The Real Mrs. Brown
By Brian Beacom
Who'd have thought a potty-mouthed Dublin mammy with a cream cardigan and elasticated tan tights could storm British TV screens and leave a nation helpless with laughter? Brendan O'Carroll performs to tens of thousands of people a night in packed-out stadiums across the country. In the last four years his TV show has become a number 1 ratings success and he's even making a movie. But Brendan has had to battle hard for success. The youngest of eleven children, his mother was Maureen O'Carroll, a former nun who went on to become the first woman to be elected to the Irish parliament. Brendan adored his strong, widowed mother - and she later became the inspiration for his indomitable character Agnes Brown. However, the family endured poverty reminiscent of Angela's Ashes and Brendan saw no option but to leave school at 12 to work. He married young and for decades struggled to make ends meet. Eventually, bankrupt and desperate, Brendan went to see a fortune teller who told him she could see his future achieving worldwide success as a comedian and actor. At first Brendan laughed at the notion, but then he thought of how much his friends loved his gags, and decided to give it a go... This is the magical story of how a loveable Irishman with a wig and a wit as caustic as battery acid surprised everyone - most of all himself - by becoming one of the best-loved comedians in the world. It is a story of hardship, heartbreak, and talent and will remind readers afresh that sometimes the facts can be even more extraordinary than the fiction.
Ride a White Swan
By Lesley-Ann Jones
*** By the Sunday Times bestselling author of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY ***From mod folk artist to flower power pixie elfin to the king of glam rockers, Marc Bolan was the ultimate chameleon. His far-reaching musical and stylistic influence is more relevant today than ever with hits such as 'Ride A White Swan', 'Children Of The Revolution', 'Get It On' and 'Hot Love' as fresh and exhilarating as when first released. At the peak of his popularity during his lifetime Bolan was outselling Jimi Hendrix and The Who, and yet relatively little is really known about the hypnotic, enigmatic 20th century boy turned 21st century icon. At last, in the 35th anniversary year of his tragic death, Marc Bolan represents the definite biography. Here rock biographer, Lesley-Ann Jones, paints a meticulous portrait of the T-Rex front man. From his childhood growing up in Hackney to his untimely death at the age of 29, Bolan's life was one of relentless experimentation and metamorphoses. Hallucinogenic drugs, wizardry and levitation, alcoholism, tax evasion and a spectacular fall from grace were to punctuate his short life, as he continued to strive to reinvent himself and his music over and over again. Lesley-Ann has been granted access to those who knew Bolan best, including his partner and the mother of his only son, Gloria Jones and his brother, Harry Feld.
Running My Life - The Autobiography
By Seb Coe
One second in time may separate the great athlete from the merely good. Seb Coe has made every second count. From an early age he has been driven to be the best at everything he does. Since the moment Coe stood alongside a 'scrubby' municipal running track in Sheffield, he knew that sport could change his life. It did. Breaking an incredible twelve world records and three of them in just forty-one days, Seb became the only athlete to take gold at 1500 metres in two successive Olympic Games (Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984). The same passion galvanised Coe in 2005, when he led Britain's bid to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to London. He knew that if we won it would regenerate an East London landscape and change the lives of thousands of young people. It has.Born in Hammersmith and coached by his engineer father, Coe went from a secondary modern school and Loughborough University to become the fastest middle-distance runner of his generation. His rivalry with Steve Ovett gripped a nation and made Britain feel successful at a time of widespread social discontent. From sport Coe transferred his ideals to politics, serving in John Major's Conservative government from 1992 to 1997 and developing 'sharp elbows' to become chief of staff to William Hague, leader of the Party from 1997 to 2001 and finally a member of the House of Lords.Running My Life is in turns exhilarating, inspiring, amusing, and extremely moving. Everyone knows where Sebastian Coe ended up. Few people realise how he got there. This is his personal journey.
ROSE WEST: The Making of a Monster
By Jane Carter Woodrow
Although it's hard to believe now, Rose West was an exceptionally beautiful little girl with long, glossy dark hair and big brown eyes. Strangers would stop and stare at her in the street and she could entrance people from an early age. Looking at photos of young Rosie as a child, it is almost impossible to comprehend that she would grow up to become one of Britain's most notorious female murderers.What happened to that little girl to make her capable of such violence? Or was there something wrong - a predisposition to cruelty - which she was born with?Crime writer Jane Carter Woodrow goes back to the start of Rose's life to piece together what it was that turned her into a monster. In doing so, she presents us with a profile of the young Rose West and a fascinating insight into the mind of a killer.Rose's early life made her the perfect partner for Fred West when they met just before her sixteenth birthday. But the young teenager would kill for the first time a few months later, alone and unaided, while Fred was in prison. Her part in the killings is very different to that which many people believe even today.ROSE is a gripping read which sheds light for the first time on the real story of Rose West - taking the reader on a journey from her childhood through to her becoming the country's biggest and most infamous female sexual predator and serial killer.
Rifling Through My Drawers
By Clarissa Dickson Wright
With her inimitable wit and outspoken views, Clarissa Dickson Wright opens her diary and takes us on a journey around Britain with this unrivalled collection of stories and anecdotes from her ever-eventful life. As celebrated cook and champion of the countryside, Clarissa's year includes being propositioned by a burly greyhound courser, meeting the Chairman of the Sandringham branch of the WI, a fishing terrier called Kipper and taking on the Health & Safety officials at a rain-drenched County Show. Criss-crossing the country she introduces us to long-forgotten traditions and colourful local festivals as she meets up with extraordinary characters and friends old and new. Entertaining, poignant, but never politically correct, RIFLING THROUGH MY DRAWERS is a breath of fresh air and proves once again why Clarissa is one of the nation's true treasures.
Real Life Real Drama 3cc box set (incl. Runaway 9781444700923, Scarred 9781444700909 and Sold 9781444700916)
The Rabbi's Daughter
By Reva Mann
Brutally honest, beautifully written, THE RABBI'S DAUGHTER is the compulsive story of a woman trying to find love, and struggling to make peace with her faith, her parents, and ultimately herself.Reva Mann was a wild child. Granddaughter of the Chief Rabbi of Israel and daughter of a highly respected London Rabbi, she rebelled strongly and so began a desperate search to discover who she was. In a whirlwind of sex and drugs, Reva strove to leave her strict family life behind her and find her own path. When, years later, Reva decides she wants to return to her Jewish faith, she leaves London and enters a woman's yeshiva in Jerusalem. Driven by a strong yearning to return to a higher level of spirituality, she is determined to find a strictly orthodox holy man to marry and have children. So Reva begins a new life, wanting to suppress her former desires and needs, and to find her way to God. In this honest and often shocking memoir, Reva presents to us the secret world of ultra Orthodox Judaism. Fascinating insights into modern day matchmakers, ritual baths, sexual codes of conduct and Jewish practice are depicted, and Revas journey is brought to life in stunning detail.
Raising Happy Children
By Jan Parker And Jan Stimpson, Jan Stimpson, Jan Parker
From its first publication, Raising Happy Children has stood out as a different kind of parenting book. Breaking the mould of the 'one expert, one voice' childcare books, it is a brilliant synthesis of the latest research from a wide range of world-renowned professionals, together with the experiences of real parents and children. Unique in content and tone, its warm, funny, though-provoking and helpful advice has helped thousands of parents through the tough problems, contentious issues and crucial questions faced by everyone with children. Now one of the best-loved, leading parenting titles - praised by parents and professionals alike - this bestselling classic has just got better. Fully revised and expanded, it now offers: * An extended age-range (birth to 11 years)* The very latest insights into how parents can develop happy, healthy relationships with their children* More real-life examples from families who've hit problems and found solutions * Expanded sections on: - Understanding babies - Smack-free effective discipline - Behavioural problems - Emotional needs - Eating problems and how to avoid them - Lone parenting, divorce and family change - Communication in families - Sex & drugs education for pre-adolescents
Radio: A True Love Story
By Libby Purves
Libby Purves has had an ongoing love affair with the radio since her childhood, when she saved her pocket money to buy a d-i-y transistor set. This was the 1950s, pre-television, when the family would gather round the 'wireless' to listen to classic shows such as 'The Glums' and 'Listen with Mother'. Her enthusiasm lasted through the teenage years of Radio Luxemburg and pirate station Caroline and while at university, Libby answered an ad for student volunteers for Radio Oxford. From then on she was hooked and entered the BBC as a trainee Programme Operations Assistant. The past thirty years have seen Libby as one of the most successful and popular BBC Radio 4 broadcasters, with a string of credits to her name including the Today programme, Midweek and The Learning Curve. She takes us behind the scenes of these programmes with amusing and entertaining anecdotes about the personalities involved, near-disasters and triumphs, and also makes an impassioned plea for continued funding and support for radio.