In this long-awaited and candid memoir, Hitchens re-traces the footsteps of his life to date, from his childhood in Portsmouth, with his adoring, tragic mother and reserved Naval officer father; to his life in Washington DC, the base from which from he would launch fierce attacks on tyranny of all kinds. Along the way, he recalls the girls, boys and booze; the friendships and the feuds; the grand struggles and lost causes; and the mistakes and misgivings that have characterised his life.
"Honest but difficult listening"
What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we're not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people? When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-30s, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Fascinated by the experience, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Humane, provocative and deeply moving, The Lonely City is about the spaces between people and the things that draw them together, about sexuality, mortality and the magical possibilities of art.
In 1984, at the age of 20, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle - partly to pursue music, but mainly to get away from a host of heroin overdoses then-decimating his closest group of friends in the local punk scene. In LA only a few weeks and still living in his car, he answered a want ad for a bass player placed by someone who identified himself only as "Slash." Soon after, the most dangerous band in the world was born. Guns N' Roses went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide.
"You could be mine!"
In this definitive biography - blessed by John le Carré himself - Adam Sisman reveals the man behind the best-selling persona. In John le Carré, Sisman shines a spotlight on David Cornwell, an expert at hiding in plain sight - "born to lying," he wrote in 2002, "bred to it, trained to it by an industry that lies for a living, practiced in it as a novelist."
Bob Harris first became known as the face of the 1970s live music TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test and his infectious enthusiasm for music and ability to discover new talent has seen him become a national treasure. He continues to be a household name today and his velvety voice can be heard on Radio 2's The Bob Harris Show and Bob Harris Country. In this fully revised and updated autobiography, with a forward by Robert Plant, Bob tells his story of over 40 years of broadcasting.
"Whispering Bob, You Dark Horse, You..."
The definitive account of Louis Armstrong - his life and legacy - during the most creative period of his career. Thomas Brothers picks up where he left off with the acclaimed Louis Armstrong's New Orleans, following the story of the great jazz musician into his most creatively fertile years in the 1920s and early 1930s, when Armstrong created not one but two modern musical styles. Brothers wields tremendous skill in making the connections between history and music accessible to everyone.
I'm the binge-drinking health reporter. During the week, I write about Australia's booze-soaked culture. At the weekends, I write myself off. Born and raised in Scotland, the home of whisky, Jill Stark had booze in the blood. Alcohol had dominated her social life ever since she had her first sip of lager, at 13. She thought nothing could curb her love of big nights. Then came the hangover that changed everything. In the shadow of her 35th year, Jill made a decision: she would give up alcohol.
John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents' house, where it hung for safety during World War II. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer's greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime's immersion are distilled in this remarkable book, grounded in the most recent Bach scholarship but moving far beyond it.
"Great book .... terrible narration!"
The Fall of the House of Wilde for the first time places Oscar Wilde as a member of one of the most dazzling Anglo-Irish families of Victorian times and in the broader social, political and religious context. A remarkable and perceptive account, this is a major repositioning of our first modern celebrity, a man whose own fall from grace in a trial as public as his father's marked the end of fin de siècle decadence.
Alice Cooper is an American rock star whose career has spanned more than four decades. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, boa constrictors and baby dolls, Cooper has pioneered a grandly theatrical and violent brand of hard rock designed to shock.
He is the proud torchbearer of the Beatles, the greatest band in the history of popular music, and one of the most closely-studied artists in show business, yet secrets and surprises remain in the life of Sir Paul McCartney. The full story is told in Fab. Howard Sounes, author of the acclaimed Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, spent more than two years investigating every aspect of Sir Paul's life and work, including interviewing over 200 people.
We all carry people inside our heads - actors, leaders, writers, people out of history or fiction, met or unmet, who sometimes seem closer to us than people we know. In The Man Within My Head, Pico Iyer sets out to unravel the mysterious closeness he has always felt with the English writer Graham Greene; he examines Greene's obsessions, his elusiveness, his penchant for mystery.
Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut, Fight Like a Girl, is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon to be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.
James Rhodes' passion for music has been his absolute lifeline. It has been the thread that has held him together through a life that has encompassed pain, conflict and turmoil. Listening to Rachmaninov on a loop as a traumatised teenager or discovering an adagio by Bach while in a hospital ward - such exquisite miracles of musical genius have helped him survive his demons and, along with a chance encounter with a stranger, inspired him to become the renowned concert pianist he is today.
Michael Peppiatt met Francis Bacon in June 1963 in Soho's French House to request an interview for a student magazine he was editing. Bacon invited him to lunch, and over oysters and Chablis they began a friendship and a no-holds-barred conversation that would continue until Bacon's death 30 years later. Fascinated by the artist's brilliance and charisma, Peppiatt accompanied him on his nightly round of prodigious drinking from grand hotel to louche club and casino, seeing all aspects of Bacon's 'gilded gutter life' and meeting everybody around him.
Low is a kaleidoscope in which Bowie's obsessions and traits explode into fragments and reform in a new pattern. Sonically, it is hugely adventurous: combining a driving R&B rhythm section with the experimental soundscapes of Brian Eno, it evolves a whole new musical language. Thematically, it's the sound of a man struggling to get well. Bowie has often talked about his fear of insanity.
"How many times can you say "Parenthesis" in 4 hrs?"
Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov's life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Luhzin Defense.
First published in 1979, The White Album records indelibly the upheavals and aftermaths of the 1960s. Examining key events, figures, and trends of the era - including Charles Manson, the Black Panthers, and the shopping mall - through the lens of her own spiritual confusion, Joan Didion helped to define mass culture as we now understand it. Written with a commanding sureness of tone and linguistic precision, The White Album is a central example of American reportage and a classic of American autobiography.
Richard Ellmann has revised and expanded his definitive work on Joyce's life to include newly discovered primary material, including details of a failed love affair, a limerick about Samuel Beckett, a dream notebook, previously unknown letters, and much more.
"Ellman breaths life into JJ"
Thomas Dolby's hit songs 'She Blinded Me with Science' and 'Hyperactive!' catapulted him to international fame in the early '80s. A pioneer of new wave and electronica, Thomas combined a love for invention with a passion for music, and the result was a new sound that defined an era of revolutionary music. But as record company politics overshadowed the joy of performing, Thomas found a surprising second act.
In Alan Partridge: Nomad, Alan dons his boots, windcheater and scarf and embarks on an odyssey through a place he once knew - it's called Britain - intent on completing a journey of immense personal significance. Diarising his ramble in the form of a 'journey journal', Alan details the people and places he encounters, ruminates on matters large and small and, on a final leg fraught with danger, becomes not a man (because he was one to start off with) but a better, more inspiring example of a man.
"The faint scent of cash-in "
In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl's halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That's how this extraordinary autobiography began. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to this audio the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.
"Unexpectedly engaging...honest and enlightening"
1913 - Suffragette throws herself under the King's horse. 1969 - Feminists storm Miss World. Now - Caitlin Moran rewrites "The Female Eunuch" from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller. There's never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain.... Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina?
John Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public appearance, at St Peter's Preparatory School at the age of eight and five-sixths; his endlessly peripatetic homelife, with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work, as a teacher who knew nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman.
Bryan Cranston landed his first role at seven, when his father, a struggling actor and director, cast him in a commercial. Soon Bryan was haunting the local movie theater, reenacting scenes with his older brother. Acting was clearly his destiny - until one day his father disappeared. As a young man on a classic cross-country motorcycle trip, he found himself stranded at a rest area in the Blue Ridge Mountains. To pass the time, he read a tattered copy of Hedda Gabler, and in a flash he found himself face-to-face with his original calling.
In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.
Maya Angelou's six volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement, and celebration. In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother's lover.
"Such perfect diction and attention to detail"
As far back as he can remember James Corden has only ever wanted to be in one place: in front of you, doing something to make you laugh, cry, shout, or giggle uncontrollably. At the age of 4, he grandstanded throughout his baby sister's christening, standing on a chair in front of the whole congregation, pulling faces and cracking everyone up. Despite himself, the vicar was impressed. And from then on he couldn't get enough of the spotlight, even when it always seemed to avoid him. Throughout his teens, he and his Dad trudged up and down towards London....
In June of 1999, Stephen King was hit by a van while walking along the shoulder of a country road in Maine. Six operations were required to save his life and mend his broken body. When he was finally able to sit up, he immediately started writing. This book - part biography, part a collection of tips for the aspiring writer - is the extraordinary result.
Phil Collins gained fame as both the drummer and the lead singer for Genesis and continues to enjoy worldwide success today. He's one of only three recording artists who have sold over 100 million albums both as solo artists and separately as principal members of bands - the other two being Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.
"Honest interesting amazing account"
A brand-new collection of Caitlin's award-winning Times columns plus three major new pieces exclusive to this book - one of which is Caitlin's Moranifesto for a better world. As with Moranthology, Caitlin introduces every piece and weaves her writing together into a brilliant, seamless book. And, similarly to her last collection, Moranifesto is a characteristically fun and witty look at the news, celebrity culture and society.
"Brilliant and Funny as always"
Johnny Marr was born in 1960s Manchester to Irish immigrant parents and knew from an early age that he would be a musician. Forming his first band at 13, Marr spent his teenage years on the council estates of Wythenshawe playing guitar, devouring pop culture and inventing his own musical style. It wasn't until the early '80s, when Marr turned up on the doorstep of a singer named Steven Patrick Morrissey, that both a unique songwriting partnership and the group recognised as one of the most iconic bands of all time were formed.
"exactly as you would expect from Johnny Marr..."
For anyone who ever wondered what Marcel Proust had in mind when he wrote the one-and-a-quarter-million words of In Search of Lost Time (while bedridden no less), Alain de Botton has the answer. For, in this stylish, erudite and frequently hilarious book, de Botton dips deeply into Proust's life and work - his fiction, letter, and conversations - and distils from them that rare self-help manual: one that is actually helpful.
"Prose at its most elegant, beautifully performed"
By combing through the journals that Hannah has kept for much of her life, this collection of narrative essays delivers a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she's figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship and fame. Revealing what makes Hannah tick, this sometimes cringeworthy, poignant collection of stories is sure to deliver plenty of Hannah's wit and wisdom and hopefully encourage you to try your hand at her patented brand of reckless optimism.
Since the age of 20, Paul McCartney has lived one of the ultimate rock 'n' roll lives played out on the most public of stages. Now Paul's story is told by rock music's foremost biographer, with McCartney's consent and access to family members and close friends who have never spoken on the record before. Paul McCartney reveals the complex character behind the façade and sheds new light on his childhood - blighted by his mother's death but redeemed by the father who introduced him to music.
From one of the most interesting and iconic musicians of our time, a piercingly tender, funny and harrowing account of the path from suburban poverty and alienation to a life of beauty, squalor and unlikely success out of the NYC club scene of the late '80s and '90s.
As lead singer and songwriter for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis has lived life on the razor's edge. Much has been written about him, but until now, we've only had his songs as clues to his experience from the inside. In Scar Tissue, Kiedis proves himself to be as compelling a memoirist as he is a lyricist, giving us a searingly honest account of the life from which his music has evolved.
"Touching, inspiring, informative."
Homage to Catalonia is George Orwell's account of his experiences fighting in the Spanish Civil War, and a portrait of disillusionment with his early politics. Orwell's experiences include being shot in the neck by a sniper, and being forced into hiding as factions of the Left battled on the streets of Barcelona. Orwell entered Spain intending to gather an experience worth writing as well as to fight Fascism, and wrote Homage to Catalonia within months of his return.