Monday, December 29, 2008

About Bill Bryson

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Bill Bryson is how much he makes me laugh. I’ll be reading a passage in one of his books and start laughing so uncontrollably that my stomach hurts. Once this happened sitting next to my friend on a plane to New York City while reading A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. The second time was sitting on the couch next to my husband reading our January Featured Book of the Month, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. My friend’s reaction (as well as my husband’s) was that I was pretty weird. But if you haven’t read Bill Bryson before, you just don’t understand.

According to the author's website, Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. (Or as he humorously writes in his first travel book, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America: “I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to"). A backpacking expedition in 1973 brought him to England where he met his wife and decided to live. He wrote for the English newspapers The Times and The Independent for many years, and supplemented his income by writing travel articles. He lived with his family in North Yorkshire before moving to Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1995 with his wife and four children before returning again to England in 2003, where they currently reside.

Although he is best known for his travel writing (A Walk in the Woods, I’m a Stranger Here Myself, In a Sunburned Country, etc.), he has also written engaging books about his other interests: the English language (Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words, The Mother Tongue, Made in America, Shakespeare: The World as Stage) and science (A Short History of Nearly Everything).

Be sure to listen to his hilarious 2006 NPR interview about his childhood and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, or read my very own Turning the Page blog about A Walk in the Woods.

1 comment:

Kristan said...

I just wanted to say I think this blog is a great idea and I'm really looking forward to all the books each month! :)