Friday, March 23, 2007

Notes From a Small Island

Bill Bryson's Notes From a Small Island is a pleasant nonfiction read. The book, first published in 1995, is an account of Bryson visiting various cities/villages in Great Britain. He tries to exclusively either walk or use public transportation on his travels. It's not so much a written travelogue as it is an account, sometimes with rather snide comments and sometimes with very funny comments, of how Bryson views the areas he is traveling through. Bryson swears less in this book than in Neither Here Nor There, although really his language is never completely necessary, which makes it annoying to me. An Anglophile or someone who knows Great Britain intimately might appreciate this account more than I did. Bryson did give me a few good laughs with some of his comments, but mostly, for me, it was a so-so book. I certainly don't regret reading it, but wouldn't tell a book reading friend, "You must read this book!" I actually find it rather hard to believe that Notes From a Small Island is on some "100 books you must read" lists. I wouldn't have put it that high on a list of that sort. Perhaps the candidates for some lists of that sort rely rather too heavily on who exactly is making the list.
The other two books I partially read or read this week were anthropology textbooks. I finished Introducing Cultural Anthropology by Roberta Edwards Lenkeit because that is the book my dd will use next year for anthropology.


just me said...


Unknown said...

I agree about this book. I think that I enjoyed Bryson's I'm a Stranger Here Myself more than this one. It was amusing, but not a must-read. In fact, my renewals at the library might have run out and I might have returned it unfinished.