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How To Be A Woman

Author: Caitlin Moran

Publisher: Ebury Press (2012)

It's a good 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 we use Botox? Do men secretly hate us? And why does everyone ask you when you're going to have a baby? Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin answers the questions that every modern woman is asking.

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I Am Malala

Authors: Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb

Publisher: Orion Publishing Group (2013)

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, 9 October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range. Malala Yousafzai's extraordinary journey has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations. She has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

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In My Life

Author: Alan Johnson

Publisher: Bantam Press (2018)

From being transported by the sound of 'True Love' by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly on the radio, as a small child living in condemned housing in ungentrified West London in the late 1950s, to going out to work as a postman humming 'Watching the Detectives' by Elvis Costello in 1977, Alan Johnson's life has always had a musical soundtrack. In fact music hasn't just accompanied his life, it's been an integral part of it.

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In The Days Of Rain

Author: Rebecca Stott

Publisher: Fourth Estate (2017)

In the vein of Bad Blood and Why be Happy when you can be Normal?: an enthralling, at times shocking, and deeply personal family memoir of growing up in, and breaking away from, a fundamentalist Christian cult. ‘At university when I made new friends and confidantes, I couldn’t explain how I’d become a teenage mother, or shoplifted books for years, or why I was afraid of the dark and had a compulsion to rescue people, without explaining about the Brethren or the God they made for us, and the Rapture they told us was coming. But then I couldn’t really begin to talk about the Brethren without explaining about my father…’ As Rebecca Stott’s father lay dying he begged her to help him write the memoir he had been struggling with for years. He wanted to tell the story of their family, who, for generations had all been members of a fundamentalist Christian sect. Yet, each time he reached a certain point, he became tangled in a thicket of painful memories and could not go on. The sect were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan: non-sect books were banned, women were made to wear headscarves and those who disobeyed the rules were punished. Rebecca was born into the sect, yet, as an intelligent, inquiring child she was always asking dangerous questions. She would discover that her father, an influential preacher, had been asking them too, and that the fault-line between faith and doubt had almost engulfed him. In In the Days of Rain Rebecca gathers the broken threads of her father’s story, and her own, and follows him into the thicket to tell of her family’s experiences within the sect, and the decades-long aftermath of their breaking away.

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Instead Of A Letter

Author: Diana Athill

Publisher: Ganta (2011)

Diana Athill's childhood was idyllic, brought up in the Norfolk countryside. Aged only fifteen, she fell in love with a young undergraduate. They travelled to Oxford, engaged to be married. Then everything fell apart in the cruellest possible way. In this classic modern memoir, Diana Athill dissects the terrible consequences of loss and her struggle to rebuild a personality destroyed by sadness. Yet for all its unhappiness, Instead of a Letter remains a story of hope, written with the frank intelligence and lack of self-pity that have become the hallmarks of Athill's writing.

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Author: Mindy Kaling

Publisher: Ebury Press (2013)

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: comedienne, actress, obedient child of immigrant professionals and, now, writer. With a blend of witty confessions and unscientific observations, Mindy writes about everything from being a timid young chubster afraid of her own bike to living the Hollywood life, dating, friendships and planning her own funeral – all executed with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls.

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It Just Occurred To Me

Author: Humphrey Lyttleton

Publisher: Robson Books (2007)

In this delightful memoir, the legendary musician, broadcaster, raconteur and wit Humphrey Lyttelton recalls with humour and a wry eye the characters and events of his remarkable life. Here Humph presents his memories, thoughts and anecdotes with the erudition and style which delight listeners to the cult BBC Radio 4 programme I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue of which, of course, he is Chairman. Among them, a power-crazed drill sergeant, who marched his squad over the droppings of the adjutant's horse on parade, rubs shoulders with a parsimonious uncle whose black evening suit had turned green with age; the autocratic bandleader Glenn Miller's command that his whole band should get rid of their moustaches; and Humph's extraordinary recollection of having, in childhood, accidentally set fire to a vicar. It Just Occurred to Me is like a fine jazz solo, moving skilfully from theme to theme, from idea to idea - quoting occasionally along the way - and it displays all the vigour and originality of Humph's own trumpet playing.

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It Must Never Happen Again: The Lessons Learned From The Short Life And Terrible Death Of Baby P

Author: John McShane

Publisher: John Blake Publishing (2009)

This is a comprehensive look at the events leading up to the death of Baby P. A recent investigation has found that there was poor communication between authorities, a repeated failure to take into account the child's history and inaccurate documentation of events by Haringey Council. Child protection plans were heavily criticized in the inspection report for being disorganized with little analysis of the child and no clear decision-making. With the three perpetrators awaiting sentencing and politicians debating what can be done now and in the future, the public are left angry and bewildered as just how this was allowed to happen.

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Jessica Ennis: Unbelievable

Author: Jessica Ennis

Publisher: Hodder (2012)

On 4 August 2012 Jessica Ennis kicked off what some described as the greatest night in British sporting history. For her it was the end of a long, winding, and sometimes harrowing road. Hers is an inspiring tale of following your dreams no matter what life throws at you. "Unbelievable" is a refreshingly candid account of her rise to fame in a highly charged world in which body image issues and drug abuses lurk. From the unique pressures facing her, to behind-the-scenes glimpses into the greatest show on earth, and a revealing account of her love-hate relationship with her long-term coach, Jessica reveals the truth behind the smiles for the first time. Unbelievable includes exclusive behind-the-scenes photos. This is the story of how the girl next door became London's poster girl, and how an ordinary woman used an extraordinary talent to claim the title of the world's greatest all-round female sports star.

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Jessie's Journey

Author: Jess Smith

Part of a series: Jessie's Journey

Publisher: Mercat Press (2002)

From the ages of 5 to 15, Jess Smith lived with her parents, sisters and a mongrel dog in an old, blue Bedford bus. They travelled the length and breadth of Scotland, and much of England too, stopping here and there until they were moved on by the local authorities or driven by their own instinctive need to travel. By campfires, under the unchanging stars they brewed up tea, telling stories and singing songs late into the night. 'Jessie's Journey' describes what it was like to be one of the last of the traditional travelling folk. It is not an idyllic tale, but despite the threat of bigoted abuse and scattered schooling, humour and laughter run throughout a childhood teeming with unforgettable characters and incidents.

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