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The Best Autobiographies
People
January 2014
Reading time 5 minutes

This month we take a break and curl up with an autobiography

From showbusiness memoirs to uplifting stories of triumph over adversity
Twin Ambitions: My Autobiography

Twin Ambitions: My Autobiography

World champion runner Mohamed 'Mo' Farah came to Britain at the age of eight, having been separated from his family and able to speak only a few words of English. At secondary school a teacher spotted his running talent and encouraged him to join a local athletics club, and he soon turned professional and began to smash British and European records, before taking gold in the 10,000 metres and 5,000 metres at the 2012 London Olympics. Here the ambitious athlete tells his story, from growing up in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa to his teenage years in south-west London and his subsequent journey to becoming the star of Britain's greatest ever night of Olympic glory.
Mo Farah, £20 (Hodder & Stoughton)

Morrissey Autobiography

No one could argue that the title of this book isn't direct and to the point – in fact, given his history of gaffes and controversies, direct and to the point sums up Morrissey rather well. The notoriously opinionated and argumentative former Smiths frontman is known as much for his hyperbolic ranting as he is for his undoubtedly impressive discography, and his memoirs are as rivetingly acerbic as you might expect. In a typical move of self-deprecation, Morrissey insisted that his autobiography be published in the Penguin Classics imprint, putting him on a pedestal with such luminaries as Homer, Montaigne and Darwin. Deserved? You decide.
Morrissey £8.99 (Penguin Classics)

I Am Malala

I Am Malala

While riding the bus home from school in a remote valley of Northern Pakistan in 2012, 15-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban. Following months of rehabilitation she was discharged from hospital and has since become the youngest ever nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize and an international symbol of peaceful protest. Despite her astonishing bravery and commitment to her cause, the teenager is in all other respects an ordinary young girl, with many of the same interests and ambitions as girls in the West. I Am Malala is her story so far.
Malala Yousafzai (with Christina Lamb), £17.99 (W&N)

Him & Me

Him & Me

Comedian Jack Whitehall and his father take turns to tell the story of their lives in a hilarious joint memoir. Recounting Michael Whitehall's career as an agent for some of the country's most popular actors and Jack Whitehall's journey to becoming one of the foremost British comedians under 30, the book is built around anecdotes of mutual incompetence and despair. The generation gap may seem at times insurmountably large, with the two bickering and disputing each other's version of events through footnotes, but it's obvious that the pair are more alike than they would care to admit. A great Christmas book for dads, sons, and long-suffering mothers too.
Jack Whitehall and Michael Whitehall, £18.99 (Michael Joseph)

My Autobiography, Sir Alex Ferguson

My Autobiography, Sir Alex Ferguson

The longest serving manager of Manchester United finally retired in 2013, leaving an extraordinary legacy. Over 27 years Alex Ferguson had transformed the club into one of the richest and most successful in the world and become a father figure to some of Britain's most renowned footballers. From his upbringing among the shipyards of Glasgow, through his own playing career, to over a quarter of a century as a staggeringly good manager, Fergie' s story is a must-read for football fans, whichever team you support.
Sir Alex Ferguson, £17 (Hodder & Stoughton)

Poirot and Me

Poirot and Me

David Suchet has spent a quarter of a century portraying Agatha Christie's most famous creation, Hercule Poirot. Yet when he was first offered the role, Suchet had never read a single Poirot book. He has since become inextricably linked with the character for millions of viewers, and has developed the fussy Belgian detective into a richer, more multi-faceted creation of his own. His book reveals the joys and responsibilities of embodying one of literature's most iconic characters, released to coincide with the final series with him in the starring role.
David Suchet, £20 (Headline)

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