Christmas 2023 – Gift Guides – Biographies & Memoirs! 📚

With festive events now launching across the country, pantomimes preparing to open and Christmas adverts starting to roll out, the lead up to the Holidays is well and truly underway. In the lead up to Christmas, we will be publishing a series of different themed Gift Guides to help you with your Christmas present shopping and provide some last minute inspiration.

For this latest guide, we’ve rounded up a selection of the top new Biographies & Memoirs to  enjoy and help entertain this festive season!

Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays The Rent By Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench, one of the finest Shakespeareans ever to grace the stage, take us behind the scenes on a whistle stop tour of her life with – and love of -Shakespeare in this delightful and utterly charming love letter to The Bard.

For the very first time, Dame Judi opens up about every Shakespearean role she has played throughout her seven-decade career, from Lady Macbeth and Titania to Ophelia and Cleopatra.

Here she reveals her behind the scenes secrets; inviting us to share in her triumphs, disasters, and backstage shenanigans, all brightened by her mischievous sense of humour and striking honesty.

Witty, provocative and inspiring, this is ultimately Judi’s love letter to Shakespeare, or rather, The Man Who Pays The Rent.

The Woman in Me By Britney Spears

Britney fans have waited a very long time to hear the music superstar’s side of her story in her own terms, and here it is. Written with remarkable candour, The Woman In Me is a raw, eye-opening, and brutally honest story of bravery, freedom, fame, motherhood, survival, faith, and hope.

In June 2021, the whole world was listening as Britney Spears spoke in open court. The impact of sharing her voice—her truth—was undeniable, and it changed the course of her life and the lives of countless others. The Woman in Me reveals for the first time her incredible journey—and the strength at the core of one of the greatest performers in pop music history.

Spears’s ground-breaking book illuminates the enduring power of music and love—and the importance of a woman telling her own story, on her own terms, at last.

Making It So: A Memoir By Patrick Stewart

The long-awaited memoir from the great Sir Patrick Stewart has arrived, and it is every bit as eloquent and wonderful as you would expect.

From his acclaimed stage triumphs to his legendary onscreen work, Stewart has captivated audiences around the world and across multiple generations in a career spanning six decades with his indelible command of stage and screen.

Making It So is a revealing portrait of a driven artist whose astonishing life – from his humble and hardscrabble beginnings in Yorkshire, to the dizzying heights of Hollywood and worldwide acclaim – proves a story as exuberant, definitive and enduring as the author himself. 

Bad Mormon: A Memoir By Heather Gay

Bad Mormon is the revealing and unfiltered first memoir from reality star and business woman, Heather Gay, recounting The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star’s departure from the Mormon Church, and her unforeseen success in business, television, and single motherhood.

Born and bred to be devout, Heather based her life around her faith. She attended Brigham Young University, served a mission in France, and married into Mormon royalty in the temple. But her life as a good Mormon abruptly ended when she lost the marriage and faith that she had once believed would last forever.

Exposing secrets she once held sacred, Gay recounts the difficult discovery of the darkness and damage that often exists behind a picture-perfect life, while examining her relationship with faith.

My Name is Barbra

One of the most anticipated memoirs in years, My Name Is Barbra sees the great stage, screen and music icon presents a startlingly honest portrait about her life and extraordinary career in an engrossing, near 1000-page tome that has been eagerly welcomed by her global fanbase.

From growing up in Brooklyn to her first star-making appearances in New York nightclubs, her breakout performance in Funny Girl, and the long string of successes in every medium in the years that followed, the book is, like Barbra herself, frank, funny, opinionated, and charming.

Streisand recounts her early struggles to become an actress, eventually turning to singing to earn a living; the recording of some of her acclaimed albums; the years of effort involved in making Yentl; her direction of The Prince of Tides; her friendships with figures ranging from Marlon Brando to Madeleine Albright; her political advocacy; and the fulfillment she’s found in her marriage to James Brolin.

My Name Is Barbra is a scintillating document of a superstar’s rise to the very top and one of the year’s must read autobiographies.

Politics On The Edge By Rory Stewart

Over the course of a decade from 2010, Rory Stewart went from being a political outsider to standing for prime minister – before being sacked from a Conservative Party that he had come to barely recognise.

Politics On the Edge is his candid and darkly humorous account of the challenges, absurdities and realities of political life in of our age.

Tackling ministerial briefs on flood response and prison violence, engaging with conflict and poverty abroad as a foreign minister, and Brexit as a Cabinet minister, Stewart learned first-hand how profoundly hollow our democracy and government had become.

Cronyism, ignorance and sheer incompetence ran rampant. Around him, individual politicians laid the foundations for the political and economic chaos of today. Stewart emerged battered but with a profound affection for his constituency of Penrith and the Border, and a deep direct insight into the era of populism and global conflict.

Unruly By David Mitchell

Think you know your kings and queens? Think again…

In Unruly, David Mitchell brings his signature wit and dead pan approach to this intelligent and humorous exploration of England’s Kings and Queens. A Horrible Histories for adults, this delightful look at the entitled and enthroned is for anyone who has ever wondered how we got here – and who is to blame!

Taking us right back to King Arthur (spoiler: he didn’t exist), David tells the founding story of post-Roman England right up to the reign of Elizabeth I (spoiler: she dies). It’s a tale of narcissists, inadequate self-control, excessive beheadings, middle-management insurrection, uncivil wars, and at least one total Cnut, as the population evolved from having their crops nicked by the thug with the largest armed gang to bowing and paying taxes to a divinely anointed king.

How this happened, who it happened to and why it matters in modern Britain are all questions David answers with brilliance, wit and the full erudition of a man who once studied history – and won’t let it off the hook for the mess it’s made.

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