The Astronaut Wives Club
By Lily Koppel
As American astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from shy military spouses to American royalty: having tea with Jackie Kennedy, attending high society galas, and being featured on the cover of Life magazine. They quickly grew into fashion icons, donning sherbet-swirled Pucci dresses and lacquering their hair into extravagant rocket styles (to match their husbands' spaceships).Annie Glenn was the envy of the other wives, with her many magazine features; platinum-blonde bombshell Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFK's favourite; homely Betty Grissom worried her husband was having affairs; Louise Shepard just wanted to be left alone to her card games; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a dirty secret. Together they rallied to form the Astronaut Wives Club, which has now turned into over 40 years of enduring friendship. Sexy and sophisticated, rich in melodrama, and set against the uniquely atmospheric backdrop of the Space Age, THE ASTRONAUTS' WIVES CLUB tells the real story behind some of the biggest heroes in American history, chronicling their romantic, domestic, and public dramas during the Mad Men era.
At the Coalface
By Catherine Paton Black
Growing up in a mining family, Cath's husband Doug promised his father he wouldn't follow in his dangerous footsteps. But after struggling with terrible poverty in 1970s Scotland, Doug decided a pit job would provide his wife and young family much needed security, despite extraordinary risks to life and limb.Every day, Cath kissed her husband goodbye, not knowing if she'd see him again as he went to work at the coalface. And while her husband toiled deep below, the mother-of-five put her cooking and cleaning skills to use in the colliery canteen. In good times and bad, the miner's wives pulled together as much as their men underground. Then Thatcher swept to power and suddenly loyalties were tested and a fight for survival of a different kind ensued. One for their very existence.
The Autobiography of the British Soldier
By John Lewis-Stempel
From Agincourt to Waterloo, from Dunkirk to the Gulf War, and everywhere in between, one man has served in all these battles. This is the story of Britain at war from the perspective of that man. It is the autobiography of the British soldier. In a comprehensive series of first-hand accounts, this anthology offers a huge variety of views on the experience of war: from a letter written by Oliver Cromwell to the Speaker of Parliament, to a First World War's soldier's last letter home to his son, and a powerful description of what it was like to be on the Sir Galahad when it was hit by a missile in the Falklands conflict of the 80s, right up to life as a soldier on the ground in Basra.Winner of impossible victories, cannon fodder for the Western Front, thin khaki line against Hitler - wherever and whenever, the British soldier has done his duty - and more. This is his story.
Another Bloody Love Letter
By Anthony Loyd
Critically acclaimed writer and award-winning foreign correspondent, Anthony Loyd is also an ex-heroin addict. ANOTHER BLOODY LOVE LETTER exposes the thrilling and brutal reality of life as a war journalist - from the climax of war in Kosovo to tracking ambush commanders in Sierra Leone, confronting the danger and confusion of northern Afghanistan at the start of the 'war on terror', and the harsh realities of life in Iraq during the second Gulf War. But it is also the very human story of a man fighting to beat a heroin addiction and coming to terms with the death of a friend and colleague murdered by the RUF in Sierra Leone, and the death of his mother from a terminal illness at home. ANOTHER BLOODY LOVE LETTER takes the reader into the mind of a man who has chased war and death for more than half his life, and must now find clarity. It is a moving and powerful memoir of love and friendship, betrayal and loss, war and faith.