely would-be lovers all over the countryside. Her gentle wit and wisdom have transformed her clients' lives and her first book brought her a legion of fans. Now those fans have another treat in store. With more stories of blossoming love and quirky misadventure set against the background of a year on the farm, A HARD DAY'S WORK is a feast of true-life fairy tales for romantics everywhere.
Heart of Darfur
By Lisa Blaker
Lisa arrives in Sudan full of determination to use her skills as a nurse to do something to ease the plight of the hundreds of thousands of people caught up in the civil war raging through Darfur. She is working with Medecins Sans Frontieres, the international organisation that sends health workers to the most desperate places in the world. The six months she spends on the mission will be the toughest of her life but will teach her some fundamental truths about what people are capable of, both good and bad, and about herself. Lisa describes treating children with machete wounds, babies dying of chronic dehydration, girls giving birth at the age of 13 and old women too traumatised to carry on living. Her relationships with her Sudanese colleagues are treasured and described in fascinating detail. The book is exquisitely written, without sentiment but with a powerful and moving determination to show the suffering of the people of Darfur and to bear witness to their remarkable courage in the face of the most appalling situation. This is the book to help us all understand the human story behind the newspaper headlines.
By Andrew Bridge
Andrew grew up in the 1970s with his funny, loving but deeply unstable mother. Life with her was totally chaotic. She left him alone in motel rooms at night and took him with her when she went house burgling. But Andrew's mother wasn't bad, she was just lost herself and one thing she did was always tell him she loved him.Gradually, though, the bad times got worse. One day Andrew, aged seven, found his mother in the bathroom in the middle of a breakdown, the walls covered in her pleas for help all written in the blood from the cuts she'd inflicted on herself. He was taken into care and put with a foster family who treated him with loneliness and neglect at best and cruel indifference as standard.This is a groundbreaking story of a childhood destroyed by mental illness. It is also a heartbreaking love story about a mother's legacy of love.