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The Tiger by John Vaillant

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This story begins in December 1997 in Primorye, a forested and mountainous region in South East Russia. It is an area where Siberian tigers reside and a group of armed men are driving in the snow, responding to an urgent message about a tiger attack.

The men were part of an Inspection tiger unit, established three years previously to investigate crimes involving tigers.

The Siberian or Amur tiger is the only one of six types of tiger that is suited to an arctic climate. It can swim for miles and kill animals many times its size.

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Amazing Lives Series #4 Wojtek the Bear

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Wojtek was a Syrian brown bear found in Iran and adopted by soldiers in the Polish Army. He was later officially enlisted as a soldier of the Polish Artillery Supply Company with the rank of Private, and then promoted to Corporal. During the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek helped move crates of ammunition for the soldiers.

In the spring of 1942 the newly formed Polish Armed Forces in the East and thousands of Polish civilians who had been deported to the labour camps following the Soviet invasion of Poland, all travelled to Iran having been evacuated from the Soviet Union.

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Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

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This book is about a journey. A journey that begins by the author asking his doctor why his foot hurts. He ran two to three miles every other day and the answer from his doctor and several other specialists he saw was “because running is bad for you”. But why was it bad for some people and yet other can run without injury?

He discovered the answer by travelling in search of the Tarahumara tribe from Mexico, arguably the greatest runners of all time. They live in the sides of cliffs in a wilderness called the Barrancas and very few outsiders have seen them in action.

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Amazing Lives Series #3 John McAfee

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John McAfee is an American computer programmer and a 2016 US presidential candidate. He developed the first commercial anti-virus program, which bore the McAfee brand-name for years. More recently, he became an international fugitive after fleeing police in Belize following the murder of his island neighbour. This is his fascinating story.

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Amazing Lives Series #2 Vassilis Palaiokostas

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He’s known as the Greek Robin Hood and is currently a fugitive who has escaped twice from a high-security prison by helicopter. Despite being a criminal, he has achieved fame and popularity for giving most of his money to the poor and claiming not to have physically hurt a single person during his crimes.

Vassilis Palaiokostas was born in 1966. He grew up in a small village on a mountain in central Greece.

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Amazing Lives Series #1 Leo Major

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How did one man liberate a whole city from occupation by an army? It sounds like something from a Rambo film but this scenario actually occurred during World War II.

Sergeant Léo Major was a French Canadian soldier in the Canadian infantry regiment in the Second World War. He was the only Canadian to ever receive the Distinguished Conduct Medal twice in separate wars.

Major grew up in Montreal and was 19 when he joined the army in the summer of 1940.

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Colonel Sanders: The Original Celebrity Chef

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I’m sure many of you know who Colonel Sanders is and that he founded Kentucky Fried Chicken, but in this video you’ll learn that his road to success was an interesting and unusual one, involving a shootout with a competitor and even becoming an amateur midwife in his early days.

His autobiography along with some of his cooking recipes was written in 1966 but the manuscript was only discovered in 2011 and KFC published it for free shortly after.

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Ray Kroc: McDonald’s Restaurant Builder

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Ray Kroc is the man who turned McDonald’s from a single restaurant into the fast-food giant it is today.

His family did not have much money growing up but Kroc had a happy childhood. He liked playing baseball and learnt playing piano at the age of 6. He was also good at selling things, even at a young age. His entrepreneurial endeavours included running a lemonade stand and starting a music store with his friends. This early work set Kroc on the path to becoming a successful businessman.

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Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

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In 2006 Blake Mycoskie was a 29 year old entrepreneur. He founded his first company when he was 19 and ten years on he was taking a break from his fourth start-up to go travelling in Argentina. During his travels he engrossed himself in the culture. He danced the tango, played polo, drank the wine and even wore the national shoe — the alpargata.

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Reach for the Sky - The Story of Douglas Bader by Paul Brickhill

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Douglas Robert Steuart Bader was born on 21st February 1910. He and his older brother, Derick, often argued when they were youngsters, with Douglas constantly leaping at any challenges and dares from his brother.

He excelled at sports at school but did not apply himself with academia until he had to pass a test to enrol at Cranwell Royal Air Force College, with a view to joining the RAF.