Is it us, or do the colder seasons sway your literacy interests in the direction of autobiographies? Christmas gifting or for the pleasure of getting to know, we’re all for it.
Pick out the person you’re most in awe of or simply discover the ins and outs of somebody’s life. Autobiographies are interesting and, in most cases, relatable, making them fun to pick up every once in a while (even more so if they have pictures). Conversation starters, perfect Xmas gifts and a break from hard-core non-fiction, these are the best autobiographies right now.
Ex-Special Forces soldier and star of TV’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollie Ollerton has faced many break points in his life. Now he’s here to share with us the vital lessons he’s learnt. His incredible story features hardened criminals, high-speed car chases, counter-terrorism acts and humanitarian heroics (freeing children from a trafficking ring in Thailand is just the start).
TOPMAN SAYS: An exciting, quick tempo read, Break Point will have you on the edge of your seat. Ollerton has a way of re-telling his stories so vividly that he’s able to form a realistic picture in your own head. We sure wouldn’t want to do half the stuff he’s done, but we won’t put the book down until we’ve read all about it (from the comfort of our own homes).
Have a sneaky listen here.
From the world of the SAS to the world of art, this is the story of an epic life told through one of its most important artists. Though ferociously private, Lucian Freud confided in collaborator William Feaver for decades. About painting, the art world and also about his life and loves, the result of this biopic is a unique, electrifying read, shot through with Freud’s own words.
TOPMAN SAYS: Much like Freud’s art, this book is another masterpiece – a huge one at that! Beautifully written packed with inside knowledge you never knew you needed, read this book cover to cover and then refer to it when necessary (kept on your coffee table, of course). Feaver’s advantage of close companionship gives Freud’s life a whole new dimension. He does him justice in this fantastic read.
Find your copy here.
In his brilliantly-written and revealing new book, expert driver Jenson Button takes the reader behind the wheel. Letting us into what it’s really like to be a champion F1 Driver, from couch to podium and pit-lane to racetrack, Jenson reveals what really goes on behind-the-scenes. The people, the places, the weird rituals, the motorhomes, the media, the cars, the perks and the disasters, this is the perfect book for any petrol-head.
TOPMAN SAYS: A book you’ll race through – who knew this much goes on behind the scenes of the track? A perfect read for any F1 fanatic, Jenson Button has a great way of telling his tales. A conversation starter and general knowledge booster, this is one you need to read ASAP.
Have a first-glance listen here.
Shooting At The Moon celebrates the music of Kevin Ayers, one of the great bohemian voices of British music. Founding member of the 60s band Soft Machine and a major influential force in the English psychedelic movement, this book was curated by his daughter. Documenting a period of the UK music scene between Psychedelia and Glam Rock, Galen Ayers welcomes us into the world of this influential cult singer-songwriter.
TOPMAN SAYS: An interesting read taking you back to a crazier time, this is a book for anyone craving nostalgia. You don’t have to be a music lover (or even a super-fan) to appreciate Kevin Ayer’s story. The fact his daughter curated it makes it all the more inviting.
Your copy is right this way.
From Muhammad Ali’s brother comes the most intimate biography ever written on the legendary sportsman. This extraordinary, poignant memoir tells a much bigger and more personal story than in any other book on Ali – that of two brothers, almost inseparable from birth to death. It’s the final and most important perspective on one of the most iconic figures of the last century.
TOPMAN SAYS: If you get through this book without shedding a tear, we salute you. The best Muhammad Ali book to date, this honest and heart-wrenching perspective shines a new light on the boxing legend. Muhammad’s brother Rahaman Ali did an incredible job making the story so captivating. On for yourself of one as a Christmas gift, this book needs to be bought right away. Try listening to the audiobook for a whole new depth of emotion.
Here’s a taster of the audiobook.
This is the autobiography of captain and legend, Michael Carrick: the heartbeat of Manchester United FC. For over than a decade, Carrick was the centre cog that kept the team going. Loved by his managers, lauded by his fellow professionals and worshipped by the Old Trafford faithful, in this book you’ll see the misunderstood side of Carrick – a player like no other.
TOPMAN SAYS: If you’re a Manchester United fan, Carrick’s autobiography belongs at the top of your reading list. Now coming in an audiobook format, you can hear Carrick himself talk about mental health, family and all things football. People always say “never meet your hero”, but off the back of this book, you’ll just know that he lives up to every hope and expectation.