I will admit I don’t tend to read many autobiographies I tend to listen to them and have managed to get quite the collection on Audible. Also why are autobiographies associated with Christmas? for as long as I can remember all the autobiographies are advertised on tv as soon as it hits the holiday season. Some of the autobiographies I have chosen are quite old, but I have relistened to each of them at least once since I got them.
The Life of Lee by Lee Evans
One thing that makes this book unique from a lot of autobiographies is that Lee is not famous at any point during the book. Lees book is a ‘rags-to-riches' tale the book covers a period of his life when he was described by one of his teachers, a failure, and was seen as hopeless and foolhardy. It is amazing that he went on to become the amazing success, one thing I loved watching Lee’s comedy shows was how he always used to stops to thank the audience for coming and how he always genuinely seemed in awe and humbled by the fact that so many people paid to see him. Lee’s wholesome energy and attitude is what drives this book and it woven through the story of his early life. There are many funny stories in this book but the most touching thing I took from the autobiography is the love Lee has for his wife Heather. It was so heartfelt to get an insight of what they went through from struggling financially and to personal struggles.
Truths, Half Truths and Little White Lies by Nick Frost
I love listening to this book. Nick Frost has a had quite the life and he doesn't hold back it is clear this book is written from the heart and contains a lot a pinch of humour here, a sprinkle of grim and touching anecdotes. One thing I have taken from this autobiography is that Nick says "I'm a work in progress, and I hope I will never be complete" and it really hit home and pointed out I should be a little kinder to myself. I like how brutally honest Nick was during his autobiography. His charm seeps through this book along with his honesty, self-reflection, and imperfection. He's had the shit kicked out of him more than once, almost got blown up in Israel and has been higher more times than the Beatles. But he’s human and doesn’t act all high an mighty about any of it.
No Cunning Plan by Sir Tony Robinson
I love The Blackadder reference in the title but my first introduction to Tony was in Time Team. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this interesting and entertaining book. In this memoir, Tony fondly looks back at a career that has lasted over 50 years. Starting out as a child actor, appearing as one of Fagin’s gang in the original stage version of Oliver to the iconic Baldrick, he makes it clear there was never any cunning plan but he's enjoyed every moment of his very successful career. Tony has enjoyed a long and varied career as an actor, writer, presenter, the actor's trade union, and in local politics. He writes openly and honestly about his life and its many ups and downs, which is refreshing to see. and how he comes through all these experiences smiling at the end. Tony is honest about his personal life and his parents descent into Alzheimer’s.
Half Time: Nigel Owens : the Autobiography by Lynn Davies and Nigel Owens
Nigel Owens is one of the best referees in world rugby (Fight Me) and was one of the first people in the “Macho” world of rugby to announce that he was gay. For me this was a fantastic book cannot praise Nigel enough it couldn’t have been easy opening up as much as he did, but he dragged himself up from rock bottom to become one of the most influential rugby referees in the world. Reading this book added to the admiration I already had for him. This book isn’t all doom and gloom though Nigel recounts amusing incidents from rugby matches, foreign trips, and his off-field career as an entertainer. Nigel’s second autobiography is on my Christmas list and I cant wait to see what he has to say now he is out of contract.
Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries by Alan Rickman (author), Alan Taylor (editor), Emma Thompson (foreword)
This book feels more personal than any autobiography I have read or listened, and I think that’s what’s make it work. I don’t this diary were written to be published by acted as a record for himself. I am glad Alan's diaries were published as they give a better insight into his life than a memoir ever could. I am still a huge Alan Rickman fan and knew he had been in lot and was a busy man, but it wasn’t till I was reading his diaries that I realised how much this man manged to pack into his life. The sheer volume of work Alan took on, is slightly mind-blowing even at times when he was unwell. Everything from the mundanities of everyday life to the heights of Hollywood stardom is encompassed in these pages from his opinions on film, theatre, art, fellow actors, and politicians they are all completely honest and full of his characteristically dry wit.