Archive | Large Print Books

Shop Girl

shop girl Mary Portas

Young Mary Newton, born into a large Irish family in a small Watford semi, was always getting into trouble. When she wasn’t choking back fits of giggles at Holy Communion or eating Chappie dog food for a bet, she was accidentally setting fire to the local school. Mary was a trouble magnet. And, unlike her brothers, somehow she always got caught…

Britain in the 1970s was a world where R White’s lemonade was drunk in secret, curry came in a cardboard box marked Vesta and Beanz meant Heinz. In Mary’s family, money was scarce. Clothes were hand-me-downs, holidays a church day out to Hastings and meals were variations on the potato. But these were also good times which revolved around the force of nature that was Theresa, Mary’s mum.

When tragedy unexpectedly blows this world apart, a new chapter in Mary’s life opens up. She takes to the camp and glamour of Harrods window dressing like a duck to water, and Mary, Queen of Shops is born…

Tsunami Kids

Tsunami KidsPaul Forkan

On Boxing Day 2004, Rob, Paul, Matty and Rosie Forkan lost their parents in the tsunami that devastated Sri Lanka. This is an enthralling, harrowing but ultimately uplifting journey from the slums of India and the tsunami, to the boardrooms of the City of London, Downing Street and beyond.

Ammonites and Leaping Fish

Ammonites and Leaping Fish Penelope Lively

The beloved and bestselling author takes an intimate look back at a life of reading and writing. “The memory that we live with . . . is the moth-eaten version of our own past that each of us carries around, depends on. It is our ID; this is how we know who we are and where we have been.”

Memory and history have been Penelope Lively’s terrain in fiction over a career that has spanned five decades. But she has only rarely given readers a glimpse into her influences and formative years.

Dancing Fish and Ammonites traces the arc of Lively’s life, stretching from her early childhood in Cairo to boarding school in England to the sweeping social changes of Britain’s twentieth century. She reflects on her early love of archeology, the fragments of the ancients that have accompanied her journey—including a sherd of Egyptian ceramic depicting dancing fish and ammonites found years ago on a Dorset beach. She also writes insightfully about aging and what life looks like from where she now stands.

Poirot and Me

Poirot and Me David Suchet

Hercule Poirot, with his distinctive moustache and fastidious ways, is one of Agatha Christie’s finest creations and one of the world’s best-loved detectives.

Through his television performance in ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot, David Suchet has become inextricably linked with the ‘little Belgian’, a man whom he has grown to love dearly through an intimate relationship lasting more than twenty years.

In Poirot and Me, he shares his many memories of creating this iconic television series and reflects on what the detective has meant to him over the years.

Letters to the Midwife

Letters to the Midwife Jennifer Worth

When the CALL THE MIDWIFE books became bestsellers, Jennifer Worth was inundated with correspondence. People felt moved to write to her because the books had touched them, and because they wanted to share memories of the world her books described, the East End of London in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

LETTERS TO THE MIDWIFE is a collection of the correspondence she received offering a fascinating glimpse into a long-lost world. Along with readers’ responses and personal histories, it is filled with heart-warming gems such as letters and drawings sent by one of the nuns featured in Call the Midwife and a curious list of the things Jennifer would need to become a missionary. There are stories from other midwives, lorry drivers, even a seamstress, all with tales to tell.

Containing previously unpublished material describing her time spent in Paris, and some journal entries, this is also a portrait of Jennifer herself, complete with a moving introduction by her family about the Jennifer Worth they knew and loved.

A Very Private Diary

A Very Private Diary Mary Morris

1939: eighteen-year-old trainee nurse Mry Mulry arrives in London from Ireland, hoping for adventure. Little did she know what the next seven years would bring.

In her extraordinary diary, Mary records in intimate detail her life as a nurse, both on the Home Front and on the frontline. From nursing children during bombing raids in London to treating Allied soldiers in Normandy, Mary’s experiences gave her vivid and unforgettable stories for the private diary she was dedicated to keeping.

Filled with romance, glamour and inevitably sadness too, these are the rich memories of an irrepressible personality, living through the turbulent years of the Second World War.

On a Wing and a Prayer

On a Wing and a Prayer Ruby Jackson

Rose Petrie is desperate to do something for the war effort. Despite the daily hardships and the nightly bombing raids, her sister, Daisy, and their friends all seem to be thriving in their war work. Rose is doing her best down at the munitions factory, but she is dealt a blow when her childhood sweetheart, Stan, tells her he doesn’t feel the same way about her.

Determined to get away and make a new start, Rosie decides to put her mechanical skills, learned from her father and brothers, to good use and signs up for the Women’s Auxiliary Service, or ATS. But Rose discovers that delivering fruit and veg in her father’s greengrocer’s van is very different to driving trucks for the army in a country under seize.

While learning the ropes, Rose will learn that things never go according to plan, either in love or war. But with grit, determination and a bit of luck, Rose is determined that she, and the rest of the country, will keep shining through…

Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon Alexander McCall Smith

Modern ideas get tangled up with traditional ones in the latest intriguing installment in the beloved, best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

Precious Ramotswe has taken on two puzzling cases. First she is approached by the lawyer Mma Sheba, who is the executor of a deceased farmer’s estate. Mma Sheba has a feeling that the young man who has stepped forward may be falsely impersonating the farmer’s nephew in order to claim his inheritance. Mma Ramotswe agrees to visit the farm and find out what she can about the self-professed nephew. Then the proprietor of the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon comes to Mma Ramotswe for advice. The opening of her new salon has been shadowed by misfortune. Not only has she received a bad omen in the mail, but rumors are swirling that the salon is using dangerous products that burn people’s skin. Could someone be trying to put the salon out of business?

Meanwhile, at the office, Mma Ramotswe has noticed something different about Grace Makutsi lately. Though Mma Makutsi has mentioned nothing, it has become clear that she is pregnant . . . But in Botswana—a land where family has always been held above all else—this may be cause for controversy as well as celebration.

With genuine warmth, sympathy, and wit, Alexander McCall Smith explores some tough questions about married life, parenthood, grief, and the importance of the traditions that shape and guide our lives.

My Life in Houses

My Life in Houses Margaret Forster

‘I was born on May 25, 1938, in the front bedroom of house in Orton Road, on the outer edges of Raffles, a council estate. I was a lucky girl.’

So begins Margaret Forster’s journey through the houses she’s lived in, from that sparkling new council house, built as part of a utopian vision by Carlisle City Council, to her beloved London house of today. This is not a book about bricks and mortar, or about how a house becomes a home with the right scatter of cushions.

This is a book about what houses are to us, the effect they have on the way we live our lives. It is also a wonderful backwards glace at the changing nature of our accommodation: from blacking grates and outside privies; to cities dominated by bedsits and lodgings; to houses today being converted back into single dwellings, all open-plan spaces and bringing the outside in.

Finally, it is a gently insistent, personal inquiry into the meaning of home.

Not my Father’s Son

Not my Father's Son Alan Cumming

Dark, painful memories can be put away to be forgotten. Until one day they all flood back in horrible detail. When television producers approached Alan Cumming to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show, he hoped to solve the mystery of his maternal grandfather’s disappearance that had long cast a shadow over his family. But this was not the only mystery laid before Alan.

Alan grew up in the grip of a man who held his family hostage, someone who meted out violence with a frightening ease, who waged a silent war with himself that sometimes spilled over onto everyone around him. That man was Alex Cumming, Alan’s father, whom Alan had not seen or spoken to for more than a decade when he reconnected just before filming for Who Do You Think You Are? began. He had a secret he had to share, one that would shock his son to his very core and set into motion a journey that would change Alan’s life forever.

With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father’s Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.

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