THE autobiography of the Oxford University professor John Carey soared to the top of the bestseller list at this year’s Oxford Literary Festival.

Organisers announced that Prof Carey’s The Unexpected Professor was the most popular book amongst festival-goers, beating second place AC Grayling’s Friendship and third place Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth.

Around 40,000 people attended this year’s festival, which featured talks from the journalist James Naughtie, Jeremy Paxman and Oxford-based author Mark Haddon.

Blackwell’s manager Zool Verjee said: “The Unexpected Professor has sold very well since its release earlier this year and we anticipated that it would do well at the Oxford Literary Festival. Equally, Ian McEwan and AC Grayling’s sell consistently well, so it’s no surprise to see their titles towards the top.”

Roger Scruton’s Soul of the World was the fourth best seller, followed by Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries.