From one of the most beloved and bestselling authors in the English language, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s. Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century - 1951 - in the middle of the United States - Des Moines, lowa - in the middle of the largest generation in American history - the baby boomers. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as superhero.
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- Author : Llewellyn Johns
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 2008
- Genre : Uncategorized
- Pages : 12
- ISBN : OCLC:271644065
Bill Bryson’s first travel book opened with the immortal line, ‘I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.’ In this deeply funny and personal memoir, he travels back in time to explore the ordinary kid he once was, in the curious world of 1950s Middle America. It was a happy time, when almost everything was good for you, including DDT, cigarettes and nuclear fallout. This is a book about one boy’s growing up. But in Bryson’s hands, it becomes everyone’s story, one that will speak volumes – especially to anyone who has ever been young.
Quicklet on Bill Bryson s The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid A Memoir CliffNotes like Summary
- Author : Becki Chiasson
- Publisher : Hyperink Inc
- Release Date : 2012-02-24
- Genre : Literary Criticism
- Pages : 20
- ISBN : 9781614649571
ABOUT THE BOOK “Growing up was easy. It required no thought or effort on my part. It was going to happen anyway. So what follows isn’t terribly eventful, I’m afraid. And yet it was by a very large margin the most fearful, thrilling, interesting, instructive, eye-popping, lustful, eager, troubled, untroubled, confused, serene, and unnerving time of my life.” So begins “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid,” which was published in 2006. It was a departure from Bill Bryson’s earlier books. His previous work, “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” a book about science written for the average Joe, had taken a lot out of him and he wanted to work on something easier. Bryson told the Guardian: “I promised my wife I would do a book I could stay at home to do ... and I promised my publisher that I would do something more amusing that would corral back the core of my readership, some of whom doubtless were slightly appalled and alienated by A Short History. And also, purely in a selfish way, I wanted to do a book that I wouldn't have to do a lot of hard thinking and research about. I did miss writing humorous things.” MEET THE AUTHOR Becki Chiasson is a Baltimore-based writer who received her BS in Mass Communications from Towson University. Although she spent some time in New York as a crossword puzzle editor, she returned to her hometown in Maryland in 2010 to focus on writing. Her favorite topics include video games and women's issues. When she's not busy writing up a storm, she crochets, plays video games, and bakes. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” centers on Bryson’s life as a young child in Des Moines, Iowa during the 1950s and follows Bryson through puberty. The plot is less of a structured narrative and more of a series of loosely related, humorous anecdotes about growing up during happier, simpler times. A central conceit to the book is the idea that Bryson was the Thunderbolt Kid, a superhero who co
‘Funny, wise, learned and compulsive’ - GQ Bill Bryson turns away from travelling the highways and byways of middle America, so hilariously depicted in his bestselling The Lost Continent, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and Notes from a Big Country, for a fast, exhilarating ride along the Route 66 of American language and popular culture. In Made in America, Bryson tells the story of how American arose out of the English language, and along the way, de-mythologizes his native land - explaining how a dusty desert hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn’t won, why Americans say ‘lootenant’ and ‘Toosday’, how they were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up - as well as exposing the true origins of the words G-string, blockbuster, poker and snafu. ‘A tremendously sassy work, full of zip, pizzazz and all those other great American qualities’ Will Self, Independent on Sunday
THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER _______ 'A directory of wonders.' – The Guardian 'Jaw-dropping.' – The Times 'Classic, wry, gleeful Bryson...an entertaining and absolutely fact-rammed book.' – The Sunday Times 'It is a feat of narrative skill to bake so many facts into an entertaining and nutritious book.' – The Daily Telegraph _______ ‘We spend our whole lives in one body and yet most of us have practically no idea how it works and what goes on inside it. The idea of the book is simply to try to understand the extraordinary contraption that is us.’ Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up. A wonderful successor to A Short History of Nearly Everything, this new book is an instant classic. It will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again. ‘What I learned is that we are infinitely more complex and wondrous, and often more mysterious, than I had ever suspected. There really is no story more amazing than the story of us.’ Bill Bryson
In At Home, Bill Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose and masterful storytelling that made A Short History of Nearly Everything one of the most lauded books of the last decade, and delivers one of the most entertaining and illuminating books ever written about the history of the way we live. Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote a lot more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping and merely endeavouring to get more comfortable. And that most of the key discoveries for humankind can be found in the very fabric of the houses in which we live.This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way he did a prodigious amount of research on the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets; and on the brilliant, creative and often eccentric minds behind them. And he discovered that, although there may seem to be nothing as unremarkable as our domestic lives, there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.
Bill Bryson’s first travel book, The Lost Continent, was unanimously acclaimed as one of the funniest books in years. In Neither Here nor There he brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. Fluent in, oh, at least one language, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before. Whether braving the homicidal motorists of Paris, being robbed by gypsies in Florence, attempting not to order tripe and eyeballs in a German restaurant or window-shopping in the sex shops of the Reeperbahn, Bryson takes in the sights, dissects the culture and illuminates each place and person with his hilariously caustic observations. He even goes to Liechtenstein.
It is the driest, flattest, hottest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents and still Australia teems with life – a large portion of it quite deadly. In fact, Australia has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way than anywhere else. Ignoring such dangers – and yet curiously obsessed by them – Bill Bryson journeyed to Australia and promptly fell in love with the country. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted and unfailingly obliging: their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water; the food is excellent; the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines. Life doesn’t get much better than this...
WINNER: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER READER AWARD FOR BEST TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016 WINNER: BOOKS ARE MY BAG READER AWARD FOR BEST AUTOBIOGRAPHY OR BIOGRAPHY 2016 Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain’s occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas. Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.
"After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move Mrs Bryson, little Jimmy et al. back to the States for a while. But before leaving his much-loved Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around old Blighty, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had for so long been his home. The resulting book, Notes from a Small Island, is a eulogy to the country that produced Marmite, George Formby, by-elections, milky tea, place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells, Gardeners' Question Time and people who say, 'Mustn't grumble.' Britain will never seem the same again. Once ensconced back home in New Hampshire, Bryson couldn't resist the invitation to write a weekly dispatch for the Mail on Sunday's Night & Day magazine. Notes from a Big Country is a collection of eighteen months' worth of his popular columns about that strangest of phenomena - the American way of life. Whether discussing the dazzling efficiency of the garbage disposal unit, the exoticism of having your groceries bagged for you, or the mind-numbing frequency of commercial breaks on American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wi
The extraordinary Bill Bryson takes us from the Big Bang to the dawn of science in this book about basically everything. Ever wondered how we got from nothing to something? Or thought about how we can weigh the earth? Or wanted to reach the edge of the universe? Uncover the mysteries of time, space and life on earth in this extraordinary book - a journey from the centre of the planet to the dawn of the dinosaurs, and everything in between. And discover our own incredible journey, from single cell to civilisation, including the brilliant (and sometimes very bizarre) scientists who helped us find out the how and why. Adapted from A Short History of Nearly Everything, the ground-breaking bestseller, this book is stunningly illustrated throughout, and accessible for all ages ************************************************************************ Reviews for A Short History of Nearly Everything: 'It's the sort of book I would have devoured as a teenager. It might well turn unsuspecting young readers into scientists.' Evening Standard 'I doubt that a better book for the layman about the findings of modern science has been written' Sunday Telegraph 'A thoroughly enjoyable, as well as educational, experience. Nobody who reads it will ever look at the world around them in the same way again' Daily Express 'The very book I have been looking for most of my life' Daily Mail
Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller, but even when he stays safely at home he can't contain his curiosity about the world around him. A Short History of Nearly Everything is his quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. Bill Bryson's challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry and particle physics, and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. The ultimate eye-opening journey through time and space, A Short History of Nearly Everything is the biggest-selling popular science book of the 21st century, and reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
Troublesome Words is playful and riddlesome guide to the English language from the bestselling author of Notes from a Small Island and A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson What is the difference between mean and median, blatant and flagrant, flout and flaunt? Is it whodunnit or whodunit? Do you know? Are you sure? With Troublesome Words, journalist and bestselling travel-writer Bill Bryson gives us a clear, concise and entertaining guide to the problems of English usage and spelling that has been an indispensable companion to those who work with the written word for over twenty years. So if you want to discover whether you should care about split infinitives, are cursed with an uncontrollable outbreak of commas or were wondering if that newsreader was right to say 'an historic day', this superb book is the place to find out.
In 1995, before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire to move back to the States for a few years with his family, Bill Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite; a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy; place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells; people who said 'Mustn't grumble', and ‘Ooh lovely’ at the sight of a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits; and Gardeners' Question Time. Notes from a Small Island was a huge number-one bestseller when it was first published, and has become the nation's most loved book about Britain, going on to sell over two million copies.
In comparison to such regions as the South, the far West, and New England, the Midwest and its culture have been neglected both by scholars and by the popular press. Historians as well as literary and art critics tend not to examine the Midwest in depth in their academic work. And in the popular imagination, the Midwest has never really ascended to the level of the proud, literary South; the cultured, democratic Northeast; or the hip, innovative West Coast. Finding a New Midwestern History revives and identifies anew the Midwest as a field of study by promoting a diversity of viewpoints and lending legitimacy to a more in-depth, rigorous scholarly assessment of a large region of the United States that has largely been overlooked by scholars. The essays discuss facets of midwestern life worth examining more deeply, including history, religion, geography, art, race, culture, and politics, and are written by well-known scholars in the field such as Michael Allen, Jon Butler, and Nicole Etcheson.
What is the difference between cant and jargon, or assume and presume? What is a fandango? How do you spell supersede? Is it hippy or hippie? These questions really matter to Bill Bryson, as they do to anyone who cares about the English language. Originally published as The Penguin Dictionary for Writers and Editors, Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors has now been completely revised and updated for the twenty-first century by Bill Bryson himself. Here is a very personal selection of spellings and usages, covering such head-scratchers as capitalization, plurals, abbreviations and foreign names and phrases. Bryson also gives us the difference between British and American usages, and miscellaneous pieces of essential information you never knew you needed, like the names of all the Oxford colleges, or the correct spelling of Brobdingnag. An indispensable companion to all those who write, work with the written word, or who just enjoy getting things right, it gives rulings that are both authoritative and commonsense, all in Bryson's own inimitably goodhumoured way.
Bill Bryson has the rare knack of being out of his depth wherever he goes - even (perhaps especially) in the land of his birth. This became all too apparent when, after nearly two decades in England, the world's best-loved travel writer upped sticks with Mrs Bryson, little Jimmy et al. and returned to live in the country he had left as a youth. Of course there were things Bryson missed about Blighty but any sense of loss was countered by the joy of rediscovering some of the forgotten treasures of his childhood: the glories of a New England autumn; the pleasingly comical sight of oneself in shorts; and motel rooms where you can generally count on being awakened in the night by a piercing shriek and the sound of a female voice pleading, 'Put the gun down, Vinnie, I'll do anything you say.' Whether discussing the strange appeal of breakfast pizza or the jaw-slackening direness of American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wit to bear on that strangest of phenomena - the American way of life.