Holiday reading: rediscovering Britain with ‘national treasure’ Bill Bryson
If you are inclined to homesickness when you are on your holidays then Bill Bryson’s latest tome about Britain, ‘The Road to Little Dribbling’ will be the perfect antidote this summer. In fact, the very best place to read the latest in our suggestions of great holiday reads will be on a sun lounger, by a pool, near a cocktail bar somewhere in Europe. From that safe distance you’ll be able to savour Bryson’s latest ode to travelling in Britain.
As follow up to the massively successful and best-selling ‘Notes from a Small Island’, this latest work (published in 2015) follows Bryson’s latest exploration of Britain, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath as he struggles to come to terms with the changing landscape and his own grumpiness. There are things about Britain that he loves and things he hates and things that annoy him so terribly that only a foreigner (who has now become and naturalised citizen)dare say out loud.
Bryson’s journey is funny and moving and offers snippets of life on our small island as seen from the point of view of a man who has little patience for the fecklessness, ineptitude and idiocy. He is also a man who seeks out the curious and takes joy in the simple things. So his book about Britain is a book about change and the unchanged. It’ offers a vivid insight into who and how we are and takes solace in our open spaces. In short, as an honorary Brit, Bryson is more Brit than most of us.
Hence why this book is perfect for a summer read. As Bryson takes buses in the rain and schlepps from one gloomy guest house to another we can really enjoy our country for what it is: an island on the edge of Europe that gets an awful lot of weather, can be absolutely dreadful at times but that also has moments of brilliance between the showers.
That’s home. And I bet when you say goodbye to your sangria and sunshine you’ll be dying to get back here.
Enjoy the sun!
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