Book picks similar to
Charles Waterton 1782-1865: Traveller and Conservationist by Julia Blackburn


biography
biography-memoir
natural-history
biography-autobiography-memoir

Heroes, Villains & Velodromes: Chris Hoy & Britain's Track Cycling Revolution


Richard Moore - 2008
    How does he do it? And why? What drives him to put his body through the physical and mental hurdles to become the best in the world? This is also the story of an extraordinary year in the life of an extraordinary sportsman, one which started with his best-ever world championships in Mallorca—where, for the first time in his career, he became a double world champion—continued with his attempt on the world kilometer record in La Paz, Bolivia, went on to Japan where he spent three months riding the crazy keirin circuit, before returning to training at the world-class Manchester velodrome in the buildup to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.By shadowing Hoy through a season with the British track cycling team, author Richard Moore has gained an unembellished insight into the mind of a world champion. He has also attained unprecedented levels of access to the key members of the all-conquering British team (which smashed all records and dominated the 2007 world championships) and support staff, including top coaches, world-renowned psychiatrists, doctors (where the subject of drug abuse is an ever-present shadow), and the pivotal characters behind the scenes. Combining his forensic knowledge of the cycling world with his acclaimed skills as a tenacious investigative journalist, Moore captures the mood of the British team and explores an area of professional sport that has rarely been seen before.

A Simple Life: Living off grid in a wooden cabin in France


Mary-Jane Houlton - 2021
    They were already used to a simple life, having spent the last three years living on their boat in France for the summer seasons, and returning to the UK and their caravan for the winters. This tiny cabin would now be their new home for the winter months, taking them a step further along the road to self-sufficiency. They had no electricity, no kitchen, no bathroom or bedroom and the loo was a bucket in a shed, but the property came with five acres of field and woodland.From now on their lives would be simple, pared back to the basics, but they found that an off-grid lifestyle was by no means an uncomfortable experience. Responsibilities didn’t disappear but they changed, becoming less onerous. There was more time to think, and to appreciate the natural world around them. Living in such rural isolation, each day brought something new to marvel at: deer browsing in the field at dusk, salamanders on the doorstep, owls calling by night.If their own world felt increasingly magical, the outside world was far from it. They had moved to a foreign country at an historic time, living through a pandemic and adapting to the day-to-day implications of Brexit.A Simple Life doesn’t just follow Mary-Jane and Michael as they settle into their new lives, it also raises questions about what really matters to people. What makes us happy? How does it feel to have few possessions? Will life become unbearable without a flushing toilet?Thought-provoking and amusing, this book opens a window onto a different way of living. Mary-Jane shares a wealth of information and, if you have ever found yourself longing for a simpler life, this might tempt you to take those first tentative steps on the journey.

Chloe Sims: The Only Way Is Up: My Story


Chloe Sims - 2012
    But there is more to Chloe than viewers see on the TV, and the drama doesn’t stop when the camera stops rolling. Just two years ago, Chloe was a single mother struggling to make ends meet doing a string of jobs she hated and wondering if she would ever find happiness. Since joining the cast of The Only Way Is Essex, her life is now a whirlwind of glitzy parties and jet-set holidays, but life hasn’t always dealt Chloe a good hand. Her story is one of triumph over adversity, with plenty of laughs along the way. From her turbulent childhood where she was raised by a neighbor after her mother abandoned her, to battling with bullies and struggling with an eating disorder, to the magical moment when she met the man of her dreams.

The Narrowboat Lad


Daniel Mark Brown - 2013
    in his home.Dan recounts the first trip day by day, the highs of being a homeowner where every room has a view that can change daily, the lows of having steam burst from below deck and an overheating engine and everything in between from the perfect natural surrounds to the long hard days of lock working.After the long trip home we are then given a view of his first year onboard as Tilly the narrowboat is transformed into a full time home and the seasons bring their own tint to boat life, particularly a winter that wont soon be forgotten.Written with honesty and humour Dan gives readers an insight into living on a boat, his own life and personality and why people in his local area instantly know who someone is referring to when they say "The Narrowboat Lad".

Still Standing: The Autobiography of Kerry Katona


Kerry Katona - 2012
    She has hit rock bottom and here, for the first time, Kerry shares how bad it's really been.But this incredible story of survival charts Kerry's rise out of the mire of addiction, depression and bankruptcy. She has brought her life and health back from the brink of total collapse and has become a happy single parent and working mother of four.

Half-Safe: A Story of Love, Obsession, and History's Most Insane Around-the-world Adventure


Ben Carlin - 1991
    The vehicle in question was an amphibious jeep developed by the U.S. Army, which Carlin christened Half-Safe, after a deodorant slogan. It was a mechanical mongrel that was supposed to move with equal ease across land and water but in practice wasn't much good for either one. Undaunted, Carlin and his wife Elinore set off across the Atlantic Ocean with dreams of fame and fortune, and of carving a small notch in history. What happened next is one of the most bizarre, remarkable, and forgotten adventure stories of the 20th century. In Half-Safe, author James Nestor endeavors to uncover Ben Carlin's fate and finds a gripping story of love, danger, and extraordinary perseverance that spans three oceans and five continents. Half-Safe takes us from the eye of an Atlantic Ocean hurricane to the sweltering Sahara to the impenetrable jungles of Southeast Asia—and into the mind of a man who could overcome everything but his own demons.

From the Heart


Kym Marsh - 2010
    By the time she was 21, she was a single mum with two very young children, David and Emily, and it was a real struggle to make ends meet.But Kym had always dreamt of performing and even though the odds were stacked against her, she was determined to make her dream a reality. One day she auditioned for a new TV show called Popstars and her life changed forever.Kym now stars in the nation's favourite soap, Coronation Street. But her life off-screen hasn't been easy. She reflects on her marriage to Jack Ryder and how hard she tried to make it work. Kym found new love with Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas and after tragically losing their first baby Archie in 2009, the couple were over the moon to welcome little Polly Lomas into the world earlier this year.Entertaining, funny and incredibly honest, From the Heart is a fantastic read all about how sometimes the best things happen in life when you refuse to give up hope.

Reborn


Katie Price - 2016
    Her new autobiography holds nothing back.     In it she will talk about:   • Her controversial marriage to stripper Kieran;    • Their very public split after he slept with one of her oldest friends;    • Her difficult pregnancy and the fear she felt giving birth to her fifth child prematurely;    • The continued joy and challenges of looking after her severely disabled son, Harvey;    • Her public battle with Peter Andre, and the truth behind his allegations;    • Why she forgave her third husband Kieran Hayler, and the truth behind his affair with Jane Pountney; And much, much more.

The Unstoppable Keeper


Lutz Pfannenstiel - 2009
    A massive bestseller in Germany, this astonishing, fascinating and at times hilarious book relates a football career in which Lutz: Became the only person to have played professional football in all FIFA Confederations Was wrongly jailed for match fixing in Singapore spending 101 days in horrific conditions Signed for 25 teams (including Notts Forest, Wimbledon's Crazy Gang and Calgary) Stopped breathing three times after his heart stopped during a game Turned down mighty Bayern Munich to play in Malaysia Coached teams in such exotic locations as Norway, Namibia, Armenia and Cuba Kidnapped a Penguin! All this because he simply loved playing football and because, quite simply, goalkeepers are mad!"

It Shouldn’t Happen to a Manager


Harry Redknapp - 2016
    There’ve been big highs, but a fair share of lows too. When I have to make difficult decisions, I make a point of avoiding newspapers, phone-ins, Twitter – all of it. But there’s always a load of armchair-pundits waiting to start on me. Being a manager has never been easy, but between the fans and the media it often feels impossible to get it right.In It Shouldn’t Happen to a Manager, I talk about how different the job is now from what it was like when I used to play. For one, managers used to drive up and down motorways all day to scout for players – now there’s so much analysis and global scouting. It’s a different thing, completely. In this book, I share everything I’ve learnt from a lifetime of both wins and losses, and wisdom from greats like Cloughie and Ferguson. I’ll tell you about what actually happens in the dressing room, including when Clough smashed the door off its hinges; the bust-ups at full-time, like when I kicked a tray of sandwiches on Don Hutchinson’s head; and the times when I had to swap an arm round a player’s shoulder for a boot up the arse. It’s my guide to being a manager, the Harry way.

Do Not Go Gentle. Go to Paris.: Travels of an Uncertain Woman of a Certain Age


Gail Schilling - 2019
    So begins the journey through France of an optimistic, infinitely curious, 62-year-old woman, who seeks to ransom her self-confidence and learn how to age. Deftly weaving scenic description with sketches of feisty Frenchwomen and flashbacks of older women she has admired, Gail draws wisdom from people and places that have gracefully endured the passing years. By the time she reaches the Mediterranean village that once existed only on her calendar, she feels revitalized. Her refreshed self-concept takes a hit, however, when her beloved proves fickle and a train strike maroons her on the edge of the sea. By the end of her journey, Gail recognizes the joie de vivre beneath the wrinkles of bygone beauty in French women. Now she awakens to her own joy of living and finds that it has no expiration date.

The Royal W.E. Unique Glimpses of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor


Victoria Martinez - 2011
    The truth is: politics and innuendo clouded that story from the very beginning, with the result that few people really understand who The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were and what forces propelled them to their infamous fate. The Royal W.E. examines the individual and intertwined lives of Wallis and Edward – or “W.E.” as they referred to themselves – and provides readers with unique glimpses of the real people, as opposed to the sensationalized characters, that were The Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Through careful study of more than 75 years of rhetoric and scholarship, Victoria Martínez takes on the most controversial charges lodged against the couple (Was Wallis a hermaphrodite? Were the Duke and Duchess Nazi sympathizers?) with candor and evenhandedness. In analyzing the early lives of Wallis and the ex-king and their later relationships with other members of the Royal Family, her approach is to deal with all parties as human beings, whose true faults – though significant – were far less sinister than history has led us to believe. Ms. Martínez also addresses the ever-popular subject of the Duchess’s jewels, including new research on the famous 1946 Ednam Lodge jewel heist to dispel the long-held rumors that the Duke and Duchess committed jewel theft and insurance fraud. The subjects in this book are not always mainstream, well-known, or even consistent with “popular” opinion, and the objective is not to make anyone “like” the couple. Instead, readers will find refreshingly honest and accurate portrayals of W.E. that will help them understand the real people behind the myth and hype. “Prejudice and preconception are difficult things to set aside, particularly after so many years of negative stories and sordid rumor, but I think readers here will discover an alternative and convincing look at the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. I am sure they would approve and perhaps, just perhaps, the future may be a little bit kinder to Edward and Wallis because of the efforts of people like Ms. Martínez.” -Greg King, author of The Duchess of Windsor: The Uncommon Life of Wallis Simpson

Overwhelming Odds


Susan O'Leary - 2004
    The book unveils a truth of universal importance, namely, by helping others in need we can become their miracles.

Walking in Circles: Finding Happiness in Lost Japan (Round Earth Book 1)


Todd Wassel - 2020
    A 750-mile walk through Japan. A life that will never be the same.Todd Wassel fled a normal life just after graduation. Over half a decade later he’s lost in Japan, unable go home but unwilling to give up. Convinced there was more to life, he risks everything to return to the one place he found answers years before: the ancient Shikoku Henro pilgrimage. Walking the 750-mile henro path, sleeping outside each night, Todd is armed with only a Japanese map. Between the 88 Buddhist temples he finds help from a wandering ascetic hiding from the Freemasons; naked Yakuza trying to shake him down; a scam artist pilgrim; and a vengeful monk. Can he find what he’s looking for before the path, or his new friends, break him? Walking in Circles is an addictive, fun, inspirational travel memoir set in a Japan few outsiders ever get to see. Award-winning writer Todd Wassel draws on over twenty years in Japan to retell his epic journey through the contradictions of contemporary Japan while overcoming the forces that keep us from living a truly happy life. Buy the book today to join Todd Wassel on his unforgettable Japanese adventure!

Reluctant Pioneer: How I Survived Five Years in the Canadian Bush


Thomas Osborne - 1995
    The view 16-year-old Thomas Osborne first had of Muskoka was at night, trudging alone with his even younger brother along unmarked primitive roads to find their luckless father who, in 1875, had decided to make a new start for his beleaguered family on some "free land" in the bush east of the pioneer village of Huntsville, Ontario. The miracle is that Thomas lived to tell the tale.For the next five years Thomas endured starvation, falling through the ice and freezing, accidents with axes and boats, and narrow escapes from wolves and bears. Many years later, after returning to the United States, Osborne wrote down all his adventures in a graphic memoir that has become, in the words of author and journalist Roy MacGregor, "an undiscovered Canadian classic."Reluctant Pioneer provides a brooding sense of adventure and un- sentimental realism to deliver a powerful account of pioneer life where tragedies arrive as naturally as rain and where humour resides in irony.