Category Archives: Author

Six of the newest memoirs hitting bookshelves now

Autobiographies, biographies and memoirs, there is something magical about reading insights into people’s lives and learning from lessons they have grappled with. Perhaps it’s the unspoken trust that comes with them sharing stories so personal with us that makes reading an autobiography inspiring. 

We are excited to share these six memoirs that are hot off the press. We know you are going to enjoy them. 

Whose memoir do you recommend? Be sure to share with us in the comments below so we can add it to our reading list. 

The Asparagus Wars by Carol Major

The Asparagus Wars is a deeply moving memoir about the battles waged against terminal illness and a mother’s struggle to comprehend the battlefield in its wake. While some family members wage war against her daughter’s disease with natural therapies, and doctors fight on using the latest developments in medical science, she longs to take her daughter to Paris instead, the city that inspired the young woman’s writing and art. The Asparagus Wars asks questions about notions of victory at all costs. Shot through with fearless wit and resonant description, this story will break your heart but leave you richer for the experience.

I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke

This is a memoir as wry, funny, moving and vivid as its inimitable subject himself. This book will be a joy for both lifelong fans and for a whole new generation. John Cooper Clarke is a phenomenon: Poet Laureate of Punk, rock star, fashion icon, TV and radio presenter, social and cultural commentator. At 5 feet 11 inches, in trademark dark suit, dark glasses, with dark messed-up hair and a mouth full of gold teeth, he is instantly recognisable. As a writer his voice is equally unmistakable and his own brand of slightly sick humour is never far from the surface. I Wanna Be Yours covers an extraordinary life, filled with remarkable personalities: from Nico to Chuck Berry, from Bernard Manning to Linton Kwesi Johnson, Elvis Costello to Gregory Corso, Gil Scott Heron, Mark E. Smith and Joe Strummer, and on to more recent fans and collaborators Alex Turner, Plan B and Guy Garvey. Interspersed with stories of his rock and roll and performing career, John also reveals his boggling encyclopaedic take on popular culture over the centuries: from Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe to Pop Art, pop music, the movies, fashion, football and show business – and much, much more, plus a few laughs along the way.

No. 91/92 A Parisian Bus Diary by Lauren Elkin

In Autumn 2014, Lauren Elkin began keeping a diary of her bus commutes in the Notes app on her iPhone 5c, using it to take in the world around her. During that year, the Charlie Hebdo attacks occurred and Lauren had an ectopic pregnancy, requiring emergency surgery. At that point, her diary of dailiness became a study of how we digest major events personally and collectively as a city, observed from the height of the bus. No. 91/92 is a love letter to Paris and a meditation on how it has changed in the two decades the author has lived there. It’s a celebration of community and a time when we could all observe each other in our fleshy up-closeness. 

The Audacity by Katherine Ryan

From the star of The Duchess and the host of ‘Telling Everybody Everything’, the debut book from superstar comedian Katherine Ryan. ‘While I’ve been very blessed to have worked in comedy for over a decade, The Audacity gives me the opportunity to connect with people more fully and honestly than a panel show allows. I’ve learned to be a sharp-shooter on stage, but there are so many stories that I’m eager to tell in more sincere, longer form. I hope it gives people a laugh, an insight, and hopefully some encouragement on how to live their most fulfilled, authentic lives.’ The Audacity details Katherine’s journey from a naive ex-Hooters waitress fresh off the boat from Canada to comedy megastar, chapters cover How to Potty Train Your Baby at 10 Months, How to Cut Off Your Racist Aunties, How to Marry Your High School Boyfriend and How to Co-Parent when you’re a Single Mum. The Audacity combines Katherine’s unerring ear for the perfect line with the warmth, compassion and hard-won wisdom that makes up a life on and off stage.

Coming Clean by Liz Fraser

Coming Clean is a searingly honest memoir of loving an alcoholic both through the heaviest drinking years and into recovery. When Liz Fraser’s partner fell into a catastrophic vortex of depression and alcoholism, Liz found herself in a relentless hailstorm of lies, loneliness and fear, looking after their young child on her own, heartbroken, mentally shattered and with no idea what was happening or what to do. As she and her family moved between Cambridge, Venice and Oxford, she kept the often shocking truth entirely to herself for a long time, trying in vain to help her partner find a path to sobriety, until she herself finally broke from the trauma and started to speak out only to find she was one of hundreds experiencing similar things, also living in silence and fear. Part diary, part travel journal and part love letter, Coming Clean is the true story of addiction of many kinds, mental collapse and heartbreak. Above all, it offers a voice of deep human compassion, strength and hope for recovery.

Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes by Phoebe Robinson

Written in Phoebe’s unforgettable voice and laced with her unparalleled wit and with spot-on pop culture references. From the values she learned from her parents (including, but not limited to, advice on not bringing outside germs onto your clean bed) to her and her boyfriend, lovingly known as British Baekoff, deciding to have a child-free union, to the way the Black Lives Matter movement took centre stage in America, and, finally, the continual struggle to love her 4C hair, each essay is packed with humour and humanity.

It’s insightful, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartfelt, Please Don’t Sit On My Bed In Your Outside Clothes is not only a brilliant look at our current cultural moment, but a collection of essays that will stay with you for years to come.

Enjoy!

Indulge yourself with the yummiest dessert books on the market

Ohhh, how exciting is this week’s blog post? We have had a blast scouring the globe for the newest, yummiest, books hitting the market in our favourite culinary course – dessert! It’s been a tough task, but someone had to do it and we have found six of what we think are the best dessert books to indulge in. Apologies if this blog post makes you hungry but we hope it will inspire you to whip up something super sweet and tasty in the kitchen this weekend. 

Settle in, make yourself a cup of tea and prepare to get a little peckish. 

A Year in Cake by Peggy Porschen

With its fairytale pink façade and picture-perfect cupcakes, the Peggy Porschen Parlour has become a destination bakery for Londoners and tourists since it first opened ten years ago. Half a million people follow Peggy’s creations and seasonal floral displays on Instagram and her customers include celebrities, global fans and influencers who come, often dressed in ‘Peggy pink’, for an exquisite sweet treat, as well as to take selfies in the always-beautiful floral archway entrances of the parlours in Belgravia and Chelsea. 

This book pays tribute to the magic Peggy weaves with her bakes through every season. Going through the year and punctuated by special occasions, the recipes will cover cakes, iced cookies and cupcakes and will reflect the changing seasons. Peggy will also share some of her unique style secrets so that fans can recreate the lifestyle at home.

La Vita e Dolce: Italian-Inspired Desserts by Letitia Clark

La Vita è Dolce is an exciting take on Italian baking by food writer and trained pastry chef, Letitia Clark. Featuring over 80 Italian desserts, the book showcases Letitia’s favourite puddings inspired by her time living in Sardinia. Whether you’re looking for something fruity, nutty, creamy, chocolatey or boozy, you will be seduced by the sweet aromas of every bake. Complete with anecdotes and beautiful location photography throughout, each recipe will be authentic in taste but with a delicious, contemporary twist. 

From a joyful Caramelised Citrus Tart to a classic Torta Caprese, this is a stunning celebration of the sweet things in life, and is guaranteed to bring a slice of Italy into your home. 

Gelupo Gelato by Jacob Kenedy

Gelupo Gelato presents a rainbow spectrum of simple, sophisticated gelato recipes from tangy Lime Sherbet to fruity Peach & Blood Orange, creamy Marron GlacĂ©, and decadent Chocolate & Whisky. And that’s not all! There are definitive recipes for a classic granita (like grown-up slushie), barely-melting semifreddo, ice cream cake, profiteroles, ice cream cones and brioche buns as well as the only chocolate sauce you’ll ever need and a tip sheet for pairing flavours.

Crazy Sweet Creations by Ann Reardon

Join food scientist Ann Reardon, host of the award-winning YouTube series How to Cook That, as she explores Crazy Sweet Creations. An accomplished pastry chef, Reardon draws millions of baking fans together each week, eager to learn the secrets of her extravagant cakes, chocolates and eye-popping desserts. Her warmth and sense of fun in the kitchen shines through on every page as she reveals the science behind recreating your own culinary masterpieces.

For home cooks and fans who love their desserts, cakes and ice creams to look amazing and taste even better. Take your culinary creations to influencer status, you’ll also learn to make treats that get the whole family cooking, create baked goods that tap into beloved pop culture trends and impress guests with beautiful desserts.

Crave by Ed Smith

Why do we choose to cook the things we do, when we do? Most of the time, it is simply so we can eat what we really fancy; a subconscious response to a constantly fluctuating state of mind and appetite that’s influenced by mood, season, weather, memory, occasion, outside events and internal feelings. Ed Smith helps readers hone in on their cravings (whatever the reason for them) by organising his recipes within six cleverly conceived flavour profiles: fresh and fragrant; chilli and heat; tart and sour; curried and spiced; rich and savoury; and (best of all) cheesy and creamy. There’s also a directory of alternative cravings at the back, providing additional ways in. All bases are covered, from snacks through sides, to main courses and puddings. 

Baked to Perfection: Delicious gluten-free recipes, with a pinch of science by
Katarina Cermelj

This is the only gluten-free baking book you’ll ever need, with delicious recipes that work perfectly every time. From proper crusty bread, pillowy soft cinnamon rolls and glorious layered cakes to fudgy brownies, incredibly flaky rough puff pastry and delicate patisserie everything that once seemed impossible to make gluten-free can now be baked by you.

Baked to Perfection begins with a thorough look at the gluten-free baking basics: how different gluten-free flours behave, which store-bought blends work best, and how to mix your own to suit your needs. Covering cakes, brownies, cookies, pastry and bread in turn, Katarina shares the best techniques for the recipes in that chapter, and each recipe is accompanied by expert tips, useful scientific explanations and occasional step-by-step photography to help you achieve gluten-free perfection.

Enjoy!

Refresh your bookshelf with Booko: Setting Boundaries

In the face of ever-increasing demands in life we often find ourselves giving in to demands. Setting Boundaries guides our recalibration to help reset our health and wellbeing.