It’s that time of year again where we start thinking about the best books to gift for Christmas! Team Bookends have rounded up a selection of the best memoirs to gift to family and friends this Christmas. Check out our suggestions below:
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 six 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. She vividly describes the anguish of their worst times, and what it’s like to be at the ringside. And she shows what it takes to balance the fame, the fans and all the sporting pressures alongside everyday family life.
From a childhood spent making smoke bombs, killing wasps and carving soap in 70s Kent, Harry Hill then found himself in charge of hundreds of sick people as a junior doctor. Out of his depth and terrified, he chucked it all in to pursue his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. Battling his way through the 90s Comedy circuit he quickly rose to become a household name and one of the UK’s most celebrated comics, almost making it to the top of the showbiz tree . . .
From being chased around a car park by an angry heckler, getting fired from Capital Radio and watching every episode of Freaky Eaters, to a bizarre assassination attempt and cutting up Simon Cowell’s trousers, Harry takes an honest and hilarious look at the ups and downs of his life and career through the lens of what didn’t go right.
He shares his secrets on how to be a great comedian, finding joy in failure and creativity in struggle, whilst never forgetting that life is short . . .
‘Stand-up comedy raised me. It taught me all the skills I need for life, except tax accounting’ Jimmy Carr
Cheaper than Scientology, quicker than therapy and much less boring than church – this is the hugely funny and insightful book about happiness by top comedian Jimmy Carr, and anyone feeling stuck in a rut should devour it.
In his mid-twenties, Jimmy was bored, boring, unfulfilled and underachieving. He wasn’t exactly depressed, but he was very sad. Think of a baby owl whose mum has recently died in a windmill accident. He was that sad. This book tells the story of how Jimmy turned it around and got happy, through the redemptive power of dick jokes.
Written to take advantage of the brief window between the end of lockdown and Jimmy getting cancelled for saying something unforgivable to Lorraine Kelly, this book is as timely as it is unnecessary.
Because you might be interested in Jimmy’s life but he’s damn sure you’re a lot more interested in your own, Before & Laughter is about both of you. But mainly him. It tells the story of Jimmy’s life – the transformation from white-collar corporate drone to fake-toothed donkey-laugh plastic-haired comedy mannequin – while also explaining how to turn your own life around and become the you you’ve always dreamt of being. At just £20, it’s cheaper than Scientology, quicker than therapy, and significantly less boring than church.
Before & Laughter contains the answers to all the big questions in life, questions like:
What’s the secret to happiness?
Is Jimmy wearing a wig?
What happened with that tax thing?
What’s the meaning of life?
Is Jimmy’s laugh real?
- Can those teeth bite through vibranium?
And for readers in the West Country: yes, there are pictures (actually, sorry, there are no pictures, but there’s a book about a hungry caterpillar you’ll love).
Because it’s Jimmy Carr – recently scientifically proved to be the funniest comedian in the UK – there are jokes, jokes and more jokes throughout. If laughter really was the best medicine, the NHS would be handing out this book in Nightingale Hospitals.
Fascinating, thoughtful and insightful – are all words that appear in the book.
The long-awaited memoir by movie and theatre legend, Brian Cox
*Featuring a foreword by the executive producer of Succession, Frank Rich, an executive producer of HBO’s Succession, a former chief drama critic of The New York Times, and the author of the memoir Ghost Light.*
*A Sunday Times Book of the Year*
‘One of the best showbiz memoirs ever written… it’s as funny as it is furious… Brian Cox has done everything and with this book he leaves everyone else standing’ – Mail on Sunday
‘A life well lived and a story well told. From first page to last Brian Cox the great actor is Brian Cox the great storyteller, and nobody is spared his sharp eye and his caustic wit, himself and some big Hollywood names included’ – Alastair Campbell
From Titus Andronicus with the RSC to media magnate Logan Roy in HBO’s Succession, Brian Cox has made his name as an actor of unparalleled distinction and versatility. We know him on screen, but few know of his extraordinary life story.
Growing up in Dundee, Scotland, Cox lost his father when he was just eight years old and was brought up by his three elder sisters in the aftermath of his mother’s nervous breakdowns and ultimate hospitalization. After joining the Dundee Repertory Theatre at the age of fifteen, you could say the rest is history – but that is to overlook the enormous graft that has gone into the making of the legend we know today.
This is a rags-to-riches life story like no other – a seminal autobiography that both captures Cox’s distinctive voice and his very soul. Rich in emotion and meaning, with plenty of laughs along the way, it will be a classic in the vein of The Moon’s a Balloon by David Niven and What’s It All About by Michael Caine.
An extraordinary new memoir from Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch
‘A raw and powerful memoir, it shares lessons banishing self-hatred.’ The Sunday Telegraph
‘Gradually, I began to feel this dawning awareness that womanhood was coming for me, that it was looming inevitably, and it didn’t feel safe…’
Evanna Lynch has long been viewed as a role model for people recovering from anorexia and the story of her casting as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films has reached almost mythic proportions. Here, in her fascinating new memoir, Evanna confronts all the complexities and contradictions within herself and reveals how she overcame a life-threatening eating disorder, began to conquer her self-hate and confronted her fear of leaving the neatness and safety of girlhood for the unpredictable journey of being a woman, all in the glare of the spotlight of international fame.
Delving into the very heart of a woman’s relationship with her own body, Evanna explores the pivotal moments and choices in her life that led her down the path of creativity and dreaming and away from the empty pursuit of perfection, and reaches towards acceptance of the wild, sensual and unpredictable reality of womanhood. This is a story of the tragedy and the glory of growing up, of mourning girlhood and stepping into the unknown, and how that act of courage is the most magical and creatively liberating thing a woman can do.
From the Academy Award®-winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.
I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.
Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges – how to get relative with the inevitable – you can enjoy a state of success I call ‘catching greenlights.’
So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.
Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.
It’s a love letter. To life.
It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights-and to realising that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too.
‘Brilliant’ – The Times
‘A rollicking, contemplative trip’ – Financial Times