When you pick up a book and begin reading it, you usually have to make some mental shift to engage with the writer’s style, use of language, direction of story line…..and much more. Some of these shifts are so acute you will either falteringly read your way through the entire text or you will give up after the first few chapters. I find that if I cannot ‘connect’ with an author’s style or storyline within 20 pages, it goes back on the shelf or back to the library.
Bill Bryson, however, is a writer I connect with immediately. He is a keen observer of life. After spending many years living here in the UK and revealing all our foibles to the world at large, he returned to his native USA and discovered that, after so many years away, there was much about his own country that was ‘foreign’ to him. He has a sharp eye for the minute detail of life, and his observations (even when at their most critical) all seem to emerge from his own fundamental love for his homeland and fellow Americans.
This makes an ideal bedtime read. The chapters are made up from his weekly columns to the Mail on Sunday over an 18 month period, so they provide ideal ‘reading-bites’ to send you gently into the world of nod!