Thursday, July 5, 2018

Notes from a Big Country

After recently reading Shakespeare by Bill Bryson, I was on the look out for some more by him. Picked up his Notes from a Big Country.

This one is not really a book, but a collection of columns about living in the US that he wrote for a UK paper after having recently moved to the US. Context being that the author has grown up in the US, then lived in UK for 20 or so years, and then moved back to the US. These columns are a picture of broadly a couple of years around 1996-1998.  Many sound like rants, some like anecdotes, but they are columns and hence fairly quick reads. The book seemed to live in my car for a while. It was easy to fit in a piece (just over 3 pages) in any short burst of time which I would otherwise scroll through. I am reading a couple of other books which seem to go well with the lighthearted break that this one provided.

The pieces are fun and delightful if read individually here and there. But too many in one go and you start feeling the way you feel after having too much of a snack. Not satisfied. Not good. And like wasted hunger. As if gorging on a lot of light reading. As if reading a bundle of magazines and calling it a book. Still,  it is over 300 pages and I seem to be low on my books completed count, hence adding it to the list.

I quite enjoyed the cheerful tone. It was good to laugh out loud at several points through the book, and along the way getting acquainted with several different aspects of the aforementioned big country, albeit that of two decades ago.


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