Which Bill Bryson book should I read? Watch

FizzBitch
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A few people have recommended that I read some Bill Bryson books, and as my parents have a fair few of them, I'm going to give some a read, only I don't know which one to start with.

The books my parents have are:
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
Down Under
A Walk in the Woods
Notes from a Small Island
Notes from a Big Country
Made in America
The Lost Continent
Neither Here Nor There
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Shakespeare

So has anyone got anyone recommendations? Which ones are your favourites?
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RocketTown
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If you like science, then A Short History of Nearly Everything is brilliant.
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EierVonSatan
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(Original post by RocketTown)
if you like science, then A Short History of Nearly Everything is brilliant.
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Lampshade
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I read The Lost Continent before my USA gap year travels.

Loved it.

Edit: down under is good too.
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Captain Crash
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The two 'Notes from a.... ' are very good and, I find, funnier than the others I've read.
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Taemon
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I really quite like "Notes from a Small Island" although some of it's a bit out of date these days...
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Mumintroll
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I've read all his travel related ones - generally all very readable. But, 'Notes from a Small Island', 'Neither Here nor There' and 'Down Under' are my favourites.

I didn't particularly enjoy 'A Short History of Nearly Everything'. I personally think he should stick to the travel writing - but I know a lot of people would disagree with me on that, because his other books do seem to have received good reviews.
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MSB
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(Original post by Captain Crash)
The two 'Notes from a.... ' are very good and, I find, funnier than the others I've read.
I agree. His older books are better.
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TheOtherZoe
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(Original post by Mumintroll)
I've read all his travel related ones - generally all very readable. But, 'Notes from a Small Island', 'Neither Here nor There' and 'Down Under' are my favourites.

I didn't particularly enjoy 'A Short History of Nearly Everything'. I personally think he should stick to the travel writing - but I know a lot of people would disagree with me on that, because his other books do seem to have received good reviews.
I miss the travel books

Notes From A Small Island is a good one to start with, deffo.
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skagitup
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notes from a small island or short history of nearly everything. the latter informative... in the sense that QI is informative, and the latter's predecessor, the penultimate, is just a terrifically enjoyable read.
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hotgoose
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i liked notes from a big country best
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Mumintroll
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(Original post by TheOtherZoe)
I miss the travel books

Notes From A Small Island is a good one to start with, deffo.
:yep:
Me too. Someone should be telling him (and Michael Palin whilst they're there) to book a ticket somewhere and to remember to pack a notepad (or camera team).

Notes from a Small Island and Neither Here nor There both made me laugh out loud.
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Somebody
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I liked "Notes from a Big Country".

It's taken from articles he posted in (I think) the Mail on Sunday when he moved back to America. Therefore, the chapters are relatively short but very very funny! My favourite chapter is teh "Titanic" one I think (if you've read it, you'd understand!)

Haven't read it in years though...

I tried reading another one of his books after that, but the chapters were far longer, and I didn't get as into it. But that was a good 6 years or so ago now :p:
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Quistis
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I don't find the "factual" books (Shakespeare, A Short History) as amusing as the travelogues, although they're still eminently readable. Also, Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is funny, but not as funny as his earlier books, and it's much more interesting if you read it having read his other books - because it's all about him, and if you've never read any of his stuff he's just some random guy you don't have any emotional investment in. So I'd definitely advocate one of the travel books. My first Bryson was The Lost Continent, which I keep meaning to re-read; very funny, and also beautifully affecting, because it really conjures up a sense of the poignancy of small, anonymous American towns, and the way they're all being homogenised now. So you could try that. Notes from a Big Country is probably the funniest of his books - I can't think about the furniture injuries chapter without laughing even years after reading it - but IMHO it tells you a little less about America than The Lost Continent. Notes on a Small Island is funny too, although it's easiest to like if he likes your hometown (my birth city is his favourite, so that sweetened the book ). Down Under is hilarious and, like The Lost Continent, conjures up an incredibly strong sense of place and personality.

I really, really envy you for having the entire Bryson canon to discover - every book is a delight. I rationed them, but given that your folks have them all on the shelves at home I bet you get through the lot in a couple of weeks - they are just that good.

Happy reading, and let us know which one you pick xxx
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Fusion
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(Original post by RocketTown)
If you like science, then A Short History of Nearly Everything is brilliant.
Deffo
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Marlowe
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#16
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Everything he writes is a pleasure to read. It really doesn't matter what the subject is. For those yet to read any of his work, though, I'd say start with Small Island. Otherwise, you might as well put all of his books into a hat and pick one out. You wouldn't be disappointed.
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chrissygeuin
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The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid absolutely had me laughing out loud and it takes a bit for me to laugh when I'm reading. Bill is about my age so I connected with his sense of humor and experiences. The only reason I have not purchased more is because I'm saving my money. I'd love to read more of his wonderful pieces!
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wildfey
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all of them are pretty good books. I always liked Thunderbolt Kid because it's hilarious and Shakespeare because I'm a big history nerd (and tbh, who can actually say that they know a lot about Shakespeare, even though he's incredibly famous?)

(I also like walk in the woods because it reminds me of my own mishaps walking on dartmoor/exmoor and in the lake district)
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