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The extraordinary, life-affirming autobiography of rugby legend DODDIE WEIR There has never been anyone quite like Doddie Weir. A giant of the game and a rugby icon, his story is unique, inspirational and charged with a passion for living life to the full. In a rugby career which had huge highs and shocking lows, Doddie faced some of the greatest players in the game, from Jonny Wilkinson to Jonah Lomu, Brian O'Driscoll to Scott Quinnell and Martin Johnson to Joost van der Westhuizen, and set stadiums alight when "on the charge like a mad giraffe". Now, at the age of 48, Doddie is facing an entirely different adversary: Motor Neurone Disease. But Doddie Weir has never been one to shy away from a challenge, on or off the pitch, and he has faced up to MND with undaunted positivity, using his boundless energy to raise funds for MND research and support, with more than GBP1million already raised and committed in the first year. MY NAME'5 DODDIE is a courageous and hugely entertaining celebration of a remarkable life being lived to the max. You will laugh, you may cry, but Doddie's story is an absolute must-read - rugby fan or not.
At eleven o' clock one night in 1997, four hungry, damaged young children arrive on foster carers Trisha and Mike Merry's doorstep. Two social workers dropped them off with nothing but the ragged clothes they were wearing and no information. The children were covered in bruises, two had black eyes, one had a broken arm and they were all scratching themselves. Starved, seriously neglected and abused in every way, four young siblings have been repeatedly overlooked by everyone who should have cared. The eldest scavenges for food by night and is exhausted from trying to protect his sisters, his baby brother and himself from serious parental neglect and the perilous attentions of frequent paedophile visitors. From the start, these four children challenge Trisha and Mike to extremes. Despite all their experience over many years, they wonder if they have met their match. Yet, from that very first night, this couple's unbounded love and care and their unbelievable determination surmount all the obstacles that follow. The shocking truth about the children's home lives is beyond anything Trish and Mike have experienced, yet through their formidable efforts, their unshakeable belief in the children, and their (almost) unfailing sense of humour, they are able to turn around four young lives from tragedy to hope.
One morning on the outskirts of Damascus, two starving friends are walking through their desolate city and come across a familiar street that has been turned to rubble, concrete bridges towering above them like tombs and houses turned inside out. Aeham turns to the only comfort he has left and pushes his piano into the street to play a song of hope to his fellow Syrians. It is a song that will reach far beyond the streets of his home and carry consequences he could never have dreamed of. This tender and poetic account of Aeham's experiences, from losing his city, friends and family to leaving his country and finding safety, will move readers with its raw and candid emotion. This is a gripping portrait of a man's search for solace and of a country that has been fiercely torn apart.
Margaretha van Hulsteyn (also known as Scrappy) is the daughter of respected Pretoria attorney Sir Willem van Hulsteyn, and she's an aspiring actress. While studying in London after the Great War, Scrappy changes her name to Marda Vanne and enters into a relationship with one of the foremost actresses of her day, Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies.
However, on a visit to her parents in the Union of South Africa, Marda meets Hans Strydom, an attorney and uncompromising radical politician with the soubriquet ‘The Lion of the North’. Their meeting changes the course of her life, at least temporarily… Strydom went on to become a principal progenitor of the harshest discriminatory legislation which endured for decades until his nephew, President FW de Klerk, in a volte-face, dismantled the laws of apartheid.
A work of biographical fiction, The Lion & The Thespian is based on the true story of the marriage of Hans Strydom, prime minister of South Africa from 1954 to 1958, to the actress Marda Vanne. Veteran author David Bloomberg (former executive mayor of Cape Town, and founder of Metropolitan Life), following extensive reading and research, has adhered faithfully to the chronology of the lives of the main protagonists, their personalities and the historical facts with which they were associated. Creative license has allowed Bloomberg to recreate appropriate scenes and dialogue, complemented by reported sources and recorded speeches.
Where Trump Learned to Rule To know Donald J. Trump--to understand what makes the forty-fifth president of the United States tick--it is best to start in his natural habitat: Palm Beach, Florida. It is here he learned the techniques that took him all the way to the White House. Painstakingly, over decades, he has created a world in this exclusive tropical enclave and favorite haunt of billionaires where he is not just president but a king. The vehicle for his triumph is Mar-A-Lago, one of the greatest mansions ever built in the United States. The inside story of how he became King of Palm Beach--and how Palm Beach continues to be his spiritual home even as president--is rollicking, troubling, and told with unrivaled access and understanding by Laurence Leamer. Never before has an American president overseen a club where access to him can be bought. In Mar-A-Lago, the reader will learn: * How Donald Trump bought a property now valued by some at as much as $500,000,000 for less than three thousand dollars of his own money. * Why Trump was blackballed by the WASP grandees of the island and how he got his revenge. * How Trump joined forces with the National Enquirer, headquartered nearby, and engineered his own divorce. * How by turning Mar-A-Lago into a private club, Trump was the unlikely man to integrate Palm Beach's restricted country club scene, and what his real motives were. * What transpires behind the gates of today's Mar-A-Lago during "the season," when President Trump and assorted D.C. power players fly down each weekend. In addition to copious interviews and reporting from inside Mar-A-Lago, Laurence Leamer brings an acute and unparalleled understanding of the society of Palm Beach, where he has lived for twenty-five years. He has written an essential book for understanding Donald Trump's inner character, in the place where he can most be himself.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'Julie Yip-Williams conquered blindness and adversity only to be struck down. Her book is heartbreaking and necessary.' Guardian Eloquent, gutting and at times disarmingly funny ... a magnificent writer.' New York Times Born blind in Vietnam, Julie Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to have to flee the political upheaval of the late 1970s with her family. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon gave her partial sight. Against all odds, she became a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, a life. Then, at the age of thirty-seven, with two little girls still at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began. Growing out of a blog Julie kept for the last four years of her life, The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life told through the prism of imminent death, of a life lived vividly and cut too short. With glorious humour, bracing honesty and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, her story is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. More than just a tale about cancer, it's about truth and honesty, fear and pain, our dreams, our jealousies. And it's about how to say goodbye to your children and a life you love. Starting as a need to understand the disease, it has evolved into a powerful story about living - even as Julie put her affairs in order and prepared to die. 'A searing memoir ... I didn't know Julie, but in these pages I grew to love her.' Lucy Kalanithi
You might run for fitness. You might run for speed. But ultimately, running is about much more than the physical act itself. It is about the challenges we face in life, and how we measure up to them. It is about companionship, endurance, ambition, hope, conviction, determination, self-respect and inspiration. It is about how we choose to live our lives, and what it means to share our values with other people. In this year-long memoir, which might be described as a historian's take on Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, the celebrated historian Ian Mortimer considers the meaning of running as he approaches his fiftieth birthday. From injuries and frustrated ambitions to exhilaration and empathy, it is a personal and yet universal account of what running means to people, and how it helps everyone focus on what really matters.
Advocate Thuli Madonsela has achieved in her seven years as Public Protector what few accomplish in a lifetime; her legacy and contribution cannot be over-stated. In her final days in office she compiled the explosive State Capture report and, before that, the report on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence. Praised and vilified in equal measures, Madonsela has frequently found herself at centre stage in the increasingly fractious South African political scene. Yet, despite the intense media scrutiny, Madonsela remains something of an enigma. Who is this soft-spoken woman who stood up to state corruption? Where did she develop her views and resolve? This book attempts to answer these questions, and others, by exploring many aspects of Madonsela’s life: her childhood years and family, her involvement in student politics, her contribution to the constitution, her life in law. Madonsela once described her role as Public Protector as being akin to that of the Venda traditional spiritual female leader, the Makhadzi, who whispers truth to the ruler. When the sounds of the exchanges between the ruler and the Makhadzi grow loud, Madonsela said, that is when the whispering has failed. No Longer Whispering to Power is about Thuli Madonsela’s tenure as Public Protector, during which the whisper grew into a cry. It is the story of the South African people’s attempt to hold power to account through the Office of the Public Protector. More significantly, this important book stands as a record of the crucial work Madonsela has done, always acting without fear or favour.
Professor Hawking was a brilliant theoretical physicist, an influential author and thinker, and a great popular communicator. Throughout his career he was asked questions by business leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, academics and the general public on a broad range of subjects, from the origins of the universe to the future of the planet.
BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS brings together his thinking on the most timeless and the most-timely questions in science:
Where did we come from?
What is inside a black hole?
Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
How will we survive on earth?
How can we colonise space?
Will we ever be able to go beyond the Solar System?
For both the scientific and the intellectually curious, this book celebrates the mind, humour, and achievements of one of the most inspiring figures in recent history.
The book will include an Afterword from Lucy Hawking and a percentage of all royalties will go to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation.
In 1857, at the height of the colonial period, as Britain was advancing its control over southern Africa and absorbing the formerly independent African chiefdoms, the Anglican Bishop of Cape Town, Robert Gray, set up Zonnebloem College on an old wine farm on the outskirts of the city. Working in partnership with the British Governor, Sir George Grey, his plan was to enrol the sons and daughters of leading African chiefs and equip them with an English, Christian education, and then send them home to further the cause of Christianity and ‘civilisation’ among their own people. This elite educational project, which was at the same time cultural and political in nature, soon gathered steam. Among the first entrants were Gonya and Emma Sandile, heir and eldest daughter of the Rharhabe chief Sandile; Nathaniel Umhala, son of the Ndlambe chief Mhala; and George Tlali, son of the great Basotho leader, Moshoeshoe I. Over the years a succession of sons from chiefly dynasties, sometimes spanning several generations, would come to Zonnebloem: the Moshoeshoes of Basutoland, the Pilanes of Bechuanaland, the Lewanikas of Barotseland, and the Lobengulas of Matabeleland. They and many others who followed in their steps would, after their education at Zonnebloem, take up careers as catechists, teachers, political secretaries, lawyers, newspaper editors and priests and serve their communities with distinction. Their stories – their trials and their achievements – are recounted here, often in their own words, drawing on a unique collection of school essays and letters to their various mentors that must form one of the earliest bodies of writing by Africans in southern Africa. This remarkable book, based on years of research and written with great sympathy, tells the little-known early history of the genesis of an African intelligentsia during the colonial period.
In 1963 Stephen Hawking was given two years to live. Defying all the odds, he died in March 2018 at age seventy-six as the most celebrated scientist in the world. This carefully researched, and now newly updated, up-to-the-minute biography and tribute gives a rich picture of Hawking's remarkable life - his childhood, the heart-rending beginning of his struggle with motor neurone disease, his ever-increasing international fame, and his long personal battle for survival in pursuit of a scientific understanding of the universe. From more recent years, Kitty Ferguson describes his inspiring leadership at the London Paralympic Games, the release of the film The Theory of Everything, his continuing work on black holes and the origin of the universe, the discovery of `supertranslations', and the astounding `Starshot' program. Here also are his intense concern for the future of the Earth and his use of his celebrity to fight for environmental and humanitarian causes, and, finally, a ground-breaking paper he was working on at the time of his death, in which he took issue with some of his own earlier theories. Throughout, Ferguson summarizes and explains the cutting-edge science in which Hawking was engaged. In March, 2018, tributes poured in from around the world and friends and strangers Hawking had inspired gathered for his funeral in Cambridge and the interment of his ashes in Westminster Abbey. Ferguson offers vivid first-hand descriptions of both these occasions and, in an amazing and revealing tribute, assesses Hawking's legacy in and out of science.
Ed Sheeran is a true inspiration. His moving and uplifting songs forge a lasting connection with the millions of people around the world who love him and his music. He was the thirteen-year-old guitarist in a school rock band when he decided to become a singer-songwriter, even though he could barely hold a tune and had never written a song. Within a year, he had recorded an album in his bedroom. Bestselling biographer Sean Smith traces the astonishing journey of the shy little boy with a stammer who, avoiding flashy showmanship, grew up to be a global phenomenon. Through compelling new research and interviews, he tells the story of Ed's remarkable mum and dad who gave their son the courage to pursue his dream, the friends and mentors who encouraged him and the lovers who inspired his most famous songs. Smith describes the setbacks Ed faced before his fortunes were transformed by Elton John's management company, a record deal and a song that changed everything - with a little help from Taylor Swift. Ed found it difficult to cope with the world at his feet, but a new relationship with a girl from his home town has brought him happiness and a fresh purpose in life. Now he is the most successful solo star on the planet, earning GBP83 million last year. Yet in the middle of his record-breaking 2018 UK tour, he played for just 400 people at a charity night to raise money for the homeless. As this captivating book reveals, there's no one quite like Ed.
From Diana Darke, the acclaimed author of My House in Damascus and The Merchant of Syria, comes the extraordinary true story of a heroic ambulance driver who created a cat sanctuary in the midst of war-torn Aleppo. "I'll stay with them no matter what happens. Someone who has mercy in his heart for humans has mercy for every living thing." When war came to Alaa Aljaleel's hometown, he made a remarkable decision to stay behind, caring for the people and animals caught in the crossfire. While thousands were forced to flee, Alaa spent his days carrying out perilous rescue missions in his makeshift ambulance and building a sanctuary for the city's abandoned cats. In turn, he created something unique: a place of tranquility for children living through the bombardment and a glimmer of hope for those watching in horror around the world. As word of Alaa's courage and dedication spread, the kindness of strangers enabled him to feed thousands of local families and save hundreds of animals. But with the city under siege, time was running out for the last sanctuary in Aleppo and Alaa was about to face his biggest challenge yet... This is the first memoir about the war in Syria from a civilian who remains there to this day, providing both a shocking insider account as well as an inspiring tale about how one person's actions can make a difference against all odds.
___________ The uplifting true story of the couple who lost everything and embarked on a journey of salvation across the windswept South West coastline. THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER & SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD & WAINWRIGHT GOLDEN BEER BOOK PRIZE 2018 'A beautiful, thoughtful, lyrical story of homelessness, human strength and endurance' Guardian ___________ Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey. The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways. ___________ 'Mesmerising. It is one of the most uplifting, inspiring books that I've ever read' i 'A thoughtful, lyrical story of homelessness, strength and endurance' The Week 'An astonishing narrative of two people dragging themselves from the depths of despair along some of the most dramatic landscapes in the country, looking for a solution to their problems and ultimately finding themselves' Independent 'The Salt Path is a life-affirming tale of enduring love that smells of the sea and tastes of a rich life. With beautiful, immersive writing, it is a story heart-achingly and beautifully told.' Jackie Morris 'The landscape is magical: shape-shifting seas and smugglers' coves; myriads of sea birds and mauve skies. Raynor writes exquisitely . . . It's a tale of triumph: of hope over despair; of love over everything' The Sunday Times
'Freeman's pleasure in the food of literature ... is infectious. The Reading Cure will speak to anyone who has ever felt pain and found solace in a book' Bee Wilson At the age of fourteen, Laura Freeman was diagnosed with anorexia. But even when recovery seemed impossible, the one appetite she never lost was her love of reading. Slowly, book by book, Laura re-discovered how to enjoy food - and life - through literature.
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