The summer of Bill Bryson

Like the title of this post explains, this whole summer (year, really) has been all about Bill Bryson for me, and continues to get better as I dive deeper into his collection of works. As an internationally-known travel writer, Bryson is both informative and hilarious, a combination of qualities that aren’t usually seen in his colleagues. I started off my obsession by reading his book on Australia titled “In A Sunburned Country.” He traveled from the city of Perth on Oz’s west coast all the way over to Queensland in the east. He was very funny, and yet scared me to death with his stories about saltwater crocs and his enthusiastic emphasis on the fact that the top ten deadliest snakes and spiders in the world all reside down under. Recently I finished his most famous book, “A Walk in the Woods,” about his adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail. Bryson was probably at his funniest while writing this book, and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to know more about why he has achieved such a state of celebrity in the writing world. I’m currently reading his book about returning to America after living in England for two decades, “I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away.” Instead of one cohesive piece, it’s a collection of columns he wrote for a New Hampshire-based newspaper, so there’s no plot. I still think he’s hilarious but I like it better when he tells a story. I recommend Bill Bryson to anyone who enjoys traveling, has any semblance of a sense of humor, and doesn’t feel like leafing through a fat reference book in order to learn something about the rest of the planet.

1 thought on “The summer of Bill Bryson”

  1. I *adore* Bill Bryson! His stuff is fantastic, pretty much across the board. I’d also recommend his “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” in which he gets scientists to try to explain all different branches of science to him and all the rest of us who don’t have a background in those areas. His self-deprecating humor shines through as always. And a few years back during my own trip to England, I loved reading his “Notes from a Small Island,” in which he does a farewell tour of England before moving back to the US. Highly recommended!

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