Alan Johnson – In My Life: A Music Memoir (Transworld hardback 16.99) and three-volume autobiography (Transworld, £8.99 each volume)

Alan Johnson became Home Secretary in 2009. His personal journey to this point is chronicled in a three part autobiography. He comes across as a decent chap, hardworking and “one of us”, the antithesis of the modern Oxbridge politician who has no real life or work experience.

The first book “This Boy” describes his impoverished upbringing in 1950’s London. His heroic sister Linda basically brings him up and has to stand firm in the face of authority when the family is under real pressure to be broken up.

His first-hand experiences of the welfare state are important. In “Please Mister Postman” Johnson chronicles his early adult life: he is married and a postman by 19. Living in a council house in early Thatcher’s Britain, he saw the changes afoot. After working as a postman for over ten years he got into politics, through the union.

The final volume details his journey to the heart of Westminster. It is a fascinating insight into the Labour government from 1997. This time Johnson is an MP in Hull and takes up the plight of the trawler men.

All three volumes have captivated readers and made him a popular face on the literary scene. So we wee very excited when we found out Alan is coming to the York Literature Festival (March 23 at St Peter’s School) this year and will be talking about his life and work and a new book all about his love of music through the years. A super speaker and charming with it. I can’t wait!

Philippa Morris