Number of page: 320
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson—the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent—brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can’t), to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson tells the fascinating, often uproarious story of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world’s largest growth industries.
- A Google User
THE MOTHER TONGUE A merry and bright Baedeker to the English language, its history, character, and probable future. American expatriate (to Britain) Bryson proves a witty and knowing guide here, with scarcely a trace of the sneer that spoiled his popular tour of small-town America, The Lost Continent (1989). Instead, a gentle humor, enamored of oddities, warms his discussion of the origins of English, its evolution
- Brian Dick
Review: The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way For a pop English linguistics book, it’s good!
LibraryThing Review Excellent, amusing history of the English Language
LibraryThing Review Bryson’s logic is flawed throughout and he draws many conclusions that aren’t supported by his own facts. Entertaining nonetheless.
LibraryThing Review This book is filled with information and an incredible number of fascinating factoids. I never knew that a lifespan of 70 years equates to just about two billion seconds. Or that the highest recorded
LibraryThing Review Bill Bryson recounts the history and development of the english language, with a bit of humour thrown in to ease the journey. If I had to write a one-sentence summary of this book, that would be it
LibraryThing Review Bryson started with serious books on grammar and his expertise is put to good use in this book on the English language. Look out for Made in America too.
LibraryThing Review I really enjoyed Bryson’s romp through a brief history of the English language. He turns what could have been a dry, boring treatise, into a humorous exploration which is extremely diverting. I especially liked the chapters on names, swearing, and wordplay.
The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain
A loving and hilarious if occasionally spiky valentine to Bill Bryson s adopted country Great Britain Prepare for total joy and multiple episodesof unseemly laughter Twenty years ago Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to discover and celebrate that green and pleasant land The result was Notes from a Small Island a true classic and one of the bestselling travel books ever written Now he has traveled about Britain again by bus and train and rental car and on foot to see what has changed and what hasn t Following but not too closely a route he dubs the Bryson Line from Bognor Regis in the south to Cape Wrath in the north by way of places few travelers ever get to at all Bryson rediscovers the wondrously beautiful magnificently eccentric endearingly singular country that he both celebrates and when called for twits With his matchless instinct for the funniest and quirkiest and his unerring eye for the idiotic the bewildering the appealing and the ridiculous he offers acute and perceptive insights into all that is best and worst about Britain today Nothing is more entertaining than Bill Bryson on the road and on a tear The Road to Little Dribbling reaffirms his stature as a master of the travel narrative and a really really funny guy From the Hardcover edition
A Short History of Nearly Everything
One of the world s most beloved writers and bestselling author of One Summer takes his ultimate journey into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer In A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail well most of it In A Sunburned Country he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer Now in his biggest book he confronts his greatest challenge to understand and if possible answer the oldest biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us To that end he has attached himself to a host of the world s most advanced and often obsessed archaeologists anthropologists and mathematicians travelling to their offices laboratories and field camps He has read or tried to read their books pestered them with questions apprenticed himself to their powerful minds A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest and it is a sometimes profound sometimes funny and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge as only Bill Bryson can render it Science has never been more involving or entertaining
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
A CLASSIC FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF ONE SUMMER Back in America after twenty years in Britain Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2 100 mile Appalachian Trail which stretches from Georgia to Maine The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings For a start there s the gloriously out of shape Stephen Katz a buddy from Iowa along for the walk Despite Katz s overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh out loud hike Bryson s acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail and as he tells its fascinating history he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America s last great wilderness An adventure a comedy and a celebration A Walk in the Woods has becomea modern classic of travel literature From the Trade Paperback edition
In a Sunburned Country
A CLASSIC FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF ONE SUMMER Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door memorable travel literature threatens to break out His previous excursion along the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place Australia the country that doubles as a continent and a place with the friendliest inhabitants the hottest driest weather and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet The result is a deliciously funny fact filled and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor wonder and unflagging curiousity Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else including sharks crocodiles snakes even riptides and deserts Bill Bryson adores the place and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful extroverted and unfailingly obliging and these beaming products of land with clean safe cities cold beer and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book Australia is an immense and fortunate land and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide From the Trade Paperback edition