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Six Minutes in May: How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister (Every…


***Selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Observer and The Economist***

London, early May 1940: Britain is under threat of invasion and Neville Chamberlain’s government is about to fall. It is hard for us to imagine the Second World War without Winston Churchill taking over at the helm, but in SIX MINUTES IN MAY Nicholas Shakespeare shows how easily events could have gone in a different direction.

Britain’s first land battle of the war was fought in the far…

The Scarlet Sisters: My nanna’s story of secrets and heartache on the banks…


‘Oh my goodness – another girl Mrs Swain!’
Clara’s normal iron composure broke and she screamed, ‘No! That’s not the bloody deal!’
And that is how my nanna, Bertha Swain, entered the world.

When Helen Batten’s marriage breaks down, she starts on a journey of discovery into her family’s past and the mysteries surrounding her enigmatic nanna’s early life.

What she unearths is a tale of five feisty red heads struggling to climb out of poverty and find love through two world…

This Boy


Alan Johnson’s childhood was not so much difficult as unusual, particularly for a man who was destined to become Home Secretary. Not in respect of the poverty, which was shared with many of those living in the slums of post-war Britain, but in its transition from two-parent family to single mother and then to no parents at all…

This is essentially the story of two incredible women: Alan’s mother, Lily, who battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and loneliness to try to…