Posted by: learningwoman | July 19, 2008

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is one of my very favourite authors, not least because his books always make me laugh.

I’ve just finished reading ‘A Walk in the Woods’, where he attempts to hike the Appalachian Trail with his friend Stephen Katz. It’s full of interesting and sometimes obscure facts, very funny descriptions of people and places and of course merciless ribbing of his friend.

I’ve recently discovered that Bryson is Sagittarian, which immediately made sense to me. He’s a bit off the wall, interested in everything, excited by things that seem quite ordinary, until he tells us how he’s seeing them. He loves to travel, so much that he became a travel writer, among other things. He’s impulsive and not always practical in his decision making, seems kind, has a strong sense of justice and finds humour in all but the most hellish situations. And of course, he’s perceptive and intelligent.

For those who have no time for astrology, just ignore that paragraph and move on.

I’m not sure I’d like Bill Bryson if I met him, he’s a little inclined to write people off as stupid if they annoy him in any way, and I’m not sure how I’d fare in that respect.

Having said that, if, in some highly unlikely twist of fate I found myself having a coffee with him, I suspect I’d enjoy the conversation. A lively mind is a joy.

I remember when I was heavily pregnant with S, sitting in a local cafe, reading  ‘Down Under’ , which is about his travels in Australia. I laughed so hard that the man next to me moved over a few inches. I think he was worried I might go into labour and he’d have to help!

If you haven’t read anything by him, give it a try. At worst you might learn some strange and interesting new things and at best you might scare the people next to you with your loud guffaws.




  1. He lives about an hour north of me. I’ve never met him, but if you ever find yourself over on this side of things, we’ll go and have coffee in town and see if we can’t cross paths…

  2. Hi
    Glad to hear you’re all well again. So are we (fingers crossed). I’ve read all of Bryson’s stuff except his new one about Shakespeare. It was so expensive in hardback, and so teeny weeny. Now it’s out in paperback I’m much more tempted. His books about the English Language are also excellent.

  3. That’d be great Kate, coffee with TWO interesting people at the same time! 🙂

  4. Hi Katy,
    Whew, we’re all healthy again and ready to keep cleaning up fluids that aren’t vomit….
    I haven’t read Bryson’s Shakespeare book either, I read ‘The Shakespeare Secret’ and another book about him in quick succession and then needed to have a rest from it.
    One of these days.

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