bryson.

17 Jun

i tend to be an extreme promoter of things i enjoy.

i’m currently making my way through my second Bill Bryson book in the last few months. Bryson is a travel and history humor writer who has bounced between living in the UK and US. his style is straight forward and witty, and his content is often rich with history. this combination makes his books accessible, fun, and a learning experience. where textbooks fail to captivate, Bryson delivers.

my entry into Bryson actually began years ago when my father left A Lost Continent on the den coffee table. i picked it up and couldn’t put it down. today, however, i’m going to talk about two books i’ve recently read: A Walk in the Woods and At Home: A Short History of Private Life.

i chose A Walk in the Woods after getting pumped up about the american landscape and farming after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma this winter, and BOY OH BOY is this book a total escape. when winter in chicago was dragging on and blatantly ignoring the calendar onset of spring, i was busy diving into tales of the appalachian trail, bear attack freak-outs, american woodland history, and Bryson’s comedic encounters.

if you’re looking for something to get you excited about nature and the outdoors then this is the book. its hilarious and inspiring. in fact, my summer wish list now includes a hiking trip. sometime not too far in the future, i’d love to visit a national park out west. i’ve really got my eye on a vacation in montana. maybe next summer with the boyfriend! <3

{Beargrass Grinnell Lake Glacier National Park Montana}

nature is pretty.

{St. Mary Lake, Glacier National Park Montana}

…and back to books!

my second Bryson book of the year, which i’m currently making my way though, is At Home: A Short History of Private Life. on a recent post from my trip to charleston, i mentioned that the city had reignited my affair with american history. charleston got me amped to learn more about how america, and the rest of the world, have evolved to the society, culture, and tradition we experience today.  it was by happen chance of kindle browsing that i came upon Bryson’s anthology and this neat little book on the history of private life.


Byrson uses an interesting approach, focusing on the architecture and history of his old english country house as a context for describing the evolution of the rooms and customs we know today. as Bryson notes, “houses aren’t refuges from history. they are where history ends up”. i’m only half way through the book but so far Bryson has taught me and awesome amount. i’m a sucker for cultural tidbits and this book is packed full of them.

happy friday and happy reading!

4 Responses to “bryson.”

  1. Catherine Jacques June 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Eileen, I love your blog! Your articles are so good and I love the variety of topics covered. If you are looking for a breathtaking hike right in Michigan, you may want to look into Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the U.P. Maybe you’ve already been — but it’s worth the visit if you haven’t. We brought a backpack with a tent and beer and met many fun “adventure seekers” out on the trails. We hiked in Grand Marais, but the options are endless for scenic sites.

    • leaner by the lake June 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

      i’m so happy you’re liking the blog, catherine!! and thanks for the suggestion! a trip to the UP for hiking would be much more economical than montana and i know that A has been wanting to see the UP. i’ll investigate your suggestion! hope to see you soon :)

  2. Janet June 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    once again-you did not disappoint me =)

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