The Autobiographies To Read Right Now


Non-fiction publishers tend to save their best for autumn. This year, the 5 star reviews are already in full flow for Sir Elton John, Sir Lenny and Sir Trevor. Louis Theroux’s is a must read but we’re not all that sure how we feel about giving David Cameron our money. Regardless, here are 8 of the newest to know about now.

Me by Elton John

Like sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll? This is the one for you. Sir Elton’s first official autobiography is as candid and funny as you could hope for. Expect stories of disco dancing with the Queen, friendships with Freddie Mercury and George Michael, and hiding then overcoming a decade-long drug addiction.

Available here, from 15th October

Who Am I, Again? by Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny talks for the first time about the defining moments in a childhood that inspired a comedy career lasting four decades. Covering the ‘casual racism’ he encountered as a Jamaican growing up in the Midlands in the 1970s, this a startlingly honest memoir. It also fizzes with the dynamism Sir Lenny has always brought to the stage, making it deliriously funny as well as thoughtful.

Available here

A Day Like Today by John Humphrys

As you would expect, this one’s sharp and shrewd. Freed from the constraints of the BBC, Humphreys recounts the interviews he has conducted, the politicians he has interrogated and the controversies he has reported on – and been involved in. An unmissable account of some of the great events of the last 60 years from a unique perspective.
Available here

For the Record by David Cameron

This is a fascinating insight into the reality of being Prime Minister. Cameron discusses the difficult decisions that had to be made during his time as PM, and is open about the enormous pressures and daily difficulties that come with the role. From the rise of Isis, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Syria to the London Olympics and the Scottish referendum, he is frank and unflinching.
Available here

The Fear Bubble: Harness Fear and Live Without by Ant Middleton

Middleton has experienced his fair share of fear. He is the military veteran who served with the Royal Marines before becoming an instructor on Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins. His second book is about turning fear into a positive energy, so it’s essential for anyone wanting to push themselves further. Practical guidance is interwoven with Middleton’s stories of climbing Everest and spending time in prison, making this less instructional and more inspiring.

Available here

How to Grow Old by John Bishop

This is the book to tell you how not to be boring, how not to lose your dress sense and how to still enjoy sport when you’re no longer very good at it. A hilarious recounting of getting old and the embarrassments and pitfalls that come with your senior years, Bishop writes in the warm and observational way that defines his comedy.
Available here, from 14th November

An Improbable Life by Trevor McDonald

Sir Trevor McDonald is an extraordinary man. Now in his 80th year, he is known and loved by people the world over for his humility, charm and natural ease. As a natural storyteller and communicator, he has few equals, making this book a riveting and astonishing read. He fuses current affairs and personal recollections covering an impressive roster of interviewees including Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.

Available here

Wham! George and Me by Andrew Ridgeley

As the other half of Wham!, Ridgeley had an incredible view of the early 80s music scene. His memoir details the fun and flamboyance of the years up to the band’s iconic concert at Wembley in 1986. For the first time, he reveals what it was like being at the centre of a pop hurricane, discussing his love for and friendship with George.
Available here

Tall Tales and Wee Stories by Billy Connolly

This is a raucously funny read, as you would expect from one of Britain’s greatest ever comedians. After half a century on stage, his memoir is rich in content. Tell Tales and Wee Stories brings together the very best of Sir Billy’s storytelling and includes his most famous routine.

Available here, from 17th October

Gotta Get Theroux This by Louis Theroux

Given a five-star review by Louis himself (which was promptly removed by Amazon) this has since become a Sunday Times bestseller – and understandably so. Covering his anxiety-prone childhood to his wildly successful career in journalism, the memoir is true to Louis’s unique personal mix of awkward, inquisitive and funny. He recalls getting under the skin of celebrities like Max Clifford and Chris Eubank, speaks about taking on the powerful Church of Scientology and analyses his relationship with Jimmy Savile.

Available here

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