Monday, July 10, 2006

Book Thoughts: I'm a Stranger Here Myself

If you need a hilarious book you can pick up and put down at intervals, here's the book for you. In I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away, Bill Bryson collects the weekly columns (originally called "Notes from a Big Country") which he wrote for a British paper after returning from twenty years in England to live in the United States. This is the kind of book that makes you laugh out loud, prompting passersby to give you strange looks (everyone needs to have this experience at least once).

Bryson chronicles American pecularities and distinctives such as our obsession with rules (I did a foolish thing the other afternoon. I went into one of our local cafes and seated myself without permission. You don't do this in America.), our need for superfluous cupholders in our vehicles (Volvo's engineers had foolishly thought that what American buyers were looking for was a reliable engine, side-impact bars, and heated seats, when in fact what they craved was little trays into which they could insert their Slurpees.), and our unique holidays (It's Presidents Day tomorrow. I know. I can hardly stand the excitement either.).

This is the first book I've read by Bryson, and I'm sure it won't be the last. You can read an excerpt ("Mail Call") here.

5 Comments:

Blogger Randa said...

Thanks for the recommendation- I'm always looking for good books to read and I'm really enjoying this one so far!

9:31 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I'm glad you're enjoying it! :-)

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Katherine said...

I have done that with Jasper Fforde's novels. Have you read Something Rotten?

9:29 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I started The Eyre Affair at one point in college but never finished it. Not sure why. Should I pick up his books again?

10:41 AM  
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10:13 PM  

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