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New non-fiction for October 2021

by Brandon King

Take a look at our latest non-fiction titles for October 2021.

What is your problem?, by Jack Dee

Too often today the emphasis in psychotherapy is on providing clients with a metaphorical hug when what they so clearly need is good slap. Taking matters into his own hands, Jack used lockdown to retrain online as a psychotherapist. After an incredibly gruelling four hours of study, he got his certificate of completion from The Ruislip College of Advansed Learning (sic). So, with training in hand, he's been expertly helping people with their problems ever since. 'What is Your Problem?' is a compilation of your varied problems, be they about relationships, finances, cross-dressing, nosey neighbours, coping with Christmas, teenagers or Mike from the accounts department.

Windswept & interesting: my autobiography, by Billy Connolly

In this full-length autobiography, comedy legend and national treasure Billy Connolly reveals the truth behind his windswept and interesting life. Born in a tenement flat in Glasgow in 1942, orphaned by the age of 4, and a survivor of appalling abuse at the hands of his own family, Billy's life is a remarkable story of success against all the odds. Billy found his escape first as an apprentice welder in the shipyards of the River Clyde. Later he became a folk musician - a 'rambling man' - with a genuine talent for playing the banjo. But it was his ability to spin stories, tell jokes and hold an audience in the palm of his hand that truly set him apart. As a young comedian Billy broke all the rules. He was fearless and outspoken - willing to call out hypocrisy wherever he saw it. But his stand-up was full of warmth, humility, and silliness too.

Celebrating the seasons with the Yorkshire Shepherdess: farming, family and delicious recipes to share, by Amanda Owen

Sharing funny and charming stories about life with her family and their many four-legged charges, Amanda Owen - shepherdess, wife, mother of nine children, bestselling author and star of C5's 'Our Yorkshire Farm' - brings her world to life in glorious colour.

A funny life, by Michael McIntyre

In 'A Funny Life', Michael honestly and hilariously shares the highs and the lows of his rise to the top and desperate attempts to stay there. It's all here, from his disastrous panel show appearances to his hit TV shows, from mistakenly thinking he'd be a good chat show host and talent judge, to finding fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams and becoming the biggest-selling comedian in the world. Along the way he opens his man drawer, narrowly avoids disaster when his trousers fall down in front of three policemen and learns the hard way why he should always listen to his wife.

Journeys to impossible places, by Simon Reeve

Simon Reeve reveals the inside story of his most astonishing adventures and experiences, around the planet and close to home. 'Journeys to Impossible Places' continues the story Simon started in 'Step by Step', which traced the first decades of his life from depressed and unemployed teenager through to his early TV programmes. Now Simon takes us on the epic and thrilling adventures that followed, in beautiful, tricky and downright dangerous corners of the world, as he travelled through the Tropics, to remote paradise islands, jungles dripping with heat and life, and on nerve-wracking secret missions. This book inspires and encourages all of us to battle fear and negativity, and embrace life, risk, opportunities and the glory of our world.

Living the chateau dream, by Dick Strawbridge and Angel Strawbridge

In January 2015 Dick and Angel Strawbridge embarked on the journey of a lifetime when they swapped their cosy two-bedroom flat in East London for a derelict château with 12 acres of land in the Loire valley. Where 'A Year At The Château' told the entertaining and heartwarming beginning of the family's French adventure, as they found their forever home and began to restore and renovate the dilapidated castle, 'Living The Château Dream' is about the years of hard graft that followed. Dick and Angel leapt into action transforming Château-de-la-Motte Husson into both a thriving family home and a sustainable business, and began making their dream of rural life in a fairytale castle a reality.

The man from the future: the visionary life of John von Neumann, by Ananyo Bhattacharya

The smartphones in our pockets and computers like brains. The vagaries of game theory and evolutionary biology. Self-replicating moon bases and nuclear weapons. All bear the fingerprints of one remarkable man: John von Neumann, one of the most influential scientists to have ever lived. His colleagues believed he had the fastest brain on the planet - bar none. He was instrumental in the Manhattan Project and helped formulate the bedrock of Cold War geopolitics and modern economic theory. He created the first ever programmable digital computer. He prophesied the potential of nanotechnology and, from his deathbed, expounded on the limits of brains and computers - and how they might be overcome. Here, Ananyo Bhattacharya explores how a combination of genius and unique historical circumstance allowed a single man to sweep through so many different fields of science.

Love and fury: the magic and mayhem of life with Tyson, by Paris Fury

Gypsy Queen to the Gypsy King, Tyson Fury's wife Paris reveals the magical highs and epic lows of life with the Heavyweight Boxing World Champion, as she shares their life story and what keeps them strong through the good times - and the bad. Paris Fury is Tyson's rock, the wife he thanks for all his success. Both from Traveller families, she married him at 19 and is hands-on mother to their five children, as well as at his side through every fight. Always glamorous, strong, grounded, and her own woman. When Tyson's struggles with depression, OCD and alcohol have threatened to overwhelm them, she has held them together, and helped to see Tyson through to the greatest boxing victories. With all her warmth, humour and honesty, she tells her story - from her Traveller childhood, falling in love, making a home and a family, to coming through Tyson's darkest moments.

The last survivor, by Frank Krake

The awe-inspiring and gripping true story of the young man who survived not one, but three concentration camps, only - in the final days of the war - to be bombed while aboard a Nazi prison boat, 'The Last Survivor' is a compelling, life-affirming read that will make you gasp but also leave you amazed by one young man's determination - against the odds - to survive.

Honestly: my story, by Sheridan Smith

A northern soul speaks from the heart. Sheridan Smith is Britain's most captivating actress. Multiple awards and accolades across a career spanning two decades include a BAFTA for her title role in TV drama 'Mrs Biggs' in 2013, and two Olivier awards as a West End performer, the first in 2011 for 'Legally Blonde' and the second the following year for 'Flare Path'. While audiences cheered, critics raved, ratings soared and theatres sold out, for Sheridan, however, all this success and attention brought feelings of imposter syndrome, struggles with her mental health and panic attacks. As she fought to cope, every vulnerability was scrutinised in the weeklies and the tabloids, adding impossible pressure to an already difficult time.

How not to be a cricketer, by Phil Tufnell

In the modern era of highly professional cricket, with coaches for every aspect of the game and a support staff that outnumbers the players, it often seems that everything should run smoothly. But we all know that life doesn't work that way. Based on his own experiences of embarrassing misunderstandings, awkward mistakes and amusing escapades, Tuffers recalls some of the moments from his career that are more likely to find their way to the blooper reel than to any coaching manual.

The book of hope: a survival guide for an endangered planet, by Jane Goodall and Douglas Carlton Abrams

The world-renowned naturalist and conservationist Jane Goodall has spent more than a half-century warning of our impact on our planet. From her famous encounters with chimpanzees in the forests of Gombe as a young woman to her tireless campaigning for the environment in her late eighties, Jane has become the godmother to a new generation of climate activists. In this book, Jane draws on the wisdom of a lifetime dedicated to nature to teach us how to find strength in the face of the climate crisis, and explains why she still has hope for the natural world and for humanity. In extraordinary conversations with her co-author Doug Abrams that weave together stories from her travels and activism, she offers readers a new understanding of the crisis we face and a compelling path forward for us all to create hope in our own lives and in the world.

The storyteller: tales of life and music, by Dave Grohl

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ('It's a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!'), I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. This certainly doesn't mean that I'm quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it's like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician.

My unapologetic diaries, by Joan Collins

These are Dame Joan Collins' 'uncensored diaries'. Often outrageous, the entries were almost written entirely in real time. Most were done within ten hours of the events Joan describes, and many are hilarious. Whether it is an encounter with a member of the Royal Family, or her keen and honest insights of other celebrities at parties or dinners, Joan doesn't care. She's Unapologetic! The diaries are intimate and funny, as readers of her column for the Spectator will recognise.

Will she do?: act one of a life on stage, by Eileen Atkins

The story of a girl from a council estate in Tottenham, born in 1934 to an electric-meter reader and a seamstress, who was determined to be an actress. Candid and witty, this memoir takes her from her awkward performances in working-men's clubs at six years of age as dancing 'Baby Eileen', through the war years in London, to her breakthrough at thirty-two on Broadway with The Killing of Sister George, for which she received the first of five Tony Award nominations. She co-created 'Upstairs, Downstairs' and wrote the screenplay for 'Mrs Dalloway' (for which she won an Evening Standard Award). Characterised by an eye for the absurd, a terrific knack for storytelling and an insistence on honesty, 'Will She Do?' is a raconteur's tale about family, about class, about youthful ambition and big dreams and what really goes on behind the scenes.