Friday, 30 December 2011

At Home by Bill Bryson

This is obv not a children's book; however I thoughtfully shared lots of the random pieces of information from it with A, and she at least pretended vague interest in some of it. I definitely think I would have found it interesting as a teen, but then the things I found interesting as a teen are not generally your common or garden teen pursuits. Whilst others were experimenting with strange chemicals and artfully arranging their hair to look like they'd just got out of bed, I was french plaiting mine, and had a subscription to The World of Cross Stitching.

I love Bill Bryson. I've looked at some of the reviews of this book on Amazon and there are many snipy borers: "On page 134 Bryson says that Reverend Archibald Huntley was born in 1813, when it is patently obvious to anyone with a modicum of historical knowledge knows that he was born in 1812." I am a great fan of pedantry, but there's a time and a place, people, surely. The nature of history is that there are bound to be some inaccuracies, and yes these need pointing out. But to throw away the baby of an amazingly interesting historical tome with the bathwater of one or two mistakes is surely foolish. Bryson is a very rare storyteller, than can make virtually anything interesting when it is woven into his tale. Essentially he wrote a book based on wandering around his house, and it is brilliant. I now have a great deal more random knowledge in my random knowledge store, which I am hoping will benefit me at the next Scout Quiz night at the Hawk and Buckle. As you can tell, things have changed since my teens, and I am now quite the party animal.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book too. I found the parts about churchyards fascinating and frequently stopped to read out a random fact or two!