Published on 23rd February 2012
Biographies can make fascinating reading: one of the better ones around at the moment is George Harrison: living in the material world, available both as a book by Olivia Harrison and as a film by Martin Scorsese. The film in particular is well worth a look, with plenty of archive footage, and contributions from the likes of Eric Clapton, Phil Spector and Eric Idle, and is an in-depth look at probably the most well-rounded, insightful, and interesting of The Beatles.
Just kids Patti Smith’s account of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, a relationship that started off as teenage boyfriend/girlfriend, but developed over the years into something much deeper and more interesting. Very evocative of the art scene in 70s New York, and a deservedly popular read.
Yossarian slept here Writers are notoriously difficult to live with, and Joseph Heller was no exception. Whenever anyone asked him why he hadn’t written anything as good as Catch-22, he would smugly reply ‘Who has?’. This memoir was written by Heller’s daughter, Erica, and is an intimate account of a colourful, volatile family.
Life on air David Attenborough joined the BBC in 1950 and since then has had a long and varied television career, both as producer and presenter. This is full of interesting characters, both animal and human; and as well as being a record of environments and customs that are long gone, it’s also a kind of potted history of the development of television.
The Fry Chronicles Stephen Fry’s second autobiography continues on from Moab is my washpot, and picks up his story from university onwards, including his comedy beginnings with the Footlights, and is a gloriously entertaining feast of namedropping, showbiz gossip, and luvvies in general.