The books that have stayed close to my heart have been ones that make me laugh
My favourite reads: Andy Scott
Reading is a pastime like exercise – I have had bouts of intensive activity throughout my life, but have had an equally lethargic amounts of time where I enjoyed doing and reading, nothing. The books that have stayed close to my heart have been ones that make me laugh.
Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James (1980)
James’ classic opened my eyes to the dangers that lurk, seemingly, everywhere in Australia, but shown through the lens of an infant that holds no fear. The book’s title allows its author to embroider and embellish his true (ish) tales of growing up in and around the bush with the warm and perceptive eye of Australia’s favourite satirist and scoffer-in-chief.
My Booky Wook by Russel Brand (2007)
While Brand isn’t to everyone’s taste for a myriad of reasons, his first autobiographical volume had me in tears of mirth… the sort of laughter where you have to stop reading because you are sitting on the Underground looking like you’re having a fit. The man has huge appetites for many things and luckily for his readers, he also has a gift for storytelling.
Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser (1969)
The first in a series of 12 delightful and absorbing books. I’m not sure there is a greater pleasure than being educated and entertained at the same time, although Flashy would probably disagree. The books take the bully from Tom Brown’s Schooldays and put him at the centre of the huge historical happenings in the Victorian era.
Notes From A Small Island by Bill Bryson (1995)
It’s very hard writing comedy, but it’s harder to write something that centres on travel but ends up making you laugh – and Bill Bryson nails it every time. The American looks at Britain from the eyes of a stranger and an Anglophile. His ear for differences in dialect and the nuances of British life make British expats wish they were back home, but also glad they left.
Puckoon by Spike Milligan (1963)
Written by one of Britain’s (Ireland’s) most famous comedians, this is a brilliantly sculpted piece of nonsense.
Milligan explores the complex maze of the “Irish Question” through the eyes of a lazy delinquent highlighting the contradictions of religion, politics and the armed services. A very different take on a thorny problem.
Andy Scott is a multimedia producer for The National