Little Book of Humanism is a Sunday Times bestseller

3 September, 2020

A brand new book by Humanists UK President, Alice Roberts and Chief Executive, Andrew Copson has topped the book sales charts in its first week to become a Sunday Times bestseller.  

The Little Book of Humanism, published on 27 August, shares over two thousand years of humanist wisdom through an uplifting collection of illustrations, stories, quotes, and meditations on how to live an ethical and fulfilling life, grounded in reason and humanity. The book quotes everyone from ancient philosophers like Epicurus and Mencius, through to contemporary humanist sources of inspiration such as Frozen and The Good Place actor Kristen Bell, the novelists Zadie Smith and Margaret Atwood, and the playwright and poet Wole Soyinka.

Even ahead of publication, the book experienced strong pre-sales and was already onto a third print run on its publication day. On Sunday it will debut in the number ten slot on The Sunday Times Bestsellers List, the oldest and most influential book sales chart in the UK. As well as originally selling out on Amazon, Waterstones, and the popular, independent bookshop platform Hive, the The Little Book of Humanism topped the Amazon bestseller charts and has consistently featured in the top 30 since its publication. It is currently the number one bestseller on Amazon in both the ‘Ethics and Morality’ and ‘Religion and Science’ charts, and is also the number one bestselling title on Hive. Spotlighting its universal appeal and its popularity amongst a wider audience, The Little Book of Humanism is also currently number 14 in the ‘Self Help’ chart.

Patrons of Humanists UK have praised the book with Richard Dawkins describing it as a ‘compendium of uplifting quotations’ and likening gifting it to giving a ‘bunch of flowers to someone you love.’ Describing The Little Book of Humanism as a ‘gem’, Professor Jim Al-Khalili commented that it is ‘gorgeous and full of wise quotes and stories that we would all do well to heed in today’s crazy world.’

Speaking on the overwhelming success of the book, authors Andrew Copson and Alice Roberts commented: ‘It’s fantastic to see how well The Little Book of Humanism has done in just its first week and we can’t wait to see how far it goes, particularly now it is has been listed as a Sunday Times bestseller! We’re overwhelmed by the amazing feedback we’ve received so far and excited to see that humanism is reaching new audiences as a result of the book’s publication. We hope that it will have a positive and lasting impact on people’s lives’.

The book can be purchased from Waterstones, Amazon, Hive, Blackwell’s, and all good bookshops, with both hardback and eBook available at £7.99 RRP. It is published by Piatkus Books, an imprint of Little, Brown. Author royalties from the book go towards supporting the work of Humanists UK.

About the authors

Professor Alice Roberts is a writer, broadcaster, and President of Humanists UK. She is the bestselling author of eight popular science books including Evolution: The Human Story, The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being and Tamed: Ten Species that Changed Our World. Making her television debut on Time Team in 2001, she has become one of Britain’s best-known broadcasters and has written and presented a huge range of television series for BBC2, BBC4 and Channel 4, including The Incredible Human Journey, Origins of Us and Ice Age Giants, and several Horizon programmes. Her humanist ‘mini-sermons’ on Twitter have been liked and shared many thousands of times.

Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of Humanists UK and President of Humanists International. He has provided a humanist voice on many television and radio programmes and written on humanism for publications including The Economist, New Statesman, Guardian, Prospect, The Times and Buzzfeed. With AC Grayling, he edited the Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism. He is also the author of Secularism: A Very Short Introduction.


For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 020 3675 0959.

Listen to Professor Alice Roberts discussing the book and the humanist view of life on BBC4’s  Sunday programme.

Read an interview about the book and humanism more generally with Professor Alice Roberts in The Guardian.

Read a comment piece about the book published by Professor Alice Roberts in Tuesday’s Scotsman.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.