The wish list

Adam Buxton: my five best books

The comedian and host of The Adam Buxton Podcast chooses five books he recommends to friends

Adam Buxton
A Thousand Small Sanities by Adam Gopnik (2019)

Now that political discourse is often a contest for who can shout the loudest, and express the most passionate condemnation for anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their world view, this book, celebrating the key figures and ideas of Liberalism, is a soothing dose of perspective.

riverrun £9.99; The Week Bookshop £7.99

A Thousand Small Sanities
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle (1973)

A young girl travels into her brother’s cells to battle disease with the help of aliens. I hated reading as an adolescent, but this microcosmic sci-fi fantasy was the first book I was completely absorbed by. It’s part of a series that includes A Wrinkle In Time – recently turned into a crap film, but don’t let that put you off.

Square Fish £5

A Wind in the Door
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine (2014)

Viv Albertine was a key figure in defining the late 70s punk movement, and her life post-punk has been no less interesting. She writes about it all vividly in this memoir which is by turns funny, shocking, candid and thoughtful.

Faber £8.99; The Week Bookshop £6.99

Viv Albertine
The Fran Lebowitz Reader by Fran Lebowitz (1994)

I bought this after watching Pretend It’s a City, a Netflix series in which veteran humorist Lebowitz complains about modern life in New York to her friend Martin Scorsese. It’s a collection of pieces from the 1970s and 80s which read like beautifully constructed comedy routines, some entertainingly outdated, some prescient.

Vintage £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

Fran Lebowitz
The Future Starts Here by John Higgs (2019)

Imagining anything but dystopian futures has come to be seen as deluded, but does this apocalyptic mindset hinder our chances of a brighter tomorrow? John Higgs considers humanity’s challenges in a way that reminds you it’s a little early to abandon ALL hope.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson £9.99; The Week Bookshop £7.99

The Future Starts Here

Adam Buxton's memoir, Ramble Book (HarperCollins £9.99), is out in paperback. For details of his book tour see adam-buxton.co.uk

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