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The Dalai Lama: The Definitive Biography

Alexander Norman (Author)

The Dalai Lama is one of the best-known and respected public figures of modern times. A Nobel Peace Prize Winner, advocate for peace and campaigner for compassion, he regularly speaks at sell-out arena tours across the globe.

In this new biography, Alexander Norman reveals the complex and compelling character of the Dalai Lama in more detail than ever before. Drawing on his long friendship with His Holiness and with his full support, Norman gives unparalled insights into the Dalai Lama's life, from being chosen as a young boy, his exile from Tibet and his involvement in political negotiations, to the present day. Uniquely, however, this book also reveals the private life of a very public man, including his personal spiritual experiences, daily Buddhist practice and the issues that are closest to his heart. Norman also explains how the turbulent history of Tibet has shaped the Dalai Lama's thinking and personality and corrects the myths that have built up around him.

Illuminating, surprising and fascinating, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the Dalai Lama.

L.E.L: The Rise and Fall of Letitia Landon

Lucasta Miller (Author)

On 15 October 1838, the body of a thirty-six-year-old woman was found in Cape Coast Castle, West Africa, a bottle of Prussic acid in her hand. She was one of the most famous English poets of her day: Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known by her initials ‘L.E.L.’

What was she doing in Africa? Was her death an accident, as the inquest claimed? Or had she committed suicide, or even been murdered?

To her contemporaries, she was an icon, hailed as the ‘female Byron’, admired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Heinrich Heine, the young Brontë sisters and Edgar Allan Poe. However, she was also a woman with secrets, the mother of three illegitimate children whose existence was subsequently wiped from the record. After her death, she became the subject of a cover-up which is only now unravelling.

Too scandalous for her reputation to survive, Letitia Landon was a brilliant woman who made a Faustian pact in a ruthless world. She embodied the post-Byronic era, the ‘strange pause’ between the Romantics and the Victorians. This new investigation into the mystery of her life, work and death excavates a whole lost literary culture, in which the legacy of Keats and Shelley turned toxic.

Lucky Man

Matthew Etherington (Author)

You have money burning a hole in your pocket. You have more free time than you know what to do with. And your whole life is geared around winning. What do you do with your cash?
For former premier league footballer Matt Etherington, he, like many of his peers, gambled. But what started as harmless entertainment spiralled into a vortex of depression and debt, almost destroying his marriage, his career and himself.
Exposing the intense pressures of the premiership in a way that's never before been shared, Matt's story also shows how, in life, there's always a second half.

Withdrawn Traces

Leon Noakes (Author) , Sara Hawys Roberts (Author) , Rachel Edwards (Foreword by)

From despair, to where?

On 1 February 1995, Richey Edwards, guitarist of the Manic Street Preachers, went missing at the age of 27. On the eve of a promotional trip to America, he vanished from his London hotel room, his car later discovered near the Severn Bridge, a notorious suicide spot.

Over two decades later, Richey’s disappearance remains one of the most moving, mysterious and unresolved episodes in recent pop culture history.

For those with a basic grasp of the facts, Richey's suicide seems obvious and undeniable. However, a closer investigation of his actions in the weeks and months before his disappearance just don’t add up, and until now few have dared to ask the important questions.

Withdrawn Traces is the first book written with the co-operation of the Edwards family, testimony from Richey’s closest friends and unprecedented and exclusive access to Richey’s personal archive.
In a compelling real-time narrative, the authors examine fresh evidence, uncover overlooked details, profile Richey's state of mind, and brings us closer than ever before to the truth.

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TBC Author (Author)

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The Volunteer

Jack Fairweather (Author)

It's not enough to save yourself -- you have to go back for those left behind.


You’ve probably never heard of the Polish freedom fighter Witold Pilecki, but he is one of the greatest heroes of the Second World War.

As the only person who ever volunteered to be sent to Auschwitz, Pilecki led a campaign of sabotage and assassination of Nazi guards for years before making a dramatic escape, smuggling evidence of the Holocaust to the Western powers and alerting them to the atrocities of Nazi death camps.

All evidence of Pilecki had been lost, until 2012, when his incredible eye-witness account was discovered in a dusty archive. This is the first full story of his amazing journey, drawing on exclusive family papers and recently declassified files as well as unpublished accounts from the camp’s fighters to show how he saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

This is an untold, real-life story of escape and heroism, set against the horrors of WWII and the Auschwitz, and the power of one man to change the course of history.

The Queen Speaks

Lady Leshurr (Author)

Lady Leshurr - queen of the grime scene - is a voice that needs to be heard.

Lady Leshurr is a rapper with a difference. A woman, from Birmingham, she reigns in a male dominated scene thanks to the strength of her talent and grit. Everything she has achieved, she has done it herself, so she says and does what she wants. Now she brings the attitude and integrity, humour and honesty that underpin her lyrics to a book. Her story includes frank conversation about anxiety, the secrets behind her musical and business success, social media and haters, and, of course, hair.

From her tough start on an estate in Birmingham to the top of the scene, Lady Leshurr has a unique vantage point and The Queen Speaks is as entertaining as it is relevant.

The Secret Doctor

The Secret Doctor (Author)

I have walked in and out of the lives of countless numbers of patients. I have stood in rooms, in corners; sat on beds, chairs, and knelt on floors. I have been the visitor who is there when you find yourself most vulnerable, when you lie on a hospital bed or on a trolley in the resus department of A&E. I have been the visitor that you may never even know was there at all.

How much do you know about the doctor who walked in and out of your life? Who diagnosed your mum, nursed your granddad in his last few days, or who saved your sister’s life? And have you ever wondered what they felt? If they cried later with joy, or with grief?

Told through the lens of six emotions that all of us can empathise with, this book from the British Medical Association’s own Secret Doctor gives us a unique window onto the other side of a hospital experience. Through the Secret Doctor’s eyes we see how grief can be found in many forms, and what happens when you see fear in a patient’s eyes. We find out how to cope when you’ve made a life-threatening mistake; or what joy looks like when you feel it, and how long it lasts.

These real stories from an anonymous doctor blur the lines between patient and doctor, showing us what a doctor sees of humanity as it comes through the revolving door of the hospital, what we have in common and what makes us human.

It Ain't Hard To Tell

Nas (Author)

The long-awaited memoir from legendary rapper Nas, one of the most famous - and enigmatic - stars of the hip-hop generation.

With the release of his 1994 debut album, Illmatic, Nas was immediately lauded as rap royalty. After over two decades he remains one of the most admired, successful, and misunderstood figures in the business.

In It Ain’t Hard to Tell, Nas tells his life story for the first time - including his early days growing up in Queens as the son of a jazz musician and his immersion in street culture to his emergence on the scene in the early 1990s. He recounts his private and public struggles, including the media-hyped feud with Jay-Z, finally resolved in 2005, and his battle to assert himself as King of East Coast rap.

Over the course of eleven solo albums Nas has accrued millions of fans around the globe and collaborated with the greatest talents in music, and he charts his evolution from the brash, arrogant “Nasty Nas” to a mature but still provocative artist. It Ain’t Hard to Tell finally reveals the man behind the rhymes in a memoir as outspoken and uncompromising as fans could hope for.

No Way Out

Lauren Elysia (Author)

“They’d degraded me to the point where I’d become this sex thing – this thing that wasn’t human, but just an object. To the point where I believed that’s what I was.”

Lauren’s ordeal began when she was living in the YMCA, and she was violently introduced to an Asian sex ring. Traumatised and alone, she was too weak to try to escape or even tell anyone. Four years later, she had been passed between over 70 men in Telford and Birmingham, was on drugs,and suffered with PTSD so severe she was on the edge of suicide. So when Operation Chalice came to recruit her, would she be strong enough to turn the tables and bring her abusers down?

The Prime Minister of Paradise

John Jeremiah Sullivan (Author)

As a student working in the dusty archives of the Sewanee Review, John Jeremiah Sullivan came across an article entitled ‘Lost Utopia of the American Frontier’ and was immediately hooked on the dramatic story of a lost book, an alternative history of the South, a white Indian. It was a story he’d chase for the next two decades.

In 1735, a charismatic German lawyer and accused atheist named Christian Gottlieb Priber fled Germany under threat of arrest, bound for colonial South Carolina. In the Cherokee village of Grand Tellico, he created a Utopian society that he named Paradise.

For six years, Paradise was governed by a set of revolutionary ideas that included racial equality, sexual freedom, and a lack of private property, ideas which he chronicled in a mysterious manuscript he called Paradise.

Priber’s ideas were so subversive that he was hunted for half a decade and eventually captured by the British – making headlines across the world – and imprisoned until his death. The only copy of Paradise was apparently destroyed.

Now, in a rare combination of ground-breaking research and stunning narrative skill, award-winning writer John Jeremiah Sullivan brings that lost history vividly to life.

Unseen

Reggie Yates (Author)

From Grange Hill to Top of the Pops, Reggie Yates has been on camera nearly all of his life, but it’s as a documentary filmmaker – and a pretty fearless one at that – where he has truly been making his mark, investigating everything from gun crime in Chicago, to life as a refugee in Iraq.

In his first book, Unseen, Reggie takes us behind the scenes on his journey from TV host to documentary storyteller. Using some of the key moments and extreme circumstances he has found himself in, Reggie examines what he has learned about the world, and himself as a person.

Beginning as a brief exploration of Reggie’s relationship with the camera and life growing up on screen, Unseen explores the journey Reggie has taken in the documentary world. Initially resistant to documentary making, Reggie was convinced his point of view as a young black working class man with a history in music, children’s TV and entertainment would not make his films remotely credible. Through conflict and challenges on screen, the understanding gained from the very thing once seen as a weakness would become his strength on camera, as the eye of the everyman and voice of the audience. Unseen unpicks the stories behind the fascinating characters and situations Reggie encounters across a series of films, as well as chronicling the personal growth through each testing shoot for Yates himself.

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James McCaul (Author)

Think how much of your identity and sense of self is vested in what you see in the bathroom mirror every morning. Now imagine the face you’ve known all your life being so ravaged by cancer, an accident, a fall, a beating, a car crash or a gunshot wound that it is barely recognisable. And when you leave the house, your disfigurement being met by stares and cruel comments from strangers; even close friends and family members flinching at the sight. Some find this so upsetting that they become virtual recluses.
Now imagine how it might feel, after microsurgery – the person you remember, but had given up all hope of seeing again, looking back at you once more.
Over the years, Jim McCaul has helped countless individuals make this journey. Of course it doesn’t provide the answer to all of life’s confusions and mysteries. But it’s not simply a question of aesthetics or vanity either. It’s not just skin deep. It’s why he became a maxillofacial surgeon. And why he still feesl the same excitement as he approaches the operating theatre today that he did as a trainee twenty years ago...

Confessions of a Menopausal Woman

Andrea McLean (Author)

The menopause. There - we've said it. It's a huge part of every woman's life and yet it remains one of society's last taboos. An emotionally complex issue that can trigger a whole host of physical and mental side effects, it's a big deal. So why aren't we talking about it?

Talking about stuff is what women do best; we share and offload, we laugh and we bond over the ridiculous and incredible things our bodies go through. Hearing other people's experiences is what makes our own so much more bearable - because we know that we aren't alone. This is the book that Andrea McLean wished for as she found herself in uncharted territory, grappling with the physical aftershock of a hysterectomy and the psychological fallout of a difficult menopause.

After announcing live on Loose Women that she would be absent from the screen as she recovered from surgery, Andrea was inundated with letters from other women struggling with the realities of the menopause, who were delighted that someone was finally talking openly and frankly about it. Typically candid, and including tips and tricks on diet, exercise and even your sex life, in Confessions of a Menopausal Woman Andrea brings her trademark humour and honesty to a very hot topic.

Realtime

Kevin Fong (Author)

Within minutes of the crash, you land at the scene. But nothing can prepare you for what you now find. So what do you do?

Professor Kevin Fong flies with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, making split-second, life-or-death decisions in the most extreme circumstances. In this gripping blend of memoir and reportage, he confronts a disturbing truth: sometimes even the best trained expert cannot know the right thing to do.

Telling stories of astonishing skill and catastrophic error, he shows that our ability to move at ever greater speeds in ever greater safety comes with a bitter irony: when something goes wrong – as it must – reacting quickly and effectively enough is now beyond human capability. Reflecting on his own dramatic experiences and those of war medics, pilots and surgeons, Fong considers how we might come to terms with the mess and blur of real decisions made in realtime.

This Is Just My Face

Gabourey Sidibe (Author)

This Is Just My Face is the whirlwind tour of Gabourey Sidibe’s life so far. In it, she shows us around the Harlem studio apartment where she grew up, and we meet the psychic who told her she’d one day be ‘famous like Oprah’; she relives the debilitating depression that hit her at college, and her first ever job as a phone sex ‘talker’ (less creepy than you’d think); she ushers us down the red carpet dressed in an outfit that cost $120, and describes what it feels like to be told by the President of the United States: ‘You’re the bomb, girl!’ Told with full-throttle honesty, irreverence and humour, this is a book for anyone who has ever felt like they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, who has dreamed of a brighter future or wondered what Obama is really like.

Kursk

Robert Moore (Author)

At 11.30 a.m. on Saturday 12 August 2000, two massive explosions roared through the shallow Arctic waters of the Barents Sea. The Kursk, pride of the Northern Fleet and the largest attack submarine in the world, was hurtling towards the ocean floor.

In Kursk (originally published as A Time to Die), award-winning journalist Robert Moore vividly recreates this disaster minute by minute. Venturing into a covert world where the Cold War continues out of sight, Moore investigates the military and political background to the tragedy. But above all, he tells the nail-bitingly poignant human story of the families waiting ashore, of the desperate efforts of British, Norwegian and Russian rescuers, and of the Kursk sailors, trapped in the aft compartnemt, waiting for rescue, as a horrified world followed their battle to stay alive . . .

In Your Defence

Sarah Langford (Author)

Sarah Langford is a barrister. Her job is to stand in court representing the mad and the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the black and white of the law and tell it to the courtroom. These stories may not make headlines but they will change the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways. They are stories which, but for a twist of luck, might have been yours.

To work at the Bar is to enter a world shrouded by strange clothing, archaic rituals and inaccessible language. So how does it feel to be an instrument of such an unknowable system? And what does it mean to be at its mercy? Our legal system promises us justice, impartiality and fair judgement. Does it, or can it, deliver this?

With remarkable candour, Sarah describes eleven cases which reveal what goes on in our criminal and family courts. She examines how she feels as she defends the person standing in the dock. She tells compelling stories - of domestic fall out, everyday burglary, sexual indiscretion, and children caught up in the law – that are sometimes shocking and often heart-stopping. She shows us how our attitudes and actions can shape not only the outcome of a case, but the legal system itself

A Moment of Grace

Patrick Dillon (Author)

How do you learn to live in the wake of death?

Patrick Dillon and Nicola Thorold were together for twenty-eight years. Patrick was an award-winning architect and writer and Nicola a leading figure in theatre, awarded an OBE for her contribution to the arts at London’s Roundhouse. Their two children were almost grown-up. Life was good.

And then, in May 2015, Nicola was diagnosed with leukaemia. After several rounds of treatment, a bone marrow transplant and many waves of recovery and decline, she died thirteen months after her diagnosis. Six months later, at Christmas, Patrick started to write.

A Moment of Grace is the searing, tender account of Patrick’s life with Nicola and her illness, and his life after her loss. But it is more than a story of illness and unbearable grief: it is a book of memory, of home, of family. It is a tale of the transfiguring power of love. Heartbreaking, life-affirming and truly unforgettable, A Moment of Grace is one man’s journey to find life after his wife’s death.

The Life of Stuff

Susannah Walker (Author)

Until her mother died, Susannah Walker had no idea how much of a hoarder she had become. In the months following the death, Susannah had to sort through a dilapidated house filled to the brim with rubbish and treasures, in search of a woman she'd never really known. Her hope was to piece together her mother's life and discover her reasons for hoarding, in her last chance to understand their troubled relationship. What emerged from the mess of scattered papers, discarded photographs and an extraordinary amount of stuff was the history of a sad and fractured family, haunted by dead children, divorces and alcohol.

The Life of Stuff is a moving memoir about mourning and the shoring up of possessions against the losses and griefs of life, a deeply personal story that raises universal questions about what makes us who we are. What do our possessions say about us? Why do we project such meaning on to them? And what cruel twist turns someone who simply enjoys having objects around them into the kind of person who hoards compulsively, ending their days in abject squalor?

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