James May (Hodder  & Stoughton)

If you are interested in cars, read on. If you are not, do the same.

James May is known as Captain Slow on BBC2’s Top Gear for obvious reasons. He takes aeons to complete a lap around the Top Gear test track because he needs to take time out to reflect on what Audi could learn from Jesus, why the 1988 Chateau Baron Bomburst could be confused with a 17-year-old Jaguar, how his cat Fusker inspired cat-nav and why choir boys made Britain a better place.

All 72 essays in Car Fever – apart from the introduction where he apologises for wearing an ugly shirt on the book’s front cover – are recycled newspaper columns, which originally appeared in the Daily Telegraph and Top Gear Magazine. However, packaged into one book and at
only about 800 words each, his writing is the ideal company for those short “philosophical” trips to the loo.

And, by the way, it really isn’t about cars at all.