Stars love talking – and writing – about themselves.
A brilliant crop of candid celebrity memoirs have arrived just in time for Christmas.
So we’ve thumbed through them to give you the lowdown – and folded the pages on the best bits…
Melanie Brown: Brutally Honest (Quadrille, £17.99)
The book chronicle’s the Spice Girl’s turbulent personal life
- Jonas Blue reveals why he dreams of working with Katy Perry and each of the One Direction boys
Mel B’s autobiography is packed with bombshells, from her hedonistic Spice Girl days, divorces and abuse through to a suicide attempt.
Jaw drop: “Eddie [Murphy] made me happier than any man I’d ever met.”
Laugh: “Erect privates were lined up against a milk or
juice carton so you could gauge the size.”
Eyebrow raise: Using cocaine as a judge on The X Factor in 2014: “I was probably taking five or six lines a day.”
Our rating 5/5
Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland (7 Wonder Productions, £20)
The book scores a worthy four out of five stars
- Bruce Springsteen has taken on Phil Collins in a battle of the Christmas best seller
Comic talks of his pride of being a Scot who toiled in the shipyards.
Jaw drop: He fell 45ft and broke an ankle – “it was a miracle that it didn’t kill me”.
Laugh: He told a teacher he wanted to be a comedian. “‘Well, I saw you playing football,’ Mr Sheridan told me. ‘I think you’ve already achieved that ambition.’”
Eyebrow raise: “I put a washer on the QE2. Many years later I was in Sydney and the QE2 pulled in. I thought to myself, ‘I wonder how my washer is holding up?’”
Darcey Bussell: Evolved (Hardie Grant, £30)
A revealing look into the life of the ex-ballerina and Strictly star
A stunning photographic collection with passages from the ex-ballerina and Strictly star.
Jaw drop: “I’d be wearing an outrageous white Lycra one-piece, with a star on each buttock and one on my… well, you can see where on page 19.”
Laugh: “When I was cast at 18, I didn’t know it was the main role in the ballet which was a huge honour. I thought they’d got it wrong. Very embarrassingly I didn’t turn up for the first rehearsal.”
Eyebrow raise: “As a late starter I had to work hard to keep up with my peers at The Royal Ballet School.”
Geraint Thomas: My Journey to the Yellow Jersey (Quercus, £20)
Geraint Thomas achieved glory after years of heartbreak
Won the Tour de France after years of crashes, injury and sacrificing himself.
Jaw drop: He rode the 2013 Tour with a fractured pelvis. “I had to be lifted onto my bike each morning.”
Laugh: At the party after his Tour victory Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford “grabbed my shirt front and ripped it open”.
Eyebrow raise: “Chris (Froome) definitely wanted to win that day and to win the Tour. He was doing what great champions do.”
Sally Field: In Pieces (Simon & Schuster, £20)
In Pieces tells the story of the highs and lows of Hollywood stardom
Actress reveals challenging childhood and the highs and lows of Hollywood career.
Jaw drop: At 17, Sally was sent to a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, for an abortion. During the procedure the male anaesthetist groped her breast.
Laugh: Burt Reynold’s attempt to bribe her two children with expensive Christmas presents “flopped like a juicy fart at a family reunion”.
Eyebrow raise: “Burt was Hollywood’s leading heart-throb –and also an egomaniacal boor and control freak.”
Tina Turner: My Love Story (Century, £20)
Tina Turner has led an extraordinary life with many secrets spilled in her new memoir
The singing legend talks of her early years picking cotton in Nutbush, emotional and physical abuse from late husband Ike, the kidney transplant from her second husband and the suicide of her son.
Jaw drop: “Ike used my nose as a punching bag so many times that I could taste blood running down my throat when I sang. He broke my jaw.”
Laugh: “The first time I saw Ike on stage I couldn’t help thinking: ‘God, he’s ugly.’”
Eyebrow raise: “Ike took me to a whorehouse. On my wedding night.”
And three novels to put on your festive list
Unnatural Causes, by Dr Richard Shepherd (Penguin Books, £9.99)
A compelling crime caper
Princess Diana pathologist’s detective work has freed innocents, caged murderers and solved the mysteries of unexplained deaths. It is darkly fascinating.
The Ravenmaster, by Christopher Skaife (Fourth Estate, £14.99)
The ravens at the Tower of London are nearly as iconic as the building itself
Skaife is responsible for ensuring the ravens stay put at the Tower of London. He shares his stories and his insight into the clever, mischievous birds.
The Soldier Who Came Back, by Steve Foster and Alan Clark (Mirror books, £16.99)
An inspiring escape story about two men who fled the Nazis
Oxford graduate Anthony Coulthard and bricklayer’s son Fred Foster hatch a plan to escape a Nazi camp in Poland. A story of British spirit and friendship.
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