Thursday, April 2, 2009

April’s great titles

A FORTUNATE LIFE: The autobiography of PADDY ASHDOWN, an autobiography by a politician which is totally unlike the traditional political memoir. It is the story of a life lived to the full, as a Royal Marine Commando, a member of the Special Boat Service and an international peacemaker, as well as an MP and a party leader. At a time when politicians are viewed with derision and suspicion, Paddy Ashdown is widely respected and admired, even by his political opponents. This books shows why.

No other British political leader of the post-war generation could have written a book like this for the simple reason that no other modern politician has led a life as varied, adventurous and dramatic as its author. He is deadly serious when writing about the things that matter to him - his family, his country, his party, the Bosnian people whose cause he adopted when it was deeply unpopular to do so - but he also has a refreshing gift for seeing the funny side of most situations and illustrates it with self-deprecating wit and a wealth of anecdote.

A FORTUNATE LIFE: The autobiography of PADDY ASHDOWN is issued in hardback at £20.00 and is available at:

Aurum is renowned for publishing some excellent military history, such as this next title:

To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea, 1951 by Andrew Salmon.
This vivid narrative tells the story of the bloodiest battle fought by British soldiers since World War II in the words of the men who survived. Remarkably, it is the first - and only - book-length account of this legendary tragedy ever to be published.
To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea 1951 by Andrew Salmon is published in paperback by Aurum Press and is available at
A sweetly-charming memoir of life in the Lake District is next on Aurum's list.

Hercules & the Farmer’s Wife And Other Stories from a Cumbrian Art Gallery by Chris Wadsworth which is a charming memoir in a similar vein to Gervase Phinn’s The Other Side of the Dale and Jack Sheffield’s Teacher, Teacher!

When Chris Wadsworth, and husband Michael, upped sticks in the South and moved north to the Lake District she had no inkling she was about to begin a new life as the owner of an art gallery. In Hercules & the Farmer’s Wife Chris tells their stories, and recounts the many other unlikely incidents –from the ghost in the garden and the mystery of the Purple House, to break-ins by agents of MFI – that make up life in a Lake District gallery. By turns funny, and others bittersweet, Chris Wadsworth offers a private view of the wonderful world she discovered when she made art her business.

Hercules & the Farmer’s Wife And Other Stories from a Cumbrian Art Gallery is issued in hardback at £14.99 and is available at:

Our musical titles this spring include:

Journey of A Thousand Miles: My Story by Lang Lang with David Ritz tells the remarkable story of a boy who sacrificed almost everything - family, financial security, childhood, his reputation in China's insular classical music world - to fulfil his promise as a classical pianist. Born in Shenyang, China, he started playing piano at age three and started studying at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing at ten. At 15 he won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia; by 19 he was selling out Carnegie Hall.

Now 26, Lang Lang tours relentlessly, delighting rapt sell-out audiences with his trademark flamboyancy and showmanship.

Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story by Lang Lang with David Ritz is published in hardback by Aurum Press at £16.99 and is available at:

Next on the list, our sports book, and as usual, Aurum has some top-notch titles out:

In Pete Sampras: The Autobiography - A Champion's Mind by Pete Sampras with Peter Bodo, arguably the greatest player in tennis ever recounts his biggest triumphs, rivalries and personal trials. For the first time, his fans can get a real glimpse into what made (and still makes) this unique sportsman tick. He describes his the titanic matches fought, his relations with rivals such as Stefan Edberg, Andre Agassi and John McEnroe, and how he survived despite the media pressure and tragedies such as the death of coach Tom Gullikson from cancer.

Frank, insightful and passionate, A Champion's Mind is a unique and intimate account of what it takes to win.
Pete Sampras: The Autobiography - A Champion's Mind by Pete Sampras with Peter Bodo is published now in hardback by Aurum Press at £16.99. Copies can be ordered at:

Another sports title is George Myerston's Fighting for Football. This book offers a unique take on the First World War, by looking at the story of Tim Coleman, a footballer who led the first players' strike, and played for Arsenal, Everton and Nottingham Forest. In 1914, Coleman joined up with the Footballers' Battalion and went to fight on the Western Front where he won the Military Medal. This is the first biography of this exceptional man who ended his life in obscurity as a window-cleaner.

Fighting for Football by George Myerson is out in hardback, published by Aurum Press at £14.99. It can be purchased at

More football nostalgia can be found in Rob Bagchi and Paul Rogerson's The Unforgiven, which goes back to the Golden Age of British football, and more specifically the hey-day of Leeds United under Don Revie. Winning multiple trophies and titles, this Leeds United with players such as Billy Bremner and Jack Charlton was hugely successful, but also reviled and despised as no other team of the time. At the centre of the book stands Don Revie, eccentric and unconventional, who saw himself as the 'head of the family.'

The Unforgiven by Rob Bagchi and Paul Rogerson is re-issued in paperback by Aurum Press at £8.99 and is available on

If football is not really your thing, but you are still looking for good sports books, try the next two Cricket-focused titles:

Bradman's Invincibles: The Story of the 1948 Ashes Tour by Roland Perry recounts that monumental and legendary Ashes series when the Australian team under Donald Bradman went a whole summer without a defeat.

Roland Perry's book is a comprehensive account of the whole tour, match by match, as this remarkable side - featuring great bowlers such as Lindwall and Miller as well as batting maestros like Bradman - moved from county to county, conquering all before them.
Published in time for the eagerly awaited 2009 Ashes series, Bradman's Invincibles is the definitive account of a remarkable sports team.

Bradman's Invincibles: The Story of the 1948 Ashes Tour by Roland Perry is out in hardback at £20, published by Aurum Press. It can be ordered online at

In the same vein to Bradman's Invincibles is Gideon Haigh's fourth and final collection of cricket writing, published under the title Inside Out: Writings on Cricket. Here are extended pieces on cricketing greats from Don Bradman to Sunil Gavaskar, dissertations on the enduring significance of the Bodyline series, and the first auguries offered by Twenty20. By turns considered, sagacious, waspish and droll, this is another indispensable volume for anyone interested in how cricket works.

Inside Out: Writings on Cricket is out in paperback at £8.99, published by Aurum Press, and is availble to purchase on

Golf enthusiasts will be kept satisfied, we hope, with Hacked Off: One Man's All-or-Nothing Bid to crack the Secret of Golf by Tony Lawrence. In it, the author takes one whole year off after being defeated by his nephew at golf to master the damn game once and for all. He goes to see a putting coach, a short-term coach, a golf physiotherapist, a nutritionist, a hypnotherapist and a professor of sports science. Somewhere along the way his marriage survives, despite the dents in the furniture and the holes in the carpets. And at the end of the year, will his efforts prove to have been worthwhile?

Hacked Off: One Man's All-or-Nothing Bid to Crack the Secret of Golf by Tony Lawrence is out in hardback now at £12.99, published by Aurum Press. Copies can be purchased on

Enough of sports now, and back to more mundane daily matters, ie. commuting.

Aurum Press regularly publish The Guide to Commuterland in conjunction
with Daily Telegraph, and the new edition, by Caroline McGhie, is out now.
This is the indispensable guide to commuter town for anyone looking for a home within commuting range of London. Each section of the book follows one of the main lines that radiate out from London's termini, together with its branches and spurs, station by station. In total over 1200 towns and villages are described. In short, this book is a godsend for house-hunters who can quickly narrow down their search to focus on the areas that are most likely to meet their needs, without ever leaving the comfort of an armchair.

Caroline McGhie's The Daily Telegraph Guide to Commuterland is issued by Aurum Press in paperback at £14.99 and can be purchased on

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