As read on BBC Radio 4. Lady Diana Cooper was an aristocrat, society darling, an actress of stage and early screen. When she married rising political star Duff Cooper, they became the golden couple wh..
Handsome, spirited and erudite, Patrick Leigh Fermor was a war hero and one the greatest travel writers of his generation. He was also a spectacularly gifted friend. The letters in this collection spa..
A source of inspiration for the film Viceroy's House Pamela Mountbatten was born at the end of the 1920s into one of Britain's grandest families. The daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and his glamor..
Oscar Wilde wrote "I don't defend my conduct, I explain it, " when he was imprisoned in Reading Gaol in 1895 for his violation of England's stringent laws against homosexuality. Wilde's notorious liai..
'I'm very afraid I will die tonight' - Bana Alabed, Twitter, 2 October 2016'Stop killing us.' - Bana Alabed, Twitter, 6 October 2016'I just want to live without fear.' - Bana Alabed, Twitter, 12 Octo..
"An eccentric life, wonderfully told. Lady Anne Barnard was a brave traveller, artist and observer. Stephen Taylor brings her brilliantly out of the shadows." (Stella Tillyard). Lady Anne Barnard live..
Poet and musician, artist and hostess, Lady Anne Barnard lived at the heart of Georgian society. High-born yet egalitarian, she travelled to France to observe the Revolution, rejected numerous suitors..
Hailed by critics and readers alike, Jessica Stern's riveting memoir examines the horrors of trauma and denial as she investigates her own unsolved adolescent sexual assault at the hands of a serial r..
From the renowned artist and author Patti Smith, an inspired exploration of the nature of creative invention A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic-its source a mystery, its impact unexpect..
The 20th Anniversary Edition of Tina Brown's definitive behind-the-scenes insight into the life of Diana Princess of Wales with a brand new introduction by Andrew Marr.Twenty years after her death, Pr..
Despite advancing years, James Lees-Milne's descriptions of the people he meets, the houses he visits and country life on the Duke of Beaufort's Badminton estate are sharper than ever. He continues to..
Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in..
You know what she said out loud. Can you imagine what she wrote in her diary? Celebrate the hilarious wit of the great diva Joan Rivers; even her funeral was as glamorous as her. Following up the phen..
The definitive 70th anniversary edition of "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank and edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler, the world's most famous diary and 'one of the greatest books of th..
"When I was at primary school, my teacher asked if any of us had heard of Charles Dickens. I was amazed she knew his name, because, until that moment, I had only known him as one of my ancestors." (Lu..
'Armed with a squash racket and enormous will, Maria Toorpakai has risen from the turmoil of tribal life in Pakistan to become not only a world-class athlete, but a true inspiration, a pioneer for mil..
It is the evening of 18 July 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Emile Zola is on the run. His crime? Taking on the highest powers in the land with his open letter 'J'accuse' and losing. Forced to le..
Pronounced guilty of libel and sentenced to a year in prison, novelist Emile Zola went on the run.Zola's crime had been to defend a wrongly convicted man, in what became known as the Dreyfus Affair. F..
In 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby was the editor-in-chief of French Elle, the father of two young childen, a 44-year-old man known and loved for his wit, his style, and his impassioned approach to life. B..
Horace 'Jim' Greasley was twenty years of age in the spring of 1939 when Adolf Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and latterly Poland. There had been whispers and murmurs of discontent from certain quarter..
At twenty-two, Julie Barton collapsed on her kitchen floor in Manhattan. She was one year out of college and severely depressed. Summoned by Julie's incoherent phone call, her mother raced from Ohio t..
With an introduction by Anne Enright How you see a country depends on whether you are driving through it, or live in it. How you see a country depends on whether or not you can leave it, if you have ..
WITH A FORWARD BY J. G. BALLARD In 1953, in the presence of an investigator, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gramme of mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his ey..
Tim Sharp and his magnificent creation, Laser Beak Man, are now major names in the world of international art. But the journey to this point has been an extraordinary one. When Judy Sharp took her thr..
Down and Out in Paris and London is one of the great accounts of life in the underclass- of being hard-up and hungry, of sleeping in seedy hostels and working in squalid restaurants. George Orwell's f..
To be poor and destitute in 1920s Paris and London was to experience life at its lowest ebb. George Orwell, penniless and with nowhere to go, found himself experiencing just this as he wandered the st..
"'For me, being in a paddock means anything is possible ...' Country girl and bestselling novelist Rachael Treasure seemed to have it all, a long-dreamed-of lifestyle on her own patch of dirt in Tasma..
The shocking, never-before-told story of the bizarre world inside the legendary Playboy Mansion - and, finally, the secret truth about the man who holds the key - from one of the few people who truly ..
A Sunday Times Book of the Year As featured on the BBC Radio 2 Book Club Dr James Barry: Inspector General of Hospitals, army surgeon, duellist, reformer, ladykiller, eccentric. He performed the first..
A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country's most famous museum of medical oddities Imagine undergoing an ope..
In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New Y..
David Sedaris plays in the snow with his sisters. He goes on vacation with his family. He gets a job selling drinks. He attends his brother's wedding. He mops his sister's floor. He gives directions t..
In her relationship with Charles that has survived for more than forty years, Camilla's story has seen a great many myths. This book is the definitive account. The relationship between Charles, Prince..
The Durrell family are immortalised in Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals and its ITV adaptation, The Durrells. But what of the real life Durrells? Why did they go to Corfu in the first plac..
'As I look back, there is a parallel theme to my years at war: love. By that I mean the love - there is no other word for it - I came to feel for the troops, and the overwhelming sense of personal res..
Before his near-death experience, Dr Rajiv Parti was a wealthy man of science with a successful career as the Chief of Anesthesiology at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital in California. All in all, Dr Pa..
Cory Taylor wrote this remarkable book in the space of a few weeks before her death from cancer in July 2016. In a tremendous creative surge, as her body weakened, she described the experience of know..
One of the Best Books of the Year: The Economist, San Francisco Chronicle Cummings, in his radical experimentation with form, punctuation, spelling, and syntax, created a new kind of poetic expressio..
Steve Coogan was born and raised in Manchester in the 1960s, the fourth of six children. From an early age he entertained his family with impressions and was often told he should 'be on the telly'. Fa..
Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She spent her summers bottling peaches and her winters rotating emergency su..
When the journalist Lynn Barber was 16, she was picked up at a bus-stop by an attractive older man who drew up in his sports car - and her life was almost wrecked. A bright confident girl, on course t..
Adolf Eichmann was responsible for transporting over two million Jews to their deaths in Auschwitz-Birkenau and other death camps. Yet he was an obscure figure until his sensational capture by the Isr..
The definitive, internationally bestselling biography of Albert Einstein. Now the basis of Genius, the ten-part National Geographic series on the life of Albert Einstein, starring the Oscar, Emmy, an..
Widely considered the greatest genius of all time, Albert Einstein revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos with his general theory of relativity and helped to lead us into the atomic age. Yet i..