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I've only ever read his travel books. They're light reads -- entertaining, frothy and fun. But I wouldn't deliberately go and hunt them out.


I read his book about Australia, "In a Sunburned Country," and loved it.


I think he is great. I loved Notes from a Small Island and some of his other travel books. He makes me giggle aloud sometimes but he is also very intelligent and learned so Mother Tongue is a fascinating entertaining and informative read. I haven't read At Home but I'd like to. Excellent writer -- go for him, I'd say.


I like his books. I'd start with The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America.


I read Notes From a Small Island years ago and enjoyed seeing the UK through his entertaining writing. Haven't returned to him since. Mother Tongue sounds good.

Dark Puss

I've read a number of his books and have always been entertained. Notes from a Small Island is good, but do also consider reading A Short History of Nearly Everything too.

I'm amazed you haven't read his wonderful (and for me very useful) The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words.


Highly recommend "Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe". Most people I know who've read him think that A Short History of Nearly Everything is his best.


Notes from a Small Island is very enjoyable and his European book Neither Here Nor There made me laugh out loud for quite a while which was a bit embarrassing as I was on a very busy train at the time and fellow passengers clearly thought that I was a sandwich short of a picnic!


I loved his childhood memoir 'Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid', very enlightening and entertaining. I am currently reading 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' which I find very impressive. I really like Bryson's writing, it is accessible, entertaining and the Thunderbolt Kid had some laugh-out-loud funny moments.

Joan Kyler

I've read several of his books and like his travel books best, especially his earlier ones about living in England. I started Home and got bogged down, but it might have been me, not him. I liked Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid; we're apparently about the same age and have many similar memories and experiences of growing up in America.

Joules Barham

I have read and enjoyed Notes from a Small Island and many of his other books (including one on Shakespeare). I found At Home very readable, brilliantly researched and I would recommend it; I did struggle with the large amount of American history it contained - not being aware of the US 'greats'.
My daughter worked with him on an organ transplant charity and thought that he was lovely.

Simon T

I have At Home waiting for me... I have read, and loved, Mother Tongue and Shakespeare - with a gap of many years between them. Shakespeare was incredibly funny, as well as informative - I think it is the best resource for all the facts that are known about Shakespeare, without any attempt to embroider or overlay with theory.

Julie Fredericksen

Our book club read I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away.

He was in England during those 20 years away, and his comparisons of the two cultures is very interesting, as his view of America as a "stranger" in a strange land.

Julie Fredericksen

Sorry about the grammatical errors (note to self: proofread your comments more carefully).

His comparisons .... are
as IS his view of America ....

Susan P.

I too really liked his memoir Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. And his A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail is one of the funniest books I have ever read.


Just don't read Notes From a Small Island in bed unless you want to be nudged in the ribs for laughing out loud; ditto his other travel books as well, especially Down Under. He is a very astute observer of the human condition.
His books on words and science and domesticity are more serious but still a jolly good read.


I listened to "At Home" on cd in the car and bored my family and students for WEEKS with fascinating factoids. It was my first Bill Bryson and although his voice might be off-putting for some, I loved the whole experience!

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