‘I really liked this book. I’d forgotten how shit it was in the seventies’ Paul Weller The Jam released their debut single, ‘In The City’, in May 1977. At that time, no-one was happy in Britain, particularly not in Ian Stone’s house. He was fourteen and his days consisted of going to school, watching Arsenal play terrible football and listening to his parents’ marriage disintegrating. Outside, the country was divided – by racism, violence, inner-city riots, police corruption, unemployment and terrorism. But late one evening in 1978, Ian’s eyes and ears were opened to an entirely new world..

..The Jam walked onstage at London’s Music Machine to a huge roar, and launched into ninety blistering minutes of some … More

Born OTD in 1915, American jazz singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years, Eleanora Fagan AKA, Billie Holiday. Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music & pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills

Billie Holiday, by Argentinian Carlos Sampayo and artist José Muñoz is a graphic memoir in the NBM Graphic biography series … More

The long-awaited memoir of Booker T. Jones, leader of the famed Stax Records house band, architect of the Memphis soul sound; one of the most legendary figures in music. From Booker T. Jones’ earliest years in segregated Memphis, music was the driving force in his life. While he worked paper routes & played gigs in local nightclubs to pay for lessons; support his family, Jones, on the side, was also recording sessions in what became the famous Stax Studios & all while still in high school.

Nearly five decades later, Jones’s influence continues to help define the music industry, but only now is he ready to … More

Born OTD in 1942, English director, stage designer, gardener, and author, Derek Jarman. In 1986 the controversial film-maker Derek Jarman discovered he was HIV positive, and decided to make a garden at his cottage on the bleak coast of Dungeness, where he also wrote these journals. Looking back over his childhood, his “coming out” in the 1960s and his cinema career, the book is at once a volume of autobiography, a lament for a lost generation and a celebration of homosexuality.

In 1986 Derek Jarman discovered he was HIV positive and decided to make a garden at his cottage on the … More

Blending memoir with critique, an award-winning poet and essayist’s devastating exploration of sickness and health, cancer and the cancer industry, in the modern world. A week after her 41st birthday, Anne Boyer was diagnosed with highly aggressive triple-negative breast cancer. For a single mother living payslip to payslip, the condition was both a crisis and an initiation into new ideas about mortality and the gendered politics of illness. In The Undying – at once her harrowing memoir of survival, and a 21st-century Illness as Metaphor – Boyer draws on sources from ancient Roman dream diarists to cancer vloggers to explore the experience of illness.

She investigates the quackeries, casualties and ecological costs of cancer under capitalism, and dives into the long line of women … More

Before I left the valley I thought everywhere was like this. Then I went away for 40 years and when I came back I realized that nowhere was like this. ‘Laurie Lee walked out of his childhood village one summer morning to travel the world, but he was always drawn back to his beloved Slad Valley, eventually returning to make it his home. In this portrait of his Cotswold home, Laurie Lee guides us through its landscapes, and shares memories of his village youth – from his favourite pub, The Woolpack, to winter skating on the pond, the church through the seasons, local legends, learning the violin and playing jazz records in the privy on a wind-up gramophone.

A moving, never-before-published portrait of the landscape that shaped the life of Laurie Lee, the beloved author of Cider With … More

A personal and global history in objects, Gillian Tindall traces the memories and meanings that accrue to the artefacts of human lives through time. Before ordinary doctors had access to accurate pocket watches, they timed a patient’s pulse with a 30-second sandglass. A ‘pulse glass’ was a functional piece of medical equipment, designed to measure a life, never intended to survive for centuries. But Gillian Tindall inherited her great-great-grandfather’s pulse glass, which holds the heartbeats of many by-gone generations and offers a portal to nineteenth-century Anglo-Irish life, to her grandmother’s marriage and the assorted fates of the next generation.

Most of the objects that surround us, no matter how important in their time, will eventually be lost and forgotten. … More

As a musician, an actor, a muse, an icon, the breadth of Debbie Harry’s impact on our culture has been matched by her almost Sphinx-like reticence about her inner life. Through it all – while being acclaimed as one of the most beautiful women in the world, prized by a galaxy of leading photographers and fashion designers, beloved by legions of fans for her relentless, high-octane performances, selling 50 million albums or being painted by Andy Warhol – Debbie Harry has infused her perennial Blondie persona with a heady mix of raw sexuality and sophisticated punk cool. In Face It, Debbie Harry invites us into the complexity of who she is and how her life and career have played out over the last seven decades.

Upending the standard music memoir, with a cutting-edge style keeping with the distinctive qualities of her multi-disciplined artistry, Face It … More

Peopled by a cast of gay icons such as Dusty Springfield, Billie Jean King, Dirk Bogarde and Alan Turing, and featuring key moments such as Stonewall, Gay Pride and Section 28, Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide, is the first graphic history documenting lesbian life from 1950 to the present. It is a stunning, personal, graphic memoir and a milestone itself in LGBTQI+ history. In 1950, when Kate was born, male homosexuality carried a custodial sentence. But female homosexuality had never been an offence in the UK, effectively rendering lesbians even more invisible than they already were often to themselves. Growing up in Yorkshire, the young Kate had to find role models wherever she could, in real life, books, film and TV.

Sensible Footwear is a fascinating history of how post-war Britain transformed from a country hostile towards `queer’ lives to the … More

July 15, 1942, Wednesday. Remember this day; remember it well. You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o’clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I’m separated from the world. Renia is a young girl who dreams of becoming a poet. But Renia is Jewish, she lives in Poland and the year is 1939. When Russia and Germany invade her country, Renia’s world shatters. Separated from her mother, her life takes on a new urgency as she flees Przemysl to escape night bombing raids, observes the disappearances of other Jewish families and, finally, witnesses the creation of the ghetto.

But alongside the terror of war, there is also great beauty, as she begins to find her voice as a … More